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Titanic: The Complete Story

4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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(Mar 13, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

The "unsinkable" Titanic was a dream come true: Four city blocks long and a passenger list worth 250 million dollars. But on her maiden voyage in April 1912, that dream became a nightmare when the giant ship struck an iceberg and sank in the cold North Atlantic. More than 1,500 lives were lost in one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century. Now, the complete sensational history of the premier liner is recounted in TITANIC: THE COMPLETE STORY. Using newsreels, stills, diaries, and exclusive interviews with survivors, TITANIC: THE COMPLETE STORY charts the fateful history of the ship and its passengers as well as providing an overview on the popular culture phenomenon that this tragedy has become.

This set includes 3 feature-length programs:

  • DEATH OF A DREAM - The largest ship ever built is christened in Ireland before a cheering crowd of 100,000. Witness the disaster this trek becomes as numerous iceberg warnings go unheeded and the ship sinks in the icy North Atlantic.
  • THE LEGEND LIVES ON - Overpacked lifeboats edge away from the crippled liner as futile SOS signals flare into the night - leaving 1,500 passengers to a watery grave. Also, witness the courageous deep sea expedition to unearth Titanic's secrets.
  • TITANIC'S ACHILLES HEEL - Elite divers explore the explosive theory that the doomed liner may have had a fatal design flaw - using advanced CGI technology, archive documents and photographs, as well as footage from modern-day HISTORY expeditions.

A tragedy that only grows with each telling, the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic resonates on a variety of levels, including as a cautionary illustration of Man's hubris in the face of Nature, as an unforgettably vivid example of class divisions during those frenzied final hours, and through the myriad of personal stories of courage recorded by the survivors. This compilation of three feature-length documentaries provides both the broad strokes and minutia surrounding the incident. The first two documentaries on the disc--both produced several years before James Cameron turned his attentions to the subject--take a Ken Burnsian approach to the material, utilizing a wealth of recovered artifacts and survivor interviews to fill in the blanks surrounding that famous night. The first installment, Death of a Dream, details the elements leading up to the voyage, spanning from the ship's construction in Belfast to the composition of the fatal iceberg. The Legend Lives On, meanwhile, delves into the aftershocks of the event, including the fascinating trial of the remaining crew--and, most notably, the head of the shipping company, J. Bruce Ismay--just days after being brought to safety. Finally, the third feature, Titanic's Achilles Heel, takes a distinctly more modern approach to the material, as a team of scientists use the latest in computer imaging to explore the engineering behind what was once the largest ship in history. When one expert advances a theory that a flaw in the design may have been responsible for the disastrous aftermath of the collision, a team of divers undertake a risky mission to examine the wreck of Titanic's sister ship Britannic for confirmation. Taken as a whole, this engrossing package provides enough detail to intrigue both casual viewers and hard-core historians. The title Titanic: The Complete Story may be an exaggeration, but not by much. --Andrew Wright

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: The History Channel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006ENHG8Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,649 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 24, 2012
Format: DVD
Our fascination with the tragedy of the Titanic has never waned. In April, it is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of this "unsinkable" giant on its maiden voyage. There has, through the years, been so much material presented about the disaster through various media outlets. Enthusiasts and casual historians with an interest in the topic have likely snapped up some of the higher profile pieces related to that fateful night. So I say with the 2012 release of "Titanic: The Complete Story," don't make this a blind buy if you have previously purchased Titanic titles from History Channel or A&E Entertainment. If you have not seen these specials, they are certainly noteworthy--I just want to warn potential buyers about a repackaging overlap.

This set includes:
(5 stars) 1994's "Death of a Dream" and 1994's "The Legend Lives On": These two specials aired in conjunction and are considered companion pieces to one another. Together, they form one of the most comprehensive accounts about the Titanic that you're likely to encounter with a total run time of about 3 1/2 hours. The two documentaries (narrated by Man From UNCLE's David McCallum) utilize survivor interviews (people that are no longer with us in 2012), photos, newsreel footage, and personal written accounts to bring the story to life. From the ship's inception and building in the early years of the century to the discovery of the wreckage in 1985 by Robert Ballard, these films by Melissa Jo Peltier really provide a complete picture of the Titanic story. "Death of a Dream" tells primarily the start of the story up until the sinking with "The Legend Lives On" picking up with much of the aftermath. If you have been dissatisfied with other films or coverage, I suggest you give these a try.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone who is fascinated with the Titanic disaster will want to own this
DVD package. While it may not be the "complete" story, it is really a valuable
documentary. It has been re-issued in 2011 by A&E as a 2 disc DVD collection.

Basically you have at least three documentaries in one package here. The first
begins with the history of the White Star line and the shipbuilders who
constructed the Titanic and her two sister ships. This is a lot of great
background information. Next comes a lengthy exposition on the formation
and migration of icebergs, focused on why they traveled so far south that year,
and why the Titanic wasn't expecting trouble.

The third documentary begins with a detailed analysis of some structural problems
that existed with the Titanic and her sister ships--some of which the builders
recognized and tried to correct; others were not corrected, either because the
degree of risk wasn't properly appreciated at the time, or the decision was made
financially that the risk-benefit ratio of re-doing the ship's design would not
be economical or practical. It must be kept in mind, as the documentary points out,
that a ship of this size had never been built before, so even though these were
master shipbuilders, certain technical problems arose that they had not encountered before.
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By Kat on May 14, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watched with total interest. The documentary gave specifics that I would never question. I felt quite naive. The issue with the compartments flooding were shocking in the belief that the Titanic could sustain herself in such a situation. The documents were so informative about the extravagance of the ship, that one would not believe that this ship could not fail, and by God, it did. I pray for the souls lost on that night. For some warm, happy and full of hope. Then.....Terror.
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Vary informative. Many facts that I did and did not know. Can easily be viewed many times for both the information presented and the obvious interest in the Titanic. C6
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Format: DVD
I've seen numerous programs on the Titanic. Yet, each time I'm still struck by the enormity of the tragedy, hoping it doesn't sink, and regretting the many decisions that led to the ultimate loss of about 1,500 lives.

Regardless, this DVD program's first disc is one of the best I've seen. I didn't know that J.P. Morgan owned the White Star Line - lucky for him he missed the first voyage. The net worth of its passengers was $500 million, and the best first-class suites cost $4,300 - about $100,000 today. About 14,000 workers toiled to build both the Titanic and Olympia at Belfast. The Titanic had 29 boilers and carried 660 tons of coal - think of all the hard work involved in keeping it steaming!

Had the Titanic simply run straight into the berg (only damage for first two compartments, maybe three - still float), or at least not tried to slow down (would have turned faster), experts believe it would have been saved. It took Captain Smith about 30 minutes to send an SOS, even longer to fire the distress rockets. Seems like most of the top officers didn't really believe the ship would sink, even after hitting the iceberg. Captain Smith, despite his 40 years of seafaring experience, had no prior experience with hitting an iceberg or abandoning ship - this slowed his reactions; he seemed 'shell-shocked.'

The first boats were only 1/3 full; testimony was that they had been tested with 60 men in Belfast and could have carried even more - especially lighter women and children. Yet, on average, they carried less than 40 each - very poor leadership on Captain Smith's part. (Also his sailing near full speed in an ice field - the flat sea also prevented waves from forming at the iceberg's base, making them more visible.
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