WASHINGTON (April 2, 1998) -- The movie Titanic was top vote getter on the Catholic Communications Campaign toll-free movie review line, 1-800-311-4CCC.
The blockbuster hit, which swept the Oscars in March, drew almost four times as many votes as the next runner up, As Good As It Gets and third runner up, L.A. Confidential.
The Full Monty and Good Will Hunting came in fourth and fifth respectively.
Film buffs had the chance to cast their own vote for "best picture" in the days before Oscar night, March 23, by calling the movie review line sponsored by the U.S. Bishops' Catholic Communications Campaign.
Callers could select from the five nominees in contention for the Motion Picture Academy's "Best Picture" Oscar.
They also could nominate some other movie that the Academy overlooked.
The top three "write-in" movies were Men in Black, Amistad and The Apostle, but they garnered few votes in comparison to the Oscar nominees.
Patricia Ryan Garcia, who supervises the movie review line, was not surprised by the results.
"Titanic's romantic story and incredible special effects have garnered praise from all levels of society," she said. "People are looking for romance."
The USCC Office for Film and Broadcasting rated Titanic A-III--Adults citing "agonizing death scenes on a massive scale, sexual situations and sporadic rough language and profanity."
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
The Bishops' Film and Broadcasting office was stinting in its praise.
"Titanic lavishly re-creates the 1912 sea disaster after focusing on the improbable shipboard romance between first-class passenger Kate Winslet and steerage traveler Leonardo DiCaprio," the office said. "Unfortunately the human dimension of the tragedy gets lost in a paltry soap opera about two love-struck youths, though the special effects of the sinking luxury liner are truly spectacular."
The U.S. Bishops launched the movie review line in 1996. It gives filmgoers an alternative source of information on the content and age suitability of films. Each week the line provides capsule reviews and classifications from the U.S. Catholic Conference Office of Film and Broadcasting for six films in current release. It is updated every Friday.