Movie vs Historical

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Greetings all!
I just wanted to mention one innacuracy (Out of many...I know) that I have often overlooked. On the ode of the ship sequence, before Jack hollared his King of the World line, there is an officer mistake. Smith tells Murdoch to take the ship to sea.
But in reality, this would have taken place at around 3:30 pm, when Titanic was passing the Old Head of Kinsale and headed out to open sea. At this time, the officers in command would be Wilde, whom started his watch at 2:00 pm, ending at 6:00 pm, when Lightoller takes over. Murdoch's shift had begun at 10:00 am and was over at 2:00pm.
Is my information correct?
All Ahead Full!
Shane N. Worthy
Dramatic license is about all I can say to that. You see it a lot in cinima. I don't have a tmeline handy, but my bet is that your observations are pretty close to the reality.
I don't understand why Cameron, with all his knowlledge of Titanic, made so many inaccurate mistakes, espeacilly with help from Lynch and Marschall. Too much use of dramatic license in my opinion.
But then again, its not easy to correct and identify the mistakes before releasing the movie, how many times have we noticed our mistakes only after it has been done?
It's also called, as Michael correctly pointed out, poetic license. Imagine a non-Titanic audience (which buys most of the tickets, BTW) trying to keep track of all those people and all those events. Story compression and the occasional historical fudge become necessary evils, even if we buffs don't like it.

One thing is for certain: Don't go to the movies to learn history.
The non-Titanics wouldn't notice the difference anyway. How could they know, and why should we expect them to do so? It's the fact the we know all too well the myth from the truth (or what is still speculative) that allows us to notice these things and to know what to look for, that makes us say, "yeah, right!" It's not only the movie-makers having erred, but also that fact that we have an advantage, which makes the movies so erroneous. Ongoing research is that which gradually straightens it all out. Before 1985, Titanic was in one piece. Now, the movie-makers go out of their way to emphasize that fact through spectacular special effects and such. If we weren't there to say, "that's wrong, and that's wrong...and that's not exactly right," the movies wouldn't be getting closer in sync with the truth.

That's my take on it, anyway.
I just can't get all that bent out of shape over movies and their inherent limitations. I'll never agree totally with what they show anyhow.

What really fries me are the authors and so-called researchers who continue to dump book after book, and documentary after documentary, on the unsuspecting public without keeping themselves current on the latest research and discoveries.

>>What really fries me are the authors and so-called researchers who continue to dump book after book, and documentary after documentary, on the unsuspecting public without keeping themselves current on the latest research and discoveries.<<

Hello Mark & Matt, I have noticed the fact too that there were quite a bit of inaccuracies in James Cameron's film. One thing that bothered me just happened to be the climactic point of the film, the breaking up of the ship. I think Cameron over riched it Hollywood style. Yes, it was spectacular, yes it was interesting. I myself enjoyed the scene and the work Cameron put into the scene...or the whole film for that matter. But historically, the scene still was not correct. Mark, take what you said above...before the discovery of the Titanic in 1985, it was largely accepted by eye-witnesses that the ship sank whole. Even Lightoller himself said so. However, there were eye witnesses that did see the truth and that the ship DID in fact break up. But by and large they were dismissed because they were in the minority. Most of the survivors actually DIDN'T see the breakup. So it is given that the breakup mostly occured just at or just below the water. In Cameron's version, the ship clearly splits way above the water and ALL the funnels break off. In the movie this is so obvious and blatant that if it were the case in real life, just about all the survivors would have seen it. Also historically it is given that only one of the funnels broke off above the surface. Then there is the final plunge. Again JC's version is spectacular and well done, but still, the stern didn't rise to 90 degrees. It was no where near that according to witnesses. Even in the movie "A Night To Remember", the angle of decent was thought to be excessive. So I have mixed feelings about the scene. Yes, it does depict the newer information that the Titanic did break up at the surface in a very interesting way. But at the same time Cameron did it with such flambouyancy that it does push the limits on what is historically accepted as fact based on eye witnesses. I even believe that to a certain extent even "A Night To Remember" is the more accurate of the two films. To this day, I prefer that film over Cameron's version. But true, if Cameron did stick to tride and true detail, what would have? Another "A Night To Remember", but updated a bit and colorized. Clearly that is not what Cameron was shooting for and that wouldn't have won him all those awards. So it boils down to us Titanic buffs that it is a like it or lump it situation when it comes to inaccuracies the film. So overall I do come to accept both films as they are.
Addendum to what I written above.

I have discovered new information as to what I originally said above. Much I found on this site. However it does contradict alot of what I previously know or accept as fact. So I do 'somewhat' retract what I said about Jim Cameron overblowing the breakup scene in the movie. It could be that he based it on this new evidence that I found as much of his depiction of the breakup scene can be traced to this information I found. But again it is contrary information. As I am finding out there is alot of grey areas about Titanic and finding new contradictory information certainly doesn't help things, and I find myself more and more trying to separate what is true and what is not.

Jeffrey Word

George I wouldn't say you were really wrong with your first post. Really if you think about it, it was extremely dark that night and if you were in a lifeboat at the distance away from the ship that they are all said to have been, you wouldn't exactly be able to make out much but shadows and maybe an outline of the ship against the sky. A lot of survivors said that's all they could see once the ships lights went out. So being able to see the break up happen, and with everything happening so fast, well to them it was happening fast, it would be hard to completely recollect what anybody saw a 'shadow' do in the water. More than likely, the survivors that actually ended up in the water next to the ship, I would think, would be the more reliable source for information as far as the ships final moments. Simply because they were close to it.

However, being that close to something so huge can really throw you off too. Especially when you're being "stabbed by a thousand knives" swimming in that water with the waves slapping you in the face, it'd be hard to make out anything and then especially to REMEMBER it with 100% accuracy.

I guess the whole point of this post is that I feel that the "fine details" of the break-up and final plunge are a very much open topic to discussion. And an interesting discussion. People can go on forever about the physics of it, laws of nature, gravity, etc.

I guess the sad fact, with so many different/conflicting accounts by many reliable survivor sources, nobody really knows EXACTLY what that last 4-5 minutes was like. The baker, can't remember his name right off hand, the one that was reportedly drunk through the whole thing, said that he climbed to the outside rail of the poop deck and rode it straight down like an elevator into the sea. By his account that puts it perfectly vertical. People say the rudder and propellers were barely out of the water when the stern finally slid into the sea, smoothly, I might add, with no break-up. I just find all the theories very interesting and love to hear people's opinions on the subject. Hope to hear more from you too George!

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