Captain Edward J. Smith
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Quotes for
Captain Edward J. Smith (Character)
from Titanic (1997)

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A Night to Remember (1958)
Captain Edward J. Smith: [addressing the ship's officers and Ismay on the bridge] Gentlemen, we are in a precarious position. We must be prepared to abandon ship.
[Officers look at each other in sheer surprise]
Captain Edward J. Smith: Mister Murdoch, you will muster the passengers. Mister Lightoller, you will have the boats uncovered and swung out. Mister Boxhall, call all hands and get them to boat stations. Mister Moody, you will help Mister Lightoller. Mister Wilde and Mister Pitman will remain on the bridge. Everything will be done quietly and calmly. There must be no alarm and no panic. I will give the word when the boats are to loaded with the women and children. Carry on, please.
[the officers disperse to carry out their orders]
Ismay: Captain! Aren't you exaggerating the danger?
Captain Edward J. Smith: I'm afraid not.
Ismay: But... Where's Andrews?
Captain Edward J. Smith: I am acting on his advice. This ship is going to founder.
Ismay: But, she can't! In any case, we can't get everyone in the boats.
Captain Edward J. Smith: [grim tone] I know that, sir. Please God, it won't come to that!

Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: [after firing off the last of the distress rockets in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of the "Californian"] That's the last one, sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: No reply to your signals?
Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: No sir. I think the bastards must be asleep.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Report to Mister Murdoch. He's shorthanded.
Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: Aye aye, sir.

Captain Edward J. Smith: [enters the wireless cabin as the ship's end is nearing, to give Phillips and Bride a final order] It's time to go now, Phillips. You've done your duty. You can do no more. Abandon your cabin, it's everyone for himself. Look after yourselves now. I release you both. God bless you.

Captain Edward J. Smith: [through his megaphone to passengers and crew as the ship is beginning its final plunge] Abandon ship! Every man for himself!

Andrews: [Andrews is looking at the ship's blueprints as he describes the damage to the Captain] Here's the position: we have water in the forepeak; numbers 1 and 2 holds; the mailroom; and boiler rooms 6 and 5. That means a gash 300 feet long, from there to there...
[indicates gash with a pencil on the blueprint]
Andrews: Below the waterline. Do you agree?
Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes. Well?
Andrews: The pumps are keeping the water down in this boiler room, Number 5, but the first five compartments are flooding.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Well, what's the answer?
Andrews: She's going to sink, Captain.
Captain Edward J. Smith: But... She can't sink. She's unsinkable.
Andrews: She can't float. Look... she can float with any three of her first five compartments flooded. She could even float with four of them gone. But she can't float with ALL of the first five full up.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes, but...
Andrews: [cuts him off] These watertight bulkheads here only go as high as E Deck. The weight of the water in the bow is going to pull her down by the head. So, you're going to get the fifth compartment overflowing into the sixth... the sixth into the seventh... and so on, as she gets lower. It's a mathematical certainty. With that amount of underwater damage she can't stay afloat.
Captain Edward J. Smith: How long will she last?
Andrews: [starts doing figures on a scratch pad] Just trying to work that out, now. As far as I can see, she made 14 feet of water in the first ten minutes after the collision. That's not very fast. She should live... another... hour and a half. Yes. About that, I should think.
Captain Edward J. Smith: There must be no panic.
Andrews: No.
Captain Edward J. Smith: You'll be careful of what you say to the passengers.
Andrews: Of course... How many people are there on board?
Captain Edward J. Smith: 2,200, or more. And room in the boats for...? How many?
Andrews: 1,200.
Captain Edward J. Smith: I don't think the Board of Trade regulations ever visualized this situation. Do you?

Captain Edward J. Smith: [hurrying to the bridge immediately after the collision] What is it?
First Officer William Murdoch: Iceberg sir. I put her hard-a-starboard and reversed the engines, but she was too close.

Engineer: She's making water fast sir. The mail hold's practically full already.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Aren't the pumps working?
First Officer William Murdoch: Yes sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: [indicates engineer can return to his job] Thank you.
Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall: The engine room says they'll need more. They're rigging them now.
Ismay: This is most unfortunate, Captain.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes sir.
Ismay: Do you think the ship is seriously damaged?
Captain Edward J. Smith: I'm afraid she is.
[sees Andrews arrive on the bridge]
Captain Edward J. Smith: Excuse me.
Ismay: [to Murdoch] How long is this likely to delay us?
First Officer William Murdoch: Not long, I expect, sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: [to Andrews, quietly] We've struck a berg. I think she's badly damaged. I would like to know *how* badly.
Andrews: Right. I'll go down and have a look.

Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: Captain? I got some good news. We've contacted the Carpathia eastbound from New York. She's on her way to us.
Captain Edward J. Smith: How far away is she?
Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: 58 miles. She's making all possible speed and should be with us in just under four hours.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Four hours... Wait, you see a light out there. Isn't she replying?
Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: [sees the light from the Californian in the distance] No, sir. She'd blast our ears off if she did. Maybe she can't keep a 24 hour watch. Or maybe she hasn't got wireless at all, sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Thank you, Bride.

Captain Edward J. Smith: Well, Phillips?
Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Another update from the Carpathia. She's increased speed and is now making 17 knots and she should rendezvous with us earlier than expected at around 3:30.
Captain Edward J. Smith: [looks at his wristwatch] Still... that'll be too late! There must be somebody nearer. Keep trying.
Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Yes, sir.
[Smith exists as Bride enters]
Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: I got you a lifejacket.
Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Thanks, put it over there.
Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: They're are growing in a short supply, so it may be the last few around.


Titanic (1997)
Smith: Clear.
Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller: Yes. I don't think I've ever seen such a flat calm.
Smith: Like a mill pond, not a breath of wind.
Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller: It will make the bergs harder to see... with no breaking water at the base.
Smith: Hmm. Well, I'm off. Mantain speed and heading, Mr. Lightoller.
Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller: Yes, sir.

Smith: Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch. Let's stretch her legs.

Smith: [rushing to the helm after the iceberg strike] What was that, Mr. Murdoch?
1st Officer William Murdoch: An iceberg, sir. I put a hard a'starboard and ran the engines full astern, but it was too close. I tried to port 'round it, but she hit and the...
Smith: Close the watertight doors.
1st Officer William Murdoch: The doors are closed, sir.
Smith: [walking on deck] All stop!
[to Murdoch]
Smith: Find the carpenter. Get him to sound the ship.
1st Officer William Murdoch: Yes, sir!

Ismay: [Andrews enters room with crew behind him; he lays out architectural drawings on table, with Ismay behind him] Most unfortunate, captain!
Thomas Andrews: [perspiring and trembling] Water... fourteen feet above the keel in ten minutes. In the forepeak, in all three holds and in the boiler room six.
Ismay: When can we get underway, damnit!
Thomas Andrews: That's five compartments! She can stay afloat with the first four compartments breached, but not five!
[tersely to Smith]
Thomas Andrews: Not five. As she goes down by the head, the water will spill over the tops of the bulkheads at E deck from one to the next. Back and back. There's no stopping it.
Smith: The pumps... if we opened the doors...
Thomas Andrews: [interrupting] The pumps buy you time, but minutes only. From this moment, no matter what we do, Titanic will founder.
Ismay: [incredulously] But this ship can't sink!
Thomas Andrews: She's made of iron, sir! I assure you, she can... and she will. It is a mathematical certainty.
Smith: How much time?
Thomas Andrews: An hour... two at most.
Smith: And how many aboard, Mr. Murdoch?
1st Officer William Murdoch: 2,200 souls on board, sir.
Smith: [turning to Ismay] Well, I believe you may get your headlines, Mr. Ismay.

Ismay: So you've not yet lit the last four boilers?
Smith: No, I don't see the need. We are making excellent time.
Ismay: The press knows the size of Titanic. Now I want them to marvel at her speed. We must give them something new to print! This maiden voyage of Titanic must make headlines!
Smith: Mr. Ismay, I would prefer not to push the engines until they've been properly run in.
Ismay: Of course, I'm just a passenger. I leave it to your good offices to decide what's best. But what a glorious end to your final crossing if we were to get to New York on Tuesday night and surprise them all! Make the morning papers. Retire with a bang, eh E.J.?
Ismay: [Smith nods reluctantly] Good man.

Robert Hitchins: [deleted scene] C'mon, pull! Pull!
Smith: [Over brass megaphone] Come back! Come back to the ship! Boat 6, come back to the ship!
Molly Brown: [to other rowers] Stop! We have to go back!
Robert Hitchins: No. The suction will pull us down if we don't keep going.
Molly Brown: We've lots more room! I say we go back.
Robert Hitchins: No! It's our lives now, not theirs. And I'm in charge of this boat, madam! Now *row*!
Smith: This is the captain! This is the captain! Come back!
[pause]
Smith: The fools.


"Titanic" (1996)
Captain Smith: Not only did you stop your engines, you reversed them! She would have turned much more quickly the greater the forward motion!

