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Titanic crashed into an iceberg in 1912, killing over 1500 people and was a genuine tragedy. Then in 1998 a disfigured effigy of its memory crashed into the Oscars taking about 1500 Academy Awards with it, and I''ve never understood why. It probably has something to do with money changing hands.
Since I only have 500 words to review a 3 hour film, I''ll have to be succinct. The plot is the Titanic, a huge ocean liner that wasn''t fussed over as much as the Olympic at the rime in real life, sinks on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic with tragic results. That''s about as far as historical accuracy goes for this film, as the majority of it revolves around an implausible, cheesy cliche-fest of poor-little-rich-girl Rose (Kate Winslet) being all mopey about her arranged marriage to Bryl-Cream drenched panto-villain Billy Zane (Billy Zane) and eloping down to steerage with Jack (Leo DiCaprio). Cue most ham-fisted love story in recent memory, until it was trounced by the really bad one in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Anyway, James Cameron can''t direct drama, only dramatic scenes of stuff blowing up and sinking and so on, which he did very well in the Terminator films and Aliens. Yet somehow he even bungles the sinking of the ship, which should be all full of suspense and tragedy in its own right, but no let''s sling in a gunfight and a chase through the water-logged bits below deck for good measure, eh?
It also pours copious amounts of fuel onto the conflagration of myth surrounding this disaster. J Bruce Ismay is portrayed once again as an overly ambitious coward (evidence suggests not and he was a convenient scapegoat), steerage class are shown to be locked in below decks (never happened), and the portrayal of Officer Murdoch is an insult.
If there''s any joy to be wrenched from this horrible movie, it''s watching Billy Zane giving it enough ham to fill 3000 BLTs, with veteran baddie David Warner being all growly and menacing in his own inimitable way.
I recall reading that the unprecedented box office success of this movie was because teenage girls watched and rewatched it in droves, just to ogle Leonardo DiCaprio.
This whole movie takes the 1912 tragedy and urinates on its legacy with big, dumb tacky Hollywood effects and scripting of the worst kind. And that''s before we''ve even gotten to the deli-counter sizes cheese overload that is Celine Dion''s ''My Heart Will Go On'', one of the most nauseating songs of all time, inflicted on us via a pan-pipe arrangement throughout the film soundtrack and than unleashed on us in full force at the credits.
So, worth a watch then, if want to see just how misguided a blockbuster can be.
Titanic, where do I begin. 1998 ah yes, the film is released in the UK, I myself being 12 was not massively thrilled, but I go and see it with at the cinema with a person who had seen it before and it started my fascination with the ship, its history, passengers etc. I can still remember seeing the film for the first time, in the cinema its fantastic with the big screen and sound system and it remains the only film Ive seen 3 times in the cinema (twice in 1998 and once again last year in 3D)
Plot (Will contain spoilers)
The film begins with a black and white footage of the Titanic setting sail from Southampton, this was actually by James Cameron the Director using a camcorder similar to the day, there is real footage of the this but James shot the opening sequence himself. We then fast forward to the modern day where a modern day scavenger Brock (Played by Bill Paxton) and his team are searching for a rare but incredibly valuable diamond necklace that was on board the Titanic when she sank. The funders of the project are getting impatient as each dive costs a lot of money and so Brock is trying to find the diamond as quickly as possible. He locates the safe which is one of the possible locations the diamond necklace was stored before the ship sank. He retrieves it from the ship and opens it up, in it he finds nothing accept a drawing book, this reveals a picture of a young girl wearing it the day the ship sank. This is a development for the team and later that day the news team talk to Brock about this picture of which turns out to be Rose (elderly Rose played by Gloria Stuart) who at the time was recorded to have died on the Titanic when she was 17. The elderly Rose and her granddaughter are flown to the expedition and her story begins...
Rose (young Rose played by Kate Winslet) is a young English Rose, who is boarding the Titanic in first class to go back to America and marry her rich American fiancé Cal (Billy Zane) who accompanies her on this trip, along with Roses mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) and servants. Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young American rogue who wins his ticket is a game of poker just minutes before the ship sails, he is joined by his Italian friend Fabrizio (Danny Nucci), they travel in third class. The ship sets sail from Southampton and Jack and Rose have no interaction until one night when Rose in a moment of sadness decides to climb the rails of the back of the ship and contemplates jumping off, Jack manages to talk her round by as he helps her get back over to the other side but she slips and her screams are heard, once Jack has saved her help arrives but incorrectly assume Jack is hurting her, Rose puts this accusation to bed and goads Cal into inviting Jack for a first class dinner the following evening. The following day Jack and Rose meet up and have a friendly chat, here they are seen by Ruth as well as Molly Brown (Kathy Bates), the siren for dinner goes off and Rose goes to get ready with her mother, Jack is taken by Molly and given a suit to wear. The evening begins and Jack makes his way to the first class dining area, he is followed by Rose and her family/friends who learn his story and enjoy his company. Once dinner is finished Jack gives Rose a note offering her a real party, which she goes to in third class. The next day Cal and Rose have an argument and Routh warns her to stay away from Jack, Rose retreats and reaffirms to Jack that she is marrying Cal. Later that day Rose witnesses a rich family and realeses she has changed her mind and so finds Jack, who is on the bow of the ship, they do the famous standing on the edge of the rails scene and the sun sets. This was the last time Titanic ever saw daylight.
As the evening draws in Rose takes Jack back to her suite where she tells him to draw her naked on the sofa wearing the necklace, which he does, afterwards they leave having been found by one of Cals servant. They run away and end up in the hold area where they have sex. The iceberg hits the ship just as the get back on deck and witness the iceberg, Rose decides they should tell everybody this and so they return to first class, the necklace is planted on Jack who is arrested and taken away. Rose, Cal and Ruth get ready and go on deck ready for the life boats. Rose realising Cal planted the necklace on Jack runs away and goes down into steerage to find him. She is handcuffed by she soon breaks him out of the cuffs. The manage to get back up on deck but all but afew of the boats have gone. They are found by Cal who puts his coat on Rose and gets her into a boat on the false promise he and Jack will be safe, the boat starts to descend but Rose does not want to leave Jack so jumps off and re-joins him, Cal is incensed with rage and realising the necklace is in coat pocket he then pursues them with a gun and they end up back below board. Here they almost drown by the rising waters and Jack tells Rose they must stay on the boat for the longest time before getting into the water as its to cold to stay in. They get to the hull of the boat and cling to the rails, Rose tells Jack that its where they first met, they hold on and the ship goes under. Once in the water they are briefly separated but soon find each other. Jack gets Rose onto a piece of debris and they await a life boat, on this they talk about life and Jack makes Rose promise to never let go and that she will die an old lady. During the wait Jack loses his life, Rose is beside herself but maintains her promise and so calls for help. She is rescued and is taken on board. Once is New York she registers herself on the survivors list as Rose Dawson and so its assumed the real Rose died. Bsck in the modern day the old Rose is talking about things after, how Cal did marry and inherited his money. Rose learns nothing was ever found on Jack, no records or pictures. Brock and his team begin to appreciate that Titanic was a place where people died and so begin to respect it more. Old Roses goes to bed, but is then seen on the end of the boat, she has the necklace but throws it into the water. Next scene is old Rose asleep and a there is a dream type sequence where she returns to the Titanic to marry Jack.
