When James Cameron’s film Titanic first sailed across the silver screen in 1997, audiences were amazed by its groundbreaking visual effects, cinematography, and heart-wrenching love story. Now, nearly fifteen years later, Titanic has remained one of the most critically acclaimed and highest-grossing motion picture epics of all time, becoming a cultural phenomenon.
In this updated edition of the New York Times bestseller, discover everything you’ve always wanted to know about Titanic, from the actual construction of the “ship of dreams” to the casting of Jack and Rose, one of the most memorable film couples in Hollywood history. Featuring an in-depth new foreword by James Cameron that details the personal impact Titanic had on his life and career as a filmmaker and never-before-seen photographs—plus a removable, double-sided poster—this collector’s edition is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at one of the most beloved movies of all time.
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About the Author
James Cameron’s attention to realism and detail is legendary. Celebrated for such uncompromising action-adventure films as The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, and Avatar, the writer-director actually vowed not to make Titanic unless he could successfully dive to the wreck himself and bring back motion picture footage for use in the film. Representing years of Cameron’s passion and dedication, Titanic is one of the filmmaker’s most ambitious films.
Ed W. Marsh is an independent filmmaker and writer whose behind-the-scene credits include Independence Day, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Stargate, Godzilla, and The Abyss. A professed “titanophile,” Marsh began documenting this project months before principle photography began.
Douglas Kirkland has spent more than thirty years intimately documenting the lives and happenings of Hollywood in pictures. His award-winning coverage is unique for its “you are there” presence and provides a sensitive in-depth look at the cast, crew, costumes, sets, special effects, and more.
Read an Excerpt
The year 1912 must have felt like a tremendous mixture of both enormous optimism and a certain amount of nail-biting," says Jonathan Hyde, who plays White Star Line's managing director, J. Bruce Ismay. "When developments become too rapid, people begin to get breathless and anxious."
Competition was stiff between the trans-Atlantic commercial lines. The Cunard Line enjoyed a large British subsidy while White Star was bankrolled by owner J. P. Morgan. Both lines vied for mail contracts and the lucrative immigrant trade. While Cunard had focused on speed -- the record-holding Mauretania had a top speed of almost twenty-seven knots -- White Star had focused on size. Titanic had a gross tonnage in excess of forty-six thousand tons, fifteen thousand more than Cunard's largest vessel. Twenty-four boilers fed Titanic's twin, four-story-tall reciprocating vessel. A third engine, a steam turbine, allowed for a combined speed in excess of twenty-two knots, or approximately twenty-five miles per hour. The boast of being unsinkable stemmed from the ship's sixteen watertight compartments and twelve watertight doors. If flooding were to occur, the watertight doors could be shut automatically or from the bridge, isolating the affected compartments from the rest of the ship. Any two of these compartments or the first four compartments could be breached and the ship would stay afloat indefinitely, a design consideration that placed the greatest emphasis on the danger of a front end collision -- hardly a surprise in the days before radar and sonar. And while many find it hard to believe, the Titanic actually had more lifeboats than was required by law, even though there were not enough lifeboats for everyone on board. "The British Board of Trade regulations were developed in the late 1800s when few vessels displaced more than ten thousand tons and you could reasonably calculate passenger capacity using tonnage alone," explains Titanic Historian Don Lynch. "No one could have anticipated ships of the Titanic's magnitude. They were complying with a law that no longer made any sense."
In a column on page 44 of a notebook of specifications for the Olympic kept by Thomas Andrews, Master Shipbuilder of the Titanic (portrayed in the film by Victor Garber), a mental exercise in alternate history is briefly played out. In a column showing the total number of lifeboats the number sixty-eight leaps off the page while only twenty lifeboats (including the four "collapsibles") were installed on each ship. Closer examination reveals that this page was added to the notebook after the tragedy, when the Board of Trade revised its regulations to require a lifeboat seat for everyone on board. Historians paint Andrews in a favorable light, however, claiming that the pressure to keep the number of lifeboats to a minimum came from a higher authority and that Andrews had lobbied for more. Given the shipbuilder's reputation as a perfectionist, the theory rings true. "He was obsessed with the ship and was constantly taking notes about things that could be corrected or improved, no matter how big or how small," explains Garber. "He was apparently taken to task in social situations quite often because he was always preoccupied with something or other."
[Director James] Cameron found a kindred spirit in the historical Andrews. "As an engineer he never would have believed his own publicity, so to speak. The ship was made of iron. Of course she could sink if the conditions were right. Imagine what it must have felt like, standing in the foyer of the Grand Staircase -- architecturally the most beautiful place on the ship -- a ship that he had designed -- knowing that in an hour or so all of it was going to be at the bottom of the Atlantic. Can you imagine the responsibility he must have felt?"
Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 1997 by Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved. All photographs by Douglas Kirkland, copyright © 1997 by Douglas Kirkland. All right reserved. All photographs by Merie W. Wallace, copyright © 1997 Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. All right reserved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Lenardo Dicapro
I love this book because i fell in love with the movie when i saw the movie for the frist time so read the book:)
This book is a must for the collection of all those who fell in love with Cameron's movie. It tells the story of Cameron's movie and how it was made. It is done extremely well!
An excellent book for Titanic fans. Lots of pictures from the movie and behind the scenes. Also includes information on the making of the movie and lots of Leonardo DiCaprio photos! I reccomend it to anyone.
this book looks so good i seen the movie and i absolutly loved it and people say the book is better then the movie so i hope i get it for christmas so i can read it over and over again.
This book was amazing. James Cameron really kept to the historical truth instead of making a completely fictitious movie. Anyone who has seen or owns the film has to read this book.