Bruce Ismay
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Quotes for
Bruce Ismay (Character)
from Titanic (1997)

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Titanic (1943)
Sir Bruce Ismay: [Addressing a meeting of White Star Line shareholders] Gentlemen... Dear shareholders... I called this meeting of the White Star Line to inform you of the following: we have built the "Titanic," the largest ship in the world. There have been unforeseen incidents and unexpected difficulties. Construction costs have escalated month after month. We were forced to stretch our finances to the extreme, exhaust our investors, and what's more, take out substantial loans. As a result... the share price is plummeting.

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.

1st Officer Petersen: [enters a room]
Gloria: [behind a curtain] Is anybody there?
1st Officer Petersen: Yes, Petersen. Please put on your life jackets and go on deck immediately.
Gloria: Oh deck? Why?
1st Officer Petersen: I'm not authorized to give passangers audditional information.
Sir Bruce Ismay: [comes behind the curtain] One moment. But you will give ME information.
1st Officer Petersen: To you, as the president responsible for this, I WILL give information: The Titanic is sinking.
Gloria: The Titanic is sinking?
Sir Bruce Ismay: What are you saying?
1st Officer Petersen: The Titanic is sinking.
Sir Bruce Ismay: [laughs]
1st Officer Petersen: We collidition with an iceberg. The Titanic is ripped open from the bow till under the bridge.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Don't tell nonsense.
1st Officer Petersen: You'll soon see, thatever it's nonsense. In jsut a few hours it's all over and a few thousand will be on the bottom because of you
Gloria: But we have lifeboats.
1st Officer Petersen: The lifeboats will hold almost a third of the passengers.
Sir Bruce Ismay: I order you to secure a lifeboat for me immediately.
1st Officer Petersen: First: You can't give me orders, Second: according to the law: women and children go first and third I'll give you the advice to go in you cabin and get your life jacket
[about to leave the room]
1st Officer Petersen: .
Sir Bruce Ismay: Stay here!
1st Officer Petersen: What else do you want?
Sir Bruce Ismay: Please lets talk as man to man. Forget about the earlier momant this evening. I was nervous it was a momental excitement. I beg you: get me a lifeboat.
1st Officer Petersen: YOU should have been got the lifeboats.
Sir Bruce Ismay: No. Be reasonable. I'll give you five - I'll give you $10 000,-. Save me a place.
1st Officer Petersen: [pushs Ismay away and leaves]
Sir Bruce Ismay: We'll see if I'll come along.

Sir Bruce Ismay: The White Star Line has no need of officiers who sow only unrest among the passangers.
1st Officer Petersen: And I have no need to serve on a ship that run not by sailors but by stock speculators.
Sir Bruce Ismay: I forbit you to use that tone. Go in your stateroom. I'm relieving you of your duty.
1st Officer Petersen: On board this ship you can neither relieve me of duty nor give me orders. To me you are nothing more than a passanger.

Sigrid Olinsky: [Sigrid Olinsky and Petersen are in the billiard room, where Astor and Ismay are playing] Sir Bruce? I have a big favor to ask of you, one which you cannot refuse.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Then of course I won't.
Sigrid Olinsky: I'd like to see the engine room.
Sir Bruce Ismay: That's a wonderful idea, we will all come along!
[to Astor]
Sir Bruce Ismay: Would you be interested?
John Jacob Astor: Of course, I'll just let my wife know.
Sigrid Olinsky: But we'll need an expert guide. Can't Offier Petersen come along? He's not on duty at the moment.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Of course he can.
[to Petersen]
Sir Bruce Ismay: Would you please show us the engine room?
1st Officer Petersen: Mr. President, I'm not authorized to do this.
Sir Bruce Ismay: Then I give you full authorization.
1st Officer Petersen: Mr. President, I am the First Officer, you cannot give me any authorization.
Sir Bruce Ismay: I see.
[to Steward Braun]
Sir Bruce Ismay: Mr. Brown? Please call the captain for me.

Titanic (1997)
Molly Brown: [to the group who are dining at the same table] Hey, uh, who thought of the name Titanic? Was it you, Bruce?
Ismay: Yes, actually. I wanted to convey sheer size, and size means stability, luxury, and above all, strength.
Rose: Do you know of Dr. Freud, Mr. Ismay? His ideas about the male preoccupation with size might be of particular interest to you.
Ruth: [whispering] What's gotten into you?
Rose: Excuse me.
[She rises and leaves]
Ruth: I do apologize.
Molly Brown: She's a pistol, Cal! Hope you can handle her.
Cal Hockley: Well, I may have to start minding what she reads from now on, won't I, Mrs. Brown?
Ismay: Freud? Who is he? Is he a passenger?

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.

Ismay: Do you know who I am?
Fifth Officer Lowe: You're a passenger and I'm a ship bloody officer! NOW DO AS YOU'RE TOLD!

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!

Ismay: [trying to urge people to get in the boats] Women and children first.
Mr. Isador Straus: [sees Ismay past and tries to get his wife to follow Ismay's directions] Please, Rachel, get in the boat.
Col. Archibald Gracie: Yes, Mrs. Straus, you must.
Mrs. Straus: I've always stayed with my husband, Colonel. So why should I leave him now?
Mr. Isador Straus: Please, be sensible.
Mrs. Straus: We have been living together for many years, Isador. Where you go, I go.
Col. Archibald Gracie: I'm sure nobody would object to an old gentleman like Mr. Straus going in a boat. I'll ask the officer.
Mr. Isador Straus: No! I will not go before the other men.
Mrs. Straus: We stay.

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.

S.O.S. Titanic (1979) (TV)
[first lines]
J. Bruce Ismay: Her name, like everything about her, gave promise of something mighty and splendid. They called her Titanic. She was the longest, the tallest, the most luxurious ship in all creation.

[last lines]
J. Bruce Ismay: All that strength, power, grace... a few chairs.

"Titanic" (1996)
J. Bruce Ismay: Out of the question. Lock the guns back in the safe. I can't have you shooting my passengers.
Second Officer Charles Lightoller: You'd rather they drown?

J. Bruce Ismay: Lower away! Lower away!
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe: If you'll get the hell out of the way, they'd be able to do something!
J. Bruce Ismay: You're not going fast enough, quick up! Quick up!
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe: If they go any faster they'll drown the whole lot of them!
J. Bruce Ismay: Do you know who I am?
Fifth Officer Harold Lowe: I don't care if you're the bloody Prince of Wales, you move back or I'll knock your teeth down your throat!
J. Bruce Ismay: Don't point your finger at me, young man!

"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!