Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Nearer My God, to Thee"

This evening I intend to watch the restored version of A Night to Remember [1958], based on the Walter Lord book of the same name and generally considered the most historically accurate of the films on the subject, in fact it is sometimes described as a docudrama. Today — the anniversary of the sinking of the ship — from the BBC, "Five Titanic myths spread by films":
One hundred years ago RMS Titanic raced into an iceberg at almost full speed. Two-and-a-half hours later, it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic with the loss of over 1,500 men, women and children.

It has inspired a host of films, documentaries and conspiracy theories.

The re-release of James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster in 3D is a reminder that many people's knowledge of the events of 14 April 1912 comes not from historical fact, but the silver screen.
Here follow the "five myths."

Although impressed by the CGI recreation of the ship, I intensely disliked the Cameron film [1997] because the actual events and people were, to me, far more interesting and impressive than the ahistorical, romantic, tear-jerker, he produced.

More: an interesting post about the survivors:
...[T]hird class women passengers had a far better chance of surviving (49 percent) than first class males (34 percent). Yes, first and second class women had a much greater chance of survival (97 percent and 86 percent, respectively) than did third class women (49 percent). But the corresponding figures for men were abysmal, even in first class–and, curiously enough, second class men fared even worse than those in third class (8 percent to 13 percent).
More, 4/15: "Faith on the decks of the Titanic" provides information about the band playing "Nearer My God, To Thee" at the end:
.... One of the most dramatic accounts of the final moments came from thirty-four-year-old coal trimmer Thomas Patrick “Paddy” Dillon, who was interviewed by a local newspaper in Plymouth, England, after arriving back on the Red Star Line ship Lapland on April 28. He said he was one of the last to leave the ship and that the poop deck was by then at an angle of around sixty degrees and after a second explosion the bow “seemed to bob up and then break clean off like a piece of carrot.” The musicians had been playing on the deck, he said, but they then slid off the deck along with Captain Smith.

“There was one musician left,” he said. “He was the violinist and was playing the hymn ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee.’ The notes of this music were the last thing I heard before I went off the poop and felt myself going headlong into the icy water with the engines and machinery buzzing in my ears.”

Another survivor interviewed at the same time said: “They began to render hymn tunes and continued to do to the last. While playing ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’ the water was washing over their feet, and in a very short time they disappeared beneath the waves.”
BBC News - Five Titanic myths spread by films, Class, Gender, and One Hundred Years After the Titanic | The Weekly Standard, Faith on the decks of the Titanic › A Journey through NYC religions
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