Was the Marvin wedding film saved


I've always been curious if the private film made of the wedding of Mr & Mrs Daniel Marvin, only shortly before their sailing on Titanic, has been preserved by their families. Frame enlargements from this movie were published in the London papers so it's obvious that the Marvins did not have the only copy with them on board.

I understand from Lawrence Beesley's account that this couple were quite avidly shooting a variety of scenes on Titanic during the early part of the voyage at least, including the near-collision in Southampton Harbor.

Just think how fascinating those images would be if they'd survived. And it's quite possible that Dan Marvin asked the various well-known personages aboard to pose for his "cinematograph camera" - the Astors, maybe, W. T. Stead, Lady Duff Gordon, Frank Millet, Archie Butt. Just imagine what an historical record such a film would be if it had been saved.

I don't mean to diminish the much greater loss of Mr Marvin's own life but the movies he shot while aboard have always intrigued me. I feel sure he must have filmed a great deal for the purpose of the footage being used in newsreels which his father's company would have then released.

I'm slow on the take sometimes. It never dawned on me for some reason until reading Stephen Bottomore's new book "The Titanic and Silent Cinema" that Daniel WARNER Marvin was that WARNER -- a nephew of one of the original four Warner Brothers. Bottomore doesn't mention whether the Marvin wedding re-enactment film was saved. I'll contact him and invite him to answer here.

Wouldn't it be something if his film of Titanic could be recovered. The fun we would have identifying diferent passengers.

Daniel Rosenshine

Sorry to burst your bubbles here, as much as I wish it wasn't true, but the couple described by Beesley were not the Marvins.

The couple were second-class passengers (I can not remember their exact names) and it was an American man and his mistress Ms. Youris (if I'm right). He was the one enthusiastically cranking away.

Also as I understand from previous posts on this board, Mrs. Marvin, so devastated by the loss of her husband chopped up the wedding reels and threw them out. There is no known surviving copy today. (I'm only going by what I can recall from previous posts, sorry I cannot remember names so I can credit. If you're out there please come and help out.)

I'm not sure if the Marvins did have a camera on board. It is possible, however I have never read anything that claimed someone in first class had a camera and were filming.


Nathan Heddle

Ahh what a terrible shame if Mrs Marvin did cut up the film, it would be lovely to see. But I suppose you can understand.

I always wondered why the Marvins didn't get into a boat like all the other newlyweds. Were they late on deck or something?


This bubble can't burst. It's unburstable.

Anyway. Thank you for the correction on the people Beesley saw filming. I had forgotten he was in 2nd class and so those people couldn't have been the Marvins.

At any rate, whether the Marvins were filming (and I bet they were), still somebody was and it's such a loss that that film is now lost.

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Thanks for the correction. Sorry for my hastey response before. I got so interested in the Warner Brothers connection to Marvin that I zipped right through the Beesley part.

William Harbeck was the second class passenger doing the filming. In his book, Bottomore also mentions that Mrs. Marvin "destroyed all the cinema pictures of the wedding."

Daniel Rosenshine

With hindsight it's quite easy to say why didn't all the couples go over to the st.bd. side and board together there and all others to the port side.

For some passengers it was a habit to emerge at a particular side, so they went there. Such a case may have been the Marvins, where they went to port and it so happened to be that no men were allowed.

In the case of the Warrens, the door leading to port was locked, so they went to st.bd. instead ... didn't help Mr. Warren anyway.

Also, I believe that Mrs. Marvin left in boat 10 (if I'm not wrong) by this time all the forward starboard boats were gone so I guess had they gone to starboard, they would have not seen any boats and thus going to port had to seek a boat there.

And yes Randy, regardless of who shot the film, the contents would still be priceless imagery. I read on the RMS T. Inc site that on the last expedition a camera with 10 or 11 plates was found. Nothing much was elaborated on that, so I don't know the condition of it or the likelihood of producing images from the plates. I can just imagine what could be found if it were possible to develop those films!

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What about those film plates? That sounds fascinating! I had always assumed that celluloid would be one of the first things to disintigrate. It had never struck me that they would be glass negatives. Come to think about it, they would be protected well from the elements, providing that they were still in the camera. Where can I find out more about them? Has anyone else heard about them?

Christine Geyer

Hi Daniel and David,

I had written to RMS Titanic Inc. and asked about the development of the plates but - like I had almost expected it - they didn't send any reply.

Either RMST found nothing on these rumored plates or their keeping the information close until they can properly conserve them and develop some prints. This is assuming (NOT a safe passtime) that such plates were indeed found and that they were in useful condition.

Skeptic that I am, I'm not believing anything until I see it.

Michael H. Standart

Dayna Martinez

I heard there was an African-American couple aboard Titanic in Second Class. Can anyone confirm this and if so, what their names were?



Tracy Smith

Dayna, there was a mixed-race couple in second class. Joseph Laroche was from Haiti, and his wife was French. They were traveling with their two young daughters. Mrs. Laroche and her daughters were saved, but, unfortunately, Mr. Laroche was lost.

You can read more about the Laroche family on ETs passenger biography section, and also in pertinent posts in threads below.

I also believe that either Jet or Ebony magazine did an article about the Laroche family a few years ago. Perhaps you can find the back issue at your library.