Swapping Deckchairs

Nice of Brian Aherne, in the Jean Negulesco TITANIC, to proudly display the name of his favourite Bob Fosse film.

Though I would have put him down as more of a LENNY man.

Working on a new Shadowcast, or at least talking about doing so… I realise if we’re going to make this podcast thing a success we’ll have to make some actual podcasts… thinking of theming it around movies about the Titanic. There are quite a few. We’ll just talk about the ones we’re interested in. Probably these:

ATLANTIC. EA Dupont, Britain, 1929. Stars Thomas Cromwell; Princess Flavia; Sir Henry Baskerville; Harry Blump, the Window Washer; Needle Nugent; Detective Frank Webber; Gen. Mercier; Emily Hill; Duke of Orleans; and One-Round

The Nazi TITANIC. Gervert Selpin, Germany, 1943. Stars Léone; Chef von Scotland Yard; Elephant Keeper Kellerman; Inspector Groeber; and Inspector Karl Lohmann.

TITANIC. Jean Negulesco, USA, 1953 which stars Waldo Lydecker; Martha Ivers; Jonathan Hart; Louise Kendall; Moe Williams; Maximilian I of Mexico; Ishmael; Cousin Albert Van Cleve; Lord Alfred Douglas; the Dear One; Herod the Great; and the voice of Klaatu.

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. Roy Ward Baker, Britain, 1958, Which stars Douglas Bader; Cmdr. Fortune; John Quincy Adams; Pussy Galore; Hylas the Glaswegian argonaut; Don Jarvis; Ieuan Jenkins; David Copperfield; Illya Kuryakin; Chief Inspector Tim Oxford: Argos the Surrey Argonaut; Peter Coffin; Dickie Winslow; Catweazle; Lenin; Prof. Bernard Quatermass; Takyan; Det. Chief Supt. Charles Barlow; Q; Prince Otto; Sandy Youth; Norm; Tumak; Vivian Darkbloom; the Duke of Wuertemberg; Captain Winston Havelock; and Boba Fett.

And I guess we won’t be able to entirely avoid James Cameron’s TITANIC (USA, 1998) which stars Rick Dalton; Young Iris Murdoch; The Phantom; Annie Wilkes; Strawberry Alice; Margaret Waverton; Private Hudson; King Theoden; Henry Niles; Herbert Arthur Runcible Cadbury; Reed Richards; Jeremy Secker; Pontius Pilate; and Captain Winston Havelock again.

Why, it’s Captain Smith! The real one, seemingly. The little white blotch to the right of his head seems to be where somebody’s scratched out the name of another ship, for what reason I’m uncertain. All through this documentary short, frequently mislabeled as SAVED FROM THE TITANIC, the names of ships are erased.

The real SAVED FROM THE TITANIC is, I believe, lost. It was the first Titanic drama, released in 1912 to cash in quick, and it starred a real survivor of the disaster, Dorothy Gibson.

Well, you can’t really blame her for trying to salvage something from the experience.

20 Responses to “Swapping Deckchairs”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    I know it’s unfashionable but I quite like the Cameron “Titanic” It explains how and why the ship went down in great detail, shows what every area of the ship was life and gives the key role to the great Gloria Stuart who supplies heart soul and STYLE to whole thing with the greatest of ease.

  2. ehrenstein47 Says:

    Selpin was removed as director of the Nazi “Titanic” in the most absolute way possible. He was discovered to be conspiring against Der Fuhrer halfway through production. The SS showed up on the set, and took him away for an immediate execution. Talk about “turnaround”! Not sure who completed the film. Star Sybille Schmitz who was so enchanting in “Vampyr” was a drug addict. Her sad postwar end inspired Fassbinder’s “Veronika Voss”

    As for the Negulesco, RJ claims to have had an affair with Barbara Stanwyck during its making. Now THERE’S a movie!

  3. Simon Kane Says:

    Ruddy heck! Didn’t the ship actually go down because it had been on fire for three weeks before setting sail,and nobody knew how to put out a fire in a fuel store so they just let it burn, disasstrously weakening the hull? It’s a similarly attractive horrible metaphor either way.

  4. Tony Williams Says:

    I would say that Gloria Stuart is the only reason for watching Cameron’s version making any viewing “a night to remember” for that reason alone. Seen the others except for the Negulesco version that Hitchcock was supposed to direct at one point as well as that TIME TUNNEL (1966-67) episode where Michael Rennie played the ill-fated Captain. When Colbert and Darren attempt to warn him about the imminent disaster he chooses to go down with his ship. “Stout fellow”!

