Titanic (1997 film)

Titanic (1997 film)

Overview
Titanic is a 1997 American epic
Epic film
An epic is a genre of film that emphasizes human drama on a grand scale. Epics are more ambitious in scope than other film genres, and their ambitious nature helps to differentiate them from similar genres such as the period piece or adventure film...

 romance
Romance film
Romance films are love stories that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate involvement of the main characters and the journey that their love takes through courtship or marriage. Romance films make the love story or the search for love the main plot focus...

 and disaster film
Disaster film
A disaster film is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject...

 directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron
James Cameron
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian-American film director, film producer, screenwriter, editor, environmentalist and inventor...

. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

 as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

 as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane
Billy Zane
William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He is probably best known for his roles as Caledon Hockley in Titanic, The Phantom from The Phantom, John Wheeler in Twin Peaks and Mr...

 as Rose's fiancé, Cal Hockley. Jack and Rose are 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.
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Encyclopedia
Titanic is a 1997 American epic
Epic film
An epic is a genre of film that emphasizes human drama on a grand scale. Epics are more ambitious in scope than other film genres, and their ambitious nature helps to differentiate them from similar genres such as the period piece or adventure film...

 romance
Romance film
Romance films are love stories that focus on passion, emotion, and the affectionate involvement of the main characters and the journey that their love takes through courtship or marriage. Romance films make the love story or the search for love the main plot focus...

 and disaster film
Disaster film
A disaster film is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject...

 directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron
James Cameron
James Francis Cameron is a Canadian-American film director, film producer, screenwriter, editor, environmentalist and inventor...

. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

 as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

 as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane
Billy Zane
William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He is probably best known for his roles as Caledon Hockley in Titanic, The Phantom from The Phantom, John Wheeler in Twin Peaks and Mr...

 as Rose's fiancé, Cal Hockley. Jack and Rose are 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
Akademik Mstislav Keldysh
The R/V Akademik Mstislav Keldysh is a 6,240 ton Russian scientific research vessel. It is best known as the support vessel of the Mir submersibles. The vessel has made over 50 voyages, is owned by the Moscow-based Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Science and is...

, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the wreck. A reconstruction of the Titanic was built at Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, and scale model
Scale model
A scale model is a physical model, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in...

s and computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...

 were also used to recreate the sinking. The film was partially funded by Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 and 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 – respectively, its American and international distributors – and at the time, it 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. It equaled records with fourteen Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 nominations and eleven Oscar wins, receiving the prizes for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 and Best Director. With a worldwide gross of over $1.8 billion, it was the first film to reach the billion dollar mark, remaining the highest-grossing film of all time for twelve years, until Cameron's next directorial effort, Avatar, surpassed it in 2010. Titanic is also ranked as the sixth best epic film of all time in AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

 by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

. The film is due for theatrical re-release on April 6, 2012 in 3-D
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

 to commemorate the centenary of the Titanic setting sail.

Plot


In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team explore the wreck of the RMS Titanic, searching for a necklace called the Heart of the Ocean
Heart of the Ocean
The Heart of the Ocean is the name of a fictitious blue diamond featured prominently in the 1997 film Titanic.-Origin:Historically, there was a blue sapphire pendant on the Titanic...

. They believe the necklace is in Caledon "Cal" Hockley's safe, which they recover. Instead of the diamond, they find a sketch of a nude woman wearing it, dated April 14, 1912, the night the Titanic hit the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert finds out about the drawing, contacts Lovett, and says that she is the woman depicted. She and her granddaughter Elizabeth "Lizzy" Calvert visit Lovett and his team on his salvage ship. When asked if she knows the whereabouts of the necklace, Rose recalls her memories aboard the Titanic, revealing that she is Rose DeWitt Bukater, a passenger believed to have died in the sinking.

In 1912, 17-year-old first class passenger Rose boards the ship in Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, England with her fiancé Cal, the son of a Pittsburgh steel tycoon, and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater. Ruth stresses the importance of Rose's engagement, because the marriage to Cal will solve the DeWitt Bukaters' hidden financial problems. Distraught by her engagement to Cal and the pressure her mother is putting on her, Rose considers suicide by jumping off the stern of the ship. Before she leaps, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson intervenes and persuades her not to jump. When discovered with Jack on the stern, Rose lies to Cal and says that she was looking over the edge of the ship in curiosity, tripped by accident, and that Jack saved her. At Rose's insistence, Cal invites Jack to dinner the following night to show his appreciation.

By the next day, Jack and Rose have developed a tentative friendship, though Cal and Ruth remain wary of the young third-class man. Following the first-class dinner that night, Rose secretly joins Jack at a third-class party.

Cal and Ruth forbid Rose to see Jack, and Rose attempts to comply by rebuffing Jack's continuing advances. She soon realizes that she prefers him over Cal, and meets with him at the bow of the ship during what turns out to be the Titanic's final moments of daylight. They go to Rose's stateroom and she asks Jack to sketch her wearing nothing but the Heart of the Ocean, an engagement present from Cal. Afterward, the two flee Cal's bodyguard into the ship's cargo hold, where they make love. Then they go to the ship's forward well deck, where they witness the ship's collision with an iceberg and overhear the ship's officers and designer discussing its seriousness. Rose tells Jack that they should warn her mother and Cal.

Cal discovers Jack's drawing and a mocking note from Rose in his safe along with the necklace. Furious, he has his bodyguard slip the necklace into Jack's coat pocket, framing him for stealing it. Jack is arrested, taken down to the Master-at-arms
Master-at-arms
A master-at-arms may be a naval rating responsible for discipline and law enforcement, an army officer responsible for physical training, or a member of the crew of a merchant ship responsible for security and law enforcement.-Royal Navy:The master-at-arms is a ship's senior rating, comparable in...

's office and handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his coat. Rose runs away from Cal and her mother (who has boarded a lifeboat) to find Jack, breaking him free with an axe.

Jack and Rose struggle back to the deck where Cal and Jack persuade her to board another lifeboat, Cal claiming that he has made an arrangement that will allow both men to get off safely. After she boards, Cal tells Jack that the arrangement is only for himself. As Rose's boat lowers, she realizes that she cannot leave Jack, and jumps back on board the Titanic to reunite with him. Infuriated, Cal takes a pistol and chases them into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After running out of ammunition, Cal realizes to his chagrin that he gave his coat with the diamond to Rose. With the situation now dire, he returns to the boat deck and boards a lifeboat by pretending to look after a lost child.

As Jack and Rose return to the top deck, all lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water. The ship breaks in half, and the stern side rises a full 90-degrees into the air. As it sinks slowly and completely, Jack and Rose ride the stern into the ocean. Jack helps Rose onto a nearby wall panel that will only support one person’s weight. As he hangs onto the panel, he assures her she will not die there and will instead die an old woman, warm in her bed. Meanwhile, Fifth Officer Harold Lowe has commandeered a lifeboat to return and search for survivors. He manages to save Rose, but Jack dies from hypothermia
Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which core temperature drops below the required temperature for normal metabolism and body functions which is defined as . Body temperature is usually maintained near a constant level of through biologic homeostasis or thermoregulation...

.

Rose and the other survivors are taken by the RMS Carpathia
RMS Carpathia
RMS Carpathia was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson. Carpathia made her maiden voyage in 1903 and became famous for rescuing the survivors of after the latter ship hit an iceberg and sank on 15 April 1912...

 to New York, where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She hides from Cal on Carpathias deck as he searches for her, and she learns later that he committed suicide after losing his fortune in 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

.

Her story complete, Rose goes alone to the stern of Lovett's ship. There she takes out the Heart of the Ocean, which has in fact been in her possession all along, and drops it into the ocean. While seemingly asleep in her bed, the photos on her dresser are a visual chronicle that she lived a free life inspired by Jack. The young Rose is then seen reuniting with Jack at the Grand Staircase of the Titanic, cheered and congratulated by those who perished on the ship.

Fictional characters

  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has received many awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator , and has been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild and the British Academy of Film and Television...

     as Jack Dawson: Cameron said he needed the cast to feel as though they were really on the
    Titanic, relive its liveliness, and "to take that energy and give it to Jack, he's an artist who is able to have his heart soar". Within the film, Jack is portrayed as a penniless man from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
    Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
    Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,661 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County....

     who has toured various parts of the world, primarily Paris. He wins two tickets onto the RMS
    Titanic in a poker game and travels as a third-class passenger with his friend Fabrizio. He is attracted to Rose at first sight and meets her when she attempts to throw herself off the stern of the ship. This enables him to mix with the first-class passengers for a night. When casting the role, various established actors, including Matthew McConaughey
    Matthew McConaughey
    Matthew David McConaughey is an American actor.After a series of minor roles in the early 1990s, McConaughey gained notice for his breakout role in Dazed and Confused . He then appeared in films such as A Time to Kill, Contact, U-571, Tiptoes, Sahara, and We Are Marshall...

    , Chris O'Donnell
    Chris O'Donnell
    Christopher Eugene "Chris" O'Donnell is an American actor. He has played Robin in two Batman films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Charlie Simms in Scent of a Woman, Finn Dandridge in Grey's Anatomy, Peter Garrett in Vertical Limit, and more recently, Jack McAuliffe in The Company. O'Donnell...

    , Billy Crudup
    Billy Crudup
    William Gaither "Billy" Crudup is an American actor of film and stage. He is well known for his roles as guitarist Russell Hammond in Almost Famous, Will Bloom in Big Fish, and Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke. He also starred in the 2007 romantic comedy film Dedication, alongside Mandy Moore...

     and Stephen Dorff
    Stephen Dorff
    Stephen Dorff is an American actor, best known for portraying Stuart Sutcliffe in Backbeat, Johnny Marco in Somewhere, and for his roles in Blade and Cecil B. DeMented.-Early life:...

    , were considered, but Cameron felt that a few of the actors were too old for the part of a 20-year-old. "Tom Cruise
    Tom Cruise
    Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

     expressed an interest in [portraying] the character, though his superstar asking price was never taken seriously." DiCaprio, 22 years old at the time, was brought to Cameron's attention by casting director Mali Finn
    Mali Finn
    Mali Finn , born Mary Alice Mann, also known as Mally Finn, was an American Hollywood casting director and a former English and drama teacher...

