Titanic movie made in Germany

  • Thread starter Thorsten Westheider
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Mike Herbold

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Feb 13, 2001
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Thorsten:
The second photograph you showed is identical to a picture on page 46 of Simon Mills book "The Titanic in Pictures." It is a scene from the 1942 German WWII propaganda film "Titanic." Keep in mind that the thrust was anti-British rather than being true to the history of the Titanic. But it is an interesting movie, and is well preserved. There is an English translation of the film available online, in case you need it.
 
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Beatrice Kaiser

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Hi!
I just saw the German movie (we have the video at home)!
It isn´t very well and a lot of the story is wrong! They really didn´t like Ismay (´smay is terrible/stupid in the movie. But some things are like Cameron´s movie.

Bye, BEa
happy.gif
 
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Thorsten Westheider

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Hi - the reason for my starting this thread in the first place was that I always thought there was just one B/W Titanic movie. I remember when I was a child I saw a movie about the Titanic on TV and I figured that it must have been ANTR. But obviously there are at least two B/W Titanic movies, the British one from 1958 and the German one from 1943. I was then wondering what film it was that I had seen over 25 years ago and decided to buy ANTR on DVD to settle this issue once and for all. However, now that I've seen ANTR I'm back to square one as this can't possibly have been the movie from my childhood days (there's no such thing as a gaping gash in ANTR, but it was in that movie I saw back then). Admittedly, I haven't seen the German film yet - if they got the names of the officers wrong it's most likely they didn't care much about the true story either so there's no point seeing that film, is there? Beatrice, what you said seems to prove that point so apparently I didn't miss out on anything. Mike, I don't know that book by Simon Mills, is it worth buying? I've got the books on the Olympic and Britannic by the same author and they're quite informative.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Thorsten, you may have seen the black and white American film from 1953. It was called Titanic and starred Barbara Stanwyk and Clifton Webb. That shows the ship hitting the berg and the long hole in the hull.

The German film was wartime propaganda and was intended to ridicule the British and Americans. Bruce Ismay and John J Astor conspire to lower the price of shares in the International Mercantile Marine (the ship's real owner). They intend to buy many shares at the bottom of the market and then make a fortune when Titanic sets a new record and sends the shares up. Watch for Ismay's sexy girlfriend! It's good fun!
 
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Beatrice Kaiser

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Hi you guys!
Well I suppose the German movie is a really parody. When you watch it, you shouldn´t think about the real Titanic. You see it´s often soooo crazy; for example: a officer drinks alcohol in the bar(!!!) or they having TWO 1. officers...
But thant´s my problem: I always compare the movie with the truth. So I´m upset about the character of Ismay in the movie (I´m really on the side of Ismay).
In my opinion we´re not allowed to pass a finally sentence about Ismay (and a lot of other things like the part of Captain Lord), because we don´t know Ismay better, so we can´t say really the truth of his person. And movies less than ever to do this because in this way thy making a general opinion (You see: When somebody watched the movie, he (maybe) thinks, Ismay is arrogant.)

But it´s really funny to watch the movie (just laughing about the mistakes)
Love, Bea
happy.gif
(Keep smiling)

PS: I didn´t want to offend someone, I just wanted to say my opinion about Ismay.

PPS: Sorry for wrong figures of speech.
 
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John Giancola

Guest
Hello,
I'm a new member, but a Titanicist since a very young age. My question is to Mr. Gittins and Ms. Kaiser. I have not seen the film "Atlantic," but would very much like to. How can I get a copy?
Also, I have a comment for Mr. Westheider. If you haven't seen "Titanic" of 1953, you're in for a real treat. It is Hollywood in the extreme. Everyone sings at the end, including the Captain and for me the film is noteworthy for at least four other scenes, two of which show an amazing attention to detail (#s 2 and 3 that follow) (1) the film depicts an iceberg calving from a glacier at the beginning, (2) when Barbara Stanwyck gets on the tender at Cherbourg there's a rear screen projection as the tender approaches what appears to be the real Olympic, (3) when the helm is put "hard over" to avoid a collision, the Titanic lists heavily to starboard as it actually would have if the helm had ever really been put "hard over" at 22 knots. (no survivors recall such a list), and (4) the iceberg has an underwater spur that gashes deeply into the hull on the wrong side of the bows. Also, although the film is vastly different from the Cameron film, it does feature a young girl who is returning to America against her wishes. Have fun watching it.
I enjoy all of your postings and hope you enjoy mine too.
JohnG
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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John, welcome to the merry throng. I'm afraid I can't help on Atlantic. It's been discussed before and if you search the forum you should find what you want. The film is roughly based on the Titanic story and it annoyed White Star so much that the company tried to stop it being made.

