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Featured CED VideoDisc No. 8 - Spring 1998


Raise the Titanic

Raise the Titanic CED In my opinion, this disc has one of the coolest caddy illustrations, even if it is historically inaccurate. This movie was released in 1980, five years before the discovery of the actual wreck. They did get the upright position of the ship correct, although in reality it's in two widely separated pieces. This movie has several elements in common with the 1997 movie, among them, a very long production schedule (2.5 years), a large budget (36 million in 1980), and reconstruction of a near actual size Titanic (from a derelict steamship). But there the similarity ends, as this film was a financial disaster, even prompting ITC Entertainment's founder, Lord Grade, to comment "Raise the Titanic? It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic!" The acting in this movie is mediocre at best, and it was even nominated for three Razzie Awards the first time they were awarded on March 31, 1981, which just happens to be one week after RCA's introduction of the CED system. The extensive underwater scenes in "Raise the Titanic" are poorly done, and on the video it's often difficult to make out what you're looking at. But the slow motion scene of the Titanic popping up through the surface of the ocean is nicely done.

My additional intention with this CED feature is to lament what appears to be the impending complete loss of large jacket media like CED. We lost CED in 1986, the 12" audio LP in 1989, and it appears that DVD has sealed the fate of the 12" LaserDisc. The illustrations below this text represent a proportional comparison of the "Raise the Titanic" CED to a DVD with the same cover (the DVD is a simulation and is not commercially available at the time of this writing). As can be seen, a lot of the impact of the large CED illustration is lost in the smaller format. The effect is even more dramatic on jackets that have several small photographs, a common practice with the reverse cover art on both CED's and LaserDiscs. Audio LP's have made a very moderate comeback to satisfy devotees of the grooved media and large music cover art, so perhaps 12" LaserDiscs will modestly survive to satisfy aficionados of analog video and large video cover art.


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