    . Initially, he did not want to portray the character, and refused to read his first romantic scene on the set. Cameron said, "He read it once, then started goofing around, and I could never get him to focus on it again. But for one split second, a shaft of light came down from the heavens and lit up the forest." Cameron strongly believed in DiCaprio's acting ability, and told him, "Look, I'm not going to make this guy brooding and neurotic. I'm not going to give him a tic and a limp and all the things you want." Cameron rather envisioned the character as a James Stewart
    James Stewart
    James Stewart was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart may also refer to:-Noblemen:*James Stewart, 5th High Steward of Scotland*James Stewart, the Black Knight of Lorn James Stewart (1908–1997) was a Hollywood movie actor and USAF brigadier general.James Stewart...

     type.
  • Kate Winslet
    Kate Winslet
    Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

     as Rose DeWitt Bukater/Dawson: Cameron said Winslet "had the thing that you look for" and that there was "a quality in her face, in her eyes," that he "just knew people would be ready to go the distance with her". Rose is a 17-year-old girl, originally from Philadelphia, who is forced into an engagement to 30-year-old Cal Hockley so she and her mother, Ruth, can maintain their high-class status after her father's death had left the family debt-ridden. Rose boards the RMS Titanic with Cal and Ruth, as a first-class passenger, and meets Jack. Winslet said of her character, "She has got a lot to give, and she's got a very open heart. And she wants to explore and adventure the world, but she [feels] that's not going to happen." Gwyneth Paltrow
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Gwyneth Kate Paltrow is an American actress and singer. She made her acting debut on stage in 1990 and started appearing in films in 1991. After appearing in several films throughout the decade, Paltrow gained early notice for her work in films such as Se7en and Emma...

    , Claire Danes
    Claire Danes
    Claire Catherine Danes is an American actress of television, stage and film. She has appeared in roles as diverse as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life, as Juliet in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, as Kate Brewster in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, as Yvaine in Stardust and as Temple Grandin in...

    , and Gabrielle Anwar
    Gabrielle Anwar
    Gabrielle Anwar is an English actress. She is known for her role as Margaret Tudor on The Tudors, for dancing the tango with Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman and for her current role as Fiona Glenanne on USA's Burn Notice.- Early life :...

     had been considered for the role. When they turned it down, 22-year-old Winslet campaigned heavily for the role. She sent Cameron daily notes from England, which led Cameron to invite her to Hollywood for auditions. As with DiCaprio, casting director Mali Finn originally brought her to Cameron's attention. When looking for a Rose, Cameron described the character as "an Audrey Hepburn
    Audrey Hepburn
    Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Although modest about her acting ability, Hepburn remains one of the world's most famous actresses of all time, remembered as a film and fashion icon of the twentieth century...

     type" and was initially uncertain about casting Winslet even after her screen test
    Screen test
    A screen test is a method of determining the suitability of an actor or actress for performing on film and/or in a particular role. The performer is generally given a scene, or selected lines and actions, and instructed to perform in front of a camera to see if they are suitable...

     impressed him. After she screen tested with DiCaprio, Winslet was so thoroughly impressed with him, that she whispered to Cameron, "He's great. Even if you don't pick me, pick him." Winslet sent Cameron a single rose with a card signed "From Your Rose" and lobbied him by phone. "You don't understand!" she pleaded one day when she reached him by mobile phone in his Humvee. "I am Rose! I don't know why you're even seeing anyone else!" Her persistence, as well as her talent, eventually convinced him to cast her in the role.
  • Billy Zane
    Billy Zane
    William George "Billy" Zane, Jr. is an American actor, producer and director. He is probably best known for his roles as Caledon Hockley in Titanic, The Phantom from The Phantom, John Wheeler in Twin Peaks and Mr...

     as Caledon Nathan "Cal" Hockley: Cal is Rose's 30-year-old fiancé, and serves as the main antagonist of the film. He is arrogant and snobbish, and the heir to a steel fortune in Pittsburgh. He becomes increasingly embarrassed, jealous, and cruel about Rose's relationship with Jack. He later commits suicide after losing his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929
    Wall Street Crash of 1929
    The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

    . The part was originally offered to Matthew McConaughey.
  • Frances Fisher
    Frances Fisher
    Frances Fisher is a British actress. She is known for her work on television, in theater and in films, including roles as Strawberry Alice, the madame prostitute in Unforgiven , and Ruth DeWitt Bukater, the mother of Kate Winslet's character in Titanic .- Early life and education :Fisher was born...

     as Ruth DeWitt Bukater: Rose's widowed mother, who arranges her daughter's engagement to Cal to maintain her family's high-society status. She loves her daughter but believes that social position is more important. She scorns Jack, even though he saved her daughter's life.
  • Gloria Stuart
    Gloria Stuart
    Gloria Frances Stuart was an American actress, activist, painter, bonsai artist and fine printer. Over a Hollywood career which spanned, with a long break in the middle, from 1932 until 2004, she appeared on stage, television, and film, for which she was best-known...

     as Rose Dawson Calvert: Rose narrates the film in a modern-day framing device
    Framing device
    The term framing device refers to the usage of the same single action, scene, event, setting, or any element of significance at both the beginning and end of an artistic, musical, or literary work. The repeated element thus creates a ‘frame’ within which the main body of work can develop.The...

    . Cameron stated, "In order to see the present and the past, I decided to create a fictional survivor who is [close to] 101 years, and she connects us in a way through history." The 100-year-old Rose gives Lovett information regarding the "Heart of the Ocean" after he discovers a nude drawing of her in the wreck. She tells the story of her time aboard the ship, mentioning Jack for the first time since the sinking. At 87, Stuart had to be made up to look older for the role. Of casting Stuart, Cameron stated, "My casting director found her. She was sent out on a mission to find retired actresses from the Golden Age of the thirties and forties
    Classical Hollywood cinema
    Classical Hollywood cinema or the classical Hollywood narrative, are terms used in film history which designates both a visual and sound style for making motion pictures and a mode of production used in the American film industry between roughly the 1910s and the early 1960s.Classical style is...

    ." Cameron said that he did not know who Stuart was, and Fay Wray
    Fay Wray
    Fay Wray was a Canadian-American actress most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong...

     was also considered for the role. "But [Stuart] was just so into it, and so lucid, and had such a great spirit. And I saw the connection between her spirit and [Winslet's] spirit," stated Cameron. "I saw this joie de vivre
    Joie de vivre
    Joie de vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. Joie de vivre"can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy...

     in both of them, that I thought the audience would be able to make that cognitive leap that it's the same person." Winslet and Stuart stated their belief that the character dies at the end of the film, while Cameron states in his DVD commentary that he prefers to leave the viewers to form their own interpretation of the ending. Stuart died on September 26, 2010, at age 100, approximately the same age elder Rose was in the film.
  • Bill Paxton
    Bill Paxton
    William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

     as Brock Lovett: A treasure hunter looking for the "Heart of the Ocean" in the wreck of the Titanic in the present. Time and funding for his expedition are running out. He later reflects at the film's conclusion that, despite thinking about Titanic for three years, he has never understood it until he hears Rose's story.
  • Suzy Amis
    Suzy Amis
    Susan Elizabeth "Suzy" Amis is an American former film actress and former model.-Career:Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Amis first worked as a Ford model before she began acting in the 1980s. She made her feature film debut in the 1985 comedy film Fandango, opposite Kevin Costner...

     as Lizzy Calvert: Rose's granddaughter, who accompanies her when she visits Lovett on the ship.
  • Danny Nucci as Fabrizio De Rossi: Jack's Italian best friend, who boards the RMS Titanic with him after Jack wins two tickets in a poker game.
  • David Warner
    David Warner (actor)
    David Warner is an English actor who is known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, both in film and animation...

     as Spicer Lovejoy: An ex-Pinkerton
    Pinkerton National Detective Agency
    The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, usually shortened to the Pinkertons, is a private U.S. security guard and detective agency established by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired...

     constable, Lovejoy is Cal's English valet and bodyguard, who keeps an eye on Rose and is suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Jack's rescue of her.
  • Jason Barry
    Jason Barry
    Jason Barry is an Irish actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Tommy Ryan in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. However, he has also been in such movies as The Still Life for which he has won numerous awards....

     as Thomas "Tommy" Ryan: An Irish third-class passenger who befriends Jack and Fabrizio.

Historical characters

  • Kathy Bates
    Kathy Bates
    Kathleen Doyle "Kathy" Bates is an American actress and director.After several small roles in film and television, Bates rose to prominence with her performance in Misery , for which she won both the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe...

     as Margaret "Molly" Brown
    Margaret Brown
    Margaret Brown was an American socialite, philanthropist, and activist who became famous due to her involvement with the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, after exhorting the crew of lifeboat 6 to return to look for survivors. It is unclear whether any survivors were found after life boat 6...

    : Brown is looked down on upon by other first-class women, including Ruth, as "vulgar" and "new money" due to her sudden wealth. She is friendly to Jack and lends him a dinner jacket (bought for her son) when he is invited to dinner in the first-class dining saloon. Although Brown was a real person, Cameron chose not to portray her real-life actions. Molly Brown was dubbed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by historians because she, with the support of other women, commandeered Lifeboat 6
    Titanic Lifeboat No. 6
    Titanic Lifeboat No. 6 was the third lifeboat to be launched during the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. Well-known for being the lifeboat that carried "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", No...

     from Quartermaster Hichens. Some aspects of this altercation are portrayed in Cameron's film. She is referred to as "Molly" within the film; however, during her lifetime, she was called "Maggie," with the "Molly" appellation coming along posthumously.
  • Victor Garber
    Victor Garber
    Victor Joseph Garber is a Canadian film, stage and television actor and singer. Garber is known for playing Jesus in Godspell, Jack Bristow in the television series Alias, Max in Lend Me a Tenor, and Thomas Andrews in James Cameron's Titanic.-Early life:Born in London, Ontario, Canada, Garber is...

     as Thomas Andrews
    Thomas Andrews (shipbuilder)
    Thomas Andrews, Jr. was an Irish businessman and shipbuilder; managing director and head of the draughting department for the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Ireland. Andrews was the shipbuilder in charge of the plans for the ocean liner...

