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100 years later, we’re still Titanic-obsessed In Focus By Richard Crouse Metro Canada April 4, 2012

Titanic4601As the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic approaches, there are no shortages of cinematic ways to pay tribute to one of the most famous disasters of the 20th century.

This weekend, James Cameron’s Titanic sets sail again in theatres, this voyage in 3D. The story of Jack and Rose and their unsinkable love may be the best known of all the big boat movies, but it isn’t the only one.

The first films about the sinking were made within a year of the event; 1912 saw three 10-minute films released to quench audience’s thirst for Titanic news. The most famous of the movies featured an actual Titanic survivor.

Saved from the Titanic starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who was also a first class passenger on the ship. Premiering on May 14, 1912, (just 29 days after the Titanic sank) the movie has Ms. Gibson recalling her experiences as a passenger, while wearing the same dress she had worn when the ship went down.

In a fictional twist she is shown as one of the last people to leave the ship when, in fact, she was the first person to enter lifeboat number seven.

Cut to 1929. British International Pictures was forced to release their epic film on the Titanic under the name The Atlantic when White Star Line threatened legal action. Seems the Titanic’s owner was actively trying to dissuade producers from cashing in on the Titanic disaster.

The next mention of the doomed ship on film came in 1933 in the best picture winner Cavalcade. In its most famous scene, newlyweds embark on their honeymoon cruise. Standing on the deck they discuss their plans as the ship pulls out of dock. Soon it’s revealed they’re standing in front of a life preserver embossed with the name Titanic.

Best of the bunch are Titanic, an all-star docu-drama headlined by Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Wagner, that debuted on April 14, 1953, exactly 41 years after the disaster and A Night to Remember, which is still regarded as the most accurate of all the Titanic films.
Nazis also cashed in on the Titanic

Even Hitler had a hand in making a Titanic film. 1943’s S.O.S Titanic was a propaganda film suggesting British incompetence was to blame for the disaster.
As water funnels into the ship, Captain Smith says, “See if you can find any German people on board.  They’ll know how to save the ship.”

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