When the theatrical release of James Cameron's Titanic
was delayed from July to December of 1997, media pundits speculated that Cameron's $200-million disaster epic would cause the director's downfall, signal the end of the blockbuster era, and sink Paramount Pictures as quickly as the ill-fated luxury liner had sunk on that fateful night of April 14, 1912. Titanic
would surpass the $1-billion mark in global box-office receipts, win 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Director, launch the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time, and make a global superstar of Leonardo DiCaprio. A bona fide pop-cultural phenomenon, the film has all the ingredients of a blockbuster (romance, passion, luxury, grand scale, a snidely villain, and an epic, life-threatening crisis), but Cameron's alchemy of these ingredients proved more popular than anyone could have predicted. His stroke of genius was to combine absolute authenticity with a pair of fictional lovers whose tragic fate would draw viewers into the heart-wrenching reality of the Titanic
disaster. As starving artist Jack Dawson and soon-to-be-married socialite Rose DeWitt Bukater, DiCaprio and Kate Winslet won the hearts of viewers around the world, and their brief, but never forgotten, love affair provides the humanity that Cameron needed to turn Titanic
into a moving emotional experience. Although some of the computer-generated visual effects look artificial, others--such as the climactic splitting of the ship's sinking hull--are state-of-the-art marvels of cinematic ingenuity. It's an event film and a monument to Cameron's risk-taking audacity, blending the tragic irony of the Titanic
disaster with just enough narrative invention to give the historical event its fullest and most timeless dramatic impact. --Jeff Shannon
Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar-nominee Kate Winslet light up the screen as Jack and Rose, the young lovers who find one another on the maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" R.M.S. Titanic. But when the doomed luxury liner collides with an iceberg in the frigid North Atlantic, their passionate love affair becomes a thrilling race for survival. From acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron comes a tale of forbidden love and courage in the face of disaster that triumphs as a true cinematic masterpiece.