Yet another Titanic film device

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Bob Cruise

Tonight, here in NYC, I had the pleasure of viewing a silent film entitled "East Side, West Side" from 1927 (at the Walter Reade Theatre, at Lincoln Center, accompanied by a live band playing the film's score).

The film starred hunky silent star George O'Brien, and told the story of a young man who, though born the poor, illegitimate son of a New York aristocrat, eventually makes a name for himself as a boxer and, through a series of odd twists of fate, ends up the favorite colleague of his real (rich) father.

Well, guess what??? The story takes a tragic twist when the luxury ocean liner that Father and the young man's fiancée have boarded on their way back from Europe suddenly hits an iceberg and...

The audience started giggling the minute the iceberg was spotted!

Fortunately, the power of the story and the actors was sufficient that when the ship actuallly sank people felt the loss rather than the (laughable) irony of the whole situation.

Put me in that odd period of time when the tragedy was still too vivid - and recent - in memory for it to be considered the turning point in history (and the metaphor for social change) that it eventually came to signify.
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