Post by loucapitano on Apr 12, 2012 14:59:47 GMT -5
My first introduction to the Titanic was as a 6 or 7 year old when my parents took me to a theatre in Brooklyn to see the dramatic Clfton Webb/Barbara Stanwick movie "Titanic." Scenes from that movie haunt me to this day. As former musician, I always found the band playing to the end especially heartbreaking. I haven't seen any of the current documentories. Most of the ones that came out after the James Cameron spectacular seemed to be 15 minutes of history fluffed and stretched to hours of boredom. Perhaps that's why I liked Walter Lord's book so much. Are the current ones any better?
Post by Allen Wiener on Apr 12, 2012 15:38:07 GMT -5
Kevin - I've seen those, too; I thought they were all good, but especially enjoyed "Titanic with Len Goodman" on PBS. I liked the way he focused on a small number of victims and survivors to create a sense of what it may have been like and how people reacted differenlty. He clearly came down on the side of J. Bruce Ismay and blamed the Murdoch of his day, Hearst, for the unjustified tarring of Ismay. His segment on the telegrapher Jack Phillips was very moving.
"Saving the Titanic," also on PBS is a good reenactment; worth watching.
I saw one of the Bob Ballard programs on National Geog., which revealed that he was on a secret mission for the Navy when he began looking the Titanic. The Navy wanted him to find two lost nuclear subs and locate their reactors with his state-of-the-art robot subs. He found both and, in observing them, realized how badly ships break up at those depths and how large a debris field they leave along the way -- much larger than the ships themselves. Ballard decided to look for the Titanic's debris field, which he believed would lead him to the Titanic; it worked. I also enjoyed his special on the damage already done to Titanic from many subs visiting it with high-roller tourists.
I also thought James Cameron's 2-hour special was very good. He used his 30+ visits to Titanic to form a theory about what physically happened to the ship and he makes persuasive case for his version of how it came apart and why various key pieces of debris were found where they were. I rate the special above his blockbuster movie.
I believe there are a few more to be seen before this is over, so stay tuned.
“I knew, even as a boy, that to love this world one must keep one’s distance” -- Bishop Daisy - "King of Hearts"
Post by sloanrodgers on Apr 12, 2012 16:06:42 GMT -5
I've seen a few PBS Titanic documentaries lately. All very good, but awfully sad for the victims and families. I almost shed a tear for that Marconi telegraph man, who stayed at his flooding post trying to signal for help to the very end. Talk about going down with your ship.
Post by Kevin Young on Apr 12, 2012 16:51:53 GMT -5
So far, I have liked them all. The one about the engineers below decks was very good, as it is just something one does not think about: focused to much on the drama above and just forgetting that someone had to do some dedicated work to keep the lights and power on: the Cameron one brought up an interesting point that perhaps they were also working to keep the ship trimmed as it filled with water.
My favorite crew member is still Charles Joughin-the drunk pastry chef who helped load boats, then went and hit the bottle, ended up riding the bow till the end and then simple stepped off and survived...
It was first aired in two parts on A&E in 1994; each part runs about 1:35. Being too sick to do much of anything else this week, I spent 3 hours tonight watching the entire thing and still regard it as the best overall Titanic documentary. It covers every aspect of the story, including the broader picture, but also zeroes in on key individuals, tragic and heroic indvidual acts and stories, and benefits greatly from inclusion of quality talking heads, including at least 3 Titanic survivors, Walter Lord and others. Robert Ballard appears toward the end and relates some very moving experiences he's had at the Titanic. Although it is 18 years old, the special is still very much up to date and David McCallum is a perfect narrator. Once you get in front of this, I'm betting you won't be leaving in under 3 hours.
And this is only night #1 of my Titanic weekend! I plan to view the new, remastered DVD of "A Night to Remember" tomorrow, plus the "Making of 'A Night to Remember'" one-hour documentary that's included. If you haven't got this, tune into TCM tomorrow night and view "A Night to Remember" there.
Post by Jim Boylston on Apr 14, 2012 21:13:55 GMT -5
I finished my re-read of "A Night to Remember," on the plane, then spent the evening watching the first 2 installments of the new Julian Fellowes, "Titanic" mini-series. I'm unimpressed. Fellowes adds more soap to the story than James Cameron. I'm also not fond of his characterizations of historical figures. I'm a fan of "Downton Abbey," but this one rang very flat with me.
Lord's book and the 1958 film version of it were every bit as good as I remembered, though.
"The only thing new in this world is the history that you don't know." -- HST
Post by mjbrathwaite on Apr 14, 2012 22:01:58 GMT -5
I'm interested in the Titanic too. The New Zealand T.V. Guide lists two pages of documentaries on it, but they're all on cable TV, which I don't have. From a documentary I saw some years ago , my understanding is that the Titanic was so easily punctured because the quality of the rivets used in its construction. Also, for what it's worth, my son tells me that the iceberg was larger than any they expected to encounter due the proximity of the moon, although I'm not a scientist and don't understand how that would affect it.
Post by Kevin Young on Apr 15, 2012 10:19:33 GMT -5
I am having some problems with the new mini-series...lot more fiction than either Cameron or the 1953 film. I can handle some fiction, but showing that the Italian waiters were all lock up is a bit much...
Post by mjbrathwaite on Apr 15, 2012 17:13:28 GMT -5
I thought it might be like that and haven't been watching it, despite it being the only thing about the Titanic on free-to-air T.V. in New Zealand, although I might start watching it when the ship hits the iceberg.