Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Titanic (1997 movie)
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Titanic (1997 movie)

Titanic is a 1997 dramatic movie released by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox. The bulk of the plot is set aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic during her fateful maiden voyage in 1912. The movie won 11 Academy Awards on March 23, 1998 including best picture of 1997. Titanic is the highest box office take movie in history. The 1997 film is not to be confused with the movie with the same title made in 1953.

Table of contents
1 Making the film
2 Criticism
3 Soundtrack
4 US awards
5 See also
6 External links

Making the film

The film was directed by James Cameron and starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Frances Fisher, Kathy Bates, Eric Braeden, David Warner, Danny Nucci, Gloria Stuart, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill, Bernard Fox, Ioan Gruffudd and Bill Paxton.

When this epic disaster film was not finished in time for its scheduled July 1997 release date, it sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood: studio execs began wondering if they might have another Heaven's Gate on their hands. The two releasing studios, 20th Century Fox (which handled the international distribution and actually had movie rights to the Titanic name) and Paramount Pictures (which had the U.S. rights) panicked. By the middle of 1997 Titanic had become the most costly film ever made (its reported cost hovered in the $200 million range) and the bills were still coming in. When director James Cameron finally delivered the film to Paramount, it ran over 3 hours and it was anyone's guess whether he would ever work in Hollywood again. But Cameron stood his ground and threatened edit-happy studio executives with the message: "You will cut my film over my dead body."

Moved to a crowded release date of December 19, 1997, the film opened with little promotion, but brought in a respectable $US28 million in ticket sales for the weekend. Within a week the gross tripled. By New Year's Day, the film had hit $US100 million and showed no sign of slowing down. It held a virtual lock on first place at the box office for nearly four months and would become the highest grossing film of all-time with more than $US 1.8 billion in ticket sales worldwide. Now the studio executives claim they knew all along the film would be big.

Cameron, who fought tooth and nail to finish the film, was rewarded with an Academy Award for Best Director.


On release, despite critical reservations expressed about the script, the pairing of the seemingly doomed love story between the leads and state-of-the-art special effects proved tremendously popular with both the public and the Oscar voters.

The film was criticised for its portrayal of a historical character, the ship's First Officer, William Murdoch class="external">[1. In his home town of Dalbeattie in Scotland there is a memorial to his heroism and a charitable prize has been established in his name. In the film he is portrayed as taking a bribe, shooting passengers dead and finally shooting himself. 20th Century Fox admitted they had no evidence that Murdoch did these things and contributed $8,000 to the prize fund.

Another aspect of the film, the way in which the third class passengers were completely fenced in below decks, has been described as a myth [1].


Celine Dion, who was no stranger to movie songs in the 1990s, sang My Heart Will Go On, the film's signature song written by James Horner and Will Jennings. At first, Cameron did not want a song sung over the film's credits, but Horner disagreed, and without telling Cameron, went ahead and wrote one anyway, and recorded Dion singing it. Cameron changed his mind when Horner presented what he proposed, an excellent decision, as the song won a Best Original Song Oscar. The song was also a hit worldwide, going to the top of the pop charts around the world, another stellar financial success of its own.

US awards

Titanic won Oscarss in just about every category except for the acting and screenplay categories. Titanic was nominated in 14 categories and won 11 :

  1. Art direction — Art Direction: Peter Lamont; Set Decoration: Michael Ford
  2. Cinematography — Russell Carpenter
  3. Costume Design — Deborah L. Scott
  4. DirectionJames Cameron
  5. Film Editing — Conrad Buff, James Cameron, Richard A. Harris
  6. Music (Original Dramatic Score)James Horner
  7. Music (Original Song) — "My Heart Will Go On," music by James Horner; lyric by Will Jennings
  8. Best PictureJames Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  9. Sound — Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Gary Summers, Mark Ulano
  10. Sound Effects Editing — Tom Bellfort, Christopher Boyes
  11. Visual Efects — Robert Legato, Mark Lasoff, Thomas L. Fisher, Michael Kanfer

It also received the following nominations:

  1. Best Actress in a Leading RoleKate Winslet
  2. Best Actress in a Supporting RoleGloria Stuart
  3. Best Makeup — Tina Earnshaw, Greg Cannom, Simon Thompson

See also

External links