The 1953 Titanic is so inaccurate that it's funny. However, it gets two things right that the rest get wrong. The number saved is given as 712, which is correct. Watch the firing of the socket signals. It correctly shows how they were fired from little mortars, using a lanyard to work a friction device that set off a detonator.
 
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John Giancola

Guest
Dave, thank you for the greetings. I'm hoping that Ms. Kaiser will see my request and tell me where she obtained her copy. I thought that no copies of the film survived. I'll be looking for your tips the next time I screen the 1953 version. How did you come to see "Atlantic?"
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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John, I've not seen Atlantic but I've read some very interesting letters concerning attempts to stop it being made. White Star wrote, "It is extraordinary that a British company should have produced a film so inimical to British interests." That's dated April 16th 1930.

In 1938 Alfred Hitchcock ruffled some feathers with his proposed film called Titanic. He dropped the scheme, apparently for practical reasons.

The German film survived WW II and was quite popular in East Germany as anti-capitalist propaganda. The text is on Bill Wormstedt's site if you do a search. It's not too clear how it ends. There appears to have been scenes set in Mersey's court, but maybe they didn't make the final cut.
 
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Beatrice Kaiser

Guest
Hi!
Well, Dave, I only saw the German movie from TOBIS, Cameron´s movie and some years ago a white-black movie on TV (It deals whit a family which is on the Titanic.). I don´t know which movie you mean. But I can say you that we have the German one on video (we recorded it) and Cameron´s movie we just bought.
If I just said, what you didn´t wanted to know, I feel sorry.

Bye, Bea
happy.gif


PS: I feel really sorry, if i couldn´t help you.
 
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Thorsten Westheider

Guest
Hi Beatrice - whatever Ismay may or may not have been like, you must keep in mind that he made a fatal mistake when he decided to have Titanic equipped with just 16 regular lifeboats instead of at least twice as many (the davits would have allowed for that). Of course, this was in accordance with British Board of Trade regulations but the maths are very simple indeed: Titanic could carry over 3,500 people but there was space in the lifeboats for only about 1,100 passengers and crew members. The reason why the press treated Ismay the way they did, was that he was responsible for not equipping Titanic with the appropriate number of lifeboats and that he was saved while 1,500 people perished. I think that qualifies as being ignorant
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Beware anachronism.

If Ismay was ignorant, he had plenty of company. You would be hard pressed to find any liner of the age that had lifeboats for all. Befor we damn the lot however, it would be a good idea to understand why they held to the attitudes that they did. The notion that a ship could act as her own lifeboat until help arrived was everywhere, all pervasive, and was re-inforced by the recent experience with the RMS Republic which stayed afloat long enough to evacuate the passengers and crew. This was the scenerio which was planned for, and nothing in their experience demonstrated that there would be a need to do otherwise. Ripping openings into six of sixteen watertight sections with an iceberg didn't occur to anybody

It's worth noting, IMO, that the only ship out there that night which had lifeboat space for everybody was the Californian.

Was Ismay unlucky insofar as he was in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Absolutely!

Was he ignorant?

Yes...but no more then anybody else was at the time.
 
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Thorsten Westheider

Guest
Hi Michael,

I completely agree with you as far as Ismay's presence on board the Titanic is concerned. Had he stayed in England, there wouldn't have been much fuss about his role in the disaster for the reasons you stated above (they even had 'excess' space in the collapsibles, which would have worked to Ismay's advantage to some degree). However, what beats me is that they had Titanic equipped with these new Welin davits which could have handled 2 rows of lifeboats (I'm not sure whether any large steamer was equipped with this type of davit previous to the Olympic). I understand that they had these davits installed in case there should be changes to BBT regulations in the future and they thought the boat deck would look too cluttered with two rows of boats anyway (they even had the boats swung out at sea to allow for more space on that deck). But why not just play it safe, because of the additional expenses for 16 more boats? Certainly not. What's different here in my opinion is that the facilities to carry more lifeboats were there but they didn't make use of them because of 'cosmetic' reasons.

Thorsten
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
And up until that time, what reason did they have to do so? I'm sure there were several ships that had the facilities to carry more, but until somebody used an iceberg as a can opener, it didn't really sink in as a reality that they would be needed.

Having said that much, the lifeboats for all thing is not the catch all, solve all answer some think it is. It wouldn't have even been enough to save everyone on the Titanic then. Recall that of 20 boats the ship carried, only 18 were successfully launched. The last two came off as the ship plunged.

Simply putting on adaquate lifeboats isn't necesserily all that safe either as they can add a signifigent amount of topweight. The Eastland...which turned over in a river...may well have been a victim of that.