Monday, April 09, 2012

The Titanic Movie You Never Saw, Nazi Style.

Titanic was a 1943 Nazi propaganda film made during World War II in Berlin by Tobis Productions for UFA. The film used the sinking of the RMS Titanic as a setting for an attempt to discredit British and American capitalist dealings and glorify the bravery and selflessness of Germanic men. The film is known for its extremely dark production history and, ironically, became the symbol of the corruption and "sinking" of the Third Reich itself.

Cult icon Sybille Schmitz, who would achieve everlasting fame twenty-seven years after her death when R. W. Fassbinder adapted her unhappy life into his famous film Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, has her most widely accessible role for today's audience in this film.

Titanic (In German with English subtitles):

















2 comments:

Roth's stepchild 02:35  

From conspiracy-cafe.com:

The film was shot on board the SS Cap Arcona, a passenger cruise ship which itself was sunk a few days before the end of World War II in Europe with a loss of life far heavier than that on the actual Titanic. The scenes with the lifeboats were filmed on the Baltic Sea...interior scenes were shot in Tobis Studios.

Titanic was the most expensive German production up until that time and endured many production difficulties, including a clash of egos, massive creative differences and general war-time frustrations. The film's original director, Herbert Selpin was heard making unflattering comments about the Kriegsmarine officers, who were more concerned with molesting the female cast members rather than doing their job as marine consultants of the film. His close friend and co-writer of the script, Walter Zerlett-Olfenius, reported him to the Gestapo and Selpin was promptly arrested and personally questioned by Joseph Goebbels, who was the driving force behind the Titanic project. Within 24 hours of his arrest, Herbert Selpin was found hanged in his jail cell, which was ruled a suicide. The cast and crew were angry and attempted to retaliate, but were quickly silenced with fear for their own safety. The unfinished film, the production of which spiraled wildly out control, was in the end completed by Werner Klingler.

The premiere was supposed to be in early 1943, but the theatre that housed the answer print was bombed the night before the big event. The film went on to have a lackluster premiere in Paris around Christmas of that same year, but in the end, Goebbels banned it altogether, stating that the German people, at that point going through almost nightly Allied bombing raids, were less than enthusiastic about seeing a film that portrayed mass death and panic.

Titanic was re-discovered in 1949, but was quickly banned in most western and capitalist countries. After the 50s, the film went back into obscurity, sometimes showing on German television. But in 1992, a censored, low quality VHS copy, was released in Germany. This version deleted the strongest propaganda scenes, which immensely watered down its controversial content. Finally, in 2005, Titanic was completely restored and, for the first time, the uncensored version was released in a special edition DVD by Kino Video.

Roth's stepchild 02:36  

cont'd:

The movie opens with a proclamation to the White Star stock holders that their stocks are currently falling. The president of White Star Line J. Bruce Ismay promises to reveal a secret during the maiden voyage of the Titanic that will change the fate of the stocks. He alone knows that the ship can break the world record in speed and that, he thinks, will raise the stock value. He and the board of the White Star plan to lower the stocks by selling even their own stocks in order to buy them back at a lower price. They plan to buy them back just before the news about the record speed of the ship will be published to the press. (In reality, this was impossible to have occurred, since at the time the real White Star Line was a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Mercantile Marine conglomerate and was not a publicly traded company.)

The issue of capitalism and the stock market plays a dominant role throughout the movie. The hero of the film is fictional German First Officer Herr Petersen (played by Hans Nielsen) on the ill-fated voyage of the British ocean liner RMS Titanic in 1912. He begs the ship's rich and snobbish owners to slow down the ship's speed, but they refuse and the Titanic hits an iceberg and sinks. The passengers in first class are shown to be sleazy cowards while Petersen, his lover Sigrid Olinsky (Sybille Schmitz), and other German passengers in steerage are shown as brave and kind. Peterson manages to rescue many passengers, convince Sigrid to get into a lifeboat (in a scene which was famously echoed in the 1997 film) and saves a young girl, who was obviously left to die in her cabin by an uncaring, callous British capitalist mother. The film ends with the British Inquiry into the disaster, where Peterson testifies against Bruce Ismay, condemning his actions, but Ismay is cleared of all charges and the blame is placed squarely on the deceased Captain Smith's shoulders. The epilogue states that "the deaths of 1,500 people remains un-atoned, forever a testament of Britain's endless quest for profit."

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