Titanic miniseries and Murdoch

  • Thread starter Jonathan Payette
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Jonathan Payette

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Hello,

in the '96 Titanic miniseries, First Officer Murdoch is played as an arrogant man, who's superiority feeling seems to take control of all his moves and words. In Cameron's movie though, he is played as a regular Officer who does his job consciously without any kind of arrogance, fully aware of his job, etc.

I would believe that the real Murdoch would have been like in Cameron's movie. Them why did the miniseries had to make him look such arrogant to the limit of stupidity ?

Thanks,
Jonathan
 

Adam McGuirk

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May 19, 2002
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Hey, everyone.

I haven't posted here in ages! I have been very busy for a while with school and everything. Jonathan, the 96 miniseries messes up in a lot more places than Murdoch. Which leads me to believe that they didn't research things to carefully or simply didn't care in some places. The woman who played Molly Brown didn't even look like her. She reminded me of a flat out redneck. Sometimes I don't think that the producers cared. They had to know what Molly Brown had dark hair. They could have had the woman dye her hair!

Adam
 
Dec 6, 2000
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And, as was said about Cameron's story too - they were *not* trying to do a documentary. They were doing a fictional story on a historical backdrop.

It's obvious which of these movies cared more about the actual history - though even Cameron discarded 'history' in favor of 'his story' in a few places.
 
Jul 9, 2002
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Something I have always notice in Cameron's TITANIC is the portrail of Lights. It seems to me that in the movie he is shown as a fumbling, inept fool. I get this from the scene when Andrews comes up to him and asks why the boats are being sent away half full. Lightoller looks around like an idiot and gives him some cock-a-maymee answer all the while looking like he has no idea what is going on. This has always botherd me due to the fact that everything I have ever read about the man and the night of TITANIC'S sinking leads me to believe that he was not only competant but brave and resourcefull. He lead from the front as any good leader should and helped keep the men on top of his overturned boat alive until they could be rescued. Of all the "characters" in the TITANIC story, Lights is one whom I feel should be shown with respect and dignity. Cheers.
Ryan
 
Jan 10, 2006
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Ryan,

You might want to read the recent exchange between myself and Bill Wormstedt on Lightoller's role in the loading of lifeboats. It is at the end of the thread, Collision/Sinking/Theories: Ttitanic could have survived.

Of the lifeboats that Bill and I agree were the ones Lightoller directly was involved in loading--4,6,8,12 and Collapsible D--there was an excess capacity of about 57%! Much higher than the overall rate. On those boats, alone, up to as many as 186 people on the Titanic might have been rescued!

Add to this Lightoller's bungling of the loading of Lifeboat 4, his cruel provocative policy of women and children only, and his overtly xenophobic and racist statements in his 1935 work, 'Lights' as you call him might not have been quite as competent and resourceful as you've been led to believe.

DG
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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David wrote: "On those boats, alone, up to as many as 186 people on the Titanic might have been rescued!"

Well, to be fair in the matter, if we take all the numbered boats from the starboard side we also find they could've saved a further 209+ passengers - and on that side, both men and women were allowed in the boats.

Just thought I'd throw that into the mix, for what it's worth.

Best regards,
Cook
 
Jan 10, 2006
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Pat,

Well, to be fair let's compare apples to apples. Lightoller was basically in charge of loading lifeboats on the port side, including Collapsible D, and Murdoch was in charge on the starboard side, including Lifeboat C (although the latter was actually loaded by Wilde). Collapsibles A and B were never properly launched and therefore should not be included.

By my calculations, using ET data, Murdoch's boats were loaded at 71.5% of capacity. Lightoller's were loaded at 50%. Murdoch's boats had an excess capacity of 161. Lightoller's, an excess capacity of 273.

DG
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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Hi David,

I'm sure your figures are correct. I was simply trying to point out that other factors were in play here. JMHO

Best regards,
Cook
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Re: Collapsible C

From our (Behe, Fitch, me) lifeboat article:

"First Officer Murdoch and Chief Officer Wilde were both present for at least part of the loading of Collapsible C on the starboard side (footnote 126), though it appears Wilde was there only temporarily, as he then went back over to the port side of the ship to work with Collapsible D."

Footnote 126 says: Br. 10391-10394 (Pearcey, re: Murdoch), Amer. 886 (Woolner, re: Murdoch), Amer. 519 (Rowe, re: Wilde, Amer. 15 (Ismay, re: Wilde).

Obviously, there could have been some mis-identification of which officer was there. However, due to the close times in lowering of C and D (we estimate 2:00 for C, vs 2:05 for D), I feel Wilde would have only have had a short time to spend at C.
 
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Patti Darby

Guest
Ryan-

From what I know of Lightoller, he was indeed competent, brave and resourceful. He was also human, and as such, sometimes made mistakes, showed poor judgement or miscalculated a situation.

There are those who tend to see him in no good light, particularly in regard to his actions on the night in question. Seems I have read that some of Cameron's historical advisors may have been in that camp, hence the somewhat negative portrayal.

Johnny Phillips, who portrayed Mr. Lightoller, is, in my opinion, a fine actor, but not a very good representation of the commander. Much too serious and uptight.

There are many threads on ET dealing with this complex and colorful man. Treat yourself to the Crew Research, Lightoller discussions as well as the one David G suggested. Enjoy and learn!

Patti
 
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Patti Darby

Guest
Ryan-

I may have to stand corrected about the historical advisors. Those in the know say that Cameron probably had the last word on the Lightoller portrayal. My apologies to Don Lynch.

Patti
 
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Drew Adamick

Guest
I agree about Lightoller in Cameron's film. He is a bit too serious. Me, personally, I think Lightoller was kind of a mix of Cameron's Lightoller, and Kenneth More's Lightoller in AMTR.

Oh and also on the subject of apperances in the movies that are different that those in reality. The Molly Brown in SOS Titanic also didn't look like the real Molly Brown.
 

Pat Winship

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May 8, 2001
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Cameron's Lightoller is too sour, too uptight, and too arrogant. And McQuitty's is too prim and proper. The real Lights was none of these things. The best portrait of him, as I have said ad nauseam, is his own book.

Pat W
 

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