Although Titanic is based on the real-life sinking of the ship and even added some real-life characters, not everything in the movie actually happened, and Cameron had to either change, add, or embellish some details to fit the story he wanted to tell. Here’s how much of James Cameron’s Titanic is real.
The Sultana, with a legal capacity of 376, was overloaded with Union soldiers recently freed from Confederate prisons in Alabama and Georgia. They were trying to get home to the Midwest after a long march to Vicksburg to board the ship. About 1,400 people died in the disaster, said Louis Intres, a retired history professor from Arkansas State University. “We know over 2,200 were aboard the steamboat,” Intres said. By comparison, about 1,500 people died on the Titanic, a British ocean liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912. Intres said the Sultana was about 1/14th the size of the Titanic.
Historical based movies or television series are often matched with the history they depict. Historical fiction is where historical events or people are present but the actual story is fiction. Herman Wouk’s Winds of War is an excellent example. The journey of the Henry family was fictional though set during the events of World War II.
James Cameron’s Titanic is a great movie, won numerous awards, and still gets praise today. The central characters were fictional but took place on the Titanic. Cinema Blend took a look at the movie and compared it to what really happened. They found it was mostly accurate but not completely. Jack and Rose were fictional but most of the supporting characters on the ship resembled their historical counterparts. Cinema Blend notes adding this made the story telling better especially in the case of Ida and Eva Strauss holding hands.
Other things such as the barricades or guns being fired were more conjuncture than real. Yet they provided emotional drama for the movie, which is why they were there. The key to remember is that filmmakers will tinker with historical details for a variety of reasons. In really bad ones they shift a lot of things around for drama rather than historical accuracy.
For instance Scarlet and Black, a 1983 miniseries, was based on the real life exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty helped allied prisoners of war (and others) in Rome during World War II. But it strayed quite a bit from the historical source material it was based on for entertainment purposes. So while highly entertaining, much of the telling was altered.
In this case Cameron stayed more or less with history when it mattered. And let Jack and Rose be exactly who they were in the movie about their fictional love story.
1. Premier Exhibitions Asks Court For More Time To File Reorganization Plan (Bankruptcy Court News, 3 Oct 2016)
Premier Exhibitions has petitioned the court to allow it to extend the period to file a reorganization plan under Chapter 11 to 17 Jan 2017. “Under the circumstances of these cases, a premature termination of exclusivity would deny the Debtors a meaningful opportunity to negotiate and propose a confirmable plan and would be antithetical to the paramount objectives of Chapter 11. Termination of exclusivity at this point in time could have the undesirable effect of encouraging the development of competing multiple plans that could lead to unwarranted confrontations, litigation, and administrative expenses.” To cut to the chase of all the fancy legal wording, it means if they do not get the extended time other plans may emerge. Which sort of hints that there might be some other plan out there they want to head off.
2. For those on the Netflix service, your long wait has ended. James Cameron’s Titanic is coming to Netflix this month. At least for those in the U.S. Of course you could purchase it and never have to worry when it shows up on one of the online streaming services.
3. It is officially Halloween season here at Titanic News Channel. Our staff is up for the occasion. The mummy has come out its sleeping chamber to render some scares to kids in the area. Our old friend Headless is planning his usual evening strolls with pumpkin in hand looking for someone’s head. A few fluttering ghosts have been seen as well. We have classic zombies (not the Romero version) wandering about as well and quite possibly Frankenstein and Count Dracula as well. The stores are well stocked with Halloween candy to the rafters. Sadly Halloween is on a Monday this year. And with all the political correctness nonsense, even saying Happy Halloween in some schools is not only discouraged but banned. All the more reason for many parents to band together, invite the little kids over, and have their own Halloween event.
Yesterday I wrote about how North Korea rigidly controls access to foreign media by banning them completely. Of course it has resulted in a large black market for western movies. Russia, which has slipped back into Czarist autocracy,now wants to ban foreign films that demonizes Russia or shows it in a bad light. The ministry has taken over all film funding causing problems with joint productions with foreign partners. The notion of limiting foreign movies shown in Russia has been around for a while but now, thanks to anti-Western sentiment, it probably will become law.
