scar-winning Titanic directory James Cameron has offered the first of what we hope to be several apologies for character-defaming historical inaccuracies in his blockbuster film,” said Doug Phillips, President of the Christian Boys’ & Men’s Titanic Society. Reuters News Service reports that the makers of Titanic “have apologized to a Scottish town for turning its local hero into a villain, a British member of parliament said on Wednesday.”
“Cameron portrayed Titanic’s First Officer William Murdoch as a confused and wavering shell of a man who took a bribe, shot a third-class passenger, and then committed suicide. In point of fact, Murdoch gave his life to save passengers, helping them into boats, and then throwing deck chairs overboard so that drowning passengers would have something to keep them afloat. Murdoch is generally recognized by historians and Titaniphiles as a hero who never wavered in the performance of his duty and who gave his life for women and children,” said Phillips.
According to Reuters: “20th Century Fox admitted in a letter to Alisdair Morgan, the member of parliament for Murdoch’s hometown Dalbeattie, that it had no evidence the first officer ... had done any of those things.”
“What makes Cameron’s revision of history so misleading,” said Phillips, “is that in interview after interview, Cameron has stressed that he went to great pains to ensure absolute historical accuracy.”
Reuters reports that: “Records dating from the disaster put on display Wednesday by Britain’s Public Record Office show that Titanic survivors were impressed by the cool behavior of the crew. ‘Nothing but the most heroic conduct; perfectly orderly,’ a survivor named ‘Gracie’ told a U.S. Congress inquiry in 1912.”
Cameron has donated $8,340 to a memorial fund set up in Murdoch’s honor.
“Other historical inaccuracies include Cameron’s portrayal of the rich bribing their way to freedom, the deliberate prevention of the third class from reaching safety, the pandemonium during the early stages in which the boats were loaded, and the class-based religious services,” said Phillips. “On a thematic level, Cameron minimizes the role of the men who gave their lives for women and children, and he presents a Titanic embroiled in class warfare.”
“From the beginning,” Phillips said, “we have had two big concerns about the film: First, Cameron glorifies teenage promiscuity and youth rebellion; and second, the effect of Cameron’s politically correct interpretation of history is that the hundreds of thousands of young people who see the film may be forever inoculated from learning the true lessons of the Titanic at a time in which they are most desperately needed.”
On March 23, 1998, the Christian Boys’ and Men’s Titanic Society launched its Web page which featured the question: “Should James Cameron apologize to the men of the Titanic?”
R E T U R N T O R E A D A B L E S