Historical side -
James Cameron was keen to ensure that the film was as historically accurate as possible. He visited the Titanics wreck on numerous occasions and used the blue prints, pictures and drawings to build a replica scaled Titanic model to use for filming. He integrates the fictional characters well with true historical figures such as Molly Brown, the Astors, Captain Smith etc and tried to ensure there movements were as close to the real life movements of those really there. James Camerons film is important in the history of the Titanic because it was the first epic mainstream film to show the sinking as it happened, the ship splitting (which was subject to a big discussion until the wreck was found) and how it would have looked inside with all its fine interior.
The furore around the Titanic is also shown aswell because she was produced in the grand age of rich living. The rich wanted luxury living combined with speed across the Atlantic and the big companies involved in making the big liners raced against each other to produce the ships that fitted in with the rich lifestyle and coupled in with those poorer wanting a new life Titanic offered steerage places. Titanic's sinking highlighted key areas in regulations which hadn't been addressed. Life boat allocation was based on gross tonnage, not on passenger size and so the life boats on board more than fitted in to the regulations set. 1500 people died on board the Titanic and other lives ruined by the disaster. Whole families died, others lost their main bread winner and other loved ones. The regulations were changed to reflect the outcry, every ship that set sail but have enough seats for all those on board, a rule still in place today and has indeed saved more from dying.
My thoughts -
The film itself is quite long (3 hours) but for me it really does need 3 hours to get to grips with the story and to tell it well and for me it doesn't feel like 3 hours because you get so into the story. The work that went into the set has paid off because it really does feel like you are almost on board the Titanic itself and can experience what it must have felt like to be on it as it sank beneath the passengers. The film is what got me interested in the Titanic story, those who died, those who lived, the actions of others and how the sinking impacted on society. I also think that Jack dying in the film makes the audience feel some of the pain of those who really did lose loved ones and shows that although Jack was fictional the loss of 1500 lives was not.
The film won a total of 11 Oscars, which equalled the record with Ben Hur. It was until recently the highest grossing film of all time (this record was surpassed by another Cameron film). For me I think it did deserve the success it got, Cameron brought the disaster to life with a mixture of CGI and great set building.
Titanic opened on the bug screen in December 1997 and was an immediate success and it was several years later before I decided to purchase the film - in fact the DVD cost me just £3 from Morrisons. The film however is in 4:3 display format and not the 16:9 widescreen that we are now accustomed to, and in fact was released originally on VHS. Apart from various languages and subtitle options it only has interactive menu, screen access and original theatrical trailer which apart from the latter are pretty much standard features on newer versions.
My first interest in Titanic was in terms of the ship itself and on how and why it sank. In many ways albeit for the appalling loss of life it did lead to ships sailing with enough life preservers and boats for the entire ship and not for roughly 1/3 as was on the Titanic on the night it sank which was still in excess of the minimum standards of the time.
My interest had been further fuelled by the rather twisted hope in watching Titanic at home that just for once Leonardo DiCaprio would let Celine Dione fall from the stern of the ship rather than saving Rose! It is certainly a very good film with several plots intermixed throughout. My wife and I also managed to find time during April 2012 to visit our local Vue Cinema to watch the 3D version of this film which was my first experience of 3D and subsequently followed that August by my first experience of 4D! If anyone is interested in buying the 3D version (if and when available) it was a good attempt at recreating a 2D film in 3D but there were many moments when the wrong things were at the forefront of the screen.
When I buy DVDs I like them (normally) to have a really good plot, however a great many are a result of already watching the film at the cinema or on tv. This was an exception as I had heard lots of good things prior to purchase about the film but had been waiting for the price to drop - but not by as much as I got it for! As soon as the opening scenes ran this film was captivating and being honest wish I had bought earlier.
Although the film is set amidst an historical event - the sinking of the White Star Line RMS Titanic at 4.20am on 15 April 1912 in the North Atlantic (some 450 miles from New York her destination and at a depth of 13,000 feet) the main characters of the film are fictional. In fact of the 2,244 passengers and crew on board Titanic 1502 died.
To me there are 3 main plots in the film:
A love story that develops between Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio)
The exploitation by Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) of the wreck of Titanic in a search for the prized treasure - The Heart Of The Ocean
Why did Titanic sink?
Many of us already knew that Titanic sank on that fateful day after hitting an iceberg and that it was believed a massive gash had been made on the side of the ship that led to thousands of gallons of sea water penetrating the ship and that the ship was fatally flawed in its design by bulkheads not reaching ceiling levels allowing water to travel from one end of the ship to the other. What I hoped to understand by watching the film was how the lookouts took so long to see the iceberg - and it is still a mystery even to experts. ïOE
Brock Lovett is searching for a rare (fictional) blue diamond owned by the French King Louise XVI which was recut into a heart shape after his execution and lost to history. During his search for the diamond Lovett finds an evocative portrait of a young woman wearing what appears to be the stone on a necklace from a safe on-board the ship. With his funds exhausted the portrait is screened on tv and viewed by the now 100 year old Rose. She and her daughter are helicoptered in to Lovett's salvage ship and as she sees images of the Titanic and her own image drawn by Jack she tells the story of her great love adventure.
