Comparison between the 1st and the last film made on the Titanic


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Karine Russel

Guest
Hello,i am a French student who has to do a large paper on the Titanic and more specifically i would like to write a paper comparing the first film made on the Titanic(1912) and the last one which is of course the one of James Cameron!
I have the last one and i will certainly have the first one(it is not sure yet)...and i will really appreciate your help,your comments,your ideas in order to write my paper correctly...i have already found a lot of information on the site concerning the history of the tragedy and now i am searching things,ideas on those 2 films...so analysis of people who are really in touch with films will be very appreciated!
Thanks a lot in advance for helping a French student!
 
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Bill DeSena

Guest
Bon jour Karine!

I have never viewed the 1912 film, but have extensively viewed the 1953, 1958 and 1997 films. If I were writing a comparison paper I think I would draw attention to the changes in technology that occured between the two films. In 1912 film technology was primitive compared to today so the production had many challenges to over come in makong the 1912 version that would have been easily done today. Following the comparison of film technology, I would compare the lack of accurate knowledge about the way Titanic sunk in 1912 compared with the work that Dr. Ballard and others have done since then. On a comparison of social themes between 1912 and 1997, I would focus on how much society has changed and how the two films handle the presentation of classes and social stations. Another interesting comparison meight be providing some statistics if available that compare how many people knew about and went to view the film in 1912 as compared with the 1997 film. I hope this helps, and bon chance!

Regards
Bill
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hi!
I just wanted to add a quick note to this discussion. As a film buff and a (former) member of the American Film Institute, I can pretty much guarantee that the first Titanic film made in 1912 "Saved From The Titanic" starring Dorothy Gibson, is a "lost" film. This means that there are no known copies that exist and that the negative has long ago disintegrated. Unless someone finds a copy hiding in their grandmother's attic we will never be able to view this film. Possibly a copy of the script might turn up someday, but many silent films were made with only the bare bones of a script. It's too bad--I would love to see it myself.
Just thought you'd want to know.
Sincerely,
Tracey McIntire
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Tracey is entirely correct, Karine. There are no known copies of the first film, "Saved From the Titanic," starring Titanic survivor and actress Dorothy Gibson. You can learn a little about it by checking out her biography here on the ET website. You'll be interested to know that Ms. Gibson moved to France and eventually died there.

Other areas you may want to review are the recent threads here on the message board in the Titanic Books and Titanic Movies sections.

Two helpful books that you should look for are "The Titanic in Pictures" by Simon Mills and the recently published "The Titanic and Silent Cinema" by Stephen Bottomore. Both were published in Great Britain.

Good Luck,
Mike Herbold
California USA
 

Pat Cook

Member
Apr 27, 2000
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Unless, of course, you can view the 1929 version, originally titled "Atlantic" which was based on a play about the Titanic tragedy. After Cameron's movie came out, this one was rereleased under the name "Titanic". To the best of my knowledge, this is the earliest version extant.

Hope this is of some help.

Best regards,
Cook
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hi again!
I was able to find a copy of "Atlantic." It was actually the second tape in a boxed set. It came along with a bad documentary on Titanic. The second tape is labelled "Titanic (1929)" but it is actually "Atlantic." The quality is not bad considering the age of the film.
Sincerely,
Tracey McIntire
 
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Karine Russel

Guest
Excuse me but are you sure that there is no possibility to find the 1912 film?Indeed i have found it on a site and i am waiting actually for a response of the seller!
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hi Karine!
I would like to know where this person found it. Be careful that you are dealing with a reputable video dealer. I am almost positive that the 1912 film is lost. Perhaps they have another film that they believe is the 1912 one but is another Titanic film. Be sure that Dorothy Gibson is in it, otherwise, it is a different film. If it does turn out to be the 1912 Dorothy Gibson film, then it is a huge historical find! Please let us know what you find out on this thread. I'll be most interested to hear.
Thank you!
Tracey McIntire
 
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Karine Russel

Guest
In fact i have found the film on ebay.com and it was told that the film was found in the attic of an old person...and that several copies of the film were made and sold...but not a large number of copies,only a small one...and i have got it for nearly 20 dollars...the seller had contacted me and now i am still waiting for his response cause our last mail was about the condition of sending(air or surface mail)...if he was not serious it is really annoying for me and my memoire on it...i am desperate...
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Okay--I know what film you are talking about. It is not the film with Dorothy Gibson but it is from 1912. It is a brief film of the actual Titanic taken when she was in the fitting out dock at Harland and Wolff. If you are looking for the 1912 fictional story "Saved From The Titanic" with Dorothy Gibson, this is not it.
I hope this clears things up!
Sincerely,
Tracey McIntire
 
May 12, 2005
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Tracey,Karine,Mike,& Bill,

Though the Dorothy Gibson film is lost, what of the German film also made in 1912 called "In Nacht Und Eis"? I believe this film was discovered and is being restored by a German archive. Is this so?

If so it will be every bit as important as the recently released newsreel footage. I hope that like the newsreel, "In Nacht Und Eis" will eventually be available to the public on video or DVD.

Randy
 
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Karine Russel

Guest
I would like to thank Mike for the very helpful books he advised me but i would like to know where i can find them...I have went to amazon.co.uk and i have got "Titanic in pictures" and "THE Titanic in pictures",so which one is it?Unfortunately i can't find the other one so where can i get it?
Thanks in advance,
Karine.
 
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Karine Russel

Guest
Tracey,i have had a response from the seller and as you told me to be careful,i have asked him if his film features Dorothy Gibson...we will see...i keep you in touch...
Karine.
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Karine:
I looked at Amazon.co.uk to see what you were talking about. My copy reads "The Titanic in Pictures." You'll notice that the one without the "The" doesn't have a picture available, so the actual title is probably the same. My version is soft-cover, which might explain the price difference on there. It may be a moot point, though. Looks like it may be special order, but give it a try. Here's the information on the publisher:

Wordsmith Publications
Chiltern House
120, Eskdale Avenue,
Chesham,
Buckinghamshire HP5 3BD

Here's how to order a copy of the newer book, "The Titanic and Silent Cinema" by Stephen Bottomore. Write to Stephen Herbert at:
[email protected]

I wasn't aware that the August 1912 German film "IN NACHT und EIS," that Randy Bigham mentioned still existed. Simon Mills says that it was lost. I re-read Bottomore's reference and sat up straight in my chair:

"In Nacht und Eis" was also distributed in several European countries. A print with Swedish subtitles used for the recent restoration of the film, proves that it was shown in Scandinavia."

I am leaving out all kinds of interesting information that Bottomore mentions on the world-wide distribution of the German version, because its many pages long and I only type with two fingers, but I'd suggest you contact Stephen Herbert for information on where to find a copy of the movie. He's a film historian himself. Please come back and post the answer for us. There's quite a few people that would love to buy one immediately if not sooner.

Are there any German-speakers listening? Mills translates "In Nacht und Eis" as "Night Time in the Ice" while Bottomore says "Night and Ice." Which is correct?
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Randy -

The German film from 1912 has indeed been discovered - my German flatmate has a copy, and was kind enough to translate the narrative for me as the words flashed up on screen.

On the plus side, what you were looking at were the people of 1912 - how they looked physically. It brings a degree of authenticity to the costuming. The plot and acting were, as one would anticipate, simplistic. Smith and his First Officer (Murdoch?) seemed absolutely unable to comprehend the approach of the berg. And I mean they kept rushing back out to examine it with their telescopes. This went on for quite some time (enough to have you muttering under the breath 'yes...it's still there!')Much clutching of heads and silent, pantomime histrionics...oh, and the first officer is so distraught he loses his hat. Smith is allowed to heroically rescue a passenger, before it all ends abruptly with him drowning. All very interesting!

Ing
 

Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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We keep talking about the old film. Two books about Cameron's film were published in The Country Formerly Known as the United States:

"James Cameron's Titanic" and
"Titanic and the Making of James Cameron" by Paula Parisi.
Both of these are readily available through booksellers or on eBay.
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Another round of applause for the internet.
Okay, Inger, Where do we go to buy it?
If we don't all have a copy by then, brings yours to San Francisco with you next month and we'll all supply the popcorn and Guiness.
 
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Bill DeSena

Guest
Hi all

I just declared myself dictator of California! I will be renaming my new country Titanstein so please note it on your maps etc,.

Thanks
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Not so fast, Captain Bill. Within the former state of California I'm claiming the Queen Mary and everything within 26 miles in every direction and calling my new country Sunny Queen Maryland.

The Queen Mary, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and Catalina Island are henceforth only open to local residents. (ET board members will be allowed as guests of SQueeM residents.)

Residents of Los Angeles will be shipped to Oakland to join their beloved Raiders. The parts of Downtown Los Angeles not already in ruins will be demolished and left to return to the wild. LAX will become a one-way airport -- outbound only.

Captain Mike
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Where is the Line of Death going to be? Just wouldn't be right not for two new warring nations not to have one. LAX-a-tive International Scareport perhaps?

By the way, Mike, I rather thought that Los Angelas HAD returned to the wild long befor anyone thought about tearing any buildings down.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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