Readers respond to David Walsh’s review of Titanic


I wonder if we can't recall how many critics are simply *paid* -- taken out to good dinners and wild parties -- to be nice to these films. I think it's perfectly correct to focus on the cultural-historical reasons for the praise of the Titanic, but the smell of money and the clinging to power are historically-derived lures, too. I think one of the TV news magazines confronted various film critics with this aspect of their lives and taped them on the take.

30 January 1998


Dear Sir,

After reading Mr. Walsh's review of the film Titanic, I recalled an interesting tidbit regarding the Broadway musical Titanic. I saw the play in previews, and although it was only mediocre one song stuck with me. After all the lifeboats are away and the people remaining aboard realize that they are about to die, several millionaires begin to talk. One of them starts saying that perhaps they are not the pillars of the community that they call themselves. Finally one quotes Balzac and says that "Behind every great fortune is a great crime." Interestingly, this song does not appear on the CD recording of the final version of the play.

2 February 1998


I read your article, and I completely agree. I'm 15 and all I hear at school is "It was the best movie I have ever seen, and it made me bawl." Unfortunately, many of my friends have never taken the time to watch a movie where thinking is involved (Schindler's List, Braveheart, The Usual Suspects).

The main reason adults are going to see it is because of all of the mass media. The love story is a harsh denunciation of what happened that night. And at the end, when she is reunited and everyone is clapping, it made it seem like Rose and Jack were the only lovers to get separated. You never get to fall in love with the "REAL" characters of the ship. Winslet is perfect for historical roles, but Leo will always be a 90's child to me.

Cameron used the love story to connect present to past. It is an age-old story, rich girl falls in love with poor guy, poor guy dies. You learn nothing about the Titanic after leaving. One girl said to me "Where in the Pacific did it sink?" There are girls who have seen it 18 times. That is more than two days of your life! I am one of the only girls who feels like I missed something.

I think the story of the Titanic has yet to be told. It was a horrible story, and was written to get people to come and see his 200 million dollar boat sink.

9 February 1998


At last an article which reflects my own thoughts! I am thrilled. I am under 25, and yet did not like Titanic. So full of clichés, as is being said in this article. What about complexity, depth in characters? None of that. What about the personal touch of the director? This movie was bland, and not exciting at all.

11 February 1998


It’s funny, an untalented art "critic" like yourself has to create such a ridiculous, inane review just to try and show how clever you are. I could just picture it after you finished your article leering and snickering that your really showed James Cameron a thing or two. You're just so above it all.

In 100 years or so, they'll still be talking about Titanic as one of the greatest and magnificent epic films of all time.

And all of the stupid, meaningless critics such as yourself will have long faded into oblivion.

12 February 1998


Sad. Very sad. When I got to the end of your amazing review of Titanic and read "Socialist Equality Party", I saw all I needed to see. Could it be that those critics you can't believe liked Titanic, liked it because it is an epic movie? I am a 30 year old male, and I have seen Titanic 4 times, and know MANY other men my age who have done the same, so it is not all 15 year old female Leolovers.

You wonder if "Something more complex is at work" since so many millions of people worldwide love this movie. Just give up and quit fighting. This movie will be the highest grossing domestically and world-wide, both of the soundtracks are and will continue to set records, the rentals and purchase of the movie will set records, the film will be re-released every 20 years for a new generation to enjoy for many years to come, it will win 13 of 14 Oscar nominations, and you will not be able to do anything about it, so just accept it. Kate Winslet, Victor Garber, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gloria Stuart and Billy Zane were excellent in this movie, and Kate Winslet was at her best (could you hear her British accent once!?!?!). Don't watch the Oscars, as you will be disgusted when Titanic takes 12-13 of its 14 nominations to the bank. Titanic rules!

12 February 1998


I thoroughly disagree on your review of this movie. So far I've seen it twice and plan to see it many more times, plus buy it when it comes out on video.

The love story, special effects and the story are what make this movie THE VERY BEST I've ever seen. Of course the historical elements are intriguing also. I've seen E.T., all the Star Wars, Jurassic Parks, Forrest Gump. None surpass Titanic.

I feel that while we got a great love story from this movie, we were also able to put ourselves on that doomed ship, and realize the terror all those people went through.

I'd give it A.

19 February 1998


At last a serious review (and a review of the reviews) of this most awful movie! Thank you!

20 February 1998



I just read your review of "Titanic" and I couldn't be more in agreement. This cartoonish picture with a ridiculous sub-plot tried to have some depth, but had none (or at least none intended by its director). It could have been a scathing film about the way that technology has blown up in man's face or a searing look into social class structures. Instead we get Popeye, Olive and Bluto: we know exactly who's bad, who's good, and who's gonna win. The effects got me, but they got me in Star Wars too and that didn't win an Academy Award (plus, that was a much better film).

If Titanic wins Best Picture, I know there is just no justice in this world.

22 February 1998