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Sinking of Lusitania [DVD] [2007] [US Import]

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Make Your World Bigger
Visit the Discovery Channel Store to browse the latest and greatest documentaries and reality TV from the Discovery Channel, including Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters and Wheeler Dealers.

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Product details

  • Directors: Christopher Spencer
  • Format: Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Enhanced, Widescreen, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Discovery Channel
  • DVD Release Date: 6 May 2008
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0014Z4OMK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,741 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Daddow on 25 Aug. 2014
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This may not have the budget of James Cameroons Titanic but in the space of an hour and a half manages to pretty much sum up the events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. It is mainly told from the viewpoint of Ian Holbourn, a Scottish professor in his way back from the United States, who befriends a lonely twelve year old schoolgirl, Avis Dolphin, who is travelling to England with her nurse. The majority of characters are based on real people, such as Captain Turner of the Lusitania, Alfred Vanderbilt, a wealthy First Class passenger and Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger, the commander of the U-20 which sunk the Lusitania. There are a few characters that are made up, such as an American singer called Dorothy, who is with Vanderbilt all the time, but for the most part the characters are accurate.
The events leading up to the sinking and some of those afterwards are presented well. The contraband cargo, the German warning, the Admiralty's confusing orders and the lack of an escort are all explained as best as it can. There is still so much mystery surrounding the exact circumstances of the sinking that we will never know what exactly happened.
There were a few inaccuracies that I could see (although I don't pretend to be an expert on the subject). Mainly, these were:
- Ian Holbourn and Avis Dolphin are portrayed as being in Saloon (First) Class, they were Second Class passengers
- Some elements of the ship, such as the side of the ship and a few of the interiors (e.g. the Bridge) don't match the actual ship (although this was done on a low budget)
- Avis' mentions one of her nurses. She actually had two nurses, neither of which are seen in this. Both died in the sinking.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 19 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By Johnny - Published on
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This Discovery Channel special 90-minute feature is the closets thing to a movie that has been released on the world's second most famous shipwreck after Titanic. In many ways, it can be considered a movie because it fully renacts the events which led up to the most famous sinking of World War I. Actor John Hannah, who was in all three "Mummy" movies as Jonathan, is the star of this docu-drama. The set used as the Lusitania herself does look almost identitcal to the real ship. Newsreel footage allegedly taken on May 1, 1915 the day the Lusitania set sail from New York on her fatal voyage is included. Also included is a full recreation of the infamous German submarine U-20 and her crew, who were responsible for torpedoing the Lusitania off the southern Irish coast on May 7, 1915, killing 1,195 innocent men, women and children. In just 18 minutes, the 785-foot long ship sank after listing completly to her starboard (right) side, the same side where the torpedo struck. Within seconds of the torpedo's impact, a secondary mysterious explosion occured farther forward; this is believed to have been the TRUE cause for the Lusitania's rapid destruction. To this day, no one can say for sure what caused it; whether it was a coal dust explosion, boilers or even the war supplies rumored to have been aboard near where the torpedo hit. Unfortunatley, the docu-drama does not go into detail as to what may have caused the secondary explosion. The feature does recreate the heart-breaking aftermath of the sinking; the recovery of floating bodies in Queenstown (now Cobh) Southern Ireland; the trial held the month after; and the fate of some of those who survivied. Hopefully, a movie shall be made one day to help keep the memory of those who perished alive; and to promote further education into World War I, for there are not a lot of movies based on the First World War as there are about World War II. The story of the Lusitania coincides with her great rival TITANIC; its the story of one of the world's most luxurious, biggest and fastest ships that ever existed. And like the story of Titanic, the richest people in the world traveled aboard her during this final voyage. In many ways, the sinking of the Lusitania is perhaps somewhat more tragic than TITANIC; it was a deliberate murderous act of war upon a ship of innocent souls.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A movie shown in Documentary Form 16 April 2009
By William Ajello - Published on
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THE SINKING OF THE LUSITANIA is truly a nice piece of work, it's done in a movie/documentary format, while there are no top name stars in it, the actors themselves did a good job.

There is however, a question as to how many torpedoes struck the ship because there was two distinct explosions heard, the first one was the torpedo from the german u-boat and then there was another much larger explosion after that one. THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE LUSITANIA by National Geographic covers this well so I won't give anything away but the Germans were not 100% at fault for sinking this ship and I'll leave it at that. This is a good DVD and I reccomend it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Pride Of The Cunard Line Meets Her Horrible End 13 Jun. 2010
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on
The "Lusitania," Cunard Line's early twentieth century wonder, is an often overlooked, though very worthy historical subject. "Sinking of the 'Lusitania'" is a docu-drama told through the eyes of a surviving Scottish academic, Professor Ian Holbourn (John Hannah.) The plot intertwines World War One tensions, the failure of the British Admiralty to protect the great liner, and life onboard the "Lusitania" and the German submarine that sunk her, the U-20. To fill out the running time there is a subplot about the friendship between Holbourn and a young girl, Avis Dolphin (Madeleine Garrood,) which I expected to be cloying but which actually turned out to be very well done. The acting in the film is generally quite good, and a special mention needs to go to Kenneth Cranham as Captain Turner, who was superb.

The film has very good sets, especially the ship and submarine interiors, although the effect of the ship on the water and especially when sinking were less than fully credible. The film also advances some theories as facts, and goes out of its way to paint the English in a light that makes them look as culpable as the Germans in the sinking of the ship. The storyline and narration from Holbourn makes this moral equivalence clear. Certainly nobody is sparing the British Admiralty of the responsibilities and it's unquestionable that tragic mistakes were made at high levels, though this film makes the leaders of the Royal Navy into the real enemies of the "Lusitania," rather than the German submariner who elected to fire his torpedo on the liner full of civilians.

I debated on a three versus four star rating for this docu-drama, but settled on four, as despite its flaws, the film is generally quite well made, is captivating to watch, and is historically important. As an aside the absolutely riveting painting of the ship sinking on the cover is duplicated inside the case in a larger format. It's by famed maritime artist Ken Marschall, is stunningly accurate, and is worth long contemplation on its own merits.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Better than expected 24 Jun. 2008
By Tony Philpott - Published on
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I expected this to be a dry documentary with grainy old newsreel. With the use of CGI the filmakers have re-created the last voyage of the Lusitania and made it interesting and viewable
Well done
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A True Story 14 Feb. 2009
By Ronald K. Wilson - Published on
Verified Purchase
This would have to be the best movie of The Lusitania I have ever seen, almost exactly as taught in schools as part of World War 1 history, I would recommend this movie to anyone who has a sence of history.
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