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Titanic

Catalog Number
334813
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Titanic (1997)

Additional Information

Additional Information
Nothing On Earth Could Come Between Them.

Collide With Destiny.


This spectacular epic re-creates the ill-fated maiden voyage of the White Star Line's $7.5 million R.M.S Titanic and the tragic sea disaster of April 15, 1912. Running over three hours and made with the combined contributions of two major studios (20th Century-Fox, Paramount) at a cost of more than $200 million, Titanic ranked as the most expensive film in Hollywood history at the time of its release, and became the most successful. Writer-director James Cameron employed state-of-the-art digital special effects for this production, realized on a monumental scale and spanning eight decades. Inspired by the 1985 discovery of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, the contemporary storyline involves American treasure-seeker Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) retrieving artifacts from the submerged ship. Lovett looks for diamonds but finds a drawing of a young woman, nude except for a necklace. When 102-year-old Rose (Gloria Stuart) reveals she's the person in the portrait, she is summoned to the wreckage site to tell her story of the 56-carat diamond necklace and her experiences of 84 years earlier. The scene then shifts to 1912 Southampton where passengers boarding the Titanic include penniless Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), returning to Philadelphia with her wealthy fiance Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). After the April 10th launch, Rose develops a passionate interest in Jack, and Cal's reaction is vengeful. At midpoint in the film, the Titanic slides against the iceberg and water rushes into the front compartments. Even engulfed, Cal continues to pursue Jack and Rose as the massive liner begins its descent. Cameron launched the project after seeing Robert Ballard's 1987 National Geographic documentary on the wreckage. Blueprints of the real Titanic were followed during construction at Fox's custom-built Rosarito, Mexico studio, where a hydraulics system moved an immense model in a 17-million-gallon water tank. During three weeks aboard the Russian ship Academik Keldysh, underwater sequences were filmed with a 35mm camera in a titanium case mounted on the Russian submersible Mir 1. When the submersible neared the wreck, a video camera inside a remote-operated vehicle was sent into the Titanic's 400-foot bow, bringing back footage of staterooms, furniture and chandeliers. On November 1, 1997, the film had its world premiere at the 10th Tokyo International Film Festival.


Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster film directed, written, co-produced, co-edited and partly financed by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Cameron's inspiration for the film was predicated on his fascination with shipwrecks; he wanted to convey the emotional message of the tragedy and felt that a love story interspersed with the human loss would be essential to achieving this. Production on the film began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck. The modern scenes were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. A reconstruction of the Titanic was built at Playas de Rosarito in Baja California, scale models, and computer-generated imagery were used to recreate the sinking. The film was partially funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and, at the time, was the most expensive film ever made, with an estimated budget of $200 million.
Upon its release on December 19, 1997, the film achieved critical and commercial success. Nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, it won eleven, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben Hur (1959) for most Oscars won by a single film. With an initial worldwide gross of over $1.84 billion, it was the first film to reach the billion-dollar mark. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time, until Cameron's 2009 film Avatar surpassed its gross in 2010. A 3D version of the film, released on April 4, 2012 (often billed as Titanic 3D) to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the ship, earned it an additional $343.6 million worldwide, pushing Titanic's worldwide total to $2.18 billion. It became the second film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide (after Avatar).


