Titanic - on the Screen

Titanic (1997)
Titanic (1997)
RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic

Quick Facts – RMS Titanic left Southampton, England on April 10th, 1912, her destination - New York City - it was her maiden voyage. Titanic would never reach its destination.

Titanic was 882 feet long and 175 high (from keel to top of funnels) – she weighed 46,000 tons – cost to build: $7.5m - top speed was 23 knots – Fuel: 825 tons of coal a day.

Titanic could hold up to 3,547 passengers and crew, on her fateful voyage the ship carried 2,224 passengers and crew – there were 13 honeymooning couples on board – she carried 20 lifeboats, enough for 1,178 people – there were 3,650 lifejackets on board.

Ticket prices: Third Class £3, Second Class £12, First Class £30, First Class Parlour Suite £870 (in today’s money about £50,000).

Titanic struck an iceberg at 11.40pm on April 14, she was 375 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The iceberg ripped open 5 of her 16 watertight compartments, the ship flooded with water and sunk below the waves at 2.20am on April 15, over 1000 people were still on board.

1,517 people lost their lives. It is the most famous maritime disaster in history.

Titanic 1943
Titanic 1943
Titanic 1943 poster
Titanic 1943 poster


Titanic (1943) directed by Herbert Selpin, starring Sybille Schmitz, Hans Nielsen, Kirsten Heiberg, Charlotte Thiele and Ernst Fritz Furbringer. 85mins.

The first big movie about the Titanic disaster was made in Germany during World War II, I mean what are the odds? Titanic was one of the most expensive German films ever made at the time, it's premiere had to be postponed when Allied bombing blew up the theatre preparing to show the film.

IMDB rating 6.5

Titanic 1953 poster
Titanic 1953 poster
Titanic 1953
Titanic 1953
Titanic 1953 poster
Titanic 1953 poster


Titanic (1953) directed by Jean Negulesco, starring Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Audrey Dalton, Thelma Ritter, Richard Basehart, Brian Aherne (as Capt. Smith). 98mins.

The first American movie about the disaster.

Won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and nominated for Best Art Direction.

Barbara Stanwyck found filming the end of Titanic very emotional - "I looked up at the faces lined along the rail - those left behind to die with the ship. I thought of the men and women who had been through this thing in our time. We were re-creating an actual tragedy and I burst into tears. I shook with great racking sobs and couldn't stop."

IMDB rating 7.1

A Night to Remember (1958) poster
A Night to Remember (1958) poster
A Night to Remember (1958)
A Night to Remember (1958)
A Night to Remember (1958) poster
A Night to Remember (1958) poster
A Night ot Remember (1958) lobby card
A Night ot Remember (1958) lobby card

A Night to Remember (1958) directed by Roy Ward Baker, starring Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, Honor Blackman, Robert Ayres, Anthony Bushell, Michael Goodliffe, Keneth Griffith, David McCallum and Laurence Naismith (as Capt. Smith). 123mins.

Based on the bestselling book by Walter Lord and still considered by some to be the best movie about the Titanic disaster.

A Night to Remember was the most expensive British movie of the 1950s. It won a Golden Globe Award for Best English Language Foreign Movie.

When the film extras refused to jump in the water during the sinking, the film's star Kenneth More decided to set an example and dived in, "Never have I experienced such cold in all my life. It was like jumping into a deep freeze. The shock forced the breath out of my body. My heart seemed to stop beating. I felt crushed, unable to think. I had rigor mortis, without the mortis. And then I surfaced, gasping for breath, found my voice. 'Stop!' I shouted. 'It's bloody awful! Stay where you are!'"

IMDB rating 8.0

S.O.S. Titanic (1979) poster
S.O.S. Titanic (1979) poster
S.O.S. Titanic (1979) poster
S.O.S. Titanic (1979) poster


S.O.S. Titanic (1979) directed by William Hale, starring David Janssen, Cloris Leachman, Susan Saint James, David Warner, Ian Holm, Helen Mirren, Ed Bishop and Harry Andrews (as Capt. Smith). 180mins.

A made for TV movie shown on two nights on ABC TV, it was later edited to 109mins and released to European theaters in 1980.

Many scenes were filmed on board the RMS Queen Mary.

IMDB rating 6.1

Alec Guinness in Raise the Titanic (1980)
Alec Guinness in Raise the Titanic (1980)
Raise the Titanic (1980)
Raise the Titanic (1980)
Raise the Titanic (1980) art by John Berkey
Raise the Titanic (1980) art by John Berkey

Raise the Titanic (1980) directed by Jerry Jameson, starring Jason Robards, Richard Jordan, David Selby, Anne Archer, M. Emmet Walsh and Alec Guinness. 115mins.

The American military are looking for a very rare mineral that can be used to power a sound beam which can knock out enemy missiles entering US air space. They discover that a shipment of the mineral was on board the Titanic sailing to New York in 1912.

