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The DVD includes an advertising film from White Star, showing the amenities aboard the Olympic, one of Titanic's sister ships. It gives an excellent idea of the atmosphere aboard a great Edwardian liner.
Also included is the notorious newsreel, cobbled together in 1912, purporting to show Captain Smith on board Titanic before leaving Southampton. The scenes were actually shot on Olympic, in New York harbor, but the producers of the film cleverly disguised this by painting out any incriminating evidence, such as the words 'New York' on the sterns of the tugboats.
Now for the film itself. It's actually quite impressive, given the time and place where it was produced, and of course, provided you take it all with a healthy pinch of salt.
The plot takes various liberties with the truth, largely for propaganda reasons. Titanic was the fastest ship in the world, and Captain Smith was pressured by the evil Bruce Ismay (who had brought his mistress on board with him) into taking the dangerous Northern route, to save time. Winning the Blue Riband would improve the value of White Star stock, much to the dismay of Astor, who was plotting against them. Meanwhile, the only sane man aboard was First Officer Petersen (who happened to be German) who spends his time helping the passengers while his English officers and their Capitalist bosses plot their own downfall......
Lies, all lies....
However, just put all that to one side and enjoy the film. It really isn't bad, and the special effects are excellent for their day. I understand that some scenes were used in 'A Night to Remember'.Read more ›
Much has been made of how the film is a politically motivated indictment of Great Britain, but that never truly comes across except in the final coda at the end. If anything, the film (at least from a modern perspective), is more focussed on condemning the greed of the rich and powerful.
While the Germans played a bit fast and loose with history (such as having a "good" German officer/hero take the place of the British Lightoller, and White Star Line president Ismay being freely offered place in a lifeboat), most of the film is fairly accurate in depicting the basic events we are all familiar with. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, there is a noticable lack of heroism except for the actions of the one German officer. The balance of the passengers and crew are evil and greedy corporate and society types, or otherwise just downright helpless.
The drawing room intrigue and staid romantic entanglements get a bit dry after a while, but once the ship gets into trouble, things pick up nicely. Although the slanting of the decks is not effectively realized, the actual flooding of the ship is well done with miniatures and live action sets. Fans of James Cameron's "Titanic" will no doubt recognize the innocent-man-trapped-in-a-flooding-cabin sequence, among other things.
Kino has done a pretty good job restoring the film to it's original running time. Some elements are washed out, and others show scuffs and scratches. However, it's probably the best that could be hoped for given the film's history.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nazi version but with some truth about capitalism. Ends up blaming the entire Britain for the disaster. Read morePublished 3 months ago by AlchemystAZ
Goebbels would have preferred a Night to Remember, or the 1995 version. But, he did not live that long. His version was interesting. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was a Nazi propaganda film, whose budget was approved by Joseph Goebbels himself. The director, Herbert Selpin, was at some point during the production of the film overheard... Read morePublished 3 months ago by lawyeraau
The english went to fast at the bottom if you have a vision problem. I enjoyed seeing the old version and thinking about the newest one that we have and watch once and a while. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gus
Propaganda movie..should have guessed, considering the time period.Published 4 months ago by david eickbush
Four years ago, like many Titanic junkies, I watched all the documentary films on TV as well as re-watched fictional dramatic productions like A Night to Remember. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Chambers