    : The ship's builder, Andrews is portrayed as a very kind and pleasant man who is modest about his grand achievement. After the collision, he tries to convince the others, particularly Ismay, that it is a "mathematical certainty" that the ship will sink. He is depicted during the sinking of the ship as standing next to the clock in the first-class smoking room, lamenting his failure to build a strong and safe ship. It is unknown how the real Andrews died.
  • Bernard Hill
    Bernard Hill
    Bernard Hill is a British actor of film, stage and television. In a career spanning thirty years, he is best known for playing Yosser Hughes, the troubled 'hard man' whose life is falling apart in Alan Bleasdale's groundbreaking 1980s TV drama, Boys from the Blackstuff...

     as Captain Edward John Smith: Smith planned to make the Titanic his final voyage before retiring. He retreats into the bridge as the ship sinks, dying when water bursts through the windows whilst clinging to the ship's wheel. It is often disputed whether he died this way or later froze to death, as he was reported seen near the overturned Collapsible B.
  • Jonathan Hyde
    Jonathan Hyde
    Jonathan Hyde is an Australian-born English actor, well known for his roles as J. Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line in Titanic, Egyptologist Allen Chamberlain in The Mummy and Sam Parrish/Van Pelt, the hunter in Jumanji. He is married to the Scottish soprano Isobel Buchanan...

     as Joseph Bruce Ismay
    J. Bruce Ismay
    Joseph Bruce Ismay was an English businessman who served as chairman and managing director of the White Star Line of steamships. He came to international attention as the highest-ranking White Star official among the 706 survivors Joseph Bruce Ismay (12 December 1862 – 17 October 1937) was...

    : Ismay is portrayed as a rich, ignorant first-class man. In the film, he uses his position as White Star Line
    White Star Line
    The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, more commonly known as the White Star Line, was a prominent British shipping company, today most famous for its ill-fated vessel, the RMS Titanic, and the World War I loss of Titanics sister ship Britannic...

     managing director to influence Captain Smith to go faster with the prospect of an earlier arrival in New York and favorable press attention; while this action appears in popular portrayals of the disaster, it is unsupported by evidence. After the collision, he struggles to comprehend that his "unsinkable" ship is doomed, later sneaking on board a lifeboat to escape.
  • Eric Braeden
    Eric Braeden
    Eric Braeden is a German-American film and television actor, best known for his role as Victor Newman on the soap opera The Young and the Restless and as John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film Titanic...

     as Colonel John Jacob Astor IV
    John Jacob Astor IV
    John Jacob Astor IV was an American businessman, real estate builder, investor, inventor, writer, lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American War and a member of the prominent Astor family...

    : A first-class passenger whom Rose calls the richest man on the ship. The film depicts Astor and his 18-year-old wife Madeleine
    Madeleine Astor
    Madeleine Astor Dick was the second wife and widow of millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and a survivor of RMS Titanic.-Early life:...

     as being introduced to Jack by Rose in the first-class dining saloon. During the introduction, Astor asks if Jack is connected to the 'Boston Dawsons', a question Jack neatly deflects by saying that he is instead affiliated with the Chippewa Falls
    Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
    Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,661 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County....

     Dawsons. Astor is last seen as the Grand Staircase glass dome implodes and water surges in. In reality, Astor died after being crushed when one of the ship's funnels collapsed. Madeleine Astor survived in one of the last boats to leave the Titanic, but her survival is not shown.
  • Bernard Fox as Colonel Archibald Gracie IV: The film depicts Gracie making a comment to Cal that "women and machinery don't mix", and congratulating Jack for saving Rose from falling off the ship, though he is unaware that it was a suicide attempt. While the film depicts Gracie with a British accent, he was in fact American. Archibald Gracie survived the sinking on the overturned Collapsible B. Fox also portrayed lookout Frederick Fleet in the 1958 film A Night to Remember.
  • Michael Ensign
    Michael Ensign
    - Early life :Ensign was born in Safford, Arizona and was raised in both the United States and England. He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and spent the first ten years of his professional career working in the theatre in Britain.- Career :...

     as Benjamin Guggenheim
    Benjamin Guggenheim
    Benjamin Guggenheim was an American businessman. He died aboard when the ship sank near Cape Race, Newfoundland.-Early life:...

    : A mining magnate traveling in first-class. He shows off his French mistress Madame Aubert to his fellow passengers while his family waits for him at home. When Jack joins the other first-class passengers for dinner after his rescue of Rose, Guggenheim refers to him as a "bohemian".
  • Jonathan Evans-Jones as Wallace Hartley
    Wallace Hartley
    Wallace Henry Hartley was an English violinist and bandleader on the on its maiden voyage. He became famous for leading the eight member band as the ship sank on 15 April 1912. He died in the sinking.-Life and career:...

    : The ship's bandmaster and violinist who plays uplifting music with his colleagues on the boat deck as the ship sinks. As the final plunge begins, he leads the band in a final performance of Nearer, My God, to Thee
    Nearer, My God, to Thee
    "Nearer, My God, to Thee" is a 19th century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, based loosely on Genesis 28:11–19, the story of Jacob's dream. Genesis 28:11–12 can be translated as follows: "So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the...

     and dies in the sinking. It has been disputed for many years whether it was this or a waltz tune named "Autumn" which was played last.
  • Ewan Stewart
    Ewan Stewart
    Ewan Stewart is a Scottish film, television and stage actor.- Life and career :Stewart was born Andrew Ewan Stewart in Glasgow, and is the son of the late Scottish entertainer Andy Stewart. His mother Sheila is still alive and lives in Arbroath, Scotland. Stewart was educated at Edinburgh's...

     as First Officer William Murdoch
    William McMaster Murdoch
    Lieutenant William "Will" McMaster Murdoch RNR was a Scottish sailor who died on board the , where he was employed by the White Star Line, serving as First Officer...

    : The officer who is put in charge of the bridge on the night the ship struck the iceberg. During a rush for the lifeboats, Murdoch shoots Tommy Ryan as well as another passenger in a momentary panic, then commits suicide out of guilt; in reality, it is not clear how he died. When Murdoch's nephew Scott saw the film, he objected to his uncle's portrayal as damaging to Murdoch's heroic reputation. A few months later, Fox vice-president Scott Neeson went to Dalbeattie
    Dalbeattie
    Dalbeattie is a town in Dumfries and Galloway , Scotland.Dalbeattie is situated in a wooded valley on the Urr Water east of Castle Douglas and south west of Dumfries...

    , Scotland
    Scotland
    Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

    , where Murdoch lived, to deliver a personal apology, and also presented a £5000 donation to Dalbeattie High School to boost the school's William Murdoch Memorial Prize. Cameron apologized on the DVD commentary, but noted that there were officers who fired gunshots to follow the "women and children first" policy.
  • Jonathan Phillips
    Jonathan Phillips
    Jonathan Phillips is an English actor, best known for his portrayal of 2nd Officer Charles Lightoller in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic.He also appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders entitled Country Matters....

     as Second Officer Charles Lightoller
    Charles Lightoller
    Commander Charles Herbert Lightoller DSC & Bar, RD, RNR was the second mate on board the , and the most senior officer to survive the disaster...

    : The ship's most senior surviving officer. The film depicts Lightoller telling Captain Smith that it will be difficult to see icebergs with no breaking water. He is seen brandishing a gun and threatening to use it to keep order. He can be seen on top of Collapsible B when the first funnel collapses.
  • Mark Lindsay Chapman
    Mark Lindsay Chapman
    Mark Lindsay Chapman is an English film and television actor.His credits include: Max Headroom, Dallas ,...

     as Chief Officer Henry Wilde: The ship's chief officer, who lets Cal on board a lifeboat because he has a child in his arms. Before he dies, he tries to get the boats to return to the sinking site to rescue passengers by blowing his whistle. After he freezes to death, Rose uses his whistle to attract the attention of Fifth Officer Lowe, which leads to her rescue. It is unknown how the real Henry Wilde died.
  • Ioan Gruffudd
    Ioan Gruffudd
    Ioan Gruffudd is a Welsh actor.Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he started off in Welsh language film productions, then came to international attention as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in the film Titanic , and as Lt. John Beales in Black Hawk Down...

     as Fifth Officer Harold Lowe
    Harold Lowe
    Commander Harold Godfrey Lowe RD RNR was the Fifth Officer of the .-Early years:Harold Lowe was born in Eglwys Rhos, Caernarfonshire, North Wales on 21 November 1882, the third of eight children, born to George and Harriet Lowe...

    : The only ship's officer who led a lifeboat to retrieve survivors of the sinking on the icy waters. The film depicts Lowe rescuing Rose.
  • Edward Fletcher as Sixth Officer James Moody
    James Paul Moody
    James Paul Moody was the Sixth Officer of the and the only junior officer of the ship to die in the disaster.-Early life:...

    : The ship's only junior officer who died in the sinking. The film depicts Moody admitting Jack and Fabrizio onto the ship only moments before it departs from Southampton. Moody is later shown following Mr. Murdoch's
    William McMaster Murdoch
    Lieutenant William "Will" McMaster Murdoch RNR was a Scottish sailor who died on board the , where he was employed by the White Star Line, serving as First Officer...

     orders to put the ship to full speed ahead, and informs First Officer Murdoch about the iceberg.
  • James Lancaster as Father Thomas Byles
    Thomas Byles
    Father Thomas Roussel Davids Byles was a Catholic priest who famously remained on board the RMS Titanic as she was sinking after colliding with an iceberg, hearing confessions and giving absolution....

    : Father Byles, a Catholic priest from England, is portrayed praying and consoling passengers during the ship's final moments.
  • Lew Palter and Elsa Raven as Isidor Straus
    Isidor Straus
    Isidor Straus —a German Jewish American—was co-owner of the Macy's department store with his brother Nathan. He also served briefly as a member of the United States House of Representatives...

     and Ida Straus
    Ida Straus
    Ida Straus, born Rosalie Ida Blun was an American homemaker and wife of the co-owner of the Macy's department store. She and her husband Isidor died on board the RMS Titanic.-Early life:...

    : Isidor is a former owner of R.H. Macy and Company, a former congressman from New York, and a member of the New York and New Jersey Bridge Commission. During the sinking, his wife Ida is offered a place in a lifeboat, but refuses, saying that she will honor her wedding pledge by staying with Isidor. They are last seen lying on their bed embracing each other as water fills their stateroom.
  • Martin Jarvis as Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon: A Scottish baronet who is rescued in Lifeboat 1. He and his wife were among only 12 people in Lifeboat #1, whose capacity was 40. He was accused of bribing the boat's crewmen not to row back and rescue those struggling in the water, but the British Board of Trade
    Board of Trade
    The Board of Trade is a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, originating as a committee of inquiry in the 17th century and evolving gradually into a government department with a diverse range of functions...

