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Big and Small screen

Titanic used as a theme for films and TV programmes

Most of the world were introduced to Titanic through the James Cameron directed 1997 film Titanic staring, starring Bernard Hill, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Leonardo Di Caprio & Victor Garber The title track from the film was sung by Celine Dion. A fictitious romantic film telling the story of a 100-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukator telling the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, & Titanic treasure seekers Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell, and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh discovery ship about her life set back on April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when the young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Cal Hockley. Meanwhile, a chancer and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game of cards. Rose explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning.

Milvina Dean told us that she was “rediscovered” as a survivor after the Titanic film came out”. The film although based on facts was nothing like similar TV and movie films based on the Titanic story and in some cases the link was very dubious.

Titanic (1953) -- Barbara Stanwyck played an immigrant mother escaping from her disliked husband (Clifton Webb) hoping for a new life in America, but she ends up on the wrong boat. This for years was the most applauded version of the 1912 tragedy, winning an Academy Award for best screenplay. Also nominated that year for art direction (including a 20-foot model of the ship used for the big finale!). The obligatory big-name cast featured Robert Wagner, Richard Basehart, Thelma Ritter and Brian Aherne.

A Night to Remember (1958) -- This film version of the Titanic disaster was based on the novel of the same title by Walter Lord. In its day, British releases were considered foreign properties, so the film was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe as best foreign film and made the top 5 list of foreign films honoured by the National Board of review. David McCallum (Ilya Kuryakin on The Man from U.N.C.L.E. years later) and future James Bond babe Honor Blackman (Goldfinger) headlined the cast. Kraft Television Theatre also turned Lord's novel into a 1956 teleplay that was so popular that it was re-broadcast only five weeks later.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) -- Debbie Reynolds had one of the best roles of her career as a backwood girl who becomes a woman of high society and even survives the Titanic, thanks to her strong character. Based on the Broadway musical by Meredith Willson (The Music Man). The Titanic incident occupied only a minor portion of screen time, but Reynolds’ portrayal made it “the film to see” and many of the audience went a second and third time to see the film. Nominated for six Academy Awards, including best actress, and five technical achievements.

S.O.S. Titanic (1979) -- TV-movie version of the disaster, with a documentary feel that was undermined by all of the famous television stars in the cast, including David Janssen, Susan St. James and Cloris Leachman. British actors David Warner (The Omen) and Helen Mirren (The Madness of King George, The Queen) added the British touch.

Raise the Titanic (1980) -A Fantasy about the Titanic emerging from its watery grave 70 years later, with the fate of the free world on the line. Oscar winners Jason Robards and Alec Guinness starred. Based on a bestseller by Clive Cussler, it like its subject- heading sank at the box office!

Titanic (1996) -- This NBC telefilm earned great viewing figures for part one, but ratings severely dropped for part two, indicating that audiences weren't interested enough to stick around for the special effects. George C. Scott played his part weird and proud as the ship's captain on his final voyage before retirement. The usual subplots provided opportunities to such actors as Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Peter Gallagher (While You Were Sleeping), Eva Marie Saint (On the Waterfront) and American sitcom darling Marilu Henner.

No Greater Love (1996) -- Blockbuster author Danielle Steel’s book turned into film staring Kelly Rutherford, Chris Sarandon, Daniel Hugh Kelly, the main character Edwina Winfield (Rutherford) loses her parents and fiancé in the Titanic disaster; she carries the responsibility of raising her three younger siblings and taking over the reins at her father's newspaper.

Chambermaid (On The Titanic) (1997) -- Cuca Canals and director Bigas Luna (Jamon, Jamon) adapted Didier Decoin's novel, winner of the Goncourt Prize, for this period film, a Spanish-French-Italian co-production. French foundry worker Horty (Oliver Martinez), married to Zoe (Romane Bohringer), wins a competition of strength. His prize is a trip to witness the Titanic's launch from Southampton. At his hotel room, Marie (Aitana, Sanchez-Gijon) tells him that she is a Titanic chambermaid with nowhere to stay she stays in his room. When Horty awakes, she's gone. Later, he spots a photographer taking her picture and buys the photograph. Horty returns to France, where he hears rumours that his wife Zoe has been sleeping with her foundry boss. After a drinking session friends find the photo of Marie, they ask him about her, and he begins to fabricate a tale -- seen in flashbacks -- of his encounters with Marie, a story which changes nightly as he retells it night after night with increasing embellishments. Southampton scenes were actually filmed in Trieste.

Titanic II 2010 -- On the 100th anniversary of the original voyage, a modern luxury liner christened "Titanic 2," follows the path of its namesake. But when a tsunami hurls an ice berg into the new ship's path, the passengers and crew must fight to avoid a similar fate.

Staring Shane Van Dyke, Marie Westbrook, Bruce Davison, Brooke Burns.

In addition to these films, the Titanic has made a cameo appearance in at least four other films or television programs. Noel Coward's Oscar-winning Cavalcade (1932) included newlyweds on a ship's deck. When they move away, a Titanic life preserver can be seen. The premiere of the sci-fi series The Time Tunnel sent stars James Darren and Robert Colbert back to the fateful voyage. Lady Bellamy of the London Weekend Television series Upstairs, Downstairs was killed in the tragedy.

One of the time-travel stops made by the Time Bandits of Terry Gilliam's 1981 fantasy was aboard the ship, and the vessel made a trip down Manhattan streets in Ghostbusters II.

For a Christmas special the BBC used Titanic loosely as the back drop for the Dr Who Christmas offering 2007 at the end of the last episode of the third series finale "Last of the time Lords", the TARDIS collided with the Titanic. To investigate further, the Doctor runs the TARDIS's self-repair programme and boards the Titanic, where he discovers that the "ship" is an “interstellar cruiser” (space ship) from the planet Sto. Modelled based on the Titanic the space ship was orbiting present-day Earth to observe "primitive cultures"—specifically, Christmas. Doctor Who was played by David Tennant, the guest artist playing Astrid was Kylie Minogue. Who is Astrid? She was a waitress aboard the ill-fated vessel Titanic! 'Astrid' is an anagram of TARDIS and the Captain of the Titanic was played by Geoffrey Palmer. The Ship is a “Spaceship” (Titanic flying through space!!!) The story the R.M.S. Titanic crashes through the walls of the TARDIS console room just as it is falling apart. Who or what could have caused the collision? Kylie Minogue, the singer/actress had a major lead role in the hour-long episode. The Doctor finds that time is being manipulated by aliens called Porgs and he gets the help of the young waitress aboard the Titanic. The Titanic is about to leave on its maiden voyage.

There is no doubt that families of all ages were first introduced to the story of Titanic by the 1997 film and if that started their quest to discover and explore the true story that can only be commended however we will leave this section with the words from Milvina Dean

“The disaster and anything relating to it should not take away the fact The Titanic was a tragedy which tore so many families apart I lost my father and he lies on that wreck. I think it is disrespectful to make entertainment of such a tragedy”.

We will let the reader decide themselves.




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