One Hundred Years of the Titanic on Film

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This article marks the centenary of the sinking by providing a comprehensive, comparative, critical analysis of 100 years of films of the Titanic. It begins with news-film from 1912, together with the early silent features ‘Saved from the Titanic’ directed by Etienne Arnaud, Éclair Film Company, USA, 1912; and ‘In Nacht und Eis’ directed by Mime Misu, Continental-Kunstfilm, Germany, 1912. It then pays particular attention to the five major Titanic sound features of the 20th century: ‘Titanic’, directed by Herbert Selpin and Werner Klinger, Tobis Films, Germany, 1943; ‘Titanic’, directed by Jean Negulescu, Twentieth Century Fox, USA, 1953. ‘A Night to Remember’, directed by Roy Ward Baker, The Rank Organization, UK, 1958; ‘Raise the Titanic’, directed by Jerry Jameson, Incorporated Television Company, UK, 1980; and ‘Titanic’, directed by James Cameron, Twentieth Century Fox/Paramount Pictures, USA, 1997. The analysis is text-based and interpretive, paying particular attention to the sometimes wilful differences between the films and recorded history. It proceeds chronologically while at the same time remaining thematically aware. It shows that 100 years of films about the Titanic tell us more about the times and cultures in which they were made than they do about the actual disaster. And it concludes that a duplicitous relationship with history has been a hallmark of films of the Titanic from the very start, but that this very duplicity has proved unintentionally articulate and intellectually rewarding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-93
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


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