    's Inquiry into the disaster cleared them of any wrongdoing and a letter written by the secretary further clears their name.
  • Rosalind Ayres
    Rosalind Ayres
    Rosalind Ayres is an English actress. Active since 1970, Ayres may be best known by a wide audience for her role was in the 1997 film Titanic, in which she played Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon....

     as Lady Duff-Gordon
    Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon
    Lucy Christiana, Lady Duff Gordon was a leading fashion designer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, best known as "Lucile", her professional name. The first British designer to achieve international renown, Lucile was a widely-acknowledged innovator in couture styles as well as in fashion...

    : A world-famous fashion designer and Sir Cosmo's wife. She is rescued in Lifeboat 1 with her husband. She and her husband never lived down rumors that they had forbidden the lifeboat's crew to return to the wreck site in case they would be swamped.
  • Rochelle Rose as Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes
    Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes
    Lucy Noël Martha Leslie, Countess of Rothes was the wife of the 19th Earl of Rothes, whom she married on 19 April 1900.-Biography:...

    : The Countess is shown to be friendly with Cal and the DeWitt Bukaters. Despite being of a higher status in society than Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon, she is kind, and helps row the boat and even looks after the steerage passengers.
  • Scott G. Anderson as Frederick Fleet
    Frederick Fleet
    Frederick Fleet was a crewman and survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic after it struck an iceberg on 14 April 1912...

    : The lookout who saw the iceberg. Fleet escapes the sinking ship aboard Lifeboat 6.
  • Paul Brightwell
    Paul Brightwell
    Paul Brightwell is an English actor. He has acted in many different films and TV shows since the late 1980s.-Early life & career:Brightwell's first main role was as Uriah Heep in the TV Series David Copperfield in 1986...

     as Quartermaster Robert Hichens: One of the ship's 6 quartermasters and was at the ship's wheel at the time of collision. He was in charge of Lifeboat 6
    Titanic Lifeboat No. 6
    Titanic Lifeboat No. 6 was the third lifeboat to be launched during the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. Well-known for being the lifeboat that carried "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", No...

    . He refused to go back and pick up survivors after the sinking and eventually the boat was commandeered by Margaret "Molly" Brown
    Margaret Brown
    Margaret Brown was an American socialite, philanthropist, and activist who became famous due to her involvement with the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, after exhorting the crew of lifeboat 6 to return to look for survivors. It is unclear whether any survivors were found after life boat 6...

    .
  • Martin East as Reginald Lee
    Reginald Lee
    Reginald Robinson Lee was a lookout stationed in the crow's nest of the RMS Titanic when the ship collided with an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912.-Biography:...

    : The other lookout in the crow's nest
    Crow's nest
    A crow's nest is a structure in the upper part of the mainmast of a ship or structure, that is used as a lookout point.This position ensured the best view of the approaching hazards, other ships or land. It was the best device for this purpose until the invention of radar.In early ships it was...

    . He survives the sinking.
  • Simon Crane
    Simon Crane
    Simon Crane is a British stuntman, stunt coordinator, second unit director and film director.-Biography:Born in Twickenham, Middlesex, England. Crane was originally a law student, but not liking it, he dropped out after two years and worked as an acrobat in a circus for three years...

     as Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall
    Joseph Boxhall
    Commander Joseph Groves Boxhall RD RNR was the Fourth Officer on the , and later served as a naval officer in World War I.-Early life:...

    : The officer in charge of firing flares and manning Lifeboat 2 during the sinking. He is shown on the bridge wings helping the seamen firing the flares.
  • Gregory Cooke as Jack Phillips: Senior wireless operator on board the Titanic whom Captain Smith ordered to send the distress signal.
  • Craig Kelly
    Craig Kelly (actor)
    Craig Kelly is a British actor, best known for his role as Vince Tyler in the Channel 4 television series Queer as Folk and as Luke Strong in Coronation Street.-Biography:...

     as Harold Bride: Junior wireless operator on board the
    Titanic. He survived the sinking.
  • Liam Tuohy
    Liam Tuohy (actor)
    Liam Tuohy is an Irish stage, television and film actor who had the role of Chief Baker Charles Joughin in James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster film Titanic as Chief Baker Charles Joughin...

     as Chief Baker Charles Joughin
    Charles Joughin
    Charles John Joughin was the chief baker on the RMS Titanic. Joughin was born in Birkenhead, Wirral, England on 3 August 1878. He survived in the freezing water for an exceptionally long time. After hours in the water, he was found by Collapsible B and pulled onto the overturned boat...

    : The baker appears in the film on top of the railing with Jack and Rose as the ship sinks, drinking brandy from a flask. According to the real Joughin's testimony he rode the ship down and stepped into the water without getting his hair wet. He also admitted to hardly feeling the cold, most likely thanks to alcohol.
  • Terry Forrestal
    Terry Forrestal
    Terence Julian Forrestal was an English actor, stuntman and BASE jumper.Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. He was the son of Irish emigrants and attended Finchley Catholic Grammar School in England. He served in the British Armed Forces in Northern Ireland, among other places.He was a...

     as Chief Engineer Joseph G. Bell: Bell and his men worked until the last minute to keep the lights and the power on in order for distress signals to get out. Bell and all of the engineers died in the bowels of the Titanic.
  • Kevin De La Noy as Third Officer Herbert Pitman
    Herbert Pitman
    Herbert John "Bert" Pitman MBE was the Third Officer on board the . He was the only deck officer who was not a member of the Royal Naval Reserve.-Early life and career:...

    : In charge of Lifeboat 5.

Cameos


Several crew members of the
Akademik Mstislav Keldysh appear in the film, including Anatoly Sagalevich
Anatoly Sagalevich
Anatoly Mikhailovich Sagalevich is a Russian explorer, who works at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1965....

, creator and pilot of the
Mir
MIR (submersible)
Mir is a self-propelled Deep Submergence Vehicle. The project was initially developed by the USSR Academy of Sciences along with Design Bureau Lazurith. Later two vehicles were ordered from Finland...

Deep Submergence Vehicle
Deep Submergence Vehicle
A Deep Sea Submergence Vehicle is a deep diving manned submarine that is self-propelled. The term DSV is generally one used by the United States Navy, though several navies operate vehicles that can be accurately described as DSVs...

. Anders Falk, who filmed a documentary about the film's sets for the
Titanic Historical Society
Titanic Historical Society
The Titanic Historical Society, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1963, whose purpose is the preservation of the history of the famous ocean liner RMS Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912, in one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.Headquartered in Indian Orchard,...

, cameoes in the film as a Swedish immigrant whom Jack Dawson meets when he enters his cabin. Ed and Karen Kamuda, then President and Vice President of the Society, were extras in the film. James Cameron and Barry Dennen
Barry Dennen
Barry Dennen is an American actor, singer, and writer.Dennen was born in Chicago, Illinois. In New York City from 1960 to 1963, he had a relationship with Barbra Streisand, including living together for a year, during which time he helped her develop the nightclub act that began her successful...

 also cameo as praying men. Greg Ellis
Greg Ellis (actor)
Greg Ellis is an English actor known for his TV, movie, and video game voice over work. He has appeared in films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the 2009 Star Trek film , Titanic, Beowulf, To End All Wars, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith...

 and Oliver Page
Oliver Page
Oliver Page is a voice actor whose best-known role to date is the voice of Klank, member of the Machine Empire, in 1996's Power Rangers: Zeo. Page has also made bit appearances in different films. One of his known aliases is Oliver Kat. Other people named Oliver Page include 'Oliver Page' and...

 both play cameo parts as a Carpathia Steward and Steward Barnes respectively.

The boat seen alongside Titanic is the SS Nomadic, Titanic's tender ship which survives to this day.

Writing and inspiration

"The story could not have been written better...The juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable...the unthinkable possible."
— James Cameron

James Cameron had a fascination with shipwrecks, and, for him, the RMS Titanic was "the Mount Everest
Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

 of shipwrecks." He was almost past the point in his life when he felt he could consider an undersea expedition, but said he still had "a mental restlessness" to live the life he had turned away from when he switched from the sciences to the arts in college. So when an IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 film was made from footage shot of the wreck itself, he decided to seek Hollywood funding to "pay for an expedition and do the same thing." It was "not because I particularly wanted to make the movie," Cameron said. "I wanted to dive to the shipwreck."

Cameron wrote a scriptment
Scriptment
A scriptment is a written work by a movie or television screenwriter that combines elements of a script and treatment, especially the dialogue elements, which are formatted the same as in a screenplay. It is a more elaborate document than a standard draft treatment...

 for a Titanic film, met with 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 executives including Peter Chernin
Peter Chernin
Peter Chernin currently owns and runs Chernin Entertainment and The Chernin Group, both of which he founded in 2009. He was formerly President and COO of News Corporation, and Chairman and CEO of Fox Entertainment Group. He is a Corporate Director for American Express and sits on the Board of...

, and pitched it as "Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

 on the
Titanic". There was a tense pause and Cameron said, "Also, fellas, it's a period piece, it's going to cost $150,000,000 and there's not going to be a sequel.... They were like, 'Oooooohkaaaaaay – a three-hour romantic epic? Sure, that's just what we want. Is there a little bit of Terminator
The Terminator
The Terminator is a 1984 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr., and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los...

in that? Any Harrier jets
Harrier Jump Jet
The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations...

, shoot-outs, or car chases?' I said, 'No, no, no. It's not like that.'" The studio was dubious about the idea's commercial prospects, but, hoping for a long term relationship with Cameron, they gave him a greenlight.

Cameron convinced Fox to promote the film based on the publicity afforded by shooting the
Titanic wreck itself, and organized several dives to the site over a period of two years. "My pitch on that had to be a little more detailed," said Cameron. "So I said, ‘Look, we’ve got to do this whole opening where they’re exploring the Titanic and they find the diamond, so we’re going to have all these shots of the ship." Cameron stated, "Now, we can either do them with elaborate models and motion control shots and CG
Computer graphics
Computer graphics are graphics created using computers and, more generally, the representation and manipulation of image data by a computer with help from specialized software and hardware....

 and all that, which will cost X amount of money – or we can spend X plus 30 per cent and actually go shoot it at the real wreck." The crew shot at the real wreck in the Atlantic Ocean eleven times in 1995 and actually spent more time with the ship than its passengers. At that depth, with a water pressure of 6,000 pounds per square inch, "one small flaw in the vessel's superstructure would mean instant death for all on board." Not only were the dives high-risk, but adverse conditions prevented Cameron from getting the high quality footage that he wanted.

