Titanic on Film

Even after a century, the public is still fascinated by first (and final) voyage of the RMS Titanic.  Over the years, books, plays and movies have brought these events to life.  Here are a few:

Cavalcade (1933)-based on a Noel Coward play, Cavalcade follows the lives of a London family over the course of 30 years.  Some of the characters eventually find themselves on the fateful voyage.  This film won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Titanic (1943)-made during the height of World War II this film gives us a look at German Propaganda, with German characters as the heroes and British and Americans as the villains.

Titanic (1953)-This lavish Hollywood production stars Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck as an estranged society couple.  Robert Wagner charms their daughter (Audrey Dalton). Thelma Ritter as a Molly Brown-like socialite.  This slick production is pretty impressive for 1950s special effects.

A Night to Remember (1958)-Based on Walter Lord’s 1955 book, this British production is considered a more accurate depiction of events.  Kenneth More stars as Second Officer Charles Lightoller leading a casts of little known players.  Second and Third Classes are realistically portrrayed.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)-Debbie Reynolds stars as Margaret “Molly” Tobin, a Colorado country girl who marries Johnny Brown (Harve Presnell).  When he builds a fortune in gold and silver mining, Molly becomes the toast of society, but never loses her backwoods ways.  Of course, surviving the Titanic’s sink has secured her place in history.

S.O.S. Titanic (1979)-This made-for-TV movie proves that you can still tell a compelling story with a very limited budget.  David Janssen stars as John Jacob Astor, Cloris Leachman as Molly Brown, and Ian Holm as J. Bruce Ismay.

Raise the Titanic! (1980)-Based on a novel by Clive Cussler, this adventure film follows various attempts to raise the wreckage to obtain a valuable shipment thought lost in the sinking.  Notorious for it’s huge budget and dismal box office returns.

Titanic (1996)-Another television production of the infamous voyage.  Peter Gallagher and Catherine Zeta-Jones as passengers, George C. Scott as Captain Smith and Marilu Henner as Molly Brown.  Notable for the inclusion of the doomed Allison Family. 

Titanic (1997)-Everyone knows director James Cameron’s epic tale of Titanic’s eventful journey.  Kate Winslet stars as a young socialite charmed by starving artist Leonardo DiCaprio.  Even those who haven’t seen this film are familiar with the characters, quotes and images of this Best Picture winner.

Downton Abbey (2010-)-This accalaimed British series focuses on the aristocratic Crawley family on their vast country estate.  The news of Titanic’s sinking sets the storylines in motion.

Titanic (2012)-This British-Canadian miniseries blends fictional with historic characters.  It will air in the United States on April 14 & 15th on ABC.

What is your favorite Titanic movie?

  • Jay Lo

    Good article! I would have to say that my favorite has been the Titanic from 1997. I’ve watched this dozens of times, and it never gets old. I’ve tried to find these other movies listed a few times, but I’m not having any luck. I’ve been able to watch Titanic all the time using my Sling adapter. This will let me stream right to my iPad when I’m on the run which is an awesome feature I’ve come to enjoy. I’ve been able to watch more TV now than before which offers the flexibility I need. I’m glad my coworker from DISH told me about this option.