James Cameron's TITANIC became the first motion picture to gross more than $1 billion at the box office and was the top grossing film for 16 consecutive weeks. The soundtrack recording became the best selling instrumental movie soundtrack of all time. The book about the making of the film remained at the top of the New York Times best seller's list for several weeks. In February of 1998, TITANIC was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, phenomenally winning 11 of them, and tying the record previously set by Ben-Hur in 1950. Cameron's $200 million gamble paid off.
WINNER OF 11 ACADEMY AWARDS
Best Picture - Best Director - Best Original Dramatic Score - Best Original Song - Best Cinematography - Best Film Editing - Best Costume Design - Best Sound Effects - Best Sound Effect Editing - Best Art Direction - Best Visual Effect
Opulence and optimism are the watchwords as every department from Construction to Wardrobe participates in what can be best considered a practical exercise in time travel. At the same time, however, James Cameron spins his tale from the informed perspective of the present and gives voice to the unseen force that will ultimately lead to the era's downfall...arrogance. It is for this reason that the Titanic will endure as one of the most potent symbols of the 20th Century, more so perhaps, than either World War or the atomic bomb. For the ship was not destroyed by an iceberg alone...it was also destroyed by a state of mind.
The year is 1912 and the White Star Line's most luxurious ocean liner, the RMS Titanic, is about to set sail on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. Crewman move across the decks dwarfed by the awesome scale of the grand ship. White Star's dock swarms with activity. Most passengers are already on board and the pier is choked with onlookers, luggage, and last minute provisions arriving. A Renault stops and the liveried driver scurries to open the door for a young woman dressed in a stunning white and purple suit, with an enormous hat. She is 17 years old, regal of bearing, with piercing eyes. Her name is Rose DeWitt Bukater. Deep in debt after her father's death, her mother is forcing her to marry Caledon Hockley. "I hope that when the audience meets Rose, they'll think she is rather spoiled," shares Kate Winslet. "Then we'll come to know why she is so mysterious around Cal, because boarding the ship is very much like she is walking to her execution, really. She's a very spirited girl and has a lot to give. She wants to explore the whole world, but she knows that is never going to happen because she is engaged to Cal, and she is being pressured into his limited world of what is proper and 'acceptable'."
He is an American, a lanky drifter with his hair a bit long for the standard of the times. Unshaven and his clothes wrinkled from sleeping in them, Jack Dawson is a very self-possessed artist for the age of twenty, and has been on his own since he was 15. He wins his ticket to board Titanic at a lucky hand of poker. "I didn't really think of this film as something I would do until I realized that I was discriminating against it purely because of it's scale. For all the epic size of this production, at it's heart is a great love story," admits Leonardo DiCaprio. - James Cameron's Titanic.
TITANIC The Characters
The major characters and cast from James Cameron's TITANIC.
Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio)
Jack was a 20-year-old artist from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Orphaned at the age of 15, he worked a variety of jobs. After a stint as a logger, he came to Santa Monica, California, where he drew portraits on the pier for 10 cents apiece. Working his way from place to place on tramp steamers and similar accommodations, he went to Paris where he studied art. Subsequently, he found himself able to return to his native land in the grandest style possible for one with no money: sailing on Titanic with a ticket he won in a poker game.
Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet)
Rose was born to one of the very best families in Philadelphia, was a mere 17 years old when she became engaged to Caledon Hockley. Intelligent, poised, and beautiful, Rose had been schooled since childhood to be everything a young woman of society was expected to be. Rose's betrothal to Hockley, heir to a Pittsburgh steel fortune, was considered an admirable catch, a perfect pairing of wealth and social position. Yet her spirit rebelled against the rigid confines and expectations of Edwardian society controlling her destiny.
Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher)
Ruth is Rose's mother, and was a society empress from one of the most socially prominent families in Philadelphia. After the death of her husband, her family fell on hard times but she was determined to achieve financial salvation through her daughter's marriage to Caledon Hockley. A woman who ruled her household with an iron will, she was intolerant of Rose's rebellious nature, and found in Cal an ally in her efforts to control Rose.
