……BY BILLY SUTER……
CAN you believe a quarter of a century has whizzed by since the release of James Cameron’s epic Titanic, which still holds the record (along with 1959’s Ben-Hur and 2003’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) for the winner of the most Oscar awards, a total of 11?
To commemorate the 25th anniversary, a remastered version of Titanic will be released to cinemas on February 10 – in 3D 4K HDR and high-frame rate.
Titanic took Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Original Dramatic Score, Best Original Song (My Heart Will Go On), Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects.
In addition, the film has the accolade of being the first Best Picture Academy Award winner to be produced, directed, written and edited by the same person (James Cameron).
Released in 1997, Titanic became the No 1 all-time global box office champ. It is currently the third highest-grossing film worldwide.
With a cast headed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the film is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the “unsinkable” Titanic, at the time, the largest moving object ever built.
Titanic also features Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, Gloria Stuart, David Warner, Victor Garber and Bill Paxton.
The film did great box-office, but it is interesting to note that the costs of filming reached $200 million, a bit over $1 million per minute of screen time, reports Wikipedia.
Some trivia from the same site is that Cameron – who, of course, went on to make Avatar and its sequel– apparently spoke to at least 150 of the 1 000 extras and gave them names and back stories of Titanic passengers. The film contains more than 100 speaking parts.
The site also reports that, during the long initial run of the movie, Paramount Pictures had to send out replacement reels to cinemas that had literally worn out their copies.
Finally, Wikipedia reports that initially Celine Dion did not want to record the theme song, My Heart Will Go On, because she was not keen to sing another film song and didn’t like it when composer James Horner first played it to her; she disliked Horner’s singing abilities. After she was convinced by her husband, Rene Angelil, Dion evidently recorded the song in just one take, so the song that was used over the end credits and later released is actually a demo.