Descending to the actual site made both Cameron and crew want "to live up to that level of reality.... But there was another level of reaction coming away from the real wreck, which was that it wasn't just a story, it wasn't just a drama," he said. "It was an event that happened to real people who really died. Working around the wreck for so much time, you get such a strong sense of the profound sadness and injustice of it, and the message of it." Cameron stated, "You think, 'There probably aren't going to be many filmmakers who go to Titanic. There may never be another one – maybe a documentarian." Due to this, he felt "a great mantle of responsibility to convey the emotional message of it – to do that part of it right, too".

After filming the underwater shots, Cameron began writing the screenplay. He wanted to honor the people who died during the sinking, so he spent six months researching all of the
Titanics crew and passengers. "I read everything I could. I created an extremely detailed timeline of the ship’s few days and a very detailed timeline of the last night of its life," he said. "And I worked within that to write the script, and I got some historical experts to analyze what I’d written and comment on it, and I adjusted it." He paid meticulous attention to detail, even including a scene depicting the Californian
SS Californian
SS Californian was a Leyland Line steamship that is best known for the controversy surrounding her location during the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912. The Californian was later sunk herself, in 1915, by U-34.-History:...

s role in Titanic's demise, though this was later cut (see below). From the beginning of the shoot, they had "a very clear picture" of what happened on the ship that night. "I had a library that filled one whole wall of my writing office with "Titanic stuff," because I wanted it to be right, especially if we were going to dive to the ship," he said. "That set the bar higher in a way – it elevated the movie in a sense. We wanted this to be a definitive visualization of this moment in history as if you’d gone back in a time machine and shot it."

Cameron felt the
Titanic sinking was "like a great novel that really happened", yet the event had become a mere morality tale
Morality play
The morality play is a genre of Medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as "interludes", a broader term given to dramas with or without a moral theme. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of...

; the film would give audiences the experience of living the history. The treasure hunter Brock Lovett represented those who never connected with the human element of the tragedy, while the blossoming romance of Jack and Rose, he believed, would be the most engaging part of the story: when their love is finally destroyed, the audience would mourn the loss. "All my films are love stories," Cameron said, "but in Titanic I finally got the balance right. It's not a disaster film. It's a love story with a fastidious overlay of real history." Cameron then framed the romance with the elderly Rose to make the intervening years palpable and poignant. For him, the end of the film leaves open the question if the elderly Rose was in a conscious dream or had died in her sleep.

Scale modeling



Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries is a Northern Irish heavy industrial company, specialising in shipbuilding and offshore construction, located in Belfast, Northern Ireland....

, the RMS Titanics builders, opened their private archives to the crew, sharing blueprints that were thought lost. For the ship's interiors, production designer Peter Lamont
Peter Lamont
Peter Lamont is a noted set decorator, script editor, art director, and production designer most famous for working on eighteen James Bond films. The only four Bond films that he did not work on are Dr...

's team looked for artifacts from the era. However, the newness of the ship meant every prop had to be made from scratch. Fox acquired 40 acres of waterfront south of Playas de Rosarito in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, and began building a new studio on May 31, 1996. A horizon tank
Horizon tank
A horizon tank is a large tank built on the coast and used in filmmaking. They allow filmmakers to film an ocean horizon without having to be in the middle of the ocean.-History:...

 of seventeen-million-gallons was built for the exterior of the reconstructed ship, providing 270 degrees of ocean view. The ship was built to full scale, but Lamont removed redundant sections on the superstructure
Superstructure
A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied to various kinds of physical structures such as buildings, bridges, or ships...

 and forward well deck for the ship to fit in the tank, with the remaining sections filled with digital models. The lifeboats and funnels were shrunk by ten percent. The boat deck and A-deck were working sets, but the rest of the ship was just steel plating. Within was a fifty-foot lifting platform for the ship to tilt during the sinking sequences. Towering above was a 162 feet (49.4 m) tall tower crane on 600 feet (182.9 m) of rail track, acting as a combined construction, lighting, and camera platform.

The sets representing the interior rooms of the Titanic were reproduced exactly as originally built, using photographs and plans from the Titanic's builders. "The liner's first class staircase, which figures prominently in the script was constructed out of real wood and actually destroyed in the filming of the sinking." The rooms, the carpeting, design and colors, individual pieces of furniture, decorations, chairs, wall paneling, cutlery and crockery with the White Star Line
White Star Line
The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, more commonly known as the White Star Line, was a prominent British shipping company, today most famous for its ill-fated vessel, the RMS Titanic, and the World War I loss of Titanics sister ship Britannic...

 crest on each piece, completed ceilings, and costumes were among the designs true to the originals. Cameron additionally hired two Titanic historians, Don Lynch
Don Lynch
Don Lynch is a historian with the Titanic Historical Society. He co-authored the book Titanic: An Illustrated History in 1992 with Ken Marschall and later co-authored Ghosts of the Abyss. Lynch has an extensive collection of Titanic memorabilia and even more extensive knowledge of the subject,...

 and Ken Marschall
Ken Marschall
Ken Marschall is an artist notable for his paintings of famous ocean liners, such as the and the . His paintings have been used in many books about the Titanic, most notably his depictions of the sinking, of which no photographs that could be used were taken.He has served as consultant to many...

, to authenticate the historical detail in the film.

Production


The modern day scenes of the expedition were shot on the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh
Akademik Mstislav Keldysh
The R/V Akademik Mstislav Keldysh is a 6,240 ton Russian scientific research vessel. It is best known as the support vessel of the Mir submersibles. The vessel has made over 50 voyages, is owned by the Moscow-based Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Science and is...

in July 1996. Principal photography for Titanic began in September 1996 at the newly-built Fox Baja Studios. The poop deck
Poop deck
In naval architecture, a poop deck is a deck that forms the roof of a cabin built in the rear, or "aft", part of the superstructure of a ship.The name originates from the French word for stern, la poupe, from Latin puppis...

 was built on a hinge which could rise from zero to ninety degrees in a few seconds as the ship's stern rose during the sinking. For the safety of the stuntmen, many props were made of foam rubber. By November 15, the boarding scenes were being shot. Cameron chose to build his RMS Titanic on the starboard
Port and starboard
Port and starboard are nautical terms which refer to the left and right sides, respectively, of a ship or aircraft as perceived by a person on board facing the bow . At night, the port side of a vessel is indicated with a red navigation light and the starboard side with a green one.The starboard...

 side as a study of weather data showed prevailing north-to-south wind which blew the funnel smoke aft. This posed a problem for shooting the ship's departure from Southampton
Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

, as it was docked on its port
Port and starboard
Port and starboard are nautical terms which refer to the left and right sides, respectively, of a ship or aircraft as perceived by a person on board facing the bow . At night, the port side of a vessel is indicated with a red navigation light and the starboard side with a green one.The starboard...

 side. Any writing on props and costumes had to be reversed, and if someone walked to their right in the script, they had to walk left during shooting. In post-production, the film was flipped to the correct direction.

A full time etiquette coach was hired to instruct the cast on the manners of the upper class gentility in 1912. Despite this, several critics picked up on anachronisms in the film, not least involving the two main stars.
Cameron sketched Jack's nude portrait of Rose for a scene which he feels has the backdrop of repression. "You know what it means for her, the freedom she must be feeling. It's kind of exhilarating for that reason," he said. The nude scene was DiCaprio and Winslet's first scene together. "It wasn't by any kind of design, although I couldn't have designed it better. There's a nervousness and an energy and a hesitance in them," Cameron stated. "They had rehearsed together, but they hadn't shot anything together. If I'd had a choice, I probably would have preferred to put it deeper into the body of the shoot." He said he and his crew "were just trying to find things to shoot" because the big set was not yet ready. "It wasn't ready for months, so we were scrambling around trying to fill in anything we could get to shoot." After seeing the scene on film, Cameron felt it worked out considerably well.

However, other times on the set were not as smooth. The shoot was an arduous experience that "cemented Cameron’s formidable reputation as 'the scariest man in Hollywood'. He became known as an uncompromising, hard-charging perfectionist" and a "300-decibel screamer, a modern-day Captain Bligh
William Bligh
Vice Admiral William Bligh FRS RN was an officer of the British Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. A notorious mutiny occurred during his command of HMAV Bounty in 1789; Bligh and his loyal men made a remarkable voyage to Timor, after being set adrift in the Bounty's launch by the mutineers...

 with a megaphone and walkie-talkie, swooping down into people’s faces on a 162ft crane". Winslet chipped a bone in her elbow during filming, and had been worried that she would drown in the 17m-gallon water tank the ship was to be sunk in. "There were times when I was genuinely frightened of him. Jim has a temper like you wouldn’t believe," she said. "'God damn it!' he would yell at some poor crew member, 'that’s exactly what I didn’t want!'" Her co-star, Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton
William "Bill" Paxton is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic...

, was familiar with Cameron's work ethic from his earlier experience with him. "There were a lot of people on the set. Jim is not one of those guys who has the time to win hearts and minds," he said. The crew felt that Cameron had an evil alter ego, and nicknamed him "Mij" (Jim spelt backwards). In response to the criticism, Cameron stated, "Film-making is war. A great battle between business and aesthetics."

During shooting on the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, an angry crew member put the hallucinogen PCP
Phencyclidine
Phencyclidine , commonly initialized as PCP and known colloquially as angel dust, is a recreational dissociative drug...

 into the soup that Cameron and various others ate one night, which sent more than 50 people to the hospital. "There were people just rolling around, completely out of it. Some of them said they were seeing streaks and psychedelics," said actor Lewis Abernathy. Cameron managed to vomit before the drug took a full hold. Abernathy was shocked at the way he looked. "One eye was completely red, like the Terminator eye. A pupil, no iris, beet red. The other eye looked like he’d been sniffing glue since he was four." The person behind the poisoning was never caught.

The filming schedule was intended to last 138 days but grew to 160. Many cast members came down with colds, flu, or kidney infections after spending hours in cold water, including Winslet. In the end, she decided she would not work with Cameron again unless she earned "a lot of money". Several others left and three stuntmen broke their bones, but the Screen Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide...

 decided, following an investigation, that nothing was inherently unsafe about the set. Additionally, DiCaprio said there was no point when he felt he was in danger during filming. Cameron believed in a passionate work ethic and never apologized for the way he ran his sets, although he acknowledged:
I'm demanding, and I'm demanding on my crew. In terms of being kind of militaresque, I think there's an element of that in dealing with thousands of extras and big logistics and keeping people safe. I think you have to have a fairly strict methodology in dealing with a large number of people.


