Raise the Titanic (1980)

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Released 4-Oct-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 118:48 (Case: 114)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jerry Jameson

MRA Entertainment
Starring Jason Robards
Richard Jordan
David Selby
Anne Archer
Alec Guinness
Bo Brundin
M. Emmet Walsh
J.D. Cannon
Norman Bartold
Elya Baskin
Dirk Blocker
Robert Broyles
Paul Carr
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music John Barry

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.20:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Adventurer Dirk Pitt (Richard Jordan) is found in the opening scenes of this film on a remote, snow-bound Soviet island rescuing an American agent who was searching the remnants of a mine that was thought to contain the world's only source of the mineral Byzanium. This rare radioactive mineral is needed by the United States to help power a new missile defence system and its retrieval is a must.

    Pitt travels back to Washington to report the mine was empty and so the hunt for the rare byzanium steps up a gear. With a bit of research the whereabouts of the mineral becomes a little clearer. It seems that nearly 70 years ago it was moved from the mine and stolen from under the noses of the unsuspecting Russians. It was quickly moved across mainland Europe, then to Scotland before being placed on board a ship at Southampton in England bound for New York. The year was 1912 and the ship was the famous Titanic. Of course the byzanium never got to New York when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk on April 14.

    With the cold war raging the US government has deemed the defence system a priority but with the only known supply of the required key ingredient still presumably in the cargo hold of the famous ship some two miles under the surface of the North Atlantic it will take a bold plan to extract it. It is decided that rather than risk many lives to dive on the wreck a special project will be commissioned with the sole task of raising the Titanic and claiming the booty.

    Raise The Titanic is based on the Clive Cussler novel of the same name. Cussler is a best-selling author whose adventure novels have sold more than 120 million copies around the world. You might have heard his name mentioned at the release of this year's semi-blockbuster Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey. Cussler wrote the original Sahara novel which was the 11th in the Dirk Pitt series. When Sahara was released it had been nearly 25 years since a Cussler novel had made it to the big screen. The reason? Well, apparently Cussler hated Raise The Titanic so much he refused to allow any of his other novels to be made into movies. When the guy who penned the original novel described the film as "awful from beginning to end" the chances of anyone liking it is pretty remote.

    This is a fairly cheesy film that despite the apparently sizable budget features plenty of hokey special effects (this was made in the same year as The Empire Strikes Back so 80s technology cannot be given as a reason). The actors try hard, but with a convoluted and at times ridiculous story this is one film that should have stayed submerged beneath the chilly waters of the Atlantic.

    I haven't had the opportunity to see 2005's Sahara yet, but if it is anywhere near as bad as Raise The Titanic it could be another 25 years before we see a Cussler novel translated to the big screen.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in a close-to-original aspect of 2.20:1 (originally 2.35:1), but it is NOT 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and detail level is merely acceptable, with plenty of scenes quite muddy and lacking clarity. There is thankfully very little edge enhancement. Shadow detail is average. There is also a fair amount of grain evident throughout.

    The colours are very average, though with much of the action taking place either in or on the waters of the North Atlantic the chance for much vibrancy is limited at best. Quite dull is the best way to describe this effort.

    There are no apparent compression artefacts and though film artefacts are numerous they are certainly not present in the quantities I was expecting.

    Unfortunately there are no subtitles.

    This is a single layered disc only so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only one audio soundtrack on this disc, this being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo effort.

    Despite the sometimes dodgy video the audio is not half bad and even with a little harshness overall and those old, thin sounding effects coming through on numerous occasions it is quite enjoyable. Aside from those problems there is still some decent and quite solid stereo separation featured throughout. The dialogue is moderately clear and easily understood.

    There is no surround channel or subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras on this disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this disc available at present. The Region 2 UK version appears to be presented in a pan and scan aspect ratio with a mono soundtrack. Based on that information the Region 4 disc is certainly the version of choice at the moment.


    Raise The Titanic is regarded as one of the biggest movie bombs in history and judging by the convoluted and ludicrous story coupled with some seriously dodgy special effects, it is little wonder audiences stayed away in droves. The actors try, but this is one ship that should have stayed on the bottom of the ocean.

    The video on this DVD is widescreen but is not 16x9 enhanced and it certainly is not the sharpest image going around.

    The sole stereo soundtrack is actually quite good with decent, clean separation.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
What? No quote? - REPLY POSTED
R2 UK is anamorphic widescreen - ajm REPLY POSTED
Scandinavian disc shorter? -
Scandinavian version shorter -