Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Night and Ice - 1912

Country: Germany
Language: German
Director: Mime Misu
Writer: Mime Misu (screenplay)
Stars: Waldemar Hecker, Mime Misu and Otto Rippert
Release Date: 17 August 1912 (Germany)
Plot Keywords: Titanic | Ship Wreck
Genres: Short | Action | Drama
Also known as: Der Untergang der Titanic (undefined)
In Night and Ice (undefined) (literal English title)
Titanic'in haaksirikko eli yö jäiden seassa Finland (poster title)
Titanic'in perikato Finland
Filming Locations: Berlin, Germany; Chausseestraße 123, Berlin, Germany; Cuxhaven, Lower Saxony, Germany; Hamburg, Germany; Krüpelsee, Brandenburg, Germany
Production Co: Continental Kunstfilm GmbH
Believed lost until February 1998, two months after the release of Titanic when a German collector realized that he had it in his posession.
First Titanic Movie ever. Released only a few Days after the sinking of the Original Ship. The German title translates to IN NIGHT AND ICE but the film was also released as THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC. This film is certainly historic as it's the first movie to deal with the Titanic tragedy. This was filmed a month or so after the real event and released not too long after wards. There's really no point in trying to compare this to any future film so one shouldn't expect a realistic telling of the events or great special effects. I think what's so interesting in viewing this film today is just what they did show and perhaps what they thought happened. It should go without saying but the ship never breaks in two pieces and this film shows the ship pretty much running onto the ice burg. The way the Captain is shown here has him being very heroic and it seems most of the attention is given to the wireless operator as he's made out to be the hero here. The film shows the crash but this special effect is obviously just a fake boat running into some ice. It's nothing special but it looks decent enough. The most interesting thing is what we're not shown and the biggest thing is that we never see people in panic. I'm going to guess we don't see anyone dying simply because it was too close to the actual events or perhaps the film didn't want to add to people's fear of sailing. We also don't see the lack of lifeboats get blamed for all the deaths. In fact, we're never really told or showed why so many people ended up dying. The film is very brief in the sinking as it happens rather quickly and we really don't get to see anyone getting into the lifeboats. We see them taking off at sea in them but that's about it. The film runs 35-minutes, which was pretty long for 1912 but the sinking doesn't start until the 18-minute mark. The opening pretty much introduces us to various characters as we get to see what type of games they were playing on board as well as a few other items.

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