Titanic (1997 film)

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Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater, members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage. Although the central roles and love story are fictitious, some characters are based on genuine historical figures. Gloria Stuart portrays the elderly Rose, who narrates the film in a modern-day framing device, and Billy Zane plays Cal Hockley, the overbearing fiancé of the younger Rose. Cameron saw the love story as a way to engage the audience with the real-life tragedy.

Production on the film began in 1995, when Cameron shot footage of the actual Titanic wreck. The modern scenes were shot on board the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, which Cameron had used as a base when filming the actual wreck. A reconstruction of the Titanic was built at Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, and scale models and computer-generated imagery were also used to recreate the sinking. The film was partially funded by Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox – respectively, its American and international distributors – and at the time, it was the most expensive film ever made, with an estimated budget of US$200 million.[3][4][5][6]

The film was originally scheduled to open on July 2, 1997; however, post-production delays pushed back its release to December 19 instead.[7] Titanic was an enormous critical and commercial success. It was nominated for fourteen Academy Awards, eventually winning eleven, including Best Picture and Best Director.[8] It became the highest-grossing film of all time, with a worldwide gross of over $1.8 billion – the first film to reach the billion dollar mark – and remained so for twelve years until Cameron's next directorial effort, Avatar, surpassed it in 2010.[9][10] Titanic is also ranked as the sixth best epic film of all time in AFI's 10 Top 10 by the American Film Institute.[11] The film is due for theatrical re-release in 2012 after Cameron completes its conversion into 3-D.[12]

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