Rick Thompson

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I may just blind buy this one. I love both A Night to Remember and Cameron’s Titanic. I’ve heard good things about this one before, so I’ll bite.
Then you have the 1953 Titanic, directed by Charles Brackett and starring Clifton Webb , Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Thelma Ritter, Brian Aherne, Audrey Dalton and Richerd Basehart.
 

Tino

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Then you have the 1953 Titanic, directed by Charles Brackett and starring Clifton Webb , Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Thelma Ritter, Brian Aherne, Audrey Dalton and Richerd Basehart.
Ugh! My least favorite of all the Titanic films. An over dramatic soap opera set aboard the Titanic. And it won the Oscar for screenplay!:eek:
 

Jack P

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I watched "SOS Titanic" when it first aired in 1979. I still have a 1987 TBS recording of the original cut on VHS that I've never been able to properly transfer to DVD due to tracking issues on the playback machine. The theatrical cut I've always found to be useless from a watching standpoint so I am very happy Kino Lorber went the extra mile to locate and secure the TV cut. The commentary track is on the theatrical cut because it was recorded before the TV cut was found (it was under the control of Disney according to the person who recorded the commentary track, in a post made at a Titanic forum).

"SOS Titanic" is a solid #2 behind "A Night To Remember" for best Titanic production ever. The only thing that it falls short in is its failure to acknowledge the presence of the Californian (the Titanic Historical Society, which consulted on the project was at the time noted for being heavily on the "Lordite" side of the issue which takes an opposite view from the traditional interpretation we see play out in ANTR that faults Captain Lord of the Californian for his inaction). OTOH this is the *only* Titanic production that even mentions the ship's near-collision with the liner New York when leaving Southampton (referred to in a voiceover). It's always been mind-boggling that even with CGI, this incident has never been depicted in later productions. Some have faulted the fact that Lawrence Beesley is given a near, but non-romance with a fictional passenger in Susan Saint James, but they don't cross the line IMO and it was necessary for Beesley to have someone to talk to and let him verbally express things he wrote down in his post-disaster book "The Loss of the Titanic".

"SOS Titanic", like ANTR also succeeds because it isn't cluttering up the narrative with fictional stories. Only the 1953 "Titanic" ever did this successfully (I do like the film) but that was mostly because it had the strength of old-fashioned Hollywood production standards and some great performances by Barbara Stanwyck etc. I'm also more forgiving of it because it was made before the publication of ANTR brought more of the real history back into the forefront.

OTOH, *every* Titanic production that has followed "SOS Titanic" has been awful (I make one exception for the 1997 Broadway musical which I saw four times and loved). The 1996 CBS miniseries with Catherine Zeta-Jones and George C. Scott gets one point for a haunting musical theme and being the first to depict the story of the Allisons, but it's fictional stories are awful, it botches a LOT of the real history (Thomas Andrews, one of the most important figures in the story was not depicted. This was done I'd note in a script rewrite) and it also give us a horrible scene of a demonic steward from hell raping a steerage woman. Cameron.....don't get me started. I hated that film with a raging passion for its awful script and its sacrificing of real history for the sake of a horrible story rooted in some of the worst cliches imaginable (and they don't even let us see Maggie Brown talk back to Quartermaster Hitchens!). And then we had the 2012 ITV miniseries that tries to do the story like "Lost" (mutiple replays of scenes from different perspectives) and gives us the most ludicrous group of fictional characters while getting the real history even more wrong than the 1996 production did.

This will be a great moment in that the only feature-length Titanic drama not released on Blu-Ray to my knowledge would be the 1929 "Atlantic" (which had a low-budget DVD release). About the only other significant thing left I can think of would be a quality restoration (with the Live Feed process) of the 1956 Kraft Theatre production of "A Night To Remember" which only circulates in fairly low quality copies. (Titanic related TV episodes are for the most part accounted for on DVD with "One Step Beyond", "The Time Tunnel", "Night Gallery" and "Voyagers" which utilized the unused sinking footage shot for "Raise The Titanic")
 
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Tino

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I thought the Titanic musical was the worst Broadway show I have ever seen. Unmemorable in every way I thought. And I’ve seen many. One time was too many.
 
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Randy Korstick

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I grew up a huge disaster movie fan in the 70's and watched all the theatrical disaster movies and the made for TV movies so I am sure I probably watched this but I don't remember it. I will be buying this. I had the 1996 tv movie of Titanic on Laserdisc and liked it but haven't seen it for 22 years. I have liked all the versions of Titanic except for the 1953 version which is watchable but nothing great. The bar was set low for future Titanic movies.
 
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David_B_K

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While I like ANTR the best, I do like the 1953 version. Clifton Webb gives a great performance at the end, and I think most people's memory of the ship sinking while the people sing "Nearer My God, to Thee" is from that film. It uses the melody most of us are familiar with (unlike ANTR).
 

Jack P

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To each their own. The Broadway musical was a classic for me with a glorious score that well-deserved its Best Musical Tony, and Cameron's movie was a piece of overrated junk that I wouldn't ever want to sit through again with its awful cliche-ridden fictional story (as bad as if not worse than the junk in the 96 CBS miniseries and the 2012 ITV one). I would rather have a better-written fictional story with less accurate sets as the 1953 film is than be forced to watch Cameron again. IF anything, his realistic sets only called more attention to how bad his fictional story was.
 
