Will the original four hour version of Titanic ever be released?

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I heard that Titanic was originally about four hours long before James Cameroon cut it down. Do you know if there is anyway to get or view the original version????

-- Jennifer Williams (jenn__w@yahoo.com), July 07, 1998


The video release comming in September will be only what we saw in the theater (or less if you make the mistake of buying pan-and-scan).

Cameron himself has said that he intends to have a longer version released at some point, which would include material that had to be cut from the theatrical release for time reasons. There are all kinds of rumors about what might make it into such a release: the nearby ship Californian, Ida Strauss refusing to get in a lifeboat without her husband, Thomas Andrews and Captain Smith trying to call half-filled lifeboats back to the ship to take on more people, the tiny bit seen in the FOX-TV special where Rose is seen walking the decks of the wreck which then "morphs" into the ship as it looked in 1912, Rose finding Jack early in the film so that she can thank him, etc. These added scenes will probably show up on a later video release, or on laser disc, DVD, or DVX.

BTW, as I hear it now, Paramount, which has the domestic rights to "Titanic", does not support DVD, but rather the awful, competing DVX pay-each-time-you-watch system. Any chance you have to speak badly of DVX to people, do so. I would hate to see DVD killed off by DVX, and I don't think both can survive for long in the current market; it's going to be one or the other in the end.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (cathytom@ix.netcom.com), July 07, 1998.

Tom's right about DiVX--it's a ploy by the studios to perpetually help themselves to your wallet, as well as an intrusion of your privacy (the unit requires a phone line and modem, so the folks in Hollywood will know every time you watch a DiVX flick). Just say no.

As to the 'extended edition' of Cameron's Titanic (WARNING: SPECULATION AHEAD), my guess is that he'll borrow a trick from Spielberg and George Lucas: wait a few months (say, December 19?), then re-release the film in theaters as a 'Special Edition,' with the restored footage. That way, they can milk another round of full-price admissions for the 'Special Edition,' crank out a bunch of merchandising tie-ins (which they missed on the first time around, since the prerelease publicity was so negative), while spurring sales of the original theatrical release in video.

That's just a guess, but it's been done before, and the really have little to lose trying it again.


-- Kip Henry (kip-henry@ouhsc.edu), July 09, 1998.

Another black mark against DiVX, as if it needed another, is that, at least for now, it only shows movies in pan-and-scan...no widescreen. For a movie like "Titanic" this would be unforgivable. Who would want to have the grand, full-length view of the ship cropped on either side, just to mention one shot from the film?

Also, keep this in mind: if you wanted to watch some limited part of the movie, say, for historical reasons only (maybe you wanted to show a friend something), you'd have to pony up the dough for maybe 10-15 minutes of viewing, or be SOL, as they say. Do we really want to let this happen? Entertainment technology has given us way too many good things in recent years to accept this.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (cathytom@ix.netcom.com), July 11, 1998.

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