The costs of filming Titanic eventually began to mount, and finally reached $200 million. Fox executives panicked, and suggested an hour of specific cuts from the three-hour film. They argued the extended length would mean fewer showings, thus less money even though long epics are more likely to help directors win Oscars. Cameron refused, telling Fox, "You want to cut my movie? You're going to have to fire me! You want to fire me? You're going to have to kill me!" he said. The executives did not want to start over, because it would mean the loss of their entire investment, but they also initially rejected Cameron's offer of forfeiting his share of the profits as an empty gesture; they felt that profits would be unlikely. Cameron explained forfeiting his share as complex. "...the short version is that the film cost proportionally much more than T2
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

and True Lies
True Lies
True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, Tia Carrere, Charlton Heston, and Art Malik. Eliza Dushku also appears in the film in one of her first major film roles...

.
Those films went up seven or eight percent from the initial budget. Titanic also had a large budget to begin with, but it went up a lot more," said Cameron. "As the producer and director, I take responsibility for the studio that's writing the checks, so I made it less painful for them. I did that on two different occasions. They didn't force me to do it; they were glad that I did."

Effects


Cameron wanted to push back the boundary of special effects with his film, and enlisted Digital Domain
Digital Domain
Digital Domain is a visual effects and animation company founded by film director James Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross. It is based in Venice, Los Angeles, California...

 to continue the developments in digital technology which the director pioneered while working on The Abyss
The Abyss
The Abyss is a 1989 science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. It stars Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. The original musical score was composed by Alan Silvestri...

and Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr.. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong...

. Many previous films about the RMS Titanic shot water in slow motion
Slow motion
Slow motion is an effect in film-making whereby time appears to be slowed down. It was invented by the Austrian priest August Musger....

, which did not look wholly convincing. He encouraged them to shoot their 45 feet (13.7 m) long miniature
Scale model
A scale model is a physical model, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in...

 of the ship as if "we're making a commercial for the White Star Line". Afterwards, digital water and smoke were added, as were extras captured on a motion capture
Motion capture
Motion capture, motion tracking, or mocap are terms used to describe the process of recording movement and translating that movement on to a digital model. It is used in military, entertainment, sports, and medical applications, and for validation of computer vision and robotics...

 stage. Visual effects supervisor Rob Legato scanned the faces of many actors, including himself and his children, for the digital extras and stuntmen. There was also a 65 feet (19.8 m) long model of the ship's stern that could break in two repeatedly, the only miniature to be used in water. For scenes set in the ship's engines, footage of the SS Jeremiah O'Briens
SS Jeremiah O'Brien
-See also:*Liberty ship*Victory ship - other surviving Liberty ship*Nash - last surviving Army ship at D-Day...

 engines were composited with miniature support frames and actors shot against a greenscreen
Chroma key
Chroma key compositing is a technique for compositing two images together. A color range in the top layer is made transparent, revealing another image behind. The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production...

. In order to save money, the first class lounge was a miniature set incorporated into a greenscreen backdrop.
An enclosed 5000000 gallons (18,927,060 l) tank was used for sinking interiors, in which the entire set could be tilted into the water. In order to sink the Grand Staircase, 90000 gallons (340,687.1 l) of water were dumped into the set as it was lowered into the tank. Unexpectedly, the waterfall ripped the staircase from its steel-reinforced foundations, although no one was hurt. The 744 feet (226.8 m) long exterior of the RMS Titanic had its first half lowered into the tank, but being the heaviest part of the ship meant it acted as a shock absorber
Shock absorber
A shock absorber is a mechanical device designed to smooth out or damp shock impulse, and dissipate kinetic energy. It is a type of dashpot.-Nomenclature:...

 against the water; to get the set into the water, Cameron had much of the set emptied and even smashed some of the promenade windows himself. After submerging the dining saloon, three days were spent shooting Lovett's ROV
Remotely operated vehicle
A remotely operated vehicle is a tethered underwater vehicle. They are common in deepwater industries such as offshore hydrocarbon extraction. An ROV may sometimes be called a remotely operated underwater vehicle to distinguish it from remote control vehicles operating on land or in the air. ROVs...

 traversing the wreck in the present. The post-sinking scenes in the freezing Atlantic were shot in a 350000 gallons (1,324,894.2 l) tank, where the frozen corpses were created by applying a powder on actors that crystallized when exposed to water, and wax was coated on hair and clothes.

The climactic scene, which features the breakup of the ship directly before it sinks, as well as its final plunge to the bottom of the Atlantic, involved a tilting full-sized set, 150 extras and 100 stunt performers. Cameron criticized previous Titanic films for depicting the final plunge of the liner as sliding gracefully underwater. He "wanted to depict it as the terrifyingly chaotic event that it really was". When carrying out the sequence, people needed to fall off the increasingly tilting deck, plunging hundreds of feet below and bouncing off of railings and propellers on the way down. A few attempts to film this sequence with stunt people resulted in some minor injuries and Cameron halted the more dangerous stunts. The risks were eventually minimized "by using computer generated people for the dangerous falls".

Editing


There was one "crucial historical fact" Cameron chose to omit from the film – the ship that was close to the Titanic, but had turned off its radio for the night and did not hear their SOS
SOS
SOS is the commonly used description for the international Morse code distress signal...

 calls. "Yes, the [SS] Californian
SS Californian
SS Californian was a Leyland Line steamship that is best known for the controversy surrounding her location during the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912. The Californian was later sunk herself, in 1915, by U-34.-History:...

.
That wasn't a compromise to mainstream filmmaking. That was really more about emphasis, creating an emotional truth to the film," stated Cameron. He said there were aspects of retelling the sinking that seemed important in pre and post-production, but turned out to be less important as the film evolved. "The story of the Californian was in there; we even shot a scene of them switching off their Marconi radio set," said Cameron. "But I took it out. It was a clean cut, because it focuses you back onto that world. If Titanic is powerful as a metaphor, as a microcosm, for the end of the world in a sense, then that world must be self-contained."

During the first assembly cut, Cameron altered the planned ending, which had given resolution to Brock Lovett's story. In the original version of the ending, Brock and Lizzy see the elderly Rose at the stern of the boat, and fear she is going to commit suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

. Rose then reveals that she had the "Heart of the Ocean" diamond all along, but never sold it, in order to live on her own without Cal's money. She tells Brock that life is priceless and throws the diamond into the ocean, after allowing him to hold it. After accepting that treasure is worthless, Brock laughs at his stupidity. Rose then goes back to her cabin to sleep, whereupon the film ends in the same way as the final version. In the editing room, Cameron decided that by this point, the audience would no longer be interested in Brock Lovett and cut the resolution to his story, so that Rose is alone when she drops the diamond. He also did not want to disrupt the audience's melancholy after the Titanics sinking.

The version used for the first test screening
Test screening
A test screening is a preview screening of a movie or television show before its general release in order to gauge audience reaction. Preview audiences are selected from a cross-section of the population, and are usually asked to complete a questionnaire or provide feedback in some form. Harold...

 featured a fight between Jack and Lovejoy which takes place after Jack and Rose escape into the flooded dining saloon, but the test audiences disliked it. The scene was written to give the film more suspense, and featured Cal (falsely) offering to give Lovejoy, his valet, the "Heart of the Ocean
Heart of the Ocean
The Heart of the Ocean is the name of a fictitious blue diamond featured prominently in the 1997 film Titanic.-Origin:Historically, there was a blue sapphire pendant on the Titanic...

" if he can get it from Jack and Rose. Lovejoy goes after the pair in the sinking first class dining room. Just as they are about to escape him, Lovejoy notices Rose's hand slap the water as it slips off the table behind which she is hiding. In revenge for framing him for the "theft" of the necklace, Jack attacks him and smashes his head against a glass window, which explains the gash on Lovejoy's head that can be seen when he dies in the completed version of the film. In their reactions to the scene, test audiences said it would be unrealistic to risk one's life for wealth, and Cameron cut it for this reason, as well as for timing and pacing reasons. Many other scenes were cut for similar reasons.

Music and soundtrack


The soundtrack album for Titanic was composed by James Horner
James Horner
James Roy Horner is an American composer, orchestrator and conductor of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements...

. For the vocals heard throughout the film, subsequently described by Earle Hitchner of
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

as "evocative", Horner chose Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø
Sissel Kyrkjebø
Sissel Kyrkjebø , also simply known as Sissel, is a Norwegian soprano.Sissel is considered one of the world's top crossover sopranos. Sissel's musical style runs the gamut from pop recordings and folk songs, to classical vocals and operatic arias...

, better known as "Sissel". Horner knew Sissel from her album
Innerst I Sjelen
Innerst i sjelen
Innerst i sjelen, in the United Kingdom: Deep Within My Soul, is a 1994 album from Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø.After a tour in Scandinavia countries, Sissel wanted to gather songs that could comfort and give hope, songs that told the story of longing, strong beliefs and hope, trust and love...

, and he particularly liked how she sang "Eg veit i himmerik ei borg
Eg veit i himmerik ei borg
Eg veit i himmerik ei borg is a Norwegian folk song, coming from Hallingdal. The text is German, from before 1600. The text was translated into Norwegian by Bernt Støylen in 1905. The song has been sung by many artists, including Jan Werner Danielsen, Bjøro Håland, Andrea Een, Arild Sandvold,...

" ("I Know in Heaven There Is a Castle"). He had tried twenty-five or thirty singers before he finally chose Sissel as the voice to create specific moods within the film.

Horner additionally wrote the song "My Heart Will Go On
My Heart Will Go On
"My Heart Will Go On" is the theme song/love theme of the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. With music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings, and production by Simon Franglen, James Horner and Walter Afanasieff ,, it was recorded by Céline Dion...