Rose reveals that she was travelling with her widowed mother who was intent at marrying Rose to Caledon Nathan Hockley a rich aristocrat to keep herself in the high class lifestyle she had been accustomed to. Meanwhile Jack is basically a pauper moving from job to job and winning his 3rd class ticket through a game of poker only minutes before the ship is due to sail. Jack takes with him his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi. Rose however is not happy at marrying Hockley who is rather arrogant and self-important and wants to rebel. After leaving Southampton Rose realises that her life is about to be rather different to what she wants and decides to climb on the stern of the ship with the intention of jumping into the ocean and is rescued by Jack. She finds him to be a really talented artist and willingly becomes a nude model for his work.
Hockley hears of Jack's exploits at rescuing Rose and invites him to join them for dinner in 1st class to show him how the upper class live and sees Jack as the scum of the Earth. When he later learns that Jack and Rose are seeing each other he orders his valet Spicer Lovejoy (an ex Pinkerton constable) to keep Jack away from her - this he does by chaining him to a pipe on the lower 3rd class deck as the ship hits the iceberg and begins to flood.
As water takes hold of the ship Rose attempts to rescue Jack seconds before disaster. As they attempt to escape the flooding Rose and Jack find that the 3rd class passengers have been locked below deck to allow the 1st and 2nd class passengers time to prepare for the lifeboats. Eventually, they manage to make their way to the top deck to find most of the lifeboats have already been launched. Not wishing to leave Jack, Rose refuses to get in one of the last remaining boats and decides to take her chance knowing her chances are slim at best.
As the ship heads for the bottom the Captain is seen at his wheel as the sea smashes through the glass windows and as the musicians play on the ship breaks in half and Rose and Jack head for the bow hoping to dive into the ice cold water of the North Atlantic at the last minute.
Titanic survivors are later rescued (4 hours later) by the Carpatheia which include Rose, her mother and Hockley. Rose however hides from them both and the older Rose tells how Hockley loses his fortune some years later in the 1929 Wall Street Crash and kills himself. The older Rose also has a secret - she has been holding on to since the ship sank, she has in fact had the missing diamond.
Would I buy it? Without any doubt I would although it is more than likely that I would opt for the Blu-ray version. It is the sort of film (like Star Wars) where every so often you just want to sit down and re-watch the film. Acting throughout is good although some parts as the boat sink are far from believable. After watching this film I can definitely recommend it and it doesn't matter to me that I know the plot or the ending.
Titanic is the winner of 11 Academy Awards and distributed through 20th Century Fox (outside USA), Paramount Pictures (USA). It is rated 12 with a running time of 194 minutes - yes a very lengthy film! It is available through Amazon in many different formats including DVD, 3D, Blu-ray and with single or multi discs ranging from £2.99 to £21.99 (new). In fact as I delved deeper into the wonders of Amazon I found what resembles my copy being sold for the ridiculous price of £34.99 from one of their many sellers! What was also unusual is that they don't all have the same DVD cover.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson
Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater
Billy Zane as Caledon Nathan "Cal" Hockley
Frances Fisher as Ruth DeWitt Bukater
Gloria Stuart as Rose Dawson
Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett
Suzy Amis as Lizzy Calvert: Rose's granddaughter
Danny Nucci as Fabrizio De Rossi
David Warner as Spicer Lovejoy
Jason Barry as Thomas "Tommy" Ryan
Kathy Bates as Margaret "Molly" Brown
Victor Garber as Thomas Andrews
Bernard Hill as Captain Edward John Smith
Jonathan Hyde as Joseph Bruce Ismay
Eric Braeden as John Jacob Astor IV
Bernard Fox as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV
Michael Ensign as Benjamin Guggenheim
Jonathan Evans-Jones as Wallace Hartley
Ewan Stewart as First Officer William Murdoch
Jonathan Phillips as Second Officer Charles Lightoller
Mark Lindsay Chapman as Chief Officer Henry Wilde
Ioan Gruffudd as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe
Edward Fletcher as Sixth Officer James Moody
James Lancaster as Father Thomas Byles
Lew Palter and Elsa Raven as Isidor Straus and Ida Straus
Martin Jarvis as Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon
Rosalind Ayres as Lady Duff-Gordon
Rochelle Rose as Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes
Paul Brightwell as Quartermaster Robert Hichens
Simon Crane as Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall
Gregory Cooke as Jack Phillips
Craig Kelly as Harold Bride
Liam Tuohy as Chief Baker Charles Joughin
Terry Forrestal as Chief Engineer Joseph G. Bell
Kevin De La Noy as Third Officer Herbert Pitman
James Cameron also has a cameo role as a praying man in the film
Directed by: James Cameron
Produced by: James Cameron and Jon Landau
Written by: James Cameron
Music by: James Horner
Cinematography: Russell Carpenter
There can be few people in the world who don't know the story of Titanic, the "unsinkable" liner which plummeted to the bottom of the ocean on its maiden voyage in 1912. Yet, there are probably even fewer people who haven't seen the film Titanic, James Cameron's epic retelling which lasts almost as long as the voyage itself.
The tale of Titanic is clearly too well-known for Cameron's tastes, because he feels the need to embellish it with a fictional love story featuring Rose DeWitt Bukater, an upper class English woman engaged to a boorish fiancé with Jack Dawson a lower class American scamp.
This fictional (and unnecessary) love story is, in large part responsible for the film's bottom-numbing run time. It takes a long time - well over an hour - to get to the interesting bit of the actual sinking. Prior to that, the film's attention is focussed very firmly on impressing us with how big and sumptuous the liner was and on the burgeoning relationship between Rose and Jack
This might seem like a sensible idea and certainly many have praised it for adding heart and humanity to the film. The idea is that by focussing on two characters, we get to know and care for them, and so will fear for their safety when the sinking starts (also, since they are fictional characters, it also reduces the risks of being sued by distant relatives angry at the portrayal of their ancestors!) To some extent this is true, and certainly, when I went to see it at the cinema, several people emerged crying. Yet the wrap-around love story also hampers the pacing. Personally, I didn't want a soppy love story that never happened (or even one that did). I wanted to witness the chaos, carnage and tragedy of the sinking recreated with 20th century special effects. However you look at it, Titanic takes far, far too long to reach that point.
It's also true that both Rose and Jack are rather dull characters. Kate Winslet and Leonardo deCaprio do their best to make them vaguely interesting, but rather struggle against the genre stereotypes imposed on them. Winslet's Rose is the usual feisty young woman stifled by the rigid rules of society. Jack is a "rogue with a heart." As a narrative tricky, it's OK, but it's also a bit dull and occupies far too much of the running time.
