James Cameron's Titanic charts the sinking of the great ocean liner, from the perspective of two doomed lovers. The romance between high society lady Rose (Kate Winslet) and poor artist Jack (Leonardo DeCaprio) blossoms on the deck of the ship and defies both the strict social conventions of the day, and the looming tragedy.

Movie magic at its very best.

James Cameron never does anything by halves. In making Titanic, the most expensive American movie ever, he`s taken the terrible tragedy of the sinking of the world's biggest ocean liner, in April 1912, and has turned it into an all-stops-out, very old-fashioned romantic thriller.

The main story is bookended by an unnecessary and rather crass modern story in which members of a salvage team quiz 102-year-old Rose, a Titanic survivor; Rose is played by veteran actress Gloria Stuart, who starred in The Old Dark House back in 1932. When the main story kicks in, poor but honest steerage class passenger Jack Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio, romances haughty, spoilt and apparently wealthy Rose De Witt Bukater, Kate Winslett, away from her possessive, aristocratic fiance, Billy Zane.

The pompous rich characters and the loveable poor characters are all strictly from stock, and many of the supporting actors have difficulty with their stereotyped roles, but luckily Cameron is second to none when it comes to handling spectacle. Early scenes of the massive ship at sea are quite impressive, but once the iceberg has been struck, a little over halfway through the movie, and the Titanic starts taking on water, the film becomes not only awesomely spectacular but also extremely suspenseful.

Titanic is movie magic at its very best.