Supposedly only new movies being distributed would be subject to these new controls, older movies especially those on an approved list would have no problem. Star Wars (the original and none of the sequels or prequels)is okay. James Cameron’s Titanic makes the cut as well. Not surprisingly the pro-Beijing The Last Emperor also makes the cut. Others from Hollywood include: Apocalypse Now,Citizen Kane, Cabaret,Bambi, Gone With The Wind, and Scarface. The Japanese film The Seven Samurai also makes the cut along with other movies from Europe and Hungary amongst others.
The purpose, of course, is to bully the major film companies into portraying Russia if nothing else in a positive light. They probably will like movies that show how bad things were under the Czars or how Bonaparte and Hitler were driven from Russian soil. They will likely not care for pro-Western anti-communist movies that paint them in not so favorable a light. Or ones that depict Stalin as a mass murderer instead of saving Russia from the Nazi barbarism. Or ones that show them taking over many Eastern European nations after World War II and putting in place friendly (read communist) governments.
If history is an example, the Hollywood moguls will play ball. They did so for Nazi Germany during the 1930’s and today do the same for Communist China (which is why you rarely see movies critical of that regime since they will not allow them to be shown there). But perhaps things have changed because of what is going on in the Ukraine. At least for now Titanic is allowed but of course that can change, if like the old days, when the minister has to blow his nose and has a change of heart.
I came across an interesting story in The St. Petersburg Times where a group of wealthy Orthodox are hoping to get Hollywood to produce movies featuring Russia. The one being promoted is the life of 14th-century Turko-Mongol conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlane the Great. More interesting is what Andrei Poklonsky states:”Long before the discovery of America, we had a great civilization. At the end of the 14th century this was under threat. Tamerlane’s invincible army of 200,000 soldiers was set to plough through our lands of only 35,000 fighters. There was seemingly no chance for us, but after the whole country prayed for deliverance, the Mother of God told Tamerlane in a dream to retreat. Faith saved our country.” Apparently some in Hollywood are interested. And supports exactly what the Russian Culture Ministry wants to promote. (Source:Orthodox Philanthropists Planning to Finance Russian-Themed Blockbusters in Hollywood,29 Aug 2014, St Petersburg Times)
Titanic Film Helps Kid Realize North Korea Is Not A Good Place To Live
When Park Yeon-mi was nine years old, a friend’s mother was executed in public for lending a South Korean movie to a friend. North Korea enforces strict rules about viewing foreign media on its soil. Bollywood and Russian movies got you jail while American and South Korean movies got you killed. Despite crackdowns, Park says there is large interest in foreign movies and music. And it opens people’s eyes to a lot of things. In her case, reports The Guardian, James Cameron’s Titanic gave her a window on the outside world.
No one is terribly surprised to learn how rigid North Korea controls its media. No dissent is allowed, no questions of policy. They do not want people to become envious of what other countries have but a large black market for foreign films and music challenges that authority. Park says that everything in the media is about the leader from books to television to films. Pirated movies smuggled through China were not cheap and as expensive as a large bag of rice. So people developed a system of swapping. A friend might have a copy of Snow White and she had James Bond, they would swap. She loves romantic movies and apparently love stories are banned.
Cameron’s Titanic showed a guy giving his life for his gal, something unheard of in North Korea. She wondered why love stories were banned. Why did the regime try to prevent expressions of love? What also shocked her was that though the story takes place in 1912, the level of development is higher than North Korea.
“The other shocking thing about that movie was that it was set 100 years ago, and I realised that our country is in the 21st century and we still haven’t reached that level of development,” she said.
That is a pretty telling statement about what is going on inside the very secretive North Korea. Despite claiming itself to be a modern form of Marxism, it really is a stagnated country that has grown very little except in the government and military sectors. So many today are turning to pirated media to find out what is outside. And she believes the pirated media has changed her generation and quietly North Korea forever. Foreign media exposes them to other ideas and concepts making them wonder why they do not have them there. And it also is resulting in many seeing the benefits of capitalism.
Park says she believes young North Koreans can, and will, bring real change to their country. She says she hopes to one day return to a reformed North Korea, where people will enjoy wealth, freedom and love. “All the foreign movies we saw about love affected me and my generation,” she said. “Now we no longer want to die for the regime, we want to die for love.”
And that is exactly why the Old Guard bans such media and knows once people become aware of what they can become, their days are numbered.