Based on the best-selling novel by Clive Cussler.

Raise the Titanic was a disaster of its own making, costing an estimated $40m, one of the most expensive movies ever made, it grossed just $7m in the U.S.

The giant model of the Titanic used at the climax was 55ft long and cost a staggering $5m to build.

The producer Lew Grade quipped about the cost that it would have been cheaper to "lower the Atlantic".

IMDB rating 4.3

Titanic (1996 TV)
Titanic (1996 TV)


Titanic (1996) directed by Robert Lieberman, starring Peter Gallagher, George C. Scott (as Capt. Smith), Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eva Marie-Saint, Tim Curry, Roger Rees, Harley Jane Kozak and Barry Pepper. 173mins.

A TV mini-series shown on two nights. It was rushed into production to cash in on the hype over James Cameron's movie.

The two-part series was full of historical inaccuracies listed in detail at Wikipedia.

IMDB rating 6.0

Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron on the set of Titanic (1997)
Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron on the set of Titanic (1997)
Leo and Kate in Titanic (1997)
Leo and Kate in Titanic (1997)
Titanic (1997)
Titanic (1997)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997)
Titanic (1997)
Titanic (1997)

Titanic (1997) directed by James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, David Warner, Victor Garber, Jonathan Hyde, Suzy Amis, Bernard Hill (as Capt. Smith). 194mins.

Titanic, along with Ben-Hur (1959) and Return of the King (2003) have each won 11 Oscars, more than any other film. Titanic's Oscar Awards were for Best Picture, Best Director (James Cameron), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Music (James Horner), Best Song ("My Heart Will Go On"), Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Editing, Best Costume Design and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Supporting Actress (Gloria Stuart) and Best Make Up.

Titanic cost a massive $200m to make and many people in the industry thought James Cameron had gone loopy spending so much money on a film about the Titanic disaster, they predicted that it would be a colossal failure, the biggest disaster in film history.

Instead the film opened at no.1 in the charts in December 1997 and stayed no.1 for months and months and months eventually the film grossed $600m in the U.S. and a jaw-dropping $1.8 billion worldwide. Becoming the most successful film of all time. An all-time record beaten by Cameron's next film, Avatar in 2009 (which grossed a mind-blowing $2.8 billion worldwide).

Titanic was re-released in 2012 converted for 3D. The conversion to 3D cost $18m and took 60 weeks to produce.

IMDB rating 7.5

Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)
Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)

Ghosts of the Abyss (2003) directed by James Cameron, starring Bill Paxton as himself. 59mins.

A documentary featuring Cameron and a group of scientists travelling down to the wreck of the the Titanic in deep sea submersibles.

It was the first Walt Disney movie produced in 3D, premiering at IMAX screens.

Ghosts of the Abyss cost $13m to make and has grossed $22.1m wordwide.

IMDB rating 6.8

Titanic (2012 TV)
Titanic (2012 TV)

Titanic (2012) directed by Jon Jones, starring Linus Roache, Celia Imrie, Toby Jones, James Wilby, Steve Waddington, Geraldine Somerville, Peter McDonald, Ruth Bradley and David Calder (as Capt. Smith).

A TV miniseries in four parts of 45mins each.

Produced to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Shot entirely on Digital Video.

IMDB rating 4.8

Titanic (1997) poster
Titanic (1997) poster

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Comments 14 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Very nicely done....although I have to admit that I have only seen two of the movies you list....Titanic and A Night To Remember. Time flies....hard to believe 100 years since the wreck and hard to believe it has been 15 years since Cameron's Titanic set sail as well.

Titanic was an amazing movie to watch in the theaters, especially the last half of the movie and should be even better in 3D.

Looking at the IMDB ratings you included....it looks like Raise the Titanic is one to avoid..even with great Sir Alec in the movie. The best bit of trivia in the hub? To me it is how the premiere of 1943's Titanic had to be postponed when Allied bombing blew up the theatre preparing to show the film.

Voted up and interesting.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Bruce, appreciate the comment amigo. Haha I had to add that bit of trivia, they dropped bombs on the theater about to show Titanic, maybe it was a sign? That the film would bomb? :)

I just watched, or sort of watched Raise the Titanic while writing this hub. John Barry's music is the best thing about it. The model of the Titanic looks great but the process shots of it being pulled into New York look bad even by 1980 standards.

I've been waiting for Cameron's Titanic to make it to Blu-ray, where is it? This is the year to release it.

Documentaries on the tragedy every day here on TV Bruce, can't escape it. There was even a documentary about the iceberg that sunk the Titanic would you believe! Talking about the infamous murderous iceberg for chrissakes! :)

Thanks as always for posting.


Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

I've seen films where The Titanic was a main part of the story, but not the entire film-like The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Debbie Reynolds looking at Brown's whole life. I've seen that many times. There are others, but I won't list them.

I have seen several documentaries on the Titanic.

But as for big screen movies, I've seen two trhat you list herer.

The Barbara Stanwyck/Robert Wagner film Titanic, and

A Night To Remember. I learned more from that film than I did from any other big screen movie. I had no idea until I saw that movie that there was indeed a ship near enough to save everyone who did indeed see all Titanic's flares, but they didn't understand what they meant. They thought they were just being noisy and drawing attention to themselves, rather than sending out distress signals. A lot of rules about distress signals changed after that night.

I never knew about the miniseries that aired a year before the Kste Winslet film. I was in university and did my utmost-my closest friends and I-to avoid all the hype and not see the movie . I still haven't seen that film.

I note with some sadness that I don't know a single name of anyone in this year's miniseries-4.8. No wonder.

I note too that Alec G's Raise the Titanic got less than a 5.0 rating. for that to happen shjow show overdone this topic is. Really. Alec Guinness in a 4.3 movie? How?

The film I'm most likely to see you've mentioned here that I've yet to see is the first one in 1943-becaus eit was the first and it is over 5.0. But I'll only see it if it airs on TV. maybe TCM will air it sometime?

They've quite often aired the two films on this hub that I have seen. And I could watch A Night To Remember over and over again.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hello Flora, thanks for the comment, info and observations, good stuff!

I came close to adding The Unsinkable Molly Brown to the hub but came to my senses and decided the film was a musical and not about the sinking of the Titanic. Btw Kathy Bates played Molly Brown in Cameron's Titanic.

And I nearly added a made for video movie titled Titanic II, yep they made a stupid film with that title. the IMDB rating was 1.8 !

I'm curious to see that German film too. Ironically the German navy were busy sinking Allied ships with their U-Boats while Germans were sobbing over the tragedy of the Titanic at the cinema.

Thanks again for posting Flora.


jagsout profile image

jagsout 4 years ago from India

Release of Titanic 3D in this month is very memorable moments 4 all. It would remind the Wrecked Titanic .In April 15, 1912 Titanic had sinked in Atlantic ocean.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for the comment and info jagsout, much appreciated.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, an interesting hub and very topical at the moment! I didn't see the Cameron Titanic until it came out on video but I quite enjoyed it when I did eventually see it. I have no plans to see the 3D version either. I have seem the Lew Grade movie when it was shown on TV, I quite like his quip about 'lower the Atlantic'. Titanic seems to be something of an obsession for James Cameron I think but he did the story justice.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hi Jools, thanks for commenting. I saw Cameron's Titanic at the cinema when it first came out, it was impressive on the big screen. I felt that it was a little on the long side at 194mins. I remember at one point near the end of the film turning around and seeing everyone sniffing and wiping their eyes, the power of cinema and good storytelling. I was immune of course... ;)


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, you cold-hearted cinema goer....they were probably crying because even the biggest box of popcorn can't last 194 minutes; they were crying from hunger :o)


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Haha no I had tears in my eyes too... because I had wanted to go to the toilet hours ago. :)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

I only cried at the end when Rose only tried one time to get Jack on the door with her at the end. You would think if she loved him that much...they would have tried a second time to get both of them on the door at the same time. Was their love not worth a second chance to balance both of them?....but no Rose might have gotten colder if they tried again.....lol.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Oh you old softy... :) Yeah I wasn't sure how it ended when I went to see it but when I saw him stay in the water I knew he was doomed. You can imagine how cold it must have been with a huge iceberg nearby. Would the floating door have supported them both? I don't know. By then I was already eyeing the exit doors... oh you're so cold Steve. :)


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 4 years ago from Essex, UK

I've only seen two of the movies - 'A Night to Remember' and 'Titanic', and it's some years since I last saw 'A Night to Remember'.

As for 'Titanic' - I'd say it was good in parts. A great sinking sequence and special effects, but cardboard cutout characters (particularly Billy Zane who's so obnoxious no one would ever have had anything to do with him). And over long. How many times does Kate Winslett run up and down the stairs during the course of the sinking!? What with Jack being framed for robbery, chained up, and shot at - wasn't the sinking of Titanic dramatic enough without trying to make it even more dramatic?

Anyway Steve, good informative hub about one of the perennial favourite subjects in the movies. Voted up.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Greensleeves, appreciate the comment.

I wasn't going to do a hub on Titanic until I noticed the 10th April was the date she left Southampton 100 years ago and I quickly dropped what I was going to write next which was an artist hub and started working on Titanic,

I didn't have time to do an Illustrated Reference on the James Cameron film which I have many stills and screenshots for and so I did one on all the Titanic films. I'm already getting a lot of google views from everywhere for this hub. Titanic-mania is back for a week or so. :)

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