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Titanic (1943)

Third Reich's Nazi propaganda epic about a heroic fictional German officer on board of the RMS Titanic. On its maiden voyage in April 1912, the supposedly unsinkable ship hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and starts to go down.

Directors:

Herbert Selpin, Werner Klingler (uncredited)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Sybille Schmitz ... Sigrid Olinsky
Hans Nielsen Hans Nielsen ... 1st Officer Petersen
Kirsten Heiberg ... Gloria
Ernst Fritz Fürbringer ... Sir Bruce Ismay (as E.F. Fürbringer)
Karl Schönböck ... John Jacob Astor
Charlotte Thiele ... Lady Astor
Otto Wernicke ... Captain Edward J. Smith
Franz Schafheitlin Franz Schafheitlin ... Hunderson
Sepp Rist Sepp Rist ... Jan
Claude Farell ... Manniküre Hedi (as Monika Burg)
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Storyline

Building the Titanic has been a huge financial effort, and White Star Line president Ismay wants her maiden voyage to hit the headlines. He urges Captain Smith to make the fastest possible crossing to New York. When iceberg warnings come in, the captain must ask himself if he is willing to risk the safety of his ship just to please Ismay. Written by Wilhelm Noeker <wnoeker@t-online.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

7 February 1950 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Titanic See more »

Filming Locations:

Gdynia, Pomorskie, Poland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tobis Filmkunst See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although most propaganda movies are banned in Germany, sometimes this movie is broadcast on TV, albeit with the strongest propaganda scenes deleted. See more »

Goofs

When shots of the Titanic are seen there is smoke coming from all 4 funnels. The real Titanic only used 3 funnels, the 4th being false. See more »

Quotes

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 forbid 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.
[leaves]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Certain sources claim that the original unreleased premiere print of the film ran 90 minutes. The longest available version today runs only 85 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Middleman: The Cursed Tuba Contingency (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save The Queen
(uncredited)
Traditional, often attributed to Thomas Augustine Arne or Henry Carey
(British national anthem)
played at the first dinner
See more »

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User Reviews

Gilding The Propaganda Lily
15 January 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Titanic must have been the great cause for discussion at the Propaganda Ministry in 1943. Ostensibly put out to show the kind of materialistic greedy people the Germans were fighting back then, it seems as though Joseph Goebbels felt the wrong message might still go out. The original director, Herbert Spelvin, was arrested mid production by the Gestapo and found hanging in his cell the next day. Of course suicide was the official reason given and ostensibly Goebbels was mighty put out about the scenes of panic shown on film. Yet there are certainly enough of them left in the product I saw.

What's showed here is nothing new. But that's the difference between a free society and Nazi Germany. The story has been told a whole lot in both British and American productions. What the Nazis did in this film was to create a wholly fictional second officer named Peterson who serves as the voice of conscience in the film. The villain of course is Ismay the head of the British White Star Line who is looking for the stock in White Star to go up if the much ballyhooed Titanic makes a record crossing in its maiden voyage. Peterson as portrayed by Hans Nielsson is as Aryan as they come, while Ismay looks vaguely like those people we're eliminating as played by E.F.Fuhwanger.

John Jacob Astor is here to represent American capitalism. Such folks as Captain Harry Guggenheim and Mr.&Mrs. Isidor Straus who died in the sinking are eliminated from the story. So is the plucky Denver millionairess Molly Brown.

For a movie that's supposed to show and criticize the British class distinction, very little time is spent on the huddled masses in steerage who were the bulk of the people killed. James Cameron in the recent Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet spent more time with them than this production.

I do however wish that more films of the Nazi era would become available now to view and study. If this one is available on DVD and VHS than this must be mild as compared to others.


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