Before its release, various film critics predicted the film would be a significant disappointment at the box office, especially due to it being the most expensive film ever made at the time.[51][77][78][79] When it was shown to the press in autumn of 1997, "it was with massive forebodings" since the "people in charge of the screenings believed they were on the verge of losing their jobs – because of this great albatross of a picture on which, finally, two studios had to combine to share the great load of its making".[78] Cameron also thought he was "headed for disaster" at one point during filming. "We labored the last six months on Titanic in the absolute knowledge that the studio would lose $100m. It was a certainty," he stated.[51] As the film neared release, "particular venom was spat at Cameron for what was seen as his hubris and monumental extravagance". A film critic for the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Cameron's overweening pride has come close to capsizing this project" and that the film was "a hackneyed, completely derivative copy of old Hollywood romances".[51]
"It's hard to forget the director on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium in LA, exultant, pumping a golden Oscar statuette into the air and shouting: 'I'm the king of the world!' As everyone knew, that was the most famous line in Titanic, exclaimed by Leonardo DiCaprio's character as he leaned into the wind on the prow of the doomed vessel. Cameron's incantation of the line was a giant 'eff off', in front of a television audience approaching a billion, to all the naysayers, especially those sitting right in front of him."
— Christopher Goodwin of The Times on Cameron's response to Titanic's criticism[51]
When the film became a success, with an unprecedented box office performance, it was credited as "the love story [that] stole the world's hearts".[77] "The first batch of people to see it [were] gob smacked by the sheer scale and intimacy of the production. They emerged from the cinema, tear stained and emotionally flabbergasted."[79] The film was playing on 3,200 screens a full ten weeks after it opened,[78] and out of its fifteen straight weeks on top of the charts, jumped 43% in total sales in its ninth week of release. It earned over $20 million a week for ten weeks,[80] and after fourteen weeks into its run, it was still bringing in more than $1m a week.[78] Although teenage girls, as well as young women in general, who would see the film several times and subsequently caused "Leo-Mania", were often credited with having primarily propelled the film to its all-time box office record,[81] other reports have attributed the film's success to "[p]ositive word of mouth and repeat viewership" due to the love story combined with the ground-breaking special effects.[80][82]
The film's impact on men has also been especially credited.[79][83][84] Now considered one of the films that "make men cry",[83][84] MSNBC's Ian Hodder stated that men admire Jack's sense of adventure, stowing away on a steamship bound for America. "We cheer as he courts a girl who was out of his league. We admire how he suggests nude modeling as an excuse to get naked. So when [the tragic ending happens], an uncontrollable flood of tears sinks our composure," he said.[83] Titanic's ability to make men cry was briefly parodied in the 2009 film Zombieland, where character Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), when recalling the death of his young son, states: "I haven't cried like that since Titanic."[85][86] Also addressing the sentimentality of the film, Benjamin Willcock of DVDActive.com said that, as a fourteen-year-old male, he had wanted to see Starship Troopers instead, but was overruled by an uncle and friends. "Little did I know that I would be seeing a film that would become the biggest, most successful motion picture event of all time," he stated. "I was also blissfully unaware that it would turn out to be so much more than 'some epic love story'".[79]
In 2010, the BBC analyzed the stigma over men crying during Titanic and films in general. "Middle-aged men are not 'supposed' to cry during movies," stated Finlo Rohrer of the website, citing the ending of Titanic as having generated such tears, adding that "men, if they have felt weepy during [this film], have often tried to be surreptitious about it." Professor Mary Beth Oliver, of Penn State University, stated, "For many men, there is a great deal of pressure to avoid expression of 'female' emotions like sadness and fear. From a very young age, males are taught that it is inappropriate to cry, and these lessons are often accompanied by a great deal of ridicule when the lessons aren't followed." She said, "Indeed, some men who might sneer at the idea of crying during Titanic will readily admit to becoming choked up during Saving Private Ryan or Platoon." For men in general, "the idea of sacrifice for a 'brother' is a more suitable source of emotion".[84]
Titanic's catchphrase "I'm the king of the world!" became one of the film industry's more popular quotations.[87][88] According to Richard Harris, a psychology professor at Kansas State University, who studied why people like to cite films in social situations, using film quotations in everyday conversation is similar to telling a joke and a way to form solidarity with others. "People are doing it to feel good about themselves, to make others laugh, to make themselves laugh", he said.[88]
Cameron explained the film's success as having significantly benefited from the experience of sharing. "When people have an experience that's very powerful in the movie theatre, they want to go share it. They want to grab their friend and bring them, so that they can enjoy it," he said. "They want to be the person to bring them the news that this is something worth having in their life. That's how Titanic worked."[89] Media Awareness Network stated, "The normal repeat viewing rate for a blockbuster theatrical film is about 5%. The repeat rate for Titanic was over 20%."[8] The box office receipts "were even more impressive" when factoring in "the film's 3 hour and 14 minute length meant that it could only be shown three times a day compared to a normal movie's four showings". In response to this, "[m]any theatres started midnight showings and were rewarded with full houses until almost 3:30 am".[8]
Titanic held the record for box office gross for twelve years.[90] Cameron's most recent film, Avatar, was considered the first film with a genuine chance at surpassing its worldwide gross,[91][92] and did so in 2010.[66] Various explanations for why the film was able to successfully challenge Titanic were given. For one, "Two-thirds of Titanic's haul was earned overseas, and Avatar [tracked] similarly... Avatar opened in 106 markets globally and was no. 1 in all of them" and the markets "such as Russia, where Titanic saw modest receipts in 1997 and 1998, are white-hot today" with "more screens and moviegoers" than ever before.[93] Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, said that while Avatar may beat Titanic's revenue record, the film is unlikely to surpass Titanic in attendance. "Ticket prices were about $3 cheaper in the late 1990s."[91] In December 2009, Cameron had stated, "I don't think it's realistic to try to topple Titanic off its perch. Some pretty good movies have come out in the last few years. Titanic just struck some kind of chord."[80] In a January 2010 interview, he gave a different take on the matter once Avatar's performance was easier to predict. "It's gonna happen. It's just a matter of time," he said