Caledon Hockley (Billy Zane)
Cal was the 30-year-old scion of a wealthy Pittsburgh steel family. Handsome, self-confident, rich beyond meaning, he aspired to sophistication and insisted on propriety. He found in Rose DeWitt Bukater a suitable young woman to fill the role of wife in his aristocratic future, and he presented her to his peers with the pride of ownership, basking in others' reaction to her beauty and her pedigree. As a wedding present for her, he purchased one of the largest and most valuable diamonds in the world, the legendary blue stone once worn by Louis XVI known as the Coeur de la Mer - the Heart of the Ocean.
Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner)
Lovejoy was valet and bodyguard to Caledon Hockley. An ex-Pinkerton with a background in railroad security, his job was to keep Cal out of trouble and protect the family name. In the course of his duties, he was ready to use whatever means necessary, including the threat of physical force, to prevent anyone from interfering with his employer.
Margaret "Molly" Brown (Kathy Bates)
Molly was the wife of a Colorado mining millionaire. Intelligent though self-taught -- she spoke several languages - she was a plain-spoken woman without background in high society, who was generally shunned by the socialites of Denver as "new money". When Titanic was sinking, she was evacuated in lifeboat #6 under the command of Quartermaster Hichens. Mrs. Brown effectively took over command of the boat and persuaded the women to help with the rowing. Her heroism and selflessness during the disaster was much talked about afterwards and earned her the moniker "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
Captain Edward J. Smith (Benard Hill)
Captain Smith joined White Star Line in 1880 and remained with the company for the rest of his life. Popular with his crews as well as his passengers, Smith was widely regarded as a charming, personable officer. He became the captain of choice for many of the rich and powerful in the transatlantic set, earning the nickname "the millionaire's captain." Through most of his long career, he had never been involved, as he recounted in 1907, "in an accident of any sort worth speaking about. I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort." White Star had made it virtually a tradition to have Smith in command on the maiden voyages of its important ships. At the conclusion of Titanic's maiden voyage, Captain Smith was scheduled to retire in glory.
J. Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde)
The 50-year-old Managing Director of White Star Line, was one of the most powerful men in the shipping industry. Son of Thomas H. Ismay, who founded the line in 1869, Joseph Bruce Ismay had ascended to the management of the company with his brothers by the turn of the century. In 1902, the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan, who was buying shipping companies for his enormous International Mercantile Marine (IMM) trust, negotiated the purchase of White Star Line. J. Bruce Ismay alone of his family remained with the company. In 1907, in response to the competition posed by rival Cunard Line's new mammoth liners Lusitania and Mauretania, Ismay conceived of a trio of even larger, grander and more luxuriant ships that would re-assert White Star's dominance of the lucrative and prestigious transatlantic trade. Titanic was the second of this trio. Ismay sailed on her maiden voyage, confident that Titanic represented the triumph of his career.
Mr. Thomas Andrews (Victor Garber)
Mr. Andrews, then aged 39, was the Managing Director of Harland & Wolff Shipyards, nephew of Lord Pirrie (Harland & Wolff's chairman), and one of Titanic's main designers. A tireless workaholic, he had supervised every detail of the ship's construction and outfitting, and was the world's foremost expert on every aspect of her. He sailed on Titanic with a hand-picked team of seven experts, the Harland & Wolff "guarantee group," who spent most of the voyage trouble-shooting last-minute problems and perfecting the finishing of this, the company's greatest creation. Andrews himself brought along Titanic's complete blue-prints, and worked practically non-stop on the voyage, carrying a notebook everywhere, making notes about imperfections and ideas for improvements. He was, for instance, concerned that the coat-hooks were attached to the walls with an unsightly number of screws, which he intended to change.
Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton)
Lovett was a famed treasure hunter that was known for searching the ocean for sunken ships in an effort to discover articles of value. For several years he was obsessively after the Heart of the Ocean, funded by Dave and Barry who were pressing him for finding it. He worked alongside Lewis Bodine and Bobby Buell on the Keldysh. He had kept a "celebration cigar" for after the discovery of the necklace. His first success, the discovery of Caledon Hockley's safe proved to be a failure, until he identified a nude drawing of Rose DeWitt Bukater inside of it.
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