Captain George C. Scott of the Titanic?

There is either a simple answer for this or it is a mystery. First the background: I’ve been bouncing around the former Soviet Union for most of the nineties. (I’m writing this from the Aral Sea area.) There are no real concerns here about intellectual property rights. It’s hard to find a CD that isn’t bootleg, never mind software, videos, Nintendo and Playstation games, Levis, Diesel jeans…it’s all bootleg and counterfeits. The locals take pride in the fact that within a week of any theatrical release of a new Hollywood masterpiece they can rent it on the street. I saw this to be true with Jurrasic Park and Private Ryan, it’s a roaring business. Often the new releases on video here will have the heads of the audience popping into the picture because it has been videotaped with a cam in a movie theater.
Also, on public television they will broadcast bootlegs. I remember watching a dubbed “Super Mario Brothers” on Russian TV the same week it was being released on video in North America and scrolling across the bottom of the screen a message kept appearing in English “if you are watching an illegal copy of this telephone…” Sooner or later capitalism is going to have to deal with all this copyright violation but, trust me, there are more important things to worry about right now in this part of the world.
To get to my question for the teeming millions, in February 1998 there was an ad campaign in the local Russian language station. They were going to show “Titanic”. At the time it was a big thing in theaters in North America and my reaction was “wow, they’ve stolen a print of that big hit and they’re going to broadcast it!” It was shown in two parts. I watched the start: A handsome young man running from the police dodges into a pub. He meets a fat old man who is flashing a roll and a Titanic ticket. Later, he rolls the old drunk in an alley and robs him. About the time the Titanic sails I went to sleep. The next night I came home from a business supper (my entre in the restaurant was two hot dogs and mashed potatoes) and watched part 2. George C. Scott was the captain and Tim Curry played a sleazy purser. In one scene Scott, with his back to the camera, stands on the bridge of the ship as the windows break and a wall of water engulfs him. Tim Curry bundles up as a woman and sneaks on a lifeboat. I was not impressed with the special effects. Imagine my surprise when I got back to North America and saw the actual Titanic movie! The lighting and sets and general overall production looked very very similar but the actors and story line were all slightly different. My question: Was this some other Titanic movie made for TV or HBO or something? Has anyone ever heard of George C. Scott playing the Titanic captain? In my wildest imagination I thought this might have been a pre-emptive strike against the bootleggers. At the same time as the original Titanic movie was being filmed could they have used the same sets and crew to bang off a cheaper version with cheaper actors and less effects to market into the bootleg regions before the bootleggers could capture the market?

In 1996, there was a made-for-TV movie called “Titanic,” starring Peter Gallagher and Catherine Zeta-Jones. George C. Scott DID indeed play the captain.