YMMV Titanic Discussion

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03:51:51 PM Dec 21st 2013
edited by
Ron the Death Eater for Cal? Really? He's obviously meant to be the antagonist of the piece, isn't Ron the Death Eater the result of a fandom turning on an heroic character and reinterperating everything they do in a way that makes them look villainous when they're really not?
11:11:51 AM Feb 6th 2013
Pulled this:

  • Acceptable Target: The film goes out of its way to trash the image of First Officer William Murdoch, who (aside from being implicated in the Titanic hitting the iceberg) variously takes a bribe from Cal Hockley, shoots people as the ship sinks, and then finally kills himself. This might have been a way of demonstrating incompetence by the ship's crew... had there not actually been a William Murdoch who was on Titanic and who actually had the position the William Murdoch who appears on screen did. There were eyewitness reports from the Titanic's survivors that Murdoch killed no one, did not commit suicide, and was alive in the water when the ship went down, fighting hard to loose more lifeboats right to the bitter end. Murdoch's surviving relatives complained when they saw the film, and the vice president of the entire Fox Network eventually flew out personally to apologise for the gaffe, donating five thousand pounds to a British school's William Murdoch Memorial Prize. (Possibly the only time anyone has ever been upset about a Fox affiliation insulting somebody called Murdoch.)
    • Though, to be fair, the one person Murdoch shot was by accident, or at least out of reflex rather than actually taking aim and pulling the trigger. Additionally, prior to that incident in the movie, he literally throws Cal's money back in his face with the line "Your money can't save you any more than it can save me."
      • Plus he seemed to stare at Cal in disbelief when he shoved the money at him.
        • In addition, there are a number of survivor accounts of an officer shooting himself on the forward end of the starboard Boat Deck. If this did happen, it would have had to been either Chief Officer Wilde or First Officer Murdoch, as all the other officers are accounted for elsewhere. Murdoch seems to be the more likely one, and no one could account his or Wilde's movements.
        • Well, there are two potentially CREDIBLE direct accounts (others are from people who, because of their positions, such as in lifeboats launched earlier, couldn't possibly have seen or heard what they later claimed.) Adding to the confusion is both simply refer to the "Chief Officer", without it being at all clear whether they used the term correctly or who they meant. Through crew juggling in Southampton, it's possible both Murdoch (the original Chief Officer) and Wilde (who transferred from the Olympic at the last minute) could have been wearing Chief Officer's insignia and it's unlikely most passengers knew either man by name. As for who seemed more likely, Murdoch was married, Wilde was a widower with a family to support, and a lifeboat left to launch. The only eyewitness who absolutely knew Murdoch by sight, Lightoller, wrote to Murdoch's widow immediately after the sinking and said the last he had seen before being swept off the deck, Murdoch had been attempting to free the last collapsible boat before everyone was washed overboard.
        • And now Cameron has issued a public apology to Murdoch's relatives. Cameron says, "I think I have come to the realization that it was probably wrong to portray a specific person, in this case First Officer Murdoch, as the one who fired the weapon. First Officer Murdoch has a family and they took exception to that, and I think rightly so."
    • He is not implicated in the Titanic hitting the iceberg. He is shown doing everything he can to avoid hitting the iceberg but it's simply too late by the time they spot it. Afterward he's clearly quite shaken.
    • J. Bruce Ismay as pretty much become the universal Acceptable Target of the Titanic disaster in both fiction and Real Life. He doesn't get any gentler a ride here