" in secret with Will Jennings
Will Jennings
Wilbur H. "Will" Jennings is an American songwriter who is popularly known for writing the lyrics for "My Heart Will Go On", the theme for the film Titanic .-Life and education:...

 because Cameron did not want any songs with singing in the film. Céline Dion
Celine Dion
Céline Marie Claudette Dion, , , is a Canadian singer. Born to a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record...

 agreed to record a demo with the persuasion of her husband René Angélil
René Angélil
René Angélil, OQ is a Canadian singer and manager. He is the husband and manager of singer Celine Dion.-Early life:Angélil was born in Montreal, Québec, Canada of a father of Syrian descent and a Canadian mother of Lebanese origin...

. Horner waited until Cameron was in an appropriate mood before presenting him with the song. After playing it several times, Cameron declared its approval, although worried that he would have been criticized for "going commercial at the end of the movie". Cameron also wanted to appease anxious studio executives and "saw that a hit song from his movie could only be a positive factor in guaranteeing its completion".

Initial screening


Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 financed Titanic, and expected Cameron to complete the film for a release on July 2, 1997. The film was to be released on this date "in order to exploit the lucrative summer season ticket sales when blockbuster films usually do better". In April, Cameron said the film's special effects were too complicated and that releasing the film for summer would not be possible. With production delays, Paramount pushed back the release date to December 19, 1997. "This fueled speculation that the film itself was a disaster." However, a preview screening in Minneapolis on July 14 "generated positive reviews" and "[c]hatter on the internet was responsible for more favorable word of mouth
Word of mouth
Word of mouth, or viva voce, is the passing of information from person to person by oral communication. Storytelling is the oldest form of word-of-mouth communication where one person tells others of something, whether a real event or something made up. Oral tradition is cultural material and...

 about the [film]". This eventually led to more positive media coverage.

The film premiered on November 1, 1997, at the Tokyo International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival is a film festival established in 1985. The event was held biannually from 1985 to 1991 and annually thereafter...

, where reaction was described as "tepid" by The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. However, positive reviews started to appear back in the United States; the official Hollywood premiere occurred on December 14, 1997, where "the big movie stars who attended the opening were enthusiastically gushing about the film to the world media".

General



The film received steady attendance after opening in North America on Friday, December 19, 1997. By the end of that same weekend, theaters were beginning to sell out. The film earned $8,658,814 on its opening day and $28,638,131 over the opening weekend from 2,674 theaters, averaging to about $10,710 per venue, and ranking number one at the box office, ahead of the eighteenth James Bond film,
Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies is the eighteenth spy film in the James Bond series, and the second to star Pierce Brosnan as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Bruce Feirstein wrote the screenplay, and it was directed by Roger Spottiswoode. It follows Bond as he tries to stop a media mogul from engineering...

. By New Year's Day, Titanic had made over $120 million, had increased in popularity and theaters continued to sell out. Its biggest single day took place on Saturday, February 14 (Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

), 1998, making $13,048,711, more than six weeks after it debuted in North America. It stayed at number one for fifteen consecutive weeks in the United States and Canada, which remains a record for any film. By March 1998, it was the first film to earn more than $1 billion worldwide. The film stayed in theaters in North America for almost ten months, before finally closing on Thursday, October 1, 1998 with a final domestic gross of $600,788,188. Box Office Mojo
Box Office Mojo
Box Office Mojo is a website that tracks box office revenue in a systematic, algorithmic way. Brandon Gray started the site in 1999. In 2002, Gray partnered with Sean Saulsbury and they grew the site to nearly two million readers when, in July 2008, the company was purchased by Amazon.com through...

 estimates that after adjusting for ticket price inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

, Titanic would be the sixth highest-grossing film of all time in the United States and Canada. The film made double its domestic amount overseas, generating an international gross of $1,248,025,607 and accumulating a grand total of $1,843,201,268 worldwide. It became the highest-grossing film in history, and remained so for twelve years, until Avatar, also written and directed by Cameron, surpassed it in 2010.

Commercial analysis


Before its release, various film critics predicted the film would be a significant disappointment at the box office
Box office bomb
The phrase box office bomb refers to a film for which the production and marketing costs greatly exceeded the revenue regained by the movie studio. This should not be confused with Hollywood accounting when official figures show large losses, yet the movie is a financial success.A film's financial...

, especially due to it being the most expensive film ever made at the time. 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
Albatross (metaphor)
The word 'albatross' is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse. It is an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ....

 of a picture on which, finally, two studios had to combine to share the great load of its making". 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. 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
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 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".
"It’s hard to forget the director on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium
Shrine Auditorium
The Shrine Auditorium is a landmark large-event venue, in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is also the headquarters of the Al Malaikah Temple, a division of the Shriners.-History:...

 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
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

on Cameron's response to Titanics criticism


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". "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." The film was playing on 3,200 screens a full ten weeks after it opened, 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, and after fourteen weeks into its run, it was still bringing in more than $1m a week. 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, other reports have simply 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.

The film's impact on men has also been especially credited. Now considered one of the films that "make men cry", MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

'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. Titanic's ability to make men cry was briefly parodied in the 2009 zombie film Zombieland
Zombieland
Zombieland is a 2009 American zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse...

, where character Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson
Woodrow Tracy "Woody" Harrelson is an American actor.Harrelson's breakthrough role came in the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd...

), when recalling the death of his young son, states: "I haven't cried like that since Titanic." 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
Starship Troopers (film)
Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction film, written by Edward Neumeier , directed by Paul Verhoeven, loosely adapted from Starship Troopers, a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It is the only theatrically released film in the Starship Troopers franchise...

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'".

In 2010, the BBC
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 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
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American war film set during the invasion of Normandy in World War II. It was directed by Steven Spielberg, with a screenplay by Robert Rodat. The film is notable for the intensity of its opening 27 minutes, which depicts the Omaha Beach assault of June 6, 1944....

or Platoon
Platoon (film)
Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and stars Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first of Stone's Vietnam War trilogy, followed by 1989's Born on the Fourth of July and 1993's Heaven & Earth....

.
" For men in general, the idea of sacrifice for a "brother" is a more suitable source of emotion.

Titanics catchphrase "I'm the king of the world!" became one of the film industry's more popular quotations. According to Richard Harris, a psychology professor at Kansas State University
Kansas State University
Kansas State University, commonly shortened to K-State, is an institution of higher learning located in Manhattan, Kansas, in the United States...

, 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. He found that all of the participants in his study had used film quotations in conversation at one point or another. "They overwhelmingly cited comedies, followed distantly by dramas and action adventure flicks." As for horror films, musicals and children's films, they were hardly ever cited.

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." Media Awareness Network
Media Awareness Network
The Media Awareness Network is a Canadian non-profit organization based in Ottawa that focuses on media literacy programs. In particular, the organization promotes critical thinking via education resources and analyzes the content of various types of mass media...

 stated, "The normal
repeat viewing rate for a blockbuster theatrical film is about 5%. The repeat rate for
Titanic was over 20%." 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".

Titanic held the record for box office gross for twelve years. Cameron's most recent film, Avatar, was considered the first film with a genuine chance at surpassing its worldwide gross, and did so in 2010. 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. 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." 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." 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.

Critical reception


The film garnered mostly positive reviews from film critics. Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 reports the film as holding an overall 83% "Fresh" approval rating based on 97 reviews, with a rating average
Weighted mean
The weighted mean is similar to an arithmetic mean , where instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others...

 of 7.4 out of 10. The site's general consensus is that the film is "[a] mostly unqualified triumph for Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama". At Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

, which assigns a weighted mean
Weighted mean
The weighted mean is similar to an arithmetic mean , where instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others...

 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.

With regard to the film's overall design, Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 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". It was named as his ninth best film of 1997. 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
Gene Siskel
Eugene Kal "Gene" Siskel was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted the popular review show Siskel & Ebert At the Movies from 1975 until his death....

 found Leonardo DiCaprio "captivating". James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli is an American online film critic.-Personal life:Berardinelli was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and spent his early childhood in Morristown, New Jersey. At the age of nine years, he relocated to the township of Cherry Hill, New Jersey...

 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." It was named his second best film of 1997. Almar Haflidason of the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 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 it tops a bum-numbing three-hour running time, then you have a truly impressive feat of entertainment achieved by Cameron". 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."

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." Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman is an American film critic for Entertainment Weekly, a position he has held since the magazine's launch in 1990. From 1981–89, he worked at the Boston Phoenix....

 of
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

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." Janet Maslin
Janet Maslin
Janet Maslin is an American journalist, best known as a film and literary critic for The New York Times. She served as the Times film critic from 1977–1999.- Biography :...

 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
Gone with the Wind (film)
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American historical epic film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel of the same name. It was produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Fleming from a screenplay by Sidney Howard...

." Richard Corliss
Richard Corliss
Richard Nelson Corliss is a writer for Time magazine who focuses on movies, with the occasional article on music or sports. Corliss is the former editor-in-chief of Film Comment...

 of
Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine, on the other hand, wrote a mostly negative review, criticizing the lack of interesting emotional elements.

Some reviewers felt that the story and dialogue were weak, while the visuals were spectacular. Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan is an American film critic and Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.-Background:...

'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.", and later claimed that the only reason that the film won Oscars was because of its box office total. Barbara Shulgasser of The San Francisco Examiner
The San Francisco Examiner
The San Francisco Examiner is a U.S. daily newspaper. It has been published continuously in San Francisco, California, since the late 19th century.-19th century:...

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." Also, filmmaker Robert Altman
Robert Altman
Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

 called it "the most dreadful piece of work I've ever seen in my entire life".

Titanic suffered backlash in addition to its success. In 2003, the film topped a poll of "Best Film Endings", and yet it also topped a poll by The Film programme
The Film programme
The Film programme is a British film review television programme, broadcast weekly on BBC One, presented by Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh. The title of the show changes each year to incorporate the year of broadcast, with the current series being Film 2011, but when referring to successive...

as "the worst movie of all time". The British film magazine Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

 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. 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. 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."

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 archetype
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

s. 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."

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."

Accolades


Titanic began its awards sweep starting with the Golden Globes
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

, winning four, namely Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Song. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet
Kate Elizabeth Winslet is an English actress and occasional singer. She has received multiple awards and nominations. She was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader...

 and Gloria Stuart
Gloria Stuart
Gloria Frances Stuart was an American actress, activist, painter, bonsai artist and fine printer. Over a Hollywood career which spanned, with a long break in the middle, from 1932 until 2004, she appeared on stage, television, and film, for which she was best-known...

 were also nominees, but lost. It won the ACE "Eddie" Award
American Cinema Editors
Founded in 1950, American Cinema Editors is an honorary society of film editors that are voted in based on the qualities of professional achievements, their education of others, and their dedication to editing itself. The society is not to be confused with an industry union, such as the I.A.T.S.E...