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Tino

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The Broadway musical was a classic for me with a glorious score that well-deserved its Best Musical Tony,
Ugh. I Can’t remember one song. By far the worst production I’ve ever seen. It’s a amateur classroom play compared to Cameron’s epic film. Is there a Titanic Musical thread so we can continue there? Don’t want to break my own rule here.

Edit. Just did a search and no thread exists. Big surprise. ;)
 

john a hunter

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Is this the version shot on the Queen Mary at Longbeach pretending to be the Titanic?
Only saw a bit on TV once and the Cunard colours on the funnels instead of those of White Star stood out like dog's balls.
 
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bujaki

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Since the film Atlantic (1929) was mentioned, I'll only add that I saw the print that Bill Everson showed one evening, and although it was directed by the great German director EA Dupont, this was his first sound film, and all I remember of that excruciating experience was one of the characters saying: Weeeee arrrrrre siiiiiiiinkkkkkkiiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg."
Said straight into the microphone and with clear and slow diction so that every nuance would be picked up. All the dialogue was delivered that way. I felt like I was drowninnnnnnnnng.
 

Jack P

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That wasn't something they could avoid unless they were supposed to repaint the funnels for those shots. GIven the limitations of a 1970s budget, utilizing the only existing luxury liner that comes anywhere close to the era of the Titanic was a smart move on their part.
 

Tino

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That wasn't something they could avoid unless they were supposed to repaint the funnels for those shots. GIven the limitations of a 1970s budget, utilizing the only existing luxury liner that comes anywhere close to the era of the Titanic was a smart move on their part.
And I believe the funnels were the correct color in the effects shots.

Most of the exterior scenes were filmed aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Even though the Queen Mary resembles the Titanic in a generic sense, one noticeable difference between the two liners is the color of the funnels. The Queen Mary's funnels are 'Cunard Red' (a deep reddish-orange hue) with black bands, while the Titanic's were 'White Star buff' (a creamy yellow tone) and not banded. This obviously could not be helped when filming scenes on-deck aboard the Queen Mary, where the banded orange funnels are prominently visible. However, the visual FX shots of the Titanic model, including the colorized footage from A Night To Remember (1958), as well as the Boat Deck set seen during the sinking scenes, show the Titanic's funnels in the proper yellow color. (In addition, the Queen Mary has three funnels where the Titanic had four, but this is not apparent from any shots in the film.)

 
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Tino

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Here are the special features for S.O.S Titanic.


Special Features:
-Brand New 4K Restoration (Theatrical Cut)
-Brand New HD Master (TV Cut)
-NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Evgueni Mlodik
-Titanic 1943 Theatrical Trailer
-Original 1912 Newsreel
-A Tour of the Olympic - Titanic Sister Ship
-Reversible Art
-Trailers
-Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
-Optional English Subtitles
 
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Jack P

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Mlodik posted this at a Titanic forum.

"Sadly, my commentary track is on the theatrical version of the film because it was completed before Kino managed to locate the full television print...... All I know is that ultimately it turned out the uncut version was owned by Disney of all things (which actually makes sense, since it originally aired on ABC), which is probably where the issues stemmed from. I assume that the problem with the extended cut was not that it was "missing," but that previous video distributors were too lazy to jump through hoops with Disney to license the full version. It was much easier to license the shorter theatrical edition with Studio Canal, who currently holds the rights to EMI's library of films. EMI held the theatrical rights to the film before it went belly up, while ABC held the television rights. Eventually Disney bought ABC and EMI was dissolved and its films were acquired by Studio Canal, which is why the rights for S.O.S. Titanic are all over the place."
 

Tino

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Mlodik posted this at a Titanic forum.

"Sadly, my commentary track is on the theatrical version of the film because it was completed before Kino managed to locate the full television print...... All I know is that ultimately it turned out the uncut version was owned by Disney of all things (which actually makes sense, since it originally aired on ABC), which is probably where the issues stemmed from. I assume that the problem with the extended cut was not that it was "missing," but that previous video distributors were too lazy to jump through hoops with Disney to license the full version. It was much easier to license the shorter theatrical edition with Studio Canal, who currently holds the rights to EMI's library of films. EMI held the theatrical rights to the film before it went belly up, while ABC held the television rights. Eventually Disney bought ABC and EMI was dissolved and its films were acquired by Studio Canal, which is why the rights for S.O.S. Titanic are all over the place."
That’s unfortunate.
 

Jack P

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As long as we're getting the TV cut, I'm okay. A commentary track on the theatrical cut at least means I don't have to watch the theatrical cut by itself but only for the commentary track.
 
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Jack P

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42 minutes. One scene in the theatrical cut is slightly longer than the TV cut. The TV cut is framed in a flashback format beginning with the Carpathia picking up the distress signal and finding the survivors and then dissolves back to the beginning of the voyage. It ends back aboard the Carpathia. The theatrical cut presents everything in a linear fashion.
 

James Luckard

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I'm excited to see both cuts of SOS Titanic at last.

I grew up watching an old VHS of it, which I believe was a third cut. It definitely had the framing device, but when I looked it up on Google Image, I saw the packaging shows it was 98 mins, shorter than even the European theatrical cut.

This is the VHS I'm talking about, I vaguely remember renting it from the video store multiple times, and I'm 99% sure it had the framing device:



On the other hand, I clearly remember all the "deleted scenes" from the ABC airing which are on YouTube.

Perhaps I saw the longer cut on TV?

Does anyone know what this 98 min cut consists of? I never owned the VHS, I only ever rented it.
 

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