Titanic garnered mostly positive reviews from film critics. On review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an overall 88% "Certified Fresh" approval rating based on 169 reviews, with a rating average of 7.8 out of 10. The site's consensus is that the film is "[a] mostly unqualified triumph for Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama".[82] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 0–100 reviews from film critics, the film has a rating score of 74 based on 34 reviews, classified as a generally favorably reviewed film.[94]
With regard to the film's overall design, Roger Ebert stated, "It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted, and spellbinding... Movies like this are not merely difficult to make at all, but almost impossible to make well." He credited the "technical difficulties" with being "so daunting that it's a wonder when the filmmakers are also able to bring the drama and history into proportion" and "found [himself] convinced by both the story and the sad saga".[95] He named it his ninth best film of 1997.[96] On the television program Siskel & Ebert, the film received "two thumbs up" and was praised for its accuracy in recreating the ship's sinking; Ebert described the film as "a glorious Hollywood epic, well-crafted and well worth the wait" and Gene Siskel found Leonardo DiCaprio "captivating".[97] James Berardinelli stated, "Meticulous in detail, yet vast in scope and intent, Titanic is the kind of epic motion picture event that has become a rarity. You don't just watch Titanic, you experience it."[98] It was named his second best film of 1997.[99] Almar Haflidason of the BBC wrote that "[t]he sinking of the great ship is no secret, yet for many exceeded expectations in sheer scale and tragedy" and that "when you consider that [the film] tops a bum-numbing three-hour running time, then you have a truly impressive feat of entertainment achieved by Cameron".[100] Joseph McBride of Boxoffice Magazine concluded, "To describe Titanic as the greatest disaster movie ever made is to sell it short. James Cameron's recreation of the 1912 sinking of the 'unsinkable' liner is one of the most magnificent pieces of serious popular entertainment ever to emanate from Hollywood."[101]
The romantic and emotionally-charged aspects of the film were equally praised. Andrew L. Urban of Urban Cinefile said, "You will walk out of Titanic not talking about budget or running time, but of its enormous emotive power, big as the engines of the ship itself, determined as its giant propellers to gouge into your heart, and as lasting as the love story that propels it."[102] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly described the film as, "A lush and terrifying spectacle of romantic doom. Writer-director James Cameron has restaged the defining catastrophe of the early 20th century on a human scale of such purified yearning and dread that he touches the deepest levels of popular moviemaking."[101] Janet Maslin of The New York Times commented that "Cameron's magnificent Titanic is the first spectacle in decades that honestly invites comparison to Gone With the Wind."[101] Richard Corliss of Time magazine, on the other hand, wrote a mostly negative review, criticizing the lack of interesting emotional elements.[103]
Some reviewers felt that the story and dialogue were weak, while the visuals were spectacular. Kenneth Turan's review in the Los Angeles Times was particularly scathing. Dismissing the emotive elements, he stated, "What really brings on the tears is Cameron's insistence that writing this kind of movie is within his abilities. Not only is it not, it is not even close.",[104] and later claimed that the only reason that the film won Oscars was because of its box office total.[105] Barbara Shulgasser of The San Francisco Examiner gave Titanic one star out of four, citing a friend as saying, "The number of times in this unbelievably badly-written script that the two [lead characters] refer to each other by name was an indication of just how dramatically the script lacked anything more interesting for the actors to say."[106] Also, filmmaker Robert Altman called it "the most dreadful piece of work I've ever seen in my entire life".[107] In his 2012 study of the lives of the passengers on the Titanic, historian Richard Davenport-Hines says "Cameron's film diabolized rich Americans and educated English, anathematizing their emotional restraint, good tailoring, punctilious manners and grammatical training, while it made romantic heroes of the poor Irish and the unlettered".[108]
Titanic suffered backlash in addition to its success. In 2003, the film topped a poll of "Best Film Endings",[109] and yet it also topped a poll by The Film programme as "the worst movie of all time".[110] The British film magazine Empire reduced their rating of the film from the maximum five stars and an enthusiastic review, to four stars with a less positive review in a later edition, to accommodate its readers' tastes, who wanted to disassociate themselves from the hype surrounding the film, and the reported activities of its fans, such as those attending multiple screenings.[111] In addition to this, positive and negative parodies and other such spoofs of the film abounded and were circulated on the internet, often inspiring passionate responses from fans of various opinions of the film.[112] Benjamin Willcock of DVDActive.com did not understand the backlash or the passionate hatred for the film. "What really irks me...," he said, "are those who make nasty stabs at those who do love it." Willcock stated, "I obviously don't have anything against those who dislike Titanic, but those few who make you feel small and pathetic for doing so (and they do exist, trust me) are way beyond my understanding and sympathy."[79]
Cameron responded to the backlash, and Kenneth Turan's review in particular. "Titanic is not a film that is sucking people in with flashy hype and spitting them out onto the street feeling let down and ripped off," he stated. "They are returning again and again to repeat an experience that is taking a 3-hour and 14-minute chunk out of their lives, and dragging others with them, so they can share the emotion." Cameron emphasized people from all ages (ranging from 8 to 80) and from all backgrounds were "celebrating their own essential humanity" by seeing it. He described the script as earnest and straightforward, and said it intentionally "incorporates universals of human experience and emotion that are timeless – and familiar because they reflect our basic emotional fabric" and that the film was able to succeed in this way by dealing with archetypes. He did not see it as pandering. "Turan mistakes archetype for cliche," he said. "I don't share his view that the best scripts are only the ones that explore the perimeter of human experience, or flashily pirouette their witty and cynical dialogue for our admiration."[113]
Empire eventually reinstated its original five star rating of the film, commenting, "It should be no surprise then that it became fashionable to bash James Cameron's Titanic at approximately the same time it became clear that this was the planet's favourite film. Ever. Them's the facts.


