On April 14, 1912, the technological marvel that was the Titanic sank into the dark depths of the Atlantic and claimed 1,517 souls. But those mere facts surrounding the tragedy have had yet to submerge the fascination that directors, artists and musicians have had with the sunken ship. We take a look at Titanic’s indelible imprint on the world of art, music, film, television and literature.
James Cameron's Titanic
"I’m the King of the World!" That’s how director James Cameron felt after he released his mega blockbuster hit in December 1997, subsequently winning 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the romantic tragedy grossed over $1.8 billion and remained the highest-grossing film in box office history until it got pushed out by Cameron’s epic sci-fi animation Avatar in 2010. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, Titanic was re-released in 3-D on April 4 so fans could watch Jack and Rose’s young love bloom and sink into the abysmal depths all over again.
Robin Gibb’s The Titanic Requiem
Composed by Robin Gibb and his son RJ, The Titanic Requiem is a musical tribute commemorating the 100th anniversary of all of the lives lost on the RMS Titanic. The London Philharmonic performed Gibb’s classical composition on April 10, which is the day that the ill-fated ship set sail only to meet its doom four days later.
Celine Dion’s "My Heart Will Go On"
The enormity of James Cameron’s Titanic demanded an enormous soundtrack, and that’s where Celine Dion’s chart-topping single, "My Heart Will Go On" entered the picture. Written by James Horner and Will Jennings, the track soared to #1 on music charts around the world and was the U.S.’s best-selling single in 1998, even though both Cameron and Dion were initially against recording it. Looks like fans were glad they changed their minds.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
American socialite, philanthropist and activist Maggie "Molly" Brown became famous after surviving the Titanic and was coined “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” after her death in 1932 at the age of 65. Brown was considered a heroine after she helped others board the broken ship’s lifeboats and convinced the crew to go back and look for survivors. Her colorful life, personality and niche in Titanic’s history made for a trifecta of inspiration, leading to books, movies and even a musical about her. She was portrayed in the Cameron film by the incomparable Kathy Bates.
Julian Fellowes’ Downton Abbey
Film director and screenwriter Julian Fellowes just can’t get enough of the Titanic. Besides his dramatic four-part mini-series of the historical ocean liner, which airs on April 14 and 15 on ABC, Fellowes places Titanic’s downfall in the center of his first episode of Downton Abbey, in which character James Crawley and his son Patrick perish in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic.