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Titanic: The Complete Story [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x91908df8) out of 5 stars 61 reviews
122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91cb11ec) out of 5 stars Great Titanic Documentaries That Have Been Released In Several Other Editions, So Check Individual Titles 24 Feb. 2012
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Our fascination with the tragedy of the Titanic has never waned. In April, it is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of this "unsinkable" giant on its maiden voyage. There has, through the years, been so much material presented about the disaster through various media outlets. Enthusiasts and casual historians with an interest in the topic have likely snapped up some of the higher profile pieces related to that fateful night. So I say with the 2012 release of "Titanic: The Complete Story," don't make this a blind buy if you have previously purchased Titanic titles from History Channel or A&E Entertainment. If you have not seen these specials, they are certainly noteworthy--I just want to warn potential buyers about a repackaging overlap.

This set includes:
(5 stars) 1994's "Death of a Dream" and 1994's "The Legend Lives On": These two specials aired in conjunction and are considered companion pieces to one another. Together, they form one of the most comprehensive accounts about the Titanic that you're likely to encounter with a total run time of about 3 1/2 hours. The two documentaries (narrated by Man From UNCLE's David McCallum) utilize survivor interviews (people that are no longer with us in 2012), photos, newsreel footage, and personal written accounts to bring the story to life. From the ship's inception and building in the early years of the century to the discovery of the wreckage in 1985 by Robert Ballard, these films by Melissa Jo Peltier really provide a complete picture of the Titanic story. "Death of a Dream" tells primarily the start of the story up until the sinking with "The Legend Lives On" picking up with much of the aftermath. If you have been dissatisfied with other films or coverage, I suggest you give these a try. Note that they were made in 1994, however, and are not as modern as some of the documentary features produced today.

(4 Stars) 2007's "Titanic's Achilles Heel": By its very nature, this documentary is more speculative and seems more in tune with projects being produced by the History Channel today. Director Kirk Wolfinger's film takes on a theory proposed by naval architect Roger Long after "Deep Sea Detectives" (how do you get that title?) John Chatterton and Richard Kohler discovered new evidence when they inspected the Titanic wreckage in 2005. Long posits that perhaps the sinking was inevitable due to structural flaws within the ship itself. This film employs special effect recreations to make its points as well as archival footage from past and current expeditions. Fascinating, but not nearly as essential as the other two films.

Previous Releases:
"Titanic's Achilles Heel" has been released as a stand-alone DVD.

"Death of a Dream" and "The Legend Live On" were on a previous set with the same title--2002's "Titanic: The Complete Story." That set included 1998's "Beyond Titanic" as opposed to "Titanic's Achilles Heel." If you own this edition, there is no real upgrade with the new set. If you don't, it's no longer available--so now you can get the Peltier films. The two parts were also released in 1998 under the plain title of "Titanic."

Special features (also previously released in prior editions):
Timeline of Critical Events
Biographies of Notable Passengers
Essay on the history filtered through pop culture

I am certainly giving this a recommendation, I just wanted to let you know that you may already own pieces of this set if you collect Titanic material. Primary components have already been on the market in several different incarnations. KGHarris, 2/12.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91cbb39c) out of 5 stars Titanic Documentary 5 April 2012
By C6 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Vary informative. Many facts that I did and did not know. Can easily be viewed many times for both the information presented and the obvious interest in the Titanic. C6
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Kat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watched with total interest. The documentary gave specifics that I would never question. I felt quite naive. The issue with the compartments flooding were shocking in the belief that the Titanic could sustain herself in such a situation. The documents were so informative about the extravagance of the ship, that one would not believe that this ship could not fail, and by God, it did. I pray for the souls lost on that night. For some warm, happy and full of hope. Then.....Terror.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91c92714) out of 5 stars Almost the Complete Story 11 Sept. 2012
By Karl Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anyone who is fascinated with the Titanic disaster will want to own this
DVD package. While it may not be the "complete" story, it is really a valuable
documentary. It has been re-issued in 2011 by A&E as a 2 disc DVD collection.

Basically you have at least three documentaries in one package here. The first
begins with the history of the White Star line and the shipbuilders who
constructed the Titanic and her two sister ships. This is a lot of great
background information. Next comes a lengthy exposition on the formation
and migration of icebergs, focused on why they traveled so far south that year,
and why the Titanic wasn't expecting trouble.

The third documentary begins with a detailed analysis of some structural problems
that existed with the Titanic and her sister ships--some of which the builders
recognized and tried to correct; others were not corrected, either because the
degree of risk wasn't properly appreciated at the time, or the decision was made
financially that the risk-benefit ratio of re-doing the ship's design would not
be economical or practical. It must be kept in mind, as the documentary points out,
that a ship of this size had never been built before, so even though these were
master shipbuilders, certain technical problems arose that they had not encountered before.
National Geographic mounted an expedition in the Mediterranean to examine the wreck
of the third of the sister ships, the Brittania, just to see if her construction may have
corrected at least one of the flaws that remained in the Titanic, in light of its sinking
(the Brittania was still in construction at that time, so there was still time to make a
modification which might have significantly lengthened the ship's lifespan, if she were
maimed in the way the Titanic was). Unfortunately, that documentary ends without the divers
being able to answer the question.

Overall the best parts of the documentary were the details about the White Star Line
and the shipbuilders, and a number of interviews with survivors (all deceased now,
so there will be no further interviews with them). Portions of these interviews
you may have seen elsewhere, but longer excerpts are preserved in these documentaries.

The film "A Night to Remember", though only semi-documentary in nature (it is a
re-enactment of the tragedy, done in black and white) is the best movie ever
done about the Titanic disaster. In addition to being quite accurate in almost all
respects, it has a wonderful commeentary track by 3 commentators who really DO
seem to know EVERYTHING there is to know about all things Titanic. If you have
the Criterion Collection version of "A Night to Remember" and you have
"Titanic: The Complete Story", you should have a very comprehensive video collection
indeed, about this historic event that still resonates today. As one commentator put it,
it was perhaps the sinking of the Titanic that truly brought the end of an era (not
the outbreak of World War I a few years later)--the end of an era of naive hubris, of
the belief that our science and our technology could overcome any problems with which
mankind might be faced...
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b10d80) out of 5 stars Excellent First Disc - 18 Jun. 2012
By Loyd Eskildson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I've seen numerous programs on the Titanic. Yet, each time I'm still struck by the enormity of the tragedy, hoping it doesn't sink, and regretting the many decisions that led to the ultimate loss of about 1,500 lives.

Regardless, this DVD program's first disc is one of the best I've seen. I didn't know that J.P. Morgan owned the White Star Line - lucky for him he missed the first voyage. The net worth of its passengers was $500 million, and the best first-class suites cost $4,300 - about $100,000 today. About 14,000 workers toiled to build both the Titanic and Olympia at Belfast. The Titanic had 29 boilers and carried 660 tons of coal - think of all the hard work involved in keeping it steaming!

Had the Titanic simply run straight into the berg (only damage for first two compartments, maybe three - still float), or at least not tried to slow down (would have turned faster), experts believe it would have been saved. It took Captain Smith about 30 minutes to send an SOS, even longer to fire the distress rockets. Seems like most of the top officers didn't really believe the ship would sink, even after hitting the iceberg. Captain Smith, despite his 40 years of seafaring experience, had no prior experience with hitting an iceberg or abandoning ship - this slowed his reactions; he seemed 'shell-shocked.'

The first boats were only 1/3 full; testimony was that they had been tested with 60 men in Belfast and could have carried even more - especially lighter women and children. Yet, on average, they carried less than 40 each - very poor leadership on Captain Smith's part. (Also his sailing near full speed in an ice field - the flat sea also prevented waves from forming at the iceberg's base, making them more visible.) The 'Californian' was an estimated 10 miles away, an hour at most, yet never responded until the following morning. It's radio operator had gone to bed. Horribly, the third-class were largely locked below or held back by stewards.

There were innumerable examples of heroism - the Titanic's band playing on to the end, the ship's officers, those working below decks to keep the generators operating, Mrs. Strauss' leaving the lifeboat to remain with her husband, etc.

Those in New York didn't believe what had happened at first; 30,000 waited on the dock for the Carpathia. One scene - Titanic's berth, was especially sad, showing instead its 20 lifeboats brought back by the Carpathia. South Hampton, where most of the crew had been hired, lost 549 men.

It took until 1985 for the Titanic to be located. The 'good news' is that the Titanic's sinking immediately led to all ships carrying enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and regulations requiring full-time Marconi operation.

The second disc, unfortunately, was a major disappointment. Repetitive to the point of aggravation, it should have been summarized in 15 minutes instead of taking 1.5 hours. A firm did a computer analysis of stresses on the Titanic as if rose in the air - I don't know what that proved, absent analysis of design/material strength. They also found the expansion join design on the Titanic was problematic, and changed on the actual Britannic sister ship. However, there were two other important changes not mentioned in the program - a double hull along the engine and boiler rooms, and raising six of the watertight bulkheads up to B Deck. It sank in 1916 after hitting a mine.
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