This very week 102 years ago marked the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. The tragedy has since inspired dozens of creative works, with perhaps the most notable being James Cameron’s 1997 film. Other Titanic-related films are documentaries, some are respectable works of historical fiction, but a good number are plain bizarre.
This “Titanic” was a Nazi anti-British propaganda film, in which the White Star Line’s goal to beat a speed record in order to increase stock prices caused the fatal collision. The German first officer is portrayed as the hero. After its extremely expensive production, Nazi prime minister Joseph Goebbels, who originally ordered its creation, actually banned it in Germany. It was briefly shown in Nazi-occupied Paris after being heavily edited, and later in Germany in 1949. It wasn’t until 2005 that the complete, uncensored version was made public and in DVD form. For your curiosity, it can also be found on Youtube.
1980: “Raise the Titanic”
This one was based on the novel of the same title by Clive Cussler (2005’s “Sahara” was from another of his novels), and came out before the Titanic’s wreckage had been discovered by Robert Ballard in 1985. Basically, U.S. scientists want to find an element strong enough to block any air force raids from the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and discover that such a mineral may have gone down with the Titanic. So, they set out to find and resurrect the ship in attempt to obtain these radioactive minerals. There is more to the plot after they finally “Raise the Titanic” at 1:18:00.
1999: “The Legend of the Titanic”
Think “An American Tail” meets Cameron’s “Titanic.” In this Italian animated film, an elderly mouse is retelling the story of the Titanic to his mouse children, and there are some discrepancies -- most notably, a giant octopus holds the ship together as it breaks in two, managing to save every person on board from drowning. Also, this same octopus was tricked by evil sharks into placing the iceberg in front of the ship.The classic forbidden love story reappears, not too differently from that of Cameron’s film -- an upper class woman is in love with a gypsy, but is expected by her father to marry another rich man, who turns out to be the bad guy. The unbelievable octopus scene begins at roughly 1:06:00.
2000: “Titanic: The Legend Goes On”
“Titanic: The Legend Goes On” is another Italian cartoon entirely separate from “The Legend of the Titanic,” though talking animals and a Cinderella-themed forbidden love make up the plot. Perhaps the most eyebrow raising feature of this film is the rapping dog. The entire movie is available on youtube, and at 1:11:00, dolphins save the animal characters. In 2012, IMDB deemed this cartoon #1 on its Bottom 100 movies, though it has since declined in position.
2010: “Titanic II”
Yes, this movie actually exists. And as opposed to a fanmade, fake trailer that has floated around Youtube for a while, this is not a sequel to Cameron’s film. Rather, the story takes place in April 2012, exactly 100 years after the original Titanic voyage. A ship named the S.S. Titanic II sets sail and sinks due to complications that stem from global warming. As a sidenote, an Australian billionaire announced in 2012 plans to construct a real “Titanic II.”