I'm thinking of that dreadful thing on the History Channel's Great Blunders in History series. If there's one out there any worse then that, then I'm thankful I haven't had to suffer through it. I'd give it four funnels down and the hull breaking up!
Well, Michael, there is another stiff contender for the Four Funnels Falling and the Hull Breaking Up award. It's called "Terror on the TITANIC, but the only real horror was sitting through it! Yes, the horror! THE HORROR!
But I don't think that that was the worst. I seem to remember one, truly terrible one. It was called something like Murder on the Titanic (perhaps it was Terror on the Titanic as Cassandra said). The jacket showed a photo of Titanic at Southampton set on a background of flames. I was not willing to experience the horror in its entirety.
Adam, reiterating some of my observations from a post I made on 15 April;
"Now if only they hadn't shown that Great Blunders In History thing on the Titanic afterwards. I couldn't count the mistakes in that one fast enough. That tired peice of misdirection regarding the Binoculars was brought up, and they held that one of the lifeboats capsized on launch. They seem to have forgotten that it was a collapsible B that was already upside down when it floated off. The producers seem to have overlooked the fact that the ship broke up on the surface too and portrayed her as sinking intact."
I'll add that they also brought up the thing about defective rivets while ignoring the fact that the sampling of rivets tested is too small and of uncertain origin to be of any use whatever. They also brought up that thing about brittle steel which hasn't held up well under any sort of close scruitiny. What makes their missing the breakup all the more baffling is that this so-called documentary was made after the wreck was discovered and the break up was established as fact.
In recent days I have come to realize that an industry exists for the sole purpose of nurturing misinformation about Titanic. These documentaries aren't the only problems. Most of the so-called "historic exhibits" have been rife with errors as well. It seems that even some of our otherwise august instituations are willing to stoop when it comes to picking up money.
How about four funnels up for the "90 Years Below," David, they actually had the Titanic CGI art running OVER the ice shelf rather then bumping into the berg like in your book-see History Channel read your book!
(thanks again for the wonderful autograph)
Although it was a movie released to theatres and not a television show, I would nominate "SOS Titanic" for the Four Falling Funnels Award. The only saving moment in the entire movie was when Thomas Andrews mentioned to Mary Sloan that he had left his wife and daughter behind in Belfast. It was just about the only factual statement in the entire script.
The casting was truly terrible, and the acting even worse. David Janssen as J.J. Astor comes across as a leacherous old man and Madeleine (Susan St. James) is his golddigging bride. Her childish hairstyles and behavior makes her relationship with Astor seem almost like kidde porn. Capt. E.J. Smith is an egocentric NASCAR-driver wannabe, and J. Bruce Ismay is loud, obnoxious, and willing to kill anyone who tries to come between him and the lifeboat. Thomas Andrews is shown as whining through his tears, even before the iceberg. After the collision, he is never shown; indeed Capt. Smith is the one who inspects the ship and pronounces her to be doomed. Apparently Andrews must be in his cabin still crying instead of doing anything to help anyone. Even the talented Cloris Leachman as Margaret "Molly" Brown could not save this movie from foundering as surely as the great ship herself (which was portrayed as sinking in one piece).
This was one of the most offensively inaccurate pieces of trash I've ever forced myself to watch. After completing it (an ordeal indeed) I gave the video tape to my children so that they could record their favorite episodes of "Sponge Bob Squarepants" over the original contents.
First off, "SOS Titanic" was a television production, and I don't think it's fair to judge it unless one sees it in its original three hour TV running time. The "theatrical" version lost more than 30 minutes overall and rearranged the sequence of the film which opened on the Carpathia receiving the distress call and picking up the lifeboats and then going to a flashback format.
Second, I disagree strongly with the negative assessment of the performances. Ian Holm is excellent as Ismay and gives the best and most fair interpretation I've ever seen of the character. David Warner is also outstanding as Lawrence Beesley, getting a role of substance that he did not have in Cameron's dreadful movie and also more importantly giving us a view of Second Class that is usually so neglected in many Titanic dramas.
Furthermore, the only reason why Titanic isn't shown breaking in two is because this film was made in 1979 when we all thought it had not broken in two. And what's there to find fault with in Harry Andrews as Captain Smith, and where is Andrews "whining" before the collision? Finally, Susan St. James does not play Madeline Astor, she plays Beesley's fictional second class friend.