  5. The fire theory is debated… The first source I looked at says it wouldn’t have weakened the hull sufficiently. I blame the fact that the celebrated watertight compartments weren’t watertitght: they were all open at the top, so as one filled up it slopped over into the next.

    If they hadn’t taken evasive action they would have just banged into the iceberg and been fine. It was turning off to the side that ripped them open.

    Werner Klingler, who helmed many Edgar Wallace krimi after the war, with many of the same actors, is credited as the 1943 movie’s second director, though for some reason Selpin retained solo credit.

    The Cameron film is a great spectacle but I’m afraid we’re being fairly hard on it…

  6. Andreas Flohr Says:

    Director Herbert Selpin was denounced by one of his script writers (!) whom he had confessed — in a private talk — that Germany will lose the war. The real circumstances of his dead in a Gestapo prison are unclear till today. He was killed or forced to kill himself, officially they called it „suicide“.

  7. There’s also S.O.S. TITANIC and RAISE THE TITANIC – produced at the same time by Bernard Delfont and Lew Grade respectively. They were brothers and Grade blamed Delfont’s film for the failure of his.

  8. And of course Grade said of his Raise the Titanic, “It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic.”

  9. Yes! And more fun to watch, probably. Even if they lowered it a cupful at a time.

  10. SOS Titanic stars Kolchak; Lord Lucan; Cmdr. Ed Straker; Mr. Turkentine; Killer Carlson; PR Deltoid; Stephen Dedalus; Norm (again); Dim; Bilbo Baggins; Frau Blücher; Alma Reville; Sally McMillan; Henry Niles again; Delbert Grady; and Chalky.

    In fact, the number of UK actors unlucky enough to have gone down on the Titanic MORE THAN ONCE is considerable.

    Not many people realize that the reason they raise the Titanic is that the only supply of a rare miniral essential for producing an anti-nuclear-missile force field is in the cargo. Truly.

  11. bensondonald Says:

    If anybody here hasn’t seen the documentary “Nazi Titanic”, see it. At first you’re thinking this would make a brilliant black comedy. Then you think it would be impossible to get any blacker or more ironic than the reality.

  12. OK, you talked me into it!

  13. Tony Williams Says:

    Go for it, David! “Eye of the Tiger”!

  14. Tony Williams’ mention of the TIme Tunnel Titanic is giving me nostalgic feels, as “Tony Newman,” turtlenecked James Darren, was a very early TV crush. Poor Robert Colbert, a holdout from Mad Men times encased in a wool suit, never had a chance. Tony Newman was displaced by fellow Titanic passenger Ilya Kuryakin, but I was still delighted when Darren got a swinging gig on Deep Space Nine.

  15. Tony Williams Says:

    “Goodbye, cruel world. I’m off to join the circus.”

  16. Is that another Time Tunnel reference? Afraid I never watched it. Outside of Star Trek I seem to have a limited capacity for sixties sf US tv.

  17. i saw all those shows, and if you were a kid they were okay, even the benighted Lost In Space. Revisiting them never even occurred to me. As I grew older, those shows became rather embarrassing memories. Late ’60s American TV was overall not very good.

  18. Tony Williams Says:

    David C. No,it was the title of a pop sung sung by James Darren who like other teen idols of the 50s era, attempted to launch a career as a singer. Was expecting Katya to respond but, nevertheless, here is one antidote to your lassitude, much better than the “7 per cent solution.” Why not browse youtube to listen to songs of that era by Frankie, Annette, James Darren & Co etc to increase your musical cinematic knowledge and perhaps stimulate you into doing another podcast?

  19. Darren’s a capable Sinatra-esque saloon singer, as seen on the DS9 holo-suite running story line that should have been annoying but was instead charming. A delayed payoff for that vintage persona.

    He also shows up in “Lucky,” Harry Dean Stanton’s farewell film.

    I’ve done very little re-watching of 60s TV, but bits of it are just engrammed right in there. I’m guessing that Man from UNCLE would still be fun.

  20. I never really warmed to UNCLE, though I like all those actors and the guest stars are frequently good too. And they had Joseph Sargent directing… Girl from UNCLE had Mitchell Leisen but it didn’t really improve the watchability that I could tell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: