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5.0 out of 5 stars The Titanic 1996 (DVD)2007, 1 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: The Titanic [1996] [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Catherine Zeta Jones breathes beauty and charm into this film made for TV, and premiered on CBS USA in 1996.Her character of Mrs Parradine and her previous love affair with Wynne Park (George C Scott)unfolds as the fate of the ship unfolds.Isobella Parradine is in mourning for her socialite Aunt. The chance meeting with Wynne Park on his way to open Tin Mines in Bolivia on one of his regular crossings transforms her clothes to red and to cream, only to change them back to black with his death after the sinking.The Titanic struck an iceberg at 11.39pm on April 14 1912, and finally slipped to its resting place at 2.40 am April 15th 1912. Catherine Zeta Jones emerges as a diva of high drama as she laments his death on the deck of the rescue ship Carpathian. Fortunately for her character she is able to be reunited with her daughter (who is really Wynne Parks)and wealthy husband Eddie at pier 54, Little West Street New York.
Tim Currie in contrast plays a rougish steward, planning ways to rob the first class guests on reaching New York, and rapes a third class Danish girl on her way to be a Christian nurse. He later stows away disguised as a woman, during the women and children first protocol, with his bag of loot, only to be knocked overboard by an oar when he blows his cover. He has befriended a young thief and pick pocket, who survives due to accidentally falling into a lifeboat,this is a take on of an actual event when a 23 year old crew member jumped ship at Queenstown Ireland hidden amongst mailbags, in a 'tender' boat because of a superstitious feeling which proved correct.
It is a pity director Robert Lieberman did not have the later phorensic evidence at his disposal, as he shows Titanic sinking complete, and not with the dramatic breaking in two between the 2nd and 3rd funnels. Also, presently on this day of the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the Titanic (01/09/1985) The theory is that the Californian was further away than 19 miles, and could only have seen the misleading white flares;and likewise there is a question about whether J Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line actually overrode Captain Edward Smith's authority, and forced the engine room to maintain an unsafe speed.21 knotts was the normal cruising speed.The Captain had heeded some warnings and charted a new course, but the radio operators, employed directly by the Marconi Co. for the convenience of 1st class passengers, had actually failed to notify the Bridge of two distinct warnings of drifting ice, with the exact co-ordinates. Some evidence of inexperienced handling by the wheelhouse is bourne out, as the rudder although smaller than those fitted by Cunard (Luciana),could have turned the ship in time, if forward speed had been maintained.This was proved by the performance of the Olympic, the sister ship to the Titanic, during the first world war. Who in their right mind would deprive the eyes of the ship-the Crows Nest look out- at night, of their Binoculars. There seems to be some aggreement on this point.
The one and a half inch steel of the hull had been rendered brittle by the unusually cold conditions, and the impact caused it to buckle and pop the rivets, rather than break. Ships searching the area days later picking up the bodies of the dead, identified the iceberg from the remains of paint deposited as the Titanic scraped by. Hypothermia was the cause of most deaths in water below -2c.In those days a ship carried lifeboats according to its gross tonnage, and not according to the potential human capacity.
Apart from factual discrepencies, this film is too dark and muted in colour, as though viewed all the time through sepia lenses. It is presented as a period piece and the record of an unbeleivable disaster, which should have been a routine journey from Southampton; but if it were not for the dramas and love stories and inspirational perfomances by the likes of Catherine Zeta Jones and Tim Currie, it would be a slightly dreary affair.
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Location: Greater Manchester UK

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