Survivor thoughts on Cameron film


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Jon Meadows

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Are there any published thoughts by the TITANIC survivors who say the Cameron film? I'd be interested to know what any of them thought of the depiction.
 

John Clifford

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Jon, I think the only survivor who saw Cameron's film was the late Eleanor Schuman.

Millvina Dean was adamant that she would NOT see the film, especially when she was invited to a special screening in London.

Millvina said that she received a special invitation, with a statement about "Prince Charles will be there, and he hopes to see you".
Millvina's reaction was something like "I don't care if the entire Royal Family will be there. I'm not going to see that film"!!.

I don't know if Millvina's statements about the film showed up on any Titanic documentaries. I do recall her, in October 1999, mentioning her decision not to see Cameron's film, when she was interviewed for Canadian Television during the THS Heritage Tour VI: the interview was held at the Chateau Frontenac Hotel. Millvina had decided not to go on a New York to Quebec City QE2 Excursion, and met everyone in Quebec City, for the Quebec area Land Tour portion of that Tour.

If Eleanor Schuman was not interviewed, nor confided her feelings to others, then her thoughts about the film will never be known.
 
Jul 12, 2003
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If I were in Millvina's place, I don't know if I would want to see the film and "relive" the event. I probably wouldn't.

The sinking was probably one (if not the) most painful and traumatic memories of her life. Maybe she didn't want to "see" the faces of her friends and fellow passengers in the faces of the performers. I don't know.

Perhaps she didn't want to see the film because she already made peace with the event and decided to leave it at rest.
 
Jul 12, 2003
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LOL....dumb me....I totally forgot about the age. Still, maybe she didn't want any "pictures" of the tragedy engraved in her mind....especially from those who weren't there.

Aside from the Titanic, imagine all the things she has seen in her lifetime.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

Still, maybe she didn't want any "pictures" of the tragedy engraved in her mind

I don't think you're far off the mark with that one. Considering that her father perished in the disaster, who would want those kinds of images in their head. Although, she is thought of as a celebrity which she takes in great stride.

quote:

imagine all the things she has seen in her lifetime

Not only that, but all the experiences she has been through as well. She's a remarkable lady.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I think it's fair to say that survivors views on the movies were as mixed as anyone elses, though for far more personal reasons, and not just with Cameron's work. I recall one (The name escapes me) who said of ANTR, that it wasn't a night to remember, "It was a night to forget." Small wonder that anyone who lived the horror for real wouldn't be keen to relive it on the silver screen.
 
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After the film came out, I remember seeing an interview with Eleanoror Schumann on, of all shows, Entertainment Tonight (or another of those entertaimment news programs).

I can't say 100% that she had already seen the movie at the time, but her attitude was definitely excited and upbeat and had been looking forward to seeing it. I remember reading or seeing that she thought the movie was reasonably accurate and generally enjoyed it.

If I recall, Jim Cameron invited her to a screening and treated her like a VIP and so she had fond memories of the whole experience which is nice since she passed away only months afterward.
 

John Clifford

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It was noted by one Titanic author that Millvina Dean did see ANTR, and had nightmares about it, afterwards. From then on she chose not to see any films about the Titanic.
 

John Clifford

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BTW, Michael, I believe it was Rene Harris who was quoted as saying, about ANTR, "It was a night to forget", just as she expressed her dissatisfaction about THS originally being called "Titanic Enthusiasts Association".
 
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According to an article in People magazine, Michel Navratil saw the movie. Eleanor Shuman liked the movie and thought it was very realistic. I asked her what she thought about Rose throwing the Heart of the Ocean necklace into the water and Eleanor said "She should have thrown it my way".
 

Jeremy Lee

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Different people would have different interpretations of the film, even if they were all survivors.
 

Mark Draper

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Yep. I'd be curious though how Millvena would see the documentary GotA also made by Cameron showign the wreck. I think she'd be quite shocked about how enthusiastic some are about the ship. I for one am very curious about the wreck, seeing the ghostly ship still sitting there. I view Titanic and disasters like that from a scientific view- facts and findings.

Is she still alive?
 

John Clifford

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Erica, both Barbara West (approaching age 95) and Lillian Asplund (approaching age 100) are the only other survivors still living. Both women have chosen not to discuss the tragedy, as has been noted in other threads.
 
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