Captain Smith's role in the disaster


Nov 14, 2005
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I realize that I am about 8 years too late to the conversation, but I too have this issue when mentioning James Cameron's TITANIC. I find the film to be absolutely brilliant and this was considered a "faux pas" amongst my peers as I was pursuing my degree in history. It is often forgotten that the film itself is a memory; a memory from a fictional survivor that Cameron created by quilting together aspects of actual survivor testimony. I've listened to hours upon hours of survivor testimony and I know exactly which ones he chose. That's not to say that there weren't other eyewitnesses who remembered things differently. The name of the game in the years since the film's success has been to discredit every portion of the film systematically which means discrediting survivor testimony. Elizabeth Lines testimony about overhearing Ismay urging Smith to get to New York on Tuesday to beat the Olympic? DOUBTED. Helen Candee's personal writings about her trips to the bow which inspired the final sunset scene? FICTION. Eva Hart's recollection of seeing the ship break in half and stand straight up in the water for "quiet a long time, or what seemed like a long time" as seen in the film? DIDN'T HAPPEN. There seems to be an absurd and, frankly, ridiculous animosity toward Cameron's film amongst cyber historians. There is a tremendous wealth of information in Cameron's film that goes unnoticed. The most valid complaint I've heard is Cameron showing some of the gates locked in the film - Though this same thing is shown in A Night to Remember, it does not receive the venom that Cameron's film does. In fact, it rarely seems to be criticized despite its glaring flaws. You are correct about Cameron's impact of the interest in Titanic as well. I remember doing a report on Titanic in 4th grade (a couple of years prior to the film). I was fascinated by this ship that so few people had heard of, adults of kids. Some adults knew the name of the ship and that it sank but not much more. Finally, the thing I discovered at the university was that those who criticized my love and defense of Cameron's Titanic knew very little about the subject at all. They had not listened to interview after interview or read testimony etc. Saying that you didn't like the film was almost like the thing you were "supposed" to say, and then quickly follow it by stating "I prefer 'A Night to Remember," that is the most historically accurate Titanic film!" Cameron's film is my favorite though and I have no shame in it. And, how I wish I could have seen that film set! :)
I agree with pretty much all you said. Although they will never admit it a lot of so called experts and self proclaimed Titanic historians only got into it because of Cameron's movie. I have always defended his movie. But maybe for different reasons. Mostly his attempt to recreate the ship as accurately as he could on film. Sure there were flaws but he did a good job overall of bringing it to the screen. The movies before his weren't very accurate at all but I don't even fault them because they could only work with what they had. And even though the first half of Cameron's movie was just Romeo and Juliette on the high sea's I always defended that too because he never would have gotten green lighted by the studio to make the movie without it. Besides even though it was unrealistic it was entertaining. Cheers.
 
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Jun 12, 2021
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I agree with pretty much all you said. Although they will never admit it a lot of so called experts and self proclaimed Titanic historians only got into it because of Cameron's movie. I have always defended his movie. But maybe for different reasons. Mostly his attempt to recreate the ship as accurately as he could on film. Sure there were flaws but he did a good job overall of bringing it to the screen. The movies before his weren't very accurate at all but I don't even fault them because they could only work with what they had. And even though the first half of Cameron's movie was just Romeo and Juliette on the high sea's I always defended that too because he never would have gotten green lighted by the studio to make the movie without it. Besides even though it was unrealistic it was entertaining. Cheers.
It's so nice to talk to others who feel similarly about Cameron's film. I have always viewed Jack and Rose sort of a "tour guides" -- We were able to see some much of the ship through them and Cameron could put then in every location needed to give the audience the details of the sinking, so their inclusion has never been offensive or angering to me the way I have seen in others. I'm still discovering little "Easter eggs" that Cameron placed in the film based on survivor testimony. The other day I was listening to Officer Boxhall's account and there is a small portion where he talks about walking through the First Class Lounge after the collision and mentioning that Alexander's Ragtime Band was playing. In the film, this entire moment was recreated as Thomas Andrews is walking through the lounge after the collision while Alexander's Ragtime Band was playing. It just astounded me because, prior to hearing that, I thought that scene was created by Cameron - not realizing that the time, location, and even the music was based upon an eyewitness account. Anyway, if you ever want to talk about things you appreciate about his film then you can feel free to talk to me :)
 
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It's so nice to talk to others who feel similarly about Cameron's film. I have always viewed Jack and Rose sort of a "tour guides" -- We were able to see some much of the ship through them and Cameron could put then in every location needed to give the audience the details of the sinking, so their inclusion has never been offensive or angering to me the way I have seen in others. I'm still discovering little "Easter eggs" that Cameron placed in the film based on survivor testimony. The other day I was listening to Officer Boxhall's account and there is a small portion where he talks about walking through the First Class Lounge after the collision and mentioning that Alexander's Ragtime Band was playing. In the film, this entire moment was recreated as Thomas Andrews is walking through the lounge after the collision while Alexander's Ragtime Band was playing. It just astounded me because, prior to hearing that, I thought that scene was created by Cameron - not realizing that the time, location, and even the music was based upon an eyewitness account. Anyway, if you ever want to talk about things you appreciate about his film then you can feel free to talk to me :)
Well I haven't watched the movie since I think 2012 when it on during the 100th anniversary. But I have the DVD. I will have to put it in some day and and check out the easter eggs. I didn't know they were still doing that with DVD's. I thought that fad kind of went away after a while but guess not. There used to be websites that had them all to find. I will go look to see if there still around. Thanks for the info. Cheers.
 
Jun 12, 2021
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Well I haven't watched the movie since I think 2012 when it on during the 100th anniversary. But I have the DVD. I will have to put it in some day and and check out the easter eggs. I didn't know they were still doing that with DVD's. I thought that fad kind of went away after a while but guess not. There used to be websites that had them all to find. I will go look to see if there still around. Thanks for the info. Cheers.
Perhaps I am using the term Easter eggs improperly lol - It's just little moments that are recreated directly eyewitness accounts that I have picked up on after listening to interviews. There's nothing on the DVD that directly points them out. Another, for example, is when Rose's mother gets out of the vehicle and says "this is the ship they say is 'unsinkable'" which is a direct quote from what Eva Hart's mother said upon their arrival to the dock in Southampton. It's a lot more fun to listen to interviews and discover these things in the film than it is to find the "flaws" - But it's been hard to find others who feel the same way. lol
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Perhaps I am using the term Easter eggs improperly lol - It's just little moments that are recreated directly eyewitness accounts that I have picked up on after listening to interviews. There's nothing on the DVD that directly points them out. Another, for example, is when Rose's mother gets out of the vehicle and says "this is the ship they say is 'unsinkable'" which is a direct quote from what Eva Hart's mother said upon their arrival to the dock in Southampton. It's a lot more fun to listen to interviews and discover these things in the film than it is to find the "flaws" - But it's been hard to find others who feel the same way. lol
No problem. Terms often morph over time. When I hear the term "easter eggs" it means stuff like in the link below. Cheers.
 
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