//
you're reading...
Daily History

March 23 1998 Titanic Wins 11 Oscars


On March 23rd 1998, as James Cameron took the stage to accept his Academy Award for Best Director, it was clear that the blockbuster film Titanic was dominating the Oscars. Titanic had already tied with 1950’s All About Eve for the record of most Oscar nominations, at 14. By the end of the night, it would tie with 1959’s Ben-Hur for most wins, by taking out 11 categories, including the obsessively sought Best Picture award.

Cameron had already established himself as a master of action science fiction blockbusters, with movies such as Aliens, The Abyss and the first two Terminator movies. His ambition reached new heights with Titanic, a retelling of the ill-fated 1912 voyage of the unparalleled passenger steamship, which sank in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. Cameron’s films were notorious for going long over schedule and way over budget, and Titanic was worse than most. Originally budgeted at $100 million, the film eventually topped out at about $200 million, more than any other film in history; it also missed its original release date, making the studio executives sweat as they envisioned another Heaven’s Gate (the infamous big-budget flop that sank United Artists in the early 1980s).

Cameron was renown for his dictatorial style, hot temper and obsession with detail. For the reenactment of the historic ship’s sinking, the film’s crew constructed a 775-foot (90 percent scale) replica of the RMS Titanic and put it in a tank containing 17 million gallons of water. Production was done in Mexico, and members of the cast and crew later complained about the harsh conditions, including shooting days of more than 20 hours, much of that time spent standing in cold, murky Pacific Ocean water.

The Titanic left Southampton on 10 April 1912, and stooped at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown in Ireland, before heading westwards towards New York. On 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm. The glancing collision caused Titanic‘s hull plates to buckle inwards in a number of locations on her starboard side, and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually filled with water and sank.

Passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partly filled. A disproportionate number of men, over 90% of those in Second Class,  were left aboard due to a “women and children first” protocol followed by the officers loading the lifeboats. Just before 2:20 am Titanic broke up and sank bow-first with over a thousand people still on board. Those in the water died within minutes from hypothermia caused by immersion in the freezing ocean. The 710 survivors were taken aboard from the lifeboats by the Carpathia a few hours later.

Released just before Christmas in 1997, the movie Titanic became a monster hit and continued to earn steadily at the box office over the next six months until it became the first movie ever to gross more than $1 billion internationally. Critical response to the film was divided. Many reviews were positive, but some critics praised the visual effects and action sequences, while pointing out the weakness of the screenplay, which Cameron penned himself. Especially praised was the last hour of the three-hour-plus movie, which depicts the epic sinking of the luxury liner. In one particularly memorable panning, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film “reeks of phoniness and lacks even minimal originality.” Cameron famously fired back in a letter to the editor, demanding (unsuccessfully) that the Times “impeach Kenneth Turan.”

On Oscar night, Cameron echoed Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic by shouting “I’m the king of the world!” upon accepting his Best Director statuette. While accepting Best Picture (as the film’s producer), the filmmaker was slightly more subdued, asking for a moment of silence in remembrance of the more than 1,500 people who drowned on the Titanic.

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “March 23 1998 Titanic Wins 11 Oscars

  1. Its hard to believe that was 14 years ago!

    Posted by ashok z | March 26, 2012, 12:06
  2. I look forward to the upcoming 3D premiere

    Posted by gltravelinfo | March 27, 2012, 11:25

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,810 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Shanghai Extravagance, Silicon Valley Stoics, and US-China Agony

Shanghai Extravagance, Silicon Valley Stoics, and US-China Agony

Shanghai has just replaced Hong Kong as the ‘most expensive city’, according to Swiss private bank JuliusBär Group’s Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2021 (Juliusbaer.com 2021 Apr 8). By comparing Shanghai on the socialist mainland and HK as a champion of capitalism for decades, the high-net-worth-individuals in Shanghai seem to be much more willing and […]

Cadence Column: Asia, June 21, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, June 21, 2021

China is facing massive resentment against its own Communist Party from inside its own borders. Members of ordinary society stab Communist Party members and are regarded heroes. The party of self-importance on the world stage isn’t only hated by the rest of the world, but also by the people it oppresses at home. CCP does […]

After the Biden-Putin Geneva Summit

After the Biden-Putin Geneva Summit

With little expectations, but a lot of combinations and nervousness, was the long awaited summit of the Presidents of America and Russia a failure? It was not.  And can it be described as a success, as a breakthrough from the winter of a renewed Cold War? Again – no! So what was this summit then, what – […]

China suddenly puts brakes on climate action, wind and solar subsidies

China suddenly puts brakes on climate action, wind and solar subsidies

It’s almost like China’s climate action was just window dressing. It seems to be unraveling… China’s National Carbon Trading Scheme was supposed to go into full operation later this month, but now it’s been cut back by two-thirds. Instead of “working” with 6,000 companies it will only involve 2,000. And only a week ago, the […]

Australia: Overnight News Headlines – June 19, 2021

Australia: Overnight News Headlines – June 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Australian News Overnight news headlines you may have missed ‘Castlevania Advance Collection’ Possibly Revealed By Rating in Australia – ‘Castlevania Advance Collection’ Possibly Revealed By Rating In Australia … the title “Castlevania Advance Collection” with the Australian Classification Board, … Drink driver arrested after crash in Pooraka, South Australia –…

China in the News: June 19, 2021

China in the News: June 19, 2021

What the world is saying about China (past 24 hours) Cruz: Americans should compete against China in 2022 Beijing Olympics and ‘kick their commie a–es’ – Sen. Ted Cruz broke with a number of other Republicans in saying that the U.S. should not boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics to stand up to China’s abuses, but […]

China lacks capability and intent to invade Taiwan: top US general

China lacks capability and intent to invade Taiwan: top US general

China does not have the military capability or the intent to seize Taiwan by force in the immediate future, the top uniformed officer of the U.S. military told Congress Thursday. “China has a ways to go to develop the actual no-kidding capability to conduct military operations to seize, through military means, the entire island of Taiwan, […]

Australia: Overnight News Headlines – June 18, 2021

Australia: Overnight News Headlines – June 18, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Australian News Overnight news headlines you may have missed Australia’s swimmers raise hope of Tokyo Olympics gold medal haul – Australia will send 35 swimmers to Tokyo including Cate Campbell and Emily Seebohm; Twenty-one swimmers are off to their first Games; Kaylee McKeown, … How to fix the broken ‘boys’…

China in the News: June 18, 2021

China in the News: June 18, 2021

What the world is saying about China (past 24 hours) First astronauts arrive at China’s space station – In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese astronauts salute after successfully entering the Tianhe space station module as they are displayed on .. EXCLUSIVE Chinese apps could face subpoenas or bans Biden order -sources – […]

China unleash AI fighter jets capable of shooting down real pilots – ‘Better than humans’

China unleash AI fighter jets capable of shooting down real pilots – ‘Better than humans’

China has unveiled its latest military technological achievement – fighter jets controlled by artificial intelligence (AI). In simulated test battles, the AI-controlled jets were able to shoot down real human pilots according to the Chinese military’s official newspaper, PLA Daily. Brigade commander Du Jianfeng, told the publication that the AI jets were becoming more integrated […]

%d bloggers like this: