James Cameron boosts his Oscar tally after winning Best Director Titanic
At the 70th Academy Awards in 1998. (Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
The evening of March 23, 1998 was both the best of times and the worst of times for James Cameron. It was the night when the director’s record-breaking blockbuster, TitanicCreated Oscar history by winning 11 statuettes – equaling the record set almost 40 years ago in 1959 ben hur, (This is a feat that was not repeated until the 2004 ceremony, when Peter Jackson’s trilogy-capping return of the king It also took home 11 Oscars.) And a titanic audience saw the film at the 70th Academy Awards: nearly 60 million viewers tuned in during the show, the last time the Oscars reached that many viewers.
But it was also the night Cameron entered Academy Awards history as an example of himself No Have to do while accepting an Oscar. After winning the Best Director statuette, the filmmaker – who will attend this year’s ceremony with his latest Best Picture-nominated $2 billion global hit, Avatar: The Way of Water – cried, “I am the king of the world!” followed by an extra long squeal Howard Dean’s infamous scream foreshadowed six years later, At that time he had won the Oscar… but had lost the audience.
Re-watch the awesomeness of James Cameron’s Best Director acceptance speech below:
In a new oral history about the 1998 Oscarscameron tells hollywood reporter that he came to know about her wrong step Almost immediately none other than Warren Beatty, who presented the statue to Cameron—a Beatty-declared victory that required no do-over. “I’ll tell you exactly when I first realized it[was going to be]a problem,” the director says. “When I went backstage and Warren Beatty had this look on his face, ‘What the hell?’ *** What did you just do?” And I go, ‘Oh, wasn’t that cool? Right.'”
Of course, Cameron was only quoting his own Oscar-nominated dialogue, having memorably scoffed at the film by his not-nominated — and therefore not in attendance at the Oscars — leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio. When the actor said, “I am the king of the world!” On rooftops, moviegoers swooned. When the director replayed it from the Shrine Auditorium in LA, he inadvertently created a moment that has entered Oscar infamy Rob Lowe singing a duet with Snow White, Adrien Brody forcibly smooching Halle Berry, John Travolta’s “Adele Dezeem” Faceplant,
Revisited a quarter-century later, Cameron’s “King of the World” callback doesn’t seem to be the only issue. In fact, the crowd laughs with appreciation, enjoying DiCaprio’s shouts for joyous squeals. It is when he begins to bang that he appears to be losing them with laughter – though not particularly applause – then dies immediately. The image of Cameron raising his arms triumphantly also leaned into his reputation as a filmmaker whose precise perfectionism, for some, overcome the ego,
The unlikely event that Cameron has spent the past year in the public eye Titanic’famously troubled production history, which included numerous reports of budget overruns and release-date delays. Prior to its December 19, 1997 release, the film was expected to be one of the director’s rare flops, and was a sign that his reach exceeded his grasp. “Cameron’s reputation hangs in the balance, as does the bottom line at Fox, which financed the bulk of the production,” wrote Entertainment Weekly that november,
The director’s faith in the film made him go through all the turbulent behind-the-scenes dramas, but once Titanic Became a pop culture sensation, that belief threatened to come across as arrogant in an industry that often prioritizes a humble response to massive success. Former Fox chairman Bill Mechanic admitted, “If he had done it (the speech) before the polls closed, he would have lost.” hollywood reporter oscar night oral history. “It’s the kind of thing you have to conquer.”
It definitely cost them fans among those responsible for pulling off that year’s show. “Cameron is out there and he’s going, ‘I’m king of the world!’ “I’m going, ‘You’re an a**hole!'”
Cameron now admits that the personal moment of his victory felt “herbaristic” to viewers. “In my mind, it was celebratory—I was just telling how I felt,” he says. “I especially was not Saying, ‘I’m going to show all you moms out there how it’s done, and yes, I am the king of the world! I am all that! I wasn’t saying that. But apparently, that’s what they heard. And, of course, as a director, I should be better than that. I must know what the audience hears – exactly how the line Earth Really part of the art form.”
What often gets lost amidst the hubbub of “king of the world” is the fact that Cameron gave Three The speech that night, and his tone, felt right. early in the evening, they shared Titanic’win for film editing with fellow editors Conrad Buff and Richard A. Harris, and let the two speak first. each of his associates thanked his colleagues and spouses, while Cameron picked up his 5-year-old daughter, Josephine, whose mother — Cameron’s then-wife Linda Hamilton — was in the audience. “Honey, it’s the same thing I told you,” he said. “It’s called Oscar, and it’s really cool.”
When Beatty announced Cameron’s name as Best Director, the filmmaker chose to address his cast rather than his child. “I don’t know about you, but I’m having a really great time,” he began before calling out to Rose — old and young — seatmates Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart, who were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. it was done. — with an absent DiCaprio and a large supporting cast. “You used to give me pure gold every day, and I share this gold with you.”
continues in that “no I ”vein in the team, he acknowledged the elder Titanic crew, as well as various members of his family – Hamilton, his children, and his parents. “There’s no way I can tell you what I’m feeling right now,” Cameron said, clearly affected. “My heart is full to burst.” In another world, his speech stopped there and he left the stage as Oscar royalty. But he kept going to our land and declared himself as the king.
Apparently, Cameron recognized that his DiCaprio impression wasn’t that good, as he didn’t attempt anything like it again in his final appearance that night, when he admitted Titanic’Best Picture statuette by Sean Connery. Producer Jon Landau spoke first, rattling off the long list of people who helped make the film possible so that Cameron didn’t have to, which earned him praise from the director when it was his turn at the mic.
“I think John saw shine several times,” Cameron said, referring to the 1996 Best Picture nominee starring Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush as mentally disturbed pianist David Helfgott. “He thanked everyone and did everything I was going to say “
Watch Cameron accept the Best Picture Oscar below:
Not that Cameron proved speechless by any means. Looking beyond the film, he turned his attention first to the audience that embraced it and then to the real-life event that inspired it. “It’s hard for us to remember that this excitement … is for a film that is based on a real event, where real people died,” he summarized the film’s message, “The future is unknown. , the only thing we really own is today”—a sentiment that seems especially close to terminator instead Titanic,
Cameron continued, “I would like to observe a few seconds of silence in memory of the 1,500 men, women and children who died when the great ship sank.” “During these few seconds, I would like you to listen to the beat of your heart, which is the most precious thing in the world.” At Cameron’s poetic insistence, the audience fell silent as the camera cut to a wide view of the room instead of isolating specific faces.
In hollywood reporter Oral history, Horwitz says that Cameron’s request left Booth in a tizzy. “He goes in there and he goes, ‘Hold 15 seconds of silence for the victims.’ We’re going, ‘Jesus Christ! We don’t have time!’ I’m just trying to get off the air because of the restrictions on running in the East Coast news… If I’m in the news, we have to pay.”
After that long-anticipated pause, the director threw out his final (self) congratulatory remarks of the evening. “You really made it a night to remember in every way,” deliberately omitting the last name Titanic film, 1958 a night to remember, “Now let’s party till dawn!”
In the years since the nonstop partying at Cameron’s 1998 Oscar night, the director has regularly owned up to how his “king of the world” moment put a dent in the festivities. “After jumping in and making a fool of myself with my acceptance speech, I bet no one wants to see me at the Academy Awards again,” he said half-jokingly Entertainment Weekly in 2010, just before getting his second directorial debut for the original Avatar,
Cameron missed out on a Best Director nomination. Avatar: The Way of Water, so there’s no occasion for an “I see you” moment at this year’s ceremony. But the filmmaker is still riding high TitanicVictory after 25 years “We had done an almost impossible thing, which was that we had made ourselves a strange underdog,” he explains. hollywood reporter, “We had created a scenario in which we appeared to fight our way down and win when the chips were down. The chips were down only because everyone else had the chips down. I didn’t do it!”
,This article was originally published on March 2, 2018. It has been updated to reflect recent events.,
Titanic Available to rent or buy on most VOD services including Prime Video.