Captain Smith: You have broken one of the cardinal rules of safety: never turn your broadside to danger. Had we struck the 'berg head on, only one compartment would have been flooded!
First Officer Murdoch: I thought I could avoid the 'berg altogether, sir.

Captain Smith: There's a line... often quoted... in the newspapers. "God Himself Could Not Sink This Ship". She was appropriately named! The Titan's dared to challenge the God's. And for their arrogance, they were cast down into hell.

Captain Smith: [Talking to Officer Harold Lowe on the ship in Southampton] Now I'm afraid I must face the most perilous part of the voyage: meeting all of those reporters.

Captain Smith: Sometimes being on a ship is like being in jail. With the possibility of drowning.

Captain Smith: "Low, low. Breathe and blow, wind from the western sea. Over the rolling waters go, come from the dying moon and blow."
Second Officer Charles Lightoller: Sir?
Captain Smith: On my word, I have not thought of that verse since I was a cabin boy. Love of the ocean brought me to the sea as a lad and there's still wonder in it.


Titanic (1943)
1st Officer Petersen: [First Officer Peterson addresses President Ismay and Captain Smith about the dangerous course the ship is on] There are warnings about drift ice, and even reports of icebergs.
Captain Edward J. Smith: What measures have you taken?
1st Officer Petersen: I've changed course and reduced our speed.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Why? You'll certainly recognize an iceberg in plenty of time.
1st Officer Petersen: Pardon me, but you're mistaken. Some icebergs are miles long, and 7/8 of them are underwater. There is the danger of colliding with the underwater mass.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Danger? That's ridiculous. The 'Titanic' is unsinkable.
1st Officer Petersen: Proof of that has not yet been provided.
Sir Bruce Ismay: [Getting impatient, he turns to address Capt. Smith] I demand you maintain direct course and full speed, Captain.
Captain Edward J. Smith: That is a great responsibility for me.
1st Officer Petersen: If I may be permitted to comment... such a responsibility is intolerable for any seaman.
Sir Bruce Ismay: [Annoyed] What is that supposed to mean?
1st Officer Petersen: Staying the course at full speed would endanger over 2,000 lives. In the event of tragedy, there isn't nearly enough room in the lifeboats for even a small portion of the passengers.
Sir Bruce Ismay: [Clearly getting impatient with the First Officer] Enough of your pessimism.
1st Officer Petersen: It's not pessimism. It's our duty to consider every possibility.
Sir Bruce Ismay: That's *intentional* pessimism!
1st Officer Petersen: What do you mean by that?
Captain Edward J. Smith: Please, Herr Peterson...
Sir Bruce Ismay: What I mean is that, as the only German officer on board, you have no interest in the 'Titanic' winning the Blue Ribbon.
1st Officer Petersen: You will account for that remark at the appropriate time.
1st Officer Petersen: [Turning to Capt. Smith] Captain, we await your orders on the bridge.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Captain, you know what the White Star Line expects of you.
Captain Edward J. Smith: I know very well, Mr. President.


"Titanic: Part 2 (#1.2)" (1996)
Captain Edward J. Smith: She has taken damage along three hundred feet of her starboard side.
J. Bruce Ismay: Oh my God!
Captain Edward J. Smith: You have broken one of the cardinal rules of safety, never turn your broadside to danger. Had we struck the berg head-on, only one compartment would have been flooded.
First Officer William Murdoch: I thought I could avoid hitting the berg altogether, sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: And not only did you stop your engines, you reversed them! She would have turned much more quickly the greater her forward motion!
First Officer William Murdoch: Yes, but the watertight doors where closed immediately after impact. The c-compartments behind them where sealed.
Captain Edward J. Smith: These watertight bulkheads go up only to E deck. The weight of the water in the bow will pull her down by the head.
J. Bruce Ismay: This ship can't sink!
Captain Edward J. Smith: The ship has about two hours.
J. Bruce Ismay: The lifeboats, we have lifeboats, we must launch them at once, get everyone off the ship.
Second Officer Charles Lightoller: That won't be entirely possible.
J. Bruce Ismay: Of course it's possible! We must begin immediately.
Captain Edward J. Smith: You may recall that we have precisely the number of lifeboats required by the British Board Of Trade: seats for twelve hundred people.
J. Bruce Ismay: There's over two thousand people aboard this ship.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Two thousand, two hundred and thirty souls.
J. Bruce Ismay: I... cannot allow this.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Mr. Ismay, it was under your directive that we where traveling through an ice field at the arrogant speed of twenty-one knots! I am the master of this vessel and I have been too complacent!