The saga of the Titanic has captured the world's imagination for almost a century. Its story of greed, loss and survival remains as fascinating today as it did on that fateful, moonless night in April, 1912. Long before Ja... more »mes Cameron's blockbuster "Titanic," "S.O.S. Titanic" meticulously recreated the world's most lavish luxury liner and its sumptuous, gala atmosphere during the four-day journey leading to the disaster. The all-star cast includes Harry Andrews as Captain Smith, Cloris Leachman as the unsinkable Molly Brown, Susan Saint James, Ian Holm, Helen Mirren and David Warner.« less
""S.O.S Titanic", originally an ABC TV-movie from 1979, is not a prefect telling of the Titanic story but ranks far better than any other Titanic drama save "A Night To Remember" (and it is light years better than Cameron's putrid work!). The only problem is that this DVD gives us the edited version that was released theatrically in Europe and which runs more than 40 minutes shorter than what American TV audiences saw. At a three hour running time on TV, "S.O.S Titanic" could afford to spotlight many of the intriuging characters and subplots associated with the Titanic, but with 40 minutes lost in this presentation we get a much more rushed look at things that seem very incomplete at times. Why Image Entertainment didn't try to get the original TV cut for release is beyond me.There are some good performances in the presentation that haven't been topped in other productions. Ian Holm is particularly excellent as the often villainized J.Bruce Ismay, this time playing him more as a real three-dimensional figure. David Warner (who was sadly wasted 17 years later in a thankless one-dimensional role in Cameron's movie) is also the very embodiment of Lawrence Beesley, giving for the first and only time in a Titanic drama, the voice to the neglected Second Class perspective. Some Titanic buffs have objected to the not-quite romantic relationship he has with the fictional character played by Susan Saint James, but I had no problem with it because the purpose of her character was to give Beesley someone to talk to and express orally his observations about the Titanic that he would set down in his book after the sinking. All of the things they talk about are in fact taken directly from Beesley's book.Pick it up if you're interested in completing your Titanic collection, but keep hoping that a cable channel will replay the full original version some day and tape that!"
It Is Edited!
Richard J. Fuller | Terry, MS United States | 05/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie conveys the feel of ocean travel more than any of the others, including A Night To Remember, which was about the most British feeling movie.S.O.S. Titanic gives more spotlight to steerage than any of the others, and endless scenes that are absent of music, other than what would have been the tunes of the time, also makes this one effective. But scenes are cut! Scenes removed are:*The opening scene of the Carpathian rescue (several of these scenes are spliced onto the end)
*The delightful sauna scene -- "I'll give you, 'Sheharrazade'!"
*Yes, the boot shine lads are deleted!
*Mrs. Harris' fall down the stairs and her standing ovation when she next enters with a cast on her arm (for the record, this did indeed happen, her fall and the cast. I don't know about the ovation).*The steerage sing along of "Isn't she grand, boys? Isn't she grand?"*Beesley observes the snoozing librarian and quips "there I sit thirty or forty years on." *When Beesley jumps to the lifeboat, Fred Barrett asks him why he has his night clothes still with him in his hand, and Beesley laughingly replied "I don't know. I don't know."*The sinking was longer (I recorded it off onto an audiotape years ago and still have it)*Mrs. Astor's weeping scene was longer. It's cut here.Thankfully we do get to see young Mr. Long and his companion, I believe, Jack Thayer, who had both been spying on the ladies sauna, when they jump off the ship.We also see our boot shine lads debating prayer. "YOu a Catholic? Me neither. What difference does it make now?" It seems like there was also a longer stretch of a steerage dance that was removed.The movie is inaccurate in stating that Fireman Fred Barrett perished. It was Fred Barrett who was manning the lifeboat that Laurence Beesley leapt into.If ever the complete version is released, I would be very interested in obtaining it. As it is, it had been so long since I had seen this movie, I didnt care. The re-editing job was done wrong or the original movie was done wrong, as we see Helen Mirren observe Ian Holm as he enters the lifeboat, she is already aboard, then we get Mirren talking to architect Thomas Andrews.It really does look like there has been a severe re-editing job. The scenes of the overturned lifeboats should have occurred after the ship sank, not just before. This is also when David Warner is trying to bring someone into their lifeboat. For some reason, this is pieced together as taking place just before the sinking."
I just watched the DVD. Cameron must want this supressed.
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 07/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My wife and I were probably among the very few who had little good to say about Cameron's mega-blockbuster. But many large successes often are inspired by less lofty examples. I was shocked at how much of what seemed to make Cameron's version was already present in this one (even a cast member).Ok, the plot is one we all know; big ship sails, has argument with iceberg, sinks. No one will be surprised by that. Cameron tried to make his version as historically accurate as possible, right down to menus and china patterns. This movie does not make that claim and might be better for it.Instead of flashy special effects and painfully correct sets that seem contrary to creating a new survivor, this film concentrates on the lives of the passengers. David Warner (a manservant in Cameron's version) is a teacher who takes a fancy to an American school teacher. Oddly enough, tone of the most repeated themes is central to Cameron's version, the differentiation of class.Let's see, we have the wonderful Irish party down below, the poor boy falling for the rich girl with the big hat (hats being one of the few things I liked about Cameron's version), she takes a liking to him, etc. etc.There was one disturbing scene that brought home the tragedy far more powerfully than anything Cameron did. While people are beginning to panic in the halls as water begins to rise, the camera focuses on a crying baby sitting in the water. Now, as a parent I cannot believe any parent would lose their baby like this, it was amazingly powerful.If you want historical accuracy ad-nauseam, check out the over-long Cameron epic. If you want to be interested in the cast and get a feel for the class interactions at a time before they fell apart, then SOS Titanic is the movie to watch."
Clob Lane | Toronto, Canada | 01/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although a TV movie and looking very much like it, this Titanic picture is quite entertaining and leaves the audience with an accurate emotional impact of the tragedy. The acting, especially from Cloris Leachman as Molly Brown, is most excellent. The script is nicely paced and organized to create high sympathy for the likeable people who died in the sinking of the unsinkable ship. One of the most heartbreaking sequences is when the crying baby is sitting on the wet floor of the Titanic while it's sinking. High quality entertainment."
A good film that was the first Titanic movie I ever saw
David Jenkins | 10/30/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Titanic enthusiast for years, and this was the first Titanic-related film that I ever saw. I'm very glad to see that it has been released on DVD, which I purchased a few weeks ago. I really like the music without voices feature, as the music used in the film is gorgeous at times. If ANYONE can name that slow Irish tune that Gerard McSorley ("Martin Gallagher") and Antoinette O'Reilly ("Irish Beauty") dance their first dance to (April 13), please e-mail me the name of it!! Although not 100% accurate on facts or people, it is still worth the watch. One downside to this DVD has already been pointed out by a previous poster, and that is the fact that several minutes of several scenes have been cut out. There is a scene with those boot cleaners that is axed, as well as a rather stirring dance in steerage on the last night, with the song "The Irish Washerwoman." There are other missing scenes, as well, but those are the main ones that come to mind. Maybe TCM will air the full movie someday, since it used to air all the time on TBS years ago. Anyway, this DVD is worth buying overall!"