TitanicDisaster on the Alantic The Titanic Chronicles

May 3, 2005
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"Titanic- Disaster on the Atlantic" and "The Titanic Chronicles" seems to be a new DVD offering of a ca. 1929 movie and an audio presentation of the U.S. Senate Investigation testimonies. The reviews aren't very flattering.
Has anyone checked this out ?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The film was called Atlantic, and though inspired by the Titanic disaster it was a fictional screenplay. As a very early 'talkie', it's of interest more to film historians than to Titanic historians. Though it has its moments, much of the production is laughably bad and a good demonstration of the problems experienced in adapting to the new medium of sound. Here on ET there are several existing threads which discuss the film and its history:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/5672/38123.html?1059750297
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J

Jeffrey Word

Guest
I've been reading through the other 'Atlantic' threads and am shocked at so many not liking the film. Though, I completely understand everyone's different and all like different things. When I first saw the film a few years ago, I thought it would be a treasure for any Titanic movie enthusiast to have. I really love it, for what it is.
IMO it drove the point home very well. I especially liked how they left the ending with us not actually seeing the ship sink. The most nightmarish scenes and effects are often best left to one's own imagination.
To me also, it kind of felt like I was watching the real thing happen in a few scenes. Just because the video technology didn't LOOK all that much better in '29 than it did in '12. So to me, it looked like someone had set up a 1912 video cam, and was filming the chaos on the boatdecks. I always thought that was very well done. The jerkiness of the film itself adds to that effect in my eyes.
Yes, the dialog sucks. But it was 1929 and the original plan was that this was to be a silent film. And some shots and already been completed before the final decision to add sound had been made. If you really look you can tell which scenes were recorded with sound, and which scenes sound was added to later.
My favorite character from the story had to have been Mr. Rool. I don't know why exactly that I like his character so much, but I do. Maybe because he and Mrs. Rool remind me so much of the Strauses. I found that part of the film especially touching. The other actors in the film were okay, but did not have the impact of this couple.
All in all, I give 'Atlantic' two thumbs up. They really had Hell from shipping companies and threats out the wazoo from all sorts of sources during the making of this film. That's a lot of stress on the film makers to do it "just so" so as not to offend the wrong parties. I just consider it a job well done with very limited means. I'll always treasure this film and probably continue to watch it about once or twice a year. And to PUBLIC access, it's really the first of it's kind. As far as Titanic films go it IS the first of it's kind. I say that because 'Saved from the Titanic' is, for now, lost. And "En Nacht Und Eis" is in the hands of some stiff who won't put it out for the public to enjoy. Which I feel is a true shame.
 
May 3, 2005
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As explained in the commentary,the movie "Titanic - Disaster In The Atlantic" was made in 1929 and was originally entitled "Atlantic" and the ship and characters are entirely fictional. The plot is one of those "loosely based" on the Titanic in that the ship strikes an iceberg and sinks. Most of the costumes and settings are definitely 1929-ish. The actors are a bit in the "cardboard cut out" variety or a bit wooden at the best. Franklin Dyall as the somewhat mysterious "Mr. Rool", with his sepulchural voice is perhaps the best of the lot and there is a a bit of attempted comic relief from Monty Banks. "Officer Lanchester" seems to be based somewhat on Lightoller. Madeline Carroll appears briefly. The video is bad to fair and the audio on the musical numbers by the band is even worse. There are long scenes which should have been cut and the band drones on and on. However, it does makes interesting viewing into some scenes that were seen later in the more recent movies (1950's to present)such as the mass singing of "Nearer My God To Thee" at the very end of the movie , which is almost identical in Jean Negulesco's "Titanic" (1953).

The audio and color video in the commentaries and introduction by David Mc Callum are very good, but Mc Callum is a bit boring and seems to be reading from a script.

On "The Titanic Chronicles", the dramatizations of the Senate Investigation are well done by some
persons of note, such as Gloria Stuart and Bernard Hill. However, they would have profited by "live action" showing the actors/actresses instead of just being accompanied by illustrations.
Although this movie must edge out "Titanic" (1953) as "the worst Titanic movie ever made", It is interesting as a collector's item...It's not "a complete waste of money" as one reviewer has remarked. It's so bad it's worth watching.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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>>The audio and color video in the commentaries and introduction by David Mc Callum are very good, but Mc Callum is a bit boring and seems to be reading from a script.

