German intertitles WriterMime Misu (screenplay) Release date1912 CastWaldemar Hecker, Otto Rippert, Ernst Rückert Similar moviesTitanic, Titanic, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Jaws, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Shrek the Third
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In Nacht und Eis (English: "In Night and Ice"), also called Der Untergang der Titanic ("The Sinking of the Titanic") and Shipwrecked in Icebergs in the U.S., is a 1912 German adventure-disaster drama film about the sinking of Titanic. The filming began during the summer of 1912, and the film premiered that winter.
The film starts out with the passengers boarding at Southampton. The lives of the passengers on board the ill-fated ocean liner are depicted. On 14 April, the Titanic strikes an iceberg, throwing the diners in the Café Parisien to the side. Panic strikes the passengers. The crew ready the lifeboats, despite the fact that there are not enough of them. Women and children are loaded, while the men are held back. The radio operators (who take up most of the sinking part of the film) send out an urgent SOS. Fire blows out of the funnels during the sinking and then the boilers explode. The radio room floods, and finally the operators and captain jump ship and the Titanic sinks. Some survivors make it to a lifeboat, where they are pulled in. The captain swims to the lifeboat but when he is offered a spot, he instead swims away and goes underwater to drown.
The film was produced by Continental-Kunstfilm of Berlin, and while most of its footage was shot in a glasshouse studio in the rear courtyard of the offices at 123 Chausseestrasse, some footage was shot in Hamburg, and some was possibly done aboard the German ocean liner SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, then docked at Hamburg. The Café Parisien scenes were filmed in the vessel's Winter Garden. The Berlin Fire Department provided water to use for the sinking scenes.
With a running time of 35 minutes, In Nacht und Eis was three times longer than the average film of 1912. Shot in black and white, various scenes were tinted to heighten their impact, such as night scenes in dark blue and a shot of a stoker feeding a burner in red.
In one scene, a title card reads: Der kleine Milliardenerbe, welcher mit seinem Kindermädchen gerettet wurde, weil sich die ganze Familie opferte, um den Namen zu erhalten which translates to "The little inheritor of billions, who was rescued by his nanny to preserve the [family] name, since the whole family sacrificed themselves." This related to the true story of the Allison family which were traveling in First Class, whose baby Trevor escaped the Titanic with his nanny Alice, while his family perished in the sinking.
The film was presumed lost until February 1998, when the German film archivist Horst Lange, after seeing a newspaper article mentioning the disappearance of In Nacht und Eis, informed the paper that he possessed a print of the film. Various scenes can be seen in the documentary Beyond Titanic. The movie itself is available to view in its entirety on YouTube.