1953 Movie On DVD

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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
You're quite right, Eric! She seems to have a very vocal - and pre-meditated - dislike of Ismay! She just berates him to collapsible death, and "insists" that he badgered Smith into increasing from 19 to 22 knots....among other things. She really maligns him unfairly. Who, exactly, is Sylvia Stoddard, and how did she come to merit two commentaries on this film? I thought she was terribly inaccurate and preferential.
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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I may be wrong, but is she part of the Titanic group that broke off from the THS? I'm trying to remember if she might be one of those who's contributed to their journal in the past.

If the factoid about Michael Rennie doing the closing narration is right that would be ironic in light of Rennie eventually getting to play Captain Smith in the "Time Tunnel" pilot (which used this movie for all its FX shots)
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Chuckling here, Mary, about the lost dissertation on Streep's 'To An Athlete Dying Young' (very nice reading, effective use of the poem, and I've long since gritted my teeth, bowed to dramatic and scriptwriting necessity, and forgiven the deleted verses). It's an interesting period in Kenyan history, full of rich characters of which Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton were only two. Odd juicy murder in there as well...(if you take the time frame up to 1940, long after Karen and Denys had departed the scene).

I'm not inspired overly much by your descriptions of the DVD commentary. Stoddard is more a 'film historian', isn't she? It's a pity, as there is material worth commenting on in this flick, both from an historical and purely creative point of view.

One positive aspect to this movie - it so disgusted Boxhall's niece that when producers were looking for survivors to assist in the making of ANTR, she contacted her uncle and told him that, in light of the last big screen effort, it was his duty to 'see the poor ship sunk properly'. To her surprise, he agreed.
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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Richard Schickel's commentary track is pretty much a waste IMO. I really didn't hear as much about the production or the film as I'd like, and too many times he just makes asides commenting on the action as though this is a straight version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. They should have had any comments of his on the track with Wagner etc. and devoted the second track to a Titanic scholar alone IMO (and one with some better credentials).

Mind you, the film is worth getting. It's a bargain at $15 and the picture transfer is stunning with crisp sharp detail.

I think it's easier for me to be charitable to this film then I am to Cameron, because ANTR came out in the same timeframe of filmmaking and thus this film did not end up being the sole product on Titanic from this era of filmmaking unlike Cameron. And even though there isn't anything about the film from a Titanic standpoint I can appreciate, the acting and script is so first-rate, especially in the scenes between Stanwyck and Webb, that ultimately it doesn't matter. The scene where Stanwyck opens the door and walks away after her big revelation to Webb is magnificently done. We never see the reaction on Webb's face, but his not bothering to touch the door which comes closed all by itself again says it all.
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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I had not seen the documentary "Beyond Titanic" before getting it on this DVD, but I have to say it was quite impressive. My only quibble was no mention of "SOS Titanic" or the 1956 live version of "A Night To Remember" among Titanic productions (I also did not care for the presence of a certain talking head who shall remain nameless, but that has nothing to do with the overall quality of the presentation), and I think it was a stretch to include "The Poseidon Adventure" (done only because it was a Fox property clearly) in the descriptions.
 
May 5, 2001
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Eric,

Yes, it is correct, Michael Rennie did in fact do the closing narration for '53, Irwin Allen was indeed smart to incorporate TITANIC('53) into the Time Tunnel Pilot, saved production costs to build one. Plus it was a terrific Episode.

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Why is this man smiling?, He now owns TITANIC: The Complete Story On DVD, which includes 'Death Of a Dream' and 'The legend Lives on' and 'Beyond Titanic', and also includes Passenger information and a timeline.

I already checked it out, I saw the first couple of minutes of it, it's clear as a bell and available at Borders............Thanks Eric.

regards,
Bill