A young woman tells her parents and fiance (in flashback) about the recent sinking of the Titanic and her experiences as a passenger during the disaster. Her intended marriage now faces a ... See full summary »
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Arthur V. Johnson,
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Henry B. Walthall,
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Charles Hill Mailes,
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Francis J. Grandon,
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W. Chrystie Miller,
Titanic/Film History buffs need to see this film if they can...
There's really nothing much I can add to the poster's more than excellent review above but just a few more details on the film itself and the events it portrays.
As said, well done. The first of it's kind. A true film/Titanic buff's collection treasure.
We start off on the Southampton docks boarding the doomed luxury liner and get a good introduction to what life was like on a ship at that time. What was offered for entertainment and general life on board.
Then disaster strikes. (You know the rest)
The film takes on a very interesting point of view from the point of impact with the iceberg, as stated above, which focuses primarily on the radio operator and his tireless efforts to get assistance to the stricken vessel as soon as possible. He keeps at the key (wireless transmitter) until the very end. The Captain clearly releases him from duty toward the end, but he stays and continues to struggle to find help even as the electrical power is failing around him.
Very little emphasis is given to the shortage of lifeboats, or the actual evacuation for that matter. Passenger panic is rarely seen, this being more than likely because the death factor was still so fresh in the minds of audiences in 1912, it centers more around the boiler room stokers, wireless operator, and the Captain...basically the bravery of the crew and the heroics of the story, versus the tragedy.
The film, as is the case with ALL historical films, is not without it's inaccuracies. BUT, given the time it was made (a few months after the actual Titanic's sinking and with differing reports on both sides of the Atlantic from surviving officers, passengers, and managers, the "facts" the filmmakers had to work with were few and far in between. So some "uneducated guesses" came into play.
Example: Passengers sing in mass a final hymn, boilers explode with flames shooting out of the funnels, etc. But hey, what movie has ever been without it's technical or historical errors? There will never be a "perfect film". But for it's time, 'In Nacht Und Eis' is a true masterpiece, in my opinion.
With a running time of about 35 minutes, double to that of most films of it's day, 'Nacht Und Eis' captivated audiences of 1912 and left them spell-bounded.
Two thumbs waaaay up from me! I will reiterate though, this is not a film for one looking for great sinking effects or visual stimulation, it genuinely tells the story of Titanic (as generally perceived at the time) and would be seen as very melodramatic. And it's silent with text screens that appear ever-so-often, but in German. So if you know German, you might understand what's being said. Me, I had to go on what was visually being acted out by the actors to figure out what was going on, and it's not hard to tell.
The actors in this film did an excellent job at visually showing every emotion very clearly so as could be undertood in any language.
In drawing this comment to a close (It's long enough already), I would just like to say that if you're ever lucky enough to get an opportunity to obtain this film...do it. You won't regret it. Blind luck, and a perfect stranger that I happened to cross one day, was how I was lucky enough to obtain the film finally, after searching for years.
A must see for Titanic and film history Buffs!
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