Focusing on fictional characters also ignores the fact that the Titanic's fateful voyage was already full of real and more memorable human interest stories (many of which feature in the far superior A Night to Remember). Some of these were just as unlikely, interesting or tragic as the fictional one foisted on us and indeed, the film even displays that insufferable Hollywood trait of re-writing history, making characters do or say things that are completely at odds with the known facts.
So if you appreciate action and excitement (or even good character writing), the first 60-90 minutes are one to ensure rather than endear. Thankfully, once the ship actually hits the iceberg, the pace and interest levels pick up considerably.
Cameron has always proved adept mixing action with emotion and Titanic is no different. The atmosphere he captures is highly realistic and all too believable. As the plight of the ship becomes more obvious, he slowly ratchets up the tension, moving from mild annoyance at the delay before eventually escalating into full-blown panic and confusion. The excitement and tension generated from a much straighter re-telling of this all-too-human catastrophe is almost enough to make you forgive the turgid pace and subject matter of the previous 90 minutes. Through careful use of good camerawork, Cameron also makes you feel that you are in the thick of the action which helps to generate a tremendous sense of tension.
Whatever criticisms you can level at Titanic, there is no faulting the superb visual effects. The pre-sinking sequences are fascinating for their recreation of the Titanic, with incredible attention to detail giving the modern viewer some idea of how luxurious the liner was. This is contrasted sharply with the conditions for steerage passengers and the working conditions of the crew. Although making heavy use of CGI for many of the shots they look great and for the most part still stand up to scrutiny 14 years later.
Even more impressive are the effects once the ship starts to sink. The demise of this magnificent vessel as it is ripped apart by the stresses and strains placed upon it by tons of ice cold water is a genuinely emotional experience. Indeed, I always find the "death" of the Titanic far more emotional and tragic than that of the passengers (real or imagined), and this is because the ship is actually far better defined than any of the paper-thin characters. Titanic is undoubtedly the star of the show and to see it ripped apart so easily truly brings home the scale of the tragedy and is genuinely painful to watch.
For all its superb special effects, you cannot escape the fact that Titanic is far too long, and the dull wrap-around love story is a contrived plot device which the film didn't need. A tighter focus on the real people and events of that fateful night in April 1912 would have made this a five star film. Instead, the boring build-up mars it somewhat.
I know this is going to be a controversial review as many will no doubt claim it is one of the greatest films ever made. Personally, I still prefer the older A Night to Remember. It might be technically inferior, but its concentration on real passengers and its tighter focus also make it the superior film and a far more definitive account of events.
(Incidentally, I'm not going to enter into the whole Celine Dion/My Heart Will Go On debate. That's marmite time - you either love it or hate it.)
Director: James Cameron
Running time: approx. 194 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2011
This film is the second highest gross film worldwide, this used to be the first until Avatar took over and took in two billion, from Titanic's one billion and nine hundred million pounds! Winner of 11 Oscars including best picture and director, James Cameron.
This story a real romance, and more romantic since Romeo and Juliet.
Based on the real life event, the sinking of the titanic which happen in April 1912, two years before WW1 which boarded from Southampton to New york but on the third day of sailing it struck an iceberg and thousands lost their lives. However some the characters in the film are not based on real characters especially the leads, Jack and Rose, and not all facts are real cause according to the older Rose only six were saved.
However the story of Titanic is a bit more of about Jack and Rose's romance, as well as the real life event. However Rose already has a fiance but she doesn't love him and would not marry him, on that day, she is about to jump off the edge of the boat to escape him, but Jack notices her and tells not to jump, she tells him to step away or even go away. But as she slips, he saves her and from then on they are very impossible to spilt up, on the day when the Titanic is about to sink, all the women and children and placed on boats, but Rose refused to go onto the boat to stay with Jack, Jack tells her she was stupid but she replies "You jump, I jump right?"
But only one of the two will survive but they could be both saved if they were caught in time.
Jack Dawson : Leonardo DiCaprio
Rose DeWitt Bukater : Kate Winslet
Caledon 'Cal' Hockley : Billy Zane
Molly Brown : Kathy Bates
Ruth DeWitt Bukater : Frances Fisher
Old Rose : Gloria Stuart
Brock Lovett : Bill Paxton
Captain Smith : Bernard Hill
Spicer Lovejoy : David Warner
Thomas Andrews : Victor Garber
Lizzy Calvert : Suzy Amis
director : James Cameron
certificate : 12
runtime : 194 minutes
Overall, this is one of the most romantic films you must before you die, and if you haven't seen it yet you are totally missing out and you must be off a different planet.
Titanic was a film that came out in 1997. It was a blockbuster film and won 11 Oscars.
The story is about Rose and Jack, she being an upper-class woman who is travelling back to America with her mother to be married, Jack being a third class passenger who is only on the boar as he won the tickets in a poker game. The two meet on board and love blossoms.
I liked the way they started the film in the present day showing the wreck under the water and then bringing in the story about the necklace. It made the film more about the people connected to it and not just about the ship wreck itself.
I liked the way they showed you the differences between the lower class and the upper class like when Jack took Rose to the party and everyone was dancing and having a good time and then it kept going back to the room with the men of the 1st class talking about politics and such.
I have just been reading a factual book about the Titanic which goes into detail about the ship itself and shows you letters from people who were on the ship and eye witness accounts of what happened before and after the disaster and the film really was very good at portraying what it was like. When Jack pulled rose into the gymnasium to talk to her it looked exactly like the photos of the real thing.
Also true to life was how the passengers came out of their rooms into the passageways to see what was going on and the fact that there was no panic at first.
Kate Winslett was brilliant as Rose, She really played the part well of an upper-class young woman who was bored with her life and wanted some excitement. I thought when she was trying to rescue Jack from the handcuffs she was so emotional, you could really feel that she was scared but determined to set him free.
Leonardo De Caprio was also brilliant as the dashing Jack who fell in love with the woman that everyone said was too good for him.
Billy Zane was handsome but nasty as Rose's finance Caledon. Frances Fisher played Rose's mother who wanted desperately for her daughter to marry Cal as her husband had died and left them with no money and she was frightened they would not be able to continue to live the way they were used to.
Kathy Bates was funny as Molly Brown, the woman with "new money" who took a shine to Jack and helped him when he was invited to dinner with Rose and her family and friends.
