Saved from the Titanic (lost silent film; 1912)

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Saved from the Titanic advertisement poster.

Saved from the Titanic was the first film about the Titanic, released on May 14, 1912, only 29 days after the sinking of the ship. What made this movie unique compared to other Titanic films is that it starred an actual Titanic survivor, actress Dorothy Gibson, who donned the same outfit she wore on the ship. Upon returning to New York, she co-wrote the script and played a fictionalized version of herself in the film. The plot involves her recounting the story of the disaster to her fictional parents and fiancé of her experiences as a passenger during the disaster. The story was mostly synced to footage of Titanic's sister RMS Olympic and stock footage of icebergs. The silent movie is only 10 minutes in length and was filmed in less than a week.[1] The movie was successful on both sides of the Atlantic, though many criticized it for commercializing the tragedy so soon after.

The movie is also notable as being the final film that Dorothy Gibson featured in before she suffered a mental breakdown not long after the release. The strain of the effort of reliving the dreadful night of April 15 seemed to have brought forth an existential crisis for her.

Despite the movie's success, the last known prints of the movie were destroyed in a fire at Eclair studios in March 1914. All that remain of the film are a few still photos, published in the Moving Picture News and Motion Picture World, showing scenes of the family and a still of Dorothy standing in front of a map of the North Atlantic pointing to the location of the Titanic. The disappearance of the film has been described by film historians as one of the greatest losses of the silent era.[2]

A print was believed to have been found in Germany in 1998, but it turned out to be a re-discovered print of the 1912 German Titanic film In Nacht and Eis.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The film's Wikipedia entry. Retrieved 28 Aug '13.
  2. 2012 article on the film. Retrieved 28 Aug '13.
  3. IMDb trivia page on the film. Retrieved 28 Aug '13.