Titanic Chronicles on DVD
has found an interesting way to cash in on Titanic mania: release two
Titanic features on one DVD.
In The Atlantic is a 1929 British feature film on the sinking of "the
Atlantic," which may as well be the Titanic (perhaps they changed
the ship's name for copyright reasons?).
This 90 minute film,
however (which is introduced on the disc by David McCallum), is the weaker
of the two entries.
Dyall, Madeleine Carroll, Monty Banks, John Stuart, John Longden and Ellaline
Terkiss, it's based on the play "The Berg" by Ernest Raymond.
The producers try, but they're hamstrung by their budget and by 1929 movie
technology. It really makes one pine to see Cameron's
epic again instead.
Still, the movie
has its place in history: it's apparently the the first feature sound
film to tell the tale of the famous disaster.
in the Atlantic, from DVD International
1929, 90 minutes, full screen, Black & White
Starring Franklin Dyall, Madeleine Carroll, Monty Banks, John Stuart,
John Longden and Ellaline Terkiss
Written by Victor Kendall
The Titanic Chronicles is a far more interesting production - even though
on the surface it may appear to be a pretty dry offering.
The Titanic Chronicles
is a relatively straightforward presentation of the 1912 Senate Investigation
into the disaster. It uses archival footage and some scenes that look
like they're taken from the above feature to accompany actors' readings
of the actual investigation transcripts.
As such, it's a fascinating
glance into the heads of people who survived - or were nearby - the sinking
of the great ship. The actors chosen do an excellent job of bringing the
testimony to life; there are even cast members from Cameron's film on
hand, including "old Rose" Gloria Stuart. Her voice really stands
The Chronicles is
hosted by David McCallum, a very poor teleprompter reader, and it covers
testimony from Bruce Ismay, the White Star Line executive who made himself
scarce from the sinking ship while hundreds of passengers died. You also
hear from crew members of the California, the ship closest to the Titanic
when she struck the iceberg yet which never came to help (and would perhaps
have allowed many more - if not all - of the doomed Titanic roster to
have lived) as well as passengers and crew from the Titanic itself.
An alternate audio
track gives even more testimony.
In all, The Titanic
Chronicles is well worth a visit.
The Titanic Chronicles,
from DVD International
1999 full screen, 55 minutes
Written and produced by Wayne J. Keeley and James Scura
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