Bernard Hill played Captain Smith and looked exactly like how the real captain looked in this photos.
The music was really good in the film with the title song, My Heart Will Go On being sung by Celine Dion. The tune was played instrumentally during the film at poignant parts and it really gave it atmosphere and you couldn't help feel sad for the people on the ship.
The film was Directed by James Cameron and it was rated a 12 in the UK. It lasts for 194 minutes.
Titanic is a disaster/ romance/ drama film that was released in 1997 about the famous ship, the Titanic.
Treasure hunter, Brock Lovett is exploring the HMS Titanic with his team, hoping to find one of the most rare and sought after jewels. While searching a safe, where they believe this blue diamond to be, the find it missing but find some pictures dated back to the night that the ship hit the iceberg. When Rose DeWitt Bukater sees this on the news, she contacts Lovett and informs him that she is the girl from the picture who is now 100 years old.
When Rose and her granddaughter arrive on Lovett's boat, he desperately wants to hear her story in hopes of her knowing where the diamond is. She takes the team back to 1912, when she was 17 and begins to tell them the story of class difference, Cal Hockley, Jack Dawson and the life changing trip she made on the Titanic.
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Jack Dawson
Kate Winslet ... Rose DeWitt Bukater
Billy Zane ... Caledon 'Cal' Hockley
Kathy Bates ... Molly Brown
Frances Fisher ... Ruth Dewitt Bukater Gloria Stuart ... Old Rose
Bill Paxton ... Brock Lovett
Bernard Hill ... Captain Edward James Smith
- Interactive Menus
- Scene Access
- Multiple language subtitles
- Original Theatrical Trailer
I would have loved to have seen some of the behind the scenes/ the making of as a special feature considering how big the film was. Putting these additions on the back of the case just seemed like it was something to take up space. Who cares if we can choose which scene to play from?
Some bits of info:
- Titanic will be re-released in 2012 as a 3D film when it has been finished
- Up until Avatar (another James Cameron film), Titanic was the highest grossing film of all time
Titanic is one of those films that never fails to make me cry. It doesn't matter what kind of mood I am in or how happy I am that day, this film can make me break down and cry like a baby. I quite like it when films don't have completely happy endings because they break from tradition of happily ever after which has been done to death now.
One of the best things about this film is the mix of different things. When being told the story, we are shown scenes of Rose at 100 years old actually telling everyone what happened and then we skip to scenes on the Titanic. This way of telling a story is something that I particularly enjoy as it makes it possible to see it from all sides. When Rose is telling the story, it is clear how sad it makes her remembering what happened but then you also see some small moments where she remembers something really good. Another thing that was mixed is fictional and historical characters. This added a real sense of reality to a very famous story but making it more entertaining at the same time.
To make the film as real as possible, Cameron shot footage of the actual wreck of the ship, helping to make the film amazingly expensive to make. A lot of care and detail were put into every single aspect of the film, which makes it visually stunning to watch. There is a clear divide between the classes on the ship which was shown with costume differences and the luxury of the sets. Another mix used was real sets and CGI but they were put together so well that nothing ever looks out of place.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are so likable that you cannot help but get drawn into their story. Both actors bring something amazing to the story and while I should have probably felt more sorry for DiCaprio's character, Jack, I didn't. I felt more for Rose because she even though she was well off and engaged to someone really wealthy, she was completely miserable whereas Jack was pretty happy with his life. Rose's character changes personality throughout the story, showing a range of emotions. At times, she is the perfect upper class lady when she has to be, then goes to being really fun and outgoing when she is with Jack but also manages to really show her vulnerable side.
The supporting cast members also do an amazing job and Billy Zane was a great villain. Even though he is the bad guy, he still shows that he cares about Rose, no matter what she may think. When it comes to deciding whether or not to getting on the boats, Cal desperately attempts to get Rose to safety even though he may have had ulterior motives as well.
The soundtrack deserves to get a quick mention. Everyone will know Celine Dion's song from this film, 'My heart will go on'. Although it has been played to death now, I loved the song as the time and it will always be connected to this film. Dion's song is the only track on the album that wasn't composed by James Horner. Titanic's soundtrack hit the #1 spot in pretty much every country that it was released in.
Overall, this is a remarkable, historical story hat has added entertainment value and romance. Yes, it is probably aimed more towards women than men but I think there still might be something in there for everyone.
Ok I don't know what to say about this movie.
My friends were always surprised because I was the only one in the group who had not watched this movie. I had been suggested so many times to watch this movie but I just couldn't be bothered. I am a great fan of movies but I don't know why, I never got myself to watch this movie. Although I loved the song 'My heart will go on' I didn't think the movie would be any good, at least not as good as my friends made it sound. But I was so wrong.
The movie was about to start in ITV channel and I thought what the heck so I decided to watch it. Instantly this movie became my favourite movie and now its my all time favourite movie. Without watching we can guess that the movie is about Titanic and how it sinks. But it is so much more than that. The greatest tragedy (sinking of Titanic) has been so wonderfully pictured in this movie. As if the story of Titanic wasn't sad enough, the movie added a tragic love story of Jack and Rose into it. From the beginning till the end there wasn't a single moment when my eyes weren't wet. I just cried and cried and cried. However this might only be me as I am a very emotional person.
I don't want to say anything more than- 'You will be the most unlucky person if you don't watch this movie' (just my opinion)
Having caught this film for the first time in ages and with the news that it is being re-released in 3D, I thought I would review this.
Way back in 1997, when this film came out, I was at the tender age of 14 and like all my friends, was obsessed with this film! I went to see it three times at the cinema and cried so much at one showing that someone asked me and my friend if we were OK!
With this in mind, I watched it again with a slightly more mature head and as someone who no longer has Leo posters in my room!
Titanic is, shockingly, about the Titanic. It cost huge amounts of money to make and is cross-class love story set aboard the doomed liner. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio as poor artist Jack Dawson, who wins a ticket onto the ship, who falls in love with the upper-class Rise DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) who is there with her mother and fiancee, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane) who she doesn't love and is being forced to marry. The film goes through the whole voyage and the sinking, which killed 1500 people in 1912, after the ship hits an iceberg and doesn't have enough lifeboats. The story is told by a much older Rose, recounting her experiences for the first time, to some Titanic treasure hunters.
There are various other well-known faces, such as Kathy Bates, playing the real-life Molly Brown.
Directed by James Camero, people were expecting this to be a flop - it wasn't - taking well over a billion dollars at the box office and winning 11 Oscars.
So, now I'm 27, what did I actually make of this film?
Well it does have its good points - the film is a spectacle, the sets are amazing and the Titanic has been very well recreated. The special effects, even ten years later, are still excellent. The sinking itself is amazing (if that's the right word!) - dramatic, emotional and when the ship splits in two and begins to sink, truly a spectacle.
The acting is good, possibly not the main leads finest performances, but then they are both excellent actors. The story itself is very affecting and although I have watched this many times, I still cry. The costumes and the haunting music are all very well done and really add to the film, as does the modern-day elements, which really help you to identify with the characters. The two main leads are likeable and you do care about them, and yeah Leo looks hot. :)
I think the film does stay with you for a long time after watching it.
The bad points? This film works much better on the big screen than on DVD, where you can truly appreciate the size and scale of the Titanic. It's pretty long at three and a half hours and could probably have been cut a little. The script is clunky and a bit stilted - how many times do Jack and Rose say each others name? It does suffer for this a little. Plus, the affair between the two would never have happened in real-life but it is an excellent way of engaging us with both the fictional and real-life tragedy of the Titanic.
But basically this is a great film, one that everyone really needs to watch, although it does have its bad points as mentioned, for this and for the fact that it simply isn't as good on DVD, and for the crime of making Celine Dion number one for ages, I will give it four stars.
A few weeks ago, I attempted to explain to my fifteen-year-old sister that Jack and Rose were not real people on board the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912. I made the point that the central love story in James Cameron's 1997 disaster film was "fiction mixed with a factual event", but she was still reluctant to believe me. So I began thinking to myself: "Is the film's larger than life love affair so involving that it overshadows the actual sinking of the passenger liner in real life? Or is she just plain gullible?" Seen as though it had been ten years since I last saw the movie, I thought I would revisit it by popping in the DVD in hope that I would gain a definite answer.
There's no denying that I did enjoy Titanic in the end. As a spectacle, it is fascinating: In the opening scene, we are treated to various undersea shots of the ship in its current state, submerged with its various treasures scattered around at the bottom of the ocean (this is real-life footage, by the way). As the storytelling switches to past tense, we witness Cameron's breathtaking model of the original ocean liner -- 90% of the actual size -- in all its detail as the two central characters begin exploring during its voyage. Then, when the inevitable calamity does come around (nearly two hours into the film), the fabulous special effects manage to convey the deaths of hundreds of innocent individuals in horrifying, yet gripping fashion. It's no secret that the sheer scale of the tragedy is visually magnificent in Titanic (at the time of its release, it was the most expensive film ever made), and anyone that says otherwise must surely be kidding themselves.
But Titanic isn't just about the sinking of a ship; it's also a love story concerned with a drifter named Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and an upper-class beauty, Rose (Kate Winslet), who's due to marry her odious fiancé, Caledon (Billy Zane). While Cameron portrays the disaster spectacularly past the halfway point, the developing relationship between the two protagonists doesn't feel quite so gripping in the first part of the film. I respect DiCaprio and Winslet as actors, and their characters are likable and easy to sympathise with here -- especially when they are contrasted with the snobbery of many of the other passengers -- but they fall for one another in a number of terribly contrived scenes ("Jack, I want you to draw me like one of your French girls.") that I felt (sea?)sick as time wore on. There's nothing wrong with using a real-life tragedy as the background to a made-up love story, but I found myself wanting to fast-forward the melancholy and so that I could quickly get to the part where the ship collides with the iceberg and begins to sink (it would seem that my sister's going to call me "heartless" as a result of such a morbid outlook on humanity).
I'm not saying the romantic element of the script is particularly bad; rather, it is much less engrossing than the epic disaster. Titanic is not Romeo & Juliet, nor is it James Cameron's greatest accomplishment, but I have to admit that it is still a movie that carries a fair amount of emotional weight to go with the thrilling documentary footage and some truly wonderful special effects. Considering that it picked up Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress, it's obvious that it's had one hell of an impact.
Director James Camoron has made a fortune from giving cinemagoers what they want. In the late 80s/early 90s it was completely awesome, ultraviolent sci-fi action films (terminator 2, Aliens), in 2010 it was bland-but-pretty cgi eye candy with a cartoonish script and a saccharine 'message' (Avatar), and back in 1998 it was Titanic, an old-fashioned disaster movie/soppy love story hybrid updated with modern special effects and an astronomical budget.
The film stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet as Jack and Rose; Jack is an adventurous young irish immigrant and working class, whilst Rose is a member of high society, but Rose hates the stuffy, fake upper society of which she is part and embarks on a clandestine affair with Jack behind the back of the wealthy and imposing suitor endorsed by her mother. Titanic is soppy and simplistic nonsense from start to finish but despite this it remains enjoyable and engaging, with the drama of Rose and Jack contrasting well agains the much larger tragedy of the Titanic's sinking and the massive resulting loss of life.
There are a few dodgy cgi shots of the ship that havent stood the test of time, but by and large the sfx still look great, especially the sequence in which the ship begins to break up and split in two, with desperate passengers clinging on for dear life. Its visually very impressive, with some great shots, eg of swanky high-society ballrooms and halls being swamped with torrents of ice-cold seawater; of the ship's porthole lights balefully shining in the imensity of darkness like little moons as the ship goes under; and of the string band playing sombre pieces on violin and cello as the ship and its inhabitants slowy get swallowed up by the sea. The film is also nicely framed by sections at either end set in the modern day, in which a salvaging team led by Bill Paxton recover the ship on the ocean floor.
Titanic is essentially a carnage-filled chick-flick, and despite its soppiness and dumbed-down narrative the film works as a piece of entertainment, and is well enough done to be a difficult film to dislike.
I was browsing through my DVD collection for something to watch when I came across Titanic. I hadn't watched it for a few years so decided to give it to watch to see if it was as good as I remembered.
Titanic was released in 1997, and was written & directed by James Cameron (who has just recently released Avatar). Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet take the lead roles of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, two characters from totally opposite classes of society who meet and fall in love during the ill-fated voyage. The love story between the pair runs through the entire story, running alongside the actual events of the RMS Titanic's first - and last - voyage.
The film begins in present day as Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team of treasure hunters are searching the wreck of RMS Titanic, searching for an extremely valuable necklace, The Heart of the Ocean. Instead of finding the necklace, they find a drawing of a woman wearing the necklace, dated the day of Titanic's sinking. The mystery woman is still alive, and one-hundred year old Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart) visits Lovett to aid him in his search. Here is where the main story begins, as old Rose tells Lovett of Titanic we go to the past and live her story, occasionally re-visiting present day.
Rose reveals she once was Rose DeWitt Bukater, a 17 year old boarding the Titanic with her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher) and her fiancé Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), journeying back to America for her wedding. Frustrated and feeling trapped, Rose attempts to commit suicide on the first night on board, but it thwarted by a penniless artist named Jack Dawson. Thus begins a friendship that blossoms as Jack is invited to dine with the first-class passengers as Cal's thanks for him rescuing Rose, and as Rose joins Jack at a below-decks party in third class.
Lovejoy (David Warner), Cal's manservant has been following Rose, and informs him of Rose's behaviour. Cal forbids Rose to see Jack again, but this pushes her towards Jack, whom she asks to draw her nude, wearing only the Heart of the Ocean. The film rapidly heads towards the sinking, as the ship heads towards the iceberg, a dramatic climax for both the tale of the ship, and the tale of Rose & Jack.
Rose DeWitt Bukater - Kate Winslet
Jack Dawson - Leonardo DiCaprio
Caledon "Cal" Hockley - Billy Zane
Ruth DeWitt Bukater - Frances Fisher
Spicer Lovejoy - David Warner
Brock Lovett - Bill Paxton
Rose Dawson Calvert - Gloria Stuart
Margaret "Molly" Brown - Kathy Bates
Thomas Andrews - Victor Garber
Captain Edward John Smith - Bernard Hill
First Officer William Murdoch - Ewan Stewart
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe - Ioan Gruffudd
The intertwining between past and present runs seamlessly, adding to the story rather than slowing it up. I find it a clever storytelling technique, and it's a shame that it is not used more often in movies. The present works to explain parts of the event, whilst also keeping viewers up to speed about what part of the Titanic's voyage the events are occurring in. The story, however, is a little too concentrated upon the love story between Jack and Rose; I sometimes found myself forgetting about the tragedy until it actually occurred. Even so, Cameron was able to include all the key points and characters of the sinking - a lot of the passengers Rose 'knew' had been actual passengers aboard the voyage.
The cast all worked well together, and I felt there wasn't any particularly week acting, although perhaps there were one too many characters to remember at some points, which could get confusing at times. I also found that although Cameron included actual passengers in the film, he didn't add anything to their stories, keeping to actual facts - only characters such as Rose & Jack who never existed actually had a fictional storyline.
The sets used were incredible, based upon actual descriptions and blueprints (provided by the company who had built the ship) of how the Titanic had been built & furnished, literally bringing the ship back to life. The CGI transitions from the wreck to the ship as it would have been were really incredibly put together. The music, written by James Horner (also responsible for the music of Apollo 13) was beautifully written, making the use of choral voices during key scenes (the ship leaving port, parts of the sinking) - having the ability to send shivers down your spine.
The DVD set I own consists of one DVD, with a trailer for the movie being the only special feature. However, since then, a 4-disc DVD set has been released, with features including deleted scenes & an alternate ending. I do prefer films with special features, so would recommend the 4-disc DVD if you would like special features.
All in all, I would recommend watching Titanic, even if you only see it once. It may be over three hours long, but it is an enjoyable film, that I believe will one day become a classic.
I'm a big fan of James Cameron's work and was used to him making action movies so imagine my curiosity when I saw the poster for the movie which looked like a romantic drama film.
I feared the worst, that Cameron was a little out of his depth but as it turns out I had nothing to fear.
Titanic is a masterpiece of modern cinema!
I can't count how many times I saw it when it first came out. I was taken in by the character's and the conflicts and romances between them.
Then there was the direction, which is always top notch from Cameron.
This is not a film for a typical action movie goer but perhaps to someone who likes different kinds of movies like I do and those that like their drama's and movies with tragedies in them.
The first hour and a half is pure character development and plot set up. The plot being just the two character's, Jack and Rose, falling for one another which is just an excuse to get us to care for the people on that fateful ship!
However, it does work! You become amazed by how this homeless guy can get the girl of his dreams, a woman who belongs to a rich and pretentious group of people who are treated like royalty because of money.
Those that want to see the film to see the ship sink will be dissappointed because there is an hour and a half wait for that but once the disaster starts to happen, the spectacular SFX grace the screen.
Not just the SFX but the way th whole sinking sequences are done, you feel for the character's on the ship that are either drowning, falling or sinking to their death's.
There is a reason why the movie won 11 oscars and this is probably the only film that I think deserved all the hype it got.
Of course, there will be those who think it is too long or a girl's flick but I'm a guy and still love the film.
No film can please everyone but I think everyone should give this film a shot no matter the reputation it has been given.
The 4 disc SE DVD is great, too, loaded with some good deleted scenes which would have made the film around 45 minutes longer and then there are the documentaries which focus both on the making of the film and the real life sinking.
I really enjoy this film and have watched it over and over again, countless times! If you like your romance films then this film is certainly for you!
To be honest i've never really been into Leonardo Decaprio's films but this one changed my veiws on his work. I was never really aware about the Titanic sinking so I enjoyed this film.
Rose (Kate Winslet) is struggling with the thought of her up coming marriage to Kel Heartly (Billy Zane) and feels like she has no way out. As things get from bad to worse she breaks, running to the end of the ship and climbing over the rails. Thats when Jack (Decaprio) saves the day by cunningly persuading her not to jump. As a Thank you to the hero of the day, Rose's fiance kel invites him to dine with them in the first class part of the ship and from there on, there love flourishes!
The couple then have to try and sneak around the ship hiding from her Fiance. After a long chase the end up on the deck and during a moment of passion, disaster strikes! The ship has hit an iceburg. With not enough life boats panic begins to flow through the entire ship as it slowly fills up with water. Not only is the ship shinking, Rose and Jack are still on the run and Jack gets framed for stealing 'the heart of the ocean' (A HUGE diamond necklace Kel brought for Rose) and is handcuffed below deck. Rose is Jacks only chance for survival and she manages to get him out of the cuffs by bravely chopping them with an axe!
With that struggle over and done with they realise there's no lifeboats and cling onto the rails of the ship as Titanic goes down.
After hours in the freezing cold ocean, Jack takes a turn for the worse and he makes Rose promise him that she will survive to have lots of children and to die a happy old lady. As Jacks body sinks, Rose manages to grab the attention of the lifeboats.
This film really deserves the 11 Acadamy awards that it won! A few of my friends don't like the film, complaing of its length, they found it more of a chore to watch, but I completely disagree and it certainly depends on your taste in films. It makes me very emotional at the end, the ONLY film that has ever made me cry! With beautiful costumes and great scripts, this film is very highly rated in my personal DVD collection!!
I know there have been numerous reviews written about this film Titanic is probably one of the most touching romantic films of its generation and one of the most well known.
For anyone who doesn't know the storyline Kate Winslet plays Rose, one of the upper class passengers on the Titanic, and Leonarde Di Caprio who stars as Jack, a fun loving lower class civilian. They are both on board the Titanic bound for America. They both come from very different backgrounds and lives and it's interesting to see how the love story develops between them despite their differences.
Rose is due to be married in the not too distant future to a man also from the upper class society played by Billy Zane. It is more of an arranged marriage as her and her mother have been left debts by her father and marrying into a rich family is the only way to get out of the problems they are in.
The story on board the titanic is retold through Rose who in present day is now over 100 years of age having survived the disaster and she recounts the story of that fateful journey.
The first half of the film sets up the love story between the two of them on board as they begin to bond and spend time together. Despite the different walks of life they come from they find common ground and soon their romance blossoms. It is almost like an escape for Rose from here life amongst the upper class and the strict rules and rigidness that brings. With Jack she can let herself go and have fun and not worry about anyone else. She enjoys the time she has. This is heightened by the fact that she becomes increasingly infuriated and angered by her family and her fiancee as they try to forbid her from carrying on this friendship. However, the more they fight her and show their true colours the more she goes back to Jack.
The Titanic is supposed to be unsinkable and Rose soon learns from one of the higher members of the ship's crew that there is a shortage of lifeboats if there were a disaster. They are so confident nothing will happen to the ship. With over 2,000 on board there not enough boats by half. There is the famous touching scene on the head of the ship between Rose and Jack when they first kiss as the sun begins to set on another day. As Rose in present day recounts 'This is the last time the Titanic ever saw daylight.' This is the trigger for the drama to slowly unfold and build in the second half of the film.
The ship crashes into the side of an iceberg in freezing sub zero conditions despite the best efforts to avert this and the hull is breached. At first the hold doors are locked and sealed but it is too late. The damage has begun and in the next hour begins the growing chaos as the realisation starts to spread through the ship that they are going down.
The second half of the film is brilliant and very frantic which is in stark contrast the first hour and a half which is slow for a good reason as the story has to be built up. It is also very realistic as a ship that size doesn't just sink immediately but takes an hour or two to eventually go down. There is a real feeling of inevitability about the whole thing and you just have to watch the fight for survival unfold before you.
The way the upper class passengers think about themselves and and don't care what happens to the lower class passengers aboard is very well done. They are given priority to the boats and it is at this stage, after Jack has been framed for stealing some jewellrey, that she decides she would rather be with Jack and take her chances than get on a boat with her family and husband to be who she despises and sicken her. At first the boats are calm but gradually turns into a scrum as passengers try to get in and they become top heavy.
Jack and Rose's fight to survive continues through the 2nd half of this movie as they battle the elements on board and try to work out how to live. As the film nears its dramatic conclusion we find them clinging to the head of the ship which will be the last to enter the water as it disappears into the ocean. The longer they can stay out of the water the better as they will freeze in a short amount of time in there without rescue.
The end of the film is quite harrowing as bodies lie frozen in the water motionless and dead with the cold. Jack saves Rose by keeping her afloat on a door from the ship, thus keeping her out of the icy cold depths. Will they both survive as they wait for help?
As Rose recounts which shows the full horror of this disaster, 1500 people went into the water that night and only 15 survived! The boats only held 700 passengers in an awful shocking oversight.
The film is about 3 hours long but I loved every minute of it and it's worth watching over and over again and both the two main stars are brilliant in their roles and probably made their careers
When the theatrical release of James Cameron's Titanic was delayed from July to December of 1997, media pundits speculated that Cameron's $200 million disaster epic would cause the director's downfall, signal the end of the blockbuster era and sink Paramount Studios as quickly as the ill-fated luxury liner had sunk on that fateful night of April 14, 1912. Some studio executives were confident, others horrified, but the clarity of hindsight turned Cameron into an Oscar-winning genius, a shrewd businessman and one of the most successful directors in the history of motion pictures. Titanic would surpass the $1 billion mark in global box-office receipts (largely due to multiple viewings, the majority by teenage girls), win 11 Academy Awards including best picture and director, produce the bestselling movie soundtrack of all time and make a global superstar of Leonardo DiCaprio. A bona fide pop-cultural phenomenon, the film has all the ingredients of a blockbuster (romance, passion, luxury, grand scale, a snidely villain and an epic, life-threatening crisis), but Cameron's alchemy of these ingredients proved more popular than anyone could have predicted. His stroke of genius was to combine absolute authenticity with a pair of fictional lovers whose tragic fate would draw viewers into the heart-wrenching reality of the Titanic disaster. As starving artist Jack Dawson and soon-to-be-married socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater, DiCaprio and Kate Winslet won the hearts of viewers around the world and their brief but never-forgotten love affair provides the humanity that Cameron needed to turn Titanic into an emotional experience. Present-day framing scenes (featuring Gloria Stuart as the 101-year-old Rose) add additional resonance to the story and, although some viewers proved vehemently immune to Cameron's manipulations, few can deny the production's impressive achievements. Although some of the computer-generated visual effects look artificial, others--such as the sunset silhouette of Titanic during its first evening at sea, or the climactic splitting of the ship's sinking hull--are state-of-the-art marvels. In terms of sets and costumes alone, the film is never less than astounding. More than anything else, however, the film's overwhelming popularity speaks for itself. Titanic is an event film and a monument to Cameron's risk-taking audacity, blending the tragic irony of the Titanic disaster with just enough narrative invention to give the historical event its fullest and most timeless dramatic impact. Titanic is an epic love story on par with Gone with the Wind, and, like that earlier box-office phenomenon, it's a film for the ages. --Jeff Shannon