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Titanic: The 1953 Stanwyck/Webb Version-On Demand

Hadn't seen it in a while and decided to watch it when I got home. 1953 winner for Best Oscar Original Screenplay. The film is so wildly inaccurate on so many levels that I don't even know where to begin. But the dialogue crackles, especially between the two main characters, Julia and Richard. Love Stanwyck and she's great in just about everything (except a couple of stinkers), especially when she realizes her son isn't in the lifeboat with her and she snaps. But Webb was just too queeny for his part. Would have loved to have seen Henry Fonda or even Claude Rains in the part of the snobby Richard. Richard Basehart is excellent in his small part as a drunken priest, and of course, there's Thelma Ritter in a Molly Brown-type character. And the cast is rounded out by the beautiful young Robert Wagner. Too purty. But WHET to Audrey Dalton, the girl who played Annette? She was in some high-profile supporting roles, then she disappeared. Were they trying to make her into a rival for Liz Taylor? There was a bit of a resemblance.

by Anonymousreply 2012/05/2012

Audrey Dalton was a delicate beauty not unlike Jean Simmons or Vivien Leigh. In a way, her career is similar to Edmund Purdom's who was everywhere for a few years in the mid-1950's and then also vanished.

by Anonymousreply 112/03/2012

She refused to spread 'em wide for the Woman of Backbone and Bite!

by Anonymousreply 212/03/2012

Wildly inaccurate indeed - the religious singalong at the end was beyond ridiculous - but oddly it all worked.

by Anonymousreply 312/04/2012

No, it just sucks, boring soap opera.

by Anonymousreply 412/04/2012

Yes Dalton was very like Jean Simmons. Last thing I saw her in was the girlfriend of Rod Taylor's in Separate Tables in '58, where they are overshadowed by the main stars.

Clifton was mega-queeny here and such an unpleasant character. It was all just as silly as the Cameron film, the Ship was going down but it was all about Clifton and Stanwyck. Robert Wagner looked liked a 50s kid and was not in period at all. Neguleso usually made literate films (a minor league Mankiewicz) but this was a stinker all round.

by Anonymousreply 512/04/2012

The "Navajo Rag" and "Amherst" songs the young people are singing actually did not come out until the 1920s.

Pretty much everything was inaccurate about the ship, from the out-of-scale funnels, the boat davits, the interiors and even the engine and boiler rooms.

I did like the idea that there was no studio music save for the opening/ending credits, and the collision sequence.

Stanwyck, as usual, made the film better than it was. I too, loved how she and Webb would read each other the bitters. And I love how he shuts up when she tells him about their son's parentage...that was COLD.

by Anonymousreply 612/04/2012

Bump. I forgot, R1. Edmund Purdom was also in this as 2nd Officer Lightoller...

by Anonymousreply 712/04/2012

Clifton Webb couldn't play straight if his life depended on it.

by Anonymousreply 812/04/2012

I saw this when it was first broadcast in 1961. I was a very dramatic & impressionable 13 year old & fell in love with it. Since there was no VHS/DVR I replayed it in my head. I went to the library and tried to find out how much was true, but I really didn't care. I WAS Barbara Stanwyck.

It's still one of my go-to movies when I feel like I need to practice my steely gaze.

by Anonymousreply 912/04/2012

I'll admit the boiler explosions were a great melodramatic device, even if they didn't really happen.

by Anonymousreply 1012/04/2012

"A Night to Remember" was a much better picture.

by Anonymousreply 1112/04/2012

Wasn't this the movie where Ms. Stanwyck and RJ Wagner met and had a fling?

by Anonymousreply 1212/04/2012

And those sirens!! Just added for the movie??

by Anonymousreply 1312/04/2012

r8, if he's supposed to be gay, then I'm straight:

by Anonymousreply 1412/04/2012

I think "A Night to Remember" actually lifted footage from "Titanic", the disaster scenes I guess. Clifton Webb is an interesting actor, I think, or at least his career is interesting. Obviously gay (to our eyes) the roles he played were of type- epicene, urbane, certainly he offered a different kind of masculinity to nearly all of his film contemporaries. A really unlikely movie star, but a movie star none the less, successful and popular for 15 years or so. I guess if the public take to you, like what they see and hear maybe they kinda turn a blind eye to what what society says they should disapprove of-an obviously gay man.

by Anonymousreply 1512/04/2012

Clifton Webb lived with his mother, Maybelle, who was not that much older than he.

They were both elderly when she died. Webb was bereft. Noel Coward called him "The world's oldest living orphan." LOL

by Anonymousreply 1612/04/2012

They used the same ship sets in "Gentlemen Prefer Blonds"...

by Anonymousreply 1712/04/2012

[quote]I think "A Night to Remember" actually lifted footage from "Titanic", the disaster scenes I guess.

No dear, they lifted some scenes from the Nazi propaganda version of Titanic, made in 1943.

by Anonymousreply 1812/04/2012

I remember seeing this movie as a kid on TV and being so frightened by it that I would not get in a boat or any size for many years - even with a life jacket.

by Anonymousreply 1912/04/2012

r13, ship sirens weren't even invented back then. Done totally for dramatic effect.

I also love how the ship hits the berg on its starboard side, but underwater shots of the collision show the port side being ripped open...can't believe Negulesco didn't correct this in the editing room.

by Anonymousreply 2012/05/2012
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