I'm not sure what Mr. McCallum's Titanic credentials are, other than he played Bride in ANTR and narrated the A&E documentaries. David Warner and Bill Paxton both seem to be developing Titanic side-careers of sorts, too. A new trend in the making?

Roy
 
May 3, 2005
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Roy-

>>David Warner and Bill Paxton both seem to be developing Titanic side-careers, too. A new trend in the making?<<


Or could it be "second careers"?

The review on T-DITA/TC are strictly my own and subject to errors in judgment. However, I think that's what the ET website is all about. :)

Cheers,
Robert
 
May 3, 2005
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Originally titled "The Atlantic" and based on the play "The Berg", this 1929 movie is not much on sets and historical accuracy as far as the Titanic goes.The audio and video quality is a bit lacking.Nevertheless an interesting bit of curiosity to add to my collection.

Monte Banks and Madeleine Carroll are some of the recognizable names in the cast. Franklin Dyal has a rather "voice of doom" part and much of the acting is in the "hammy" sort of the early "talkies." David Mc Callum narrates an introduction.The final "grand staircase flooding" scene is much like that of the 1997 movie.

The DVD is on two sides and also has a dramatization of testimonies of the U.S. Senate Investigations.
Some of these are impersonated by:
Gloria Scott: Mrs. Helen Bishop
Tim Curry: Second Officer Charles Lightoller
Bernard Hill: Captain Stanley Lord

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally a separate thread in a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread discussing the same film. MAB]
 
May 27, 2007
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I had this Movie on VHS back in the 1990's after Titanic came out. I liked the guy in the wheelchair who wouldn't leave and his devoted wife. Echos of the Straus's perhaps. I agree the movie is poor quality but like the fact that it has well rounded characters.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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>>I liked the guy in the wheelchair who wouldn't leave and his devoted wife. Echos of the Straus's perhaps.<<

Yep they were great. Made the movie worth it in my opinion. The affair thing with the other couple and other odd stories didn't really keep me interested and the characters were so underdeveloped that I personally had trouble keeping up with who was doing what or whom. I also liked the wheelchair-bound gentleman because he was the only one in the story capable of reasonable thought. Everyone else is off acting like a nut. I've got it on a dvd along with the Senate Investigations on the opposite side. Pretty good stuff.
 
May 3, 2005
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Matthew Newman (Quote):
>>Pretty good stuff.<<
(Unquote)

I'll second that !


Thanks for all the comments. I will have to agree with them.

IMHO, I think we all agree that the outstanding performance was the "Mr. Rool" / Franklin Dyal(spelling ?) character. Hammy ? Maybe ? But what a voice !

Also perhaps the Officer Lanchester was something of Lightoller and maybe Tate-Hughes something of J. Bruce Ismay. Thank goodness it didn't have something of a "Jack and Rose" !

The film is sort of a curious mix of new "talkies" and old "silent" acting with lots of long takes in the dialogue.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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And the reason for all that 'silent' acting is of course that most of the scenes were in the can when the decision was made to add the new medium of sound to this film. Thus the exaggerated reaction shots and 'over the top' body language, and the long, pregnant pauses where dialogue screens would have been inserted.
 
May 27, 2007
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quote:

The film is sort of a curious mix of new "talkies" and old "silent" acting with lots of long takes in the dialogue.
Bob is right. The Film was basically shot and in the can when they called the cast back for additional scenes and to record their voices to make it a talkie. I think the powers that be should of left it silent. It might of made more sense. I agree with Matthew on the other characters but even they had their moments although I haven't seen the movie since the 90's but still remember the handicapped Professor and Wife.

Shoot maybe they should of survived. Britain could of had it's own version of the Thin Man series of movies. Professor And Wife. Watch out crooks! He may be wheelchair bound but he'll solve the case along with the help of his no nonsense wife and faithful Butler. Who also had a lot of sense as well in the Movie. Some fine characters and they kill them off and let the nitwits live. That's just like Cameron's Titanic. Some things never change. Well enough of my lame sallies.​