Charles Lightoller

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Neil McRae

Member
For some reason the Titanic's second officer has always fascinated me, even before I learned of his presence at Dunkirk and in other shipwreck. I was amazed to learn he actually travelled to the Klondike during the gold rush and was a cowboy for a time.

While a fine biography titled "The Odyssey of C.H. Lightoller" was written, Mr. Lightoller seems to only get the standard treatment all the other prominent passengers and crew recieved in terms of documentation.

Does anyone find it odd that this man, who seemed ncapable of dying at sea has had so little written about him specifically? This is the type of fellow movies are made about.

I'm just surprised that such a fascinating life has not been examined more.
 
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Brandon Whited

Member
Hello,

I think he is interesting, too. I think it is odd that he has had little written about him. I like the way he is portrayed in ANTR, but not in Cameron's "Titanic".

-B.W.
 
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Erik Wood

Member
Another interesting thread for you folks may the "What if Lightoller had Watch" I am not sure what folder it is in.

Erik
 
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Erik Wood

Member
The thread that I mentioned above is in the Collision/Sinking theories folder.

Erik
 
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Scott Cosso

Member
I agree the Lightoller is portrayed very differently in ANTR and Cameron's "Titanic". In ANTR he is portrayed a a friendly, chubby,nice man. In Titanic he is a slim and strict man.I think people should see "Titanic" to see a great movie, but also see ANTR to see how crewman and officers probably acted like.
 
Kyrila Scully

Kyrila Scully

Member
ANTR is probably a more accurate portrayal of Lightoller since no less than two surviving officers contributed technical advice to the producer, but I also have to ask if they didn't subconsciously put themselves in a better light in response to the German propaganda film. You know how the British felt about the Germans in the late 40's and 50's.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Any resemblance between Kenneth More and Lightoller in ANTR is purely accidental. Anybody who has ever heard Lightoller's distinctive deep voice and his Lancashire accent would find More hilarious. Even funnier is Lightoller's wife, with her toffy English accent. Sylvia Lightoller was an Aussie! I find the whole film decidedly over-rated.
 
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Neil McRae

Member
I thought Cameron's Lightoller looked more like Steven Weber from the sitcom "Wings". I think the Lightoller in the 1996 CBS mini-series looked pretty good. The actor who played him there was named Kevin McNulty.

Where did you hear Lightoller "distinctive deep voice"? Is there some video or audio document featuring him?
 
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Kerri Sundberg

Member
Kyrila Scully wrote:

no less than two surviving officers contributed technical advice to the producer

Hi Kyrila,

You make a very good point regarding the German propaganda film, however, I would like to point out that only *one* of Titanic's surviving officers contributed as a technical consultant on ANTR. By the time the film was made, 2nd Officer Lightoller and 5th Officer Lowe had already passed away. Inger and I have seen correspondence confirming that 3rd Officer Pitman wanted nothing to do with it. Which, of course, leaves 4th Officer Boxhall.

According to his family, Boxhall had some health problems at the time the film was being made and recommended that his close friend Cmdr. Grattidge of the Cunard line also be signed on as a consultant. It is he, not another Titanic officer, who is credited as a consultant along with Cmdr. Boxhall at the beginning of the movie.

Regards,
Kerri
 
Kyrila Scully

Kyrila Scully

Member
Not to argue the point but could you tell me where you found that information? Is it in MacQuiddy's book? I'm curious, because I have the video and always read the credits and could have sworn I read the names of two crewmen, Boxhall and a deck crewman, I want to say Fleet, but I know that's not correct.
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
It's immediately after the credit that says, "Directed by Roy Baker". That comes after all the performers and technical workers.
 
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Brandon Whited

Member
Hello,

I always pictured Lightoller as being a deep-voiced, rugged man. From the sound of his voice on Encarta, I at least got the voice part right. I do not know very much about how he acted at home, and not much of how he acted prior to the collision. I do know that as the boats were being filled, he stuck to the rule of "women and children first", up until nearly the end. Does anyone have any information on what he was like away from the Titanic and ships? How was his personality? Did he joke a lot? I am curious.

Thanks.

-B.W.
 
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Pat Cook

Member
For what it's worth, the credit also reads something to the effect of thanking 'other survivors' - while uncredited, these would include Lawrence Beesley and Edith Russel (Rosenbaum). You can see some wonderful shots of them in "The Making of 'A Night To Remember'".

As for hearing Lightoller's voice (this may have been mentioned and I missed it) there is a cassette being sold - "THAT FATEFUL NIGHT: True Stories of TITANIC survivors - In Their Own Words!" put out by Bantum Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing. Way too much narration on it (IMHO) but not only can you hear Lightoller and Boxhall recall the events but also Sir Arthur Rostron and survivors including Edith Russel, Eva Hart and several others.

Hope this is of some help.

Best regards,
Cook
 
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Kerri Sundberg

Member
Hi All,

Thank you Dave, that's absolutely correct! It does indeed come after the director's credit and immediately before the screen fades to black with the year 1912 printed in white.

Pat Cook, of course, is the man who can tell you more about the other survivors who were involved- directly or indirectly- with the movie. But as for surviving officers, there was only one- Boxhall.

Brandon, regarding Lightoller's personality... various accounts all point to a man with a rich sense of humor and fun-loving personality. I'd highly recommend reading Lightollers book, "Titanic and Other Ships" and Patrick Stenson's biography, "The Odyssey of C.H. Lightoller" aka "Titanic Voyager". Hope this is of help!

Cook, wonderful to see you!! :) You're right, it's a great cassette and your opinion regarding the narration is shared by others- myself included. Despite that it's well worth a listen- and isn't Edith Russel just a gem??!!

Take Care,
Kerri
 
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