In Nacht und Eis (English: "In Night and Ice"), also called Der Untergang der Titanic ("The Sinking of the Titanic") is a 1912 German film about the sinking of Titanic. The filming began during the summer of 1912 and the film premiered that winter. The film's special effects are primitive by modern standards, but were impressive for that time. In the film, a small model ship hits an ice block in a small pond and sinks. The film starts out by the passengers boarding at Southampton. The movie depicts the life of the passengers on board the ill-fated ocean liner. On April 14, during dinner in the Cafe Parisian, the Titanic strikes an iceberg, throwing the passengers in the cafe to the side. Panic strikes the passengers and the crew ready the lifeboats despite the fact that there aren't enough of them. Women and children are loaded while the men are held back. The radio operators (who take up most of the sinking part of the film) send out an urgent SOS. Fire blows out of the funnels during the sinking and then the boilers explode. The radio room floods and finally the operators and captain jump ship and the Titanic sinks. Some survivors make it to a lifeboat, where they are pulled in. The captain swims to the lifeboat but when he is offered to be saved, he instead swims away to his apparent death.
The film was produced by Continental Film Studios of Berlin, and while most of its footage was shot in studios and in a lot behind the studio building, some footage was shot in Hamburg and some was possibly done aboard the German ocean liner Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, then docked at Hamburg. The Berlin Fire Department provided water to use for the sinking scenes. With a running time of 35 minutes, In Nacht und Eis was three times longer than the average film of 1912. Shot in black and white, various scenes were tinted to heighten their impact, such as night scenes in dark blue and a shot of a stoker feeding a burner in red.
Around 1914, the film was deemed lost forever, like many other silent films of that era. Then, in 1998, a German film collector realized he had it in his private collection (this came not long after the release of the James Cameron film). Various scenes can be seen in the documentary Beyond Titanic. The movie itself is available to view in its entirety on YouTube.
- There were no boiler explosions during the sinking, where as a boiler does so in the film.
- The captain did not witness the collision as he was in his cabin at the time of collision.
- The crew spots the iceberg with binoculars when in reality the crew on the crows nest weren't provided with binoculars.
- In the film, the impact throws passengers forward, in reality the impact caused the ship to shake slightly and was barely noticeable.
- In real life, the crows nest communicated with the bridge by telephone, but in the film they communicate by screaming back and forth.
- In the film, the ship hits the iceberg on the port side, but in reality it hit the berg on the starboard side.
- ↑ "The Titanic on Film". A Life At The Movies. April 12, 2012. http://www.alifeatthemovies.com/film-guides/titanic-on-film/.
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