, ASC Award
American Society of Cinematographers
The American Society of Cinematographers is an educational, cultural, and professional organization. It is not a labor union, and it is not a guild. Membership is by invitation and is extended only to directors of photography and special effects experts with distinguished credits in the film...

, Art Directors Guild Award
Art Directors Guild
The Art Directors Guild is an American labor union and branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees representing almost 2,000 motion picture and television professionals....

, Cinema Audio Society Awards
Cinema Audio Society Awards
Cinema Audio Society Awards or The C.A.S. Awards is an annual awards ceremony honoring Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing. The awards are presented by the Cinema Audio Society and began in 1994.It hands out awards for three categories:*Feature films...

, Screen Actors Guild Award
Screen Actors Guild Awards
A Screen Actors Guild Award is an accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild to recognize outstanding performances by its members. The statuette given, a nude male figure holding both a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy, is called "The Actor"...

 (Best Supporting Actress for Gloria Stuart), The Directors Guild of America Award, and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award
Broadcast Film Critics Association
The Broadcast Film Critics Association is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada , representing approximately 250 television, radio and online critics....

 (Best Director for James Cameron), and The Producer Guild of America Award
Producers Guild of America
Producers Guild of America is a trade organization representing television producers, film producers and New Media producers in the United States. The PGA's membership includes over 4,700 members of the producing establishment worldwide...

. It was also nominated for ten BAFTA awards
British Academy of Film and Television Arts
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is a charity in the United Kingdom that hosts annual awards shows for excellence in film, television, television craft, video games and forms of animation.-Introduction:...

, including Best Film and Best Director, however failed to win any.

The film garnered fourteen Academy Awards nominations, tying the record set in 1950 by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph Leo Mankiewicz was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Mankiewicz had a long Hollywood career and is best known as the writer-director of All About Eve , which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six. He was brother to screenwriter and drama critic Herman J...

's All About Eve
All About Eve
All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve", by Mary Orr.The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star...

 and won eleven, including the Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 and Best Director. It also picked up the awards for Best Cinematography
Academy Award for Best Cinematography
The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work in one particular motion picture.-History:...

, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound (Gary Rydstrom
Gary Rydstrom
Gary Roger Rydstrom is an American sound designer and director. He has won seven Academy Awards for his work in sound for movies.-Career:...

, Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson (sound engineer)
Tom Johnson is an American sound engineer. He has won two Academy Awards for Best Sound and has been nominated for five more in the same category...

, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano
Mark Ulano
Mark Ulano is an American sound engineer. He has won an Academy Award for Best Sound and has been nominated for another in the same category...

), Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song
Academy Award for Best Original Song
The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film...

, and Best Art Direction
Academy Award for Best Art Direction
The Academy Awards are the oldest awards ceremony for achievements in motion pictures. The Academy Award for Best Art Direction recognizes achievement in art direction on a film. The films below are listed with their production year, so the Oscar 2000 for best art direction went to a film from 1999...

. Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart and the make-up artists were the three nominees that did not win. James Cameron's original screenplay and Leonardo DiCaprio were not nominees. It was the second film to win eleven Academy Awards, after Ben-Hur
Ben-Hur (1959 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay was written by Karl Tunberg, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry. The score was composed by...

. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...

would also match this record in 2004, with its eleven wins from eleven nominations.

Titanic won the 1997
70th Academy Awards
The 70th Academy Awards were noted for their high ratings and the 11 wins obtained by the Best Picture Titanic. Billy Crystal hosted the ceremony for the sixth time, and received an Emmy award for his performance....

 Academy Award for Best Original Song
Academy Award for Best Original Song
The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film...

, as well as three Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s for Record of the Year
Grammy Award for Record of the Year
The Record of the Year is one of the four most prestigious Grammy Awards presented annually. It has been awarded since 1959.-History:The honorees through its history have been:*1959-1965: Artist only.*1966-1998: Artist and producer....

, Song of the Year
Grammy Award for Song of the Year
The Song of the Year is one of the four most prestigious awards in the Grammy Awards ceremony, if not in all of the American music industry. It has been awarded since 1959 and unlike the Record of the Year award, which goes to the performer and production team of a single song, Song of the Year...

, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television
Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
The Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media has been awarded since 1988 and is awarded to songs written for films, television, video games or other visual media...

. The film's soundtrack became the best-selling primarily orchestral soundtrack of all time, and became a worldwide success, spending sixteen weeks at number-one in the United States, and was certified diamond for over eleven million copies sold in the United States alone. The soundtrack also became the best-selling album of 1998 in the U.S. "My Heart Will Go On
My Heart Will Go On
"My Heart Will Go On" is the theme song/love theme of the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. With music by James Horner, lyrics by Will Jennings, and production by Simon Franglen, James Horner and Walter Afanasieff ,, it was recorded by Céline Dion...

" won the Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. The film also won Best Male Performance for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Movie at the MTV Movie Awards
MTV Movie Awards
The MTV Movie Awards is a film awards show presented annually on MTV . It also contains movie parodies that used official movie footage with hosts and other celebrities and music performances. The nominees are decided by producers and executives at MTV. Winners are decided online by the general...

, Best Film at the People's Choice Awards
People's Choice Awards
The People's Choice Awards is an American awards show recognizing the people and the work of popular culture. The show has been held annually since 1975 and is voted on by the general public. The People's Choice Awards air on CBS and are produced by Procter & Gamble and Survivor magnate Mark Burnett...

, and Favorite Movie at the 1998 Kids' Choice Awards
1998 Kids' Choice Awards
The 1998 Kids' Choice Awards occurred on April 4, 1998. The award show was held at Pauley Pavilion at UCLA in Los Angeles, California. Rap star Sean Puffy Combs became the latest recipient of Nickelodeon's highest honor, a sliming.-Favorite Movie:...

. It won various awards outside the United States, including the Awards of the Japanese Academy as the Best Foreign Film of the Year. Titanic eventually won nearly ninety awards and had an additional forty-seven nominations from various award-giving bodies around the world. Additionally, the book about the making of the film was at the top of The New York Times bestseller
Bestseller
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and...

 list for several weeks, "the first time that such
a tie-in book had achieved this status".

Since its release, Titanic has appeared on the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

's award-winning 100 Years… series. So far, it has ranked on the following six lists:
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Rank Source Notes
Thrills 25 A list of the top 100 thrilling films in American cinema, compiled in 2001.
Passions 37 A list of the top 100 love stories in American cinema, compiled in 2002.
Songs 14 A list of the top 100 songs in American cinema, compiled in 2004. Titanic ranked 14th for Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On".
Movie quotes 100 A list of the top 100 film quotations in American cinema, compiled in 2005. Titanic ranked 100th for Jack Dawson's yell of "I'm the king of the world!"
Movies 83 A 2007 (10th anniversary) edition of 1997's list of the 100 best films of the past century. Titanic was not eligible when the original list was released.
AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10
AFI's 10 Top 10 honors the ten greatest American films in ten classic film genres. Presented by the American Film Institute , the lists were unveiled on a television special broadcast by CBS on June 17, 2008....

6 The 2008 poll consisted of the top ten films in ten different genres. Titanic ranked as the sixth best epic film.

Home media


Titanic was released worldwide in widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

 and pan and scan
Pan and scan
Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown within the proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects...

 formats on VHS and laserdisc
Laserdisc
LaserDisc was a home video format and the first commercial optical disc storage medium. Initially licensed, sold, and marketed as MCA DiscoVision in North America in 1978, the technology was previously referred to interally as Optical Videodisc System, Reflective Optical Videodisc, Laser Optical...

 on September 1, 1998. 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 July 31, 1999 in a widescreen-only (non-anamorphic
Anamorphic format
Anamorphic format is a term that can be used either for: the cinematography technique of capturing a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film, or other visual recording media, with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio; or a photographic projection format in which the original image requires an...

) single-disc edition with no special features other than a theatrical trailer
Trailer (film)
A trailer or preview is an advertisement or a commercial for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at a cinema. The term "trailer" comes from their having originally been shown at the end of a feature film screening. That practice did not last long, because patrons tended to leave the...

. 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. 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.

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.

An international two and four-disc set followed on November 7, 2005. The two-disc edition was marketed as the Special Edition, and featured the first two discs of the three-disc set, only PAL
PAL
PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is an analogue television colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are NTSC and SECAM. This page primarily discusses the PAL colour encoding system...

-enabled. A four-disc edition, marketed as the Deluxe Collector's Edition, was also released on November 7, 2005.

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
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary film released by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. It was Disney's first film produced in 3-D and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic...

, which was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures is an American film studio owned by The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Pictures and Television, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Studios and the main production company for live-action feature films within the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, based at the Walt Disney...

. Unlike the individual release of Ghosts of the Abyss, which contained two discs, only the first disc was included in the set.

As regards to television broadcasts, the film airs occasionally across the United States on networks such as TNT. 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
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

 also began to show the film, specifically during the days leading up to the 82nd Academy Awards
82nd Academy Awards
The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences , honored the best films of 2009 and took place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. The ceremony was scheduled well after...

.

3-D conversion and 2012 re-release


During the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, Cameron announced that Titanic was in the process of being converted into 3-D
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

 for a theatrical re-release; he estimated that it would take six months to a year to do it right, and initially felt that it would be ready at some point in 2011. "We've tested it, seen a couple of minutes converted. It looks spectacular. But it really requires the filmmaker to be involved to make sure that the Stereo Space decisions are made correctly," he said. In March 2010, he set a spring 2012 release date, which was later confirmed through Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

 in May 2011; the studio said the film is set to be re-released on April 6, 2012, which is both the 100th anniversary year of the sailing of the ship and of Paramount Pictures.

In October 2011, it was revealed that there will be an opportunity to see Titanic in a pristine new digital 2D and 2D IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 versions coming off the new 4K
4K resolution
4K is an emerging standard for resolution in digital film and computer graphics. The name comes from its approximately 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution. The fact that it describes the horizontal resolution is contrary to the standard resolutions 720p and 1080p, which represent the number of...

 Master
Master recording
A multitrack recording master tape, disk or computer files on which productions are developed for later mixing, is known as the multi-track master, while the tape, disk or computer files holding a mix is called a mixed master.It is standard practice to make a copy of a master recording, known as...

created in the process.

External links