Titanic was released worldwide in widescreen and pan and scan formats on VHS and laserdisc on September 1, 1998.[128] The VHS was also made available in a deluxe boxed gift set with a mounted filmstrip and six lithograph prints from the movie. A DVD version was released on August 31, 1999 in a widescreen-only (non-anamorphic) single-disc edition with no special features other than a theatrical trailer. Cameron stated at the time that he intended to release a special edition with extra features later. This release became the best-selling DVD of 1999 and early 2000, becoming the first DVD ever to sell one million copies.[129] At the time, fewer than 5% of all U.S. homes had a DVD player. "When we released the original Titanic DVD, the industry was much smaller, and bonus features were not the standard they are now," said Meagan Burrows, Paramount's president of domestic home entertainment, which made the film's DVD performance even more impressive.[129]
Titanic was re-released to DVD on October 25, 2005 when a three-disc Special Collector's Edition was made available in the United States and Canada. This edition contained a newly restored transfer of the film, as well as various special features.[130] An international two and four-disc set followed on November 7, 2005.[131][129] The two-disc edition was marketed as the Special Edition, and featured the first two discs of the three-disc set, only PAL-enabled. A four-disc edition, marketed as the Deluxe Collector's Edition, was also released on November 7, 2005.[131]
Also, available only in the United Kingdom, a limited 5-disc set of the film, under the title Deluxe Limited Edition, was released with only 10,000 copies manufactured. The fifth disc contains Cameron's documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, which was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Unlike the individual release of Ghosts of the Abyss, which contained two discs, only the first disc was included in the set.[79]
As regards to television broadcasts, the film airs occasionally across the United States on networks such as TNT.[132] To permit the scene where Jack draws the nude portrait of Rose to be shown on network and specialty cable channels, in addition to minor cuts, the sheer, see-through robe worn by Winslet was digitally painted black. Turner Classic Movies also began to show the film, specifically during the days leading up to the 82nd Academy Awards


Release Date: December 19, 1997

Distrib: Paramount

Boxoffice: $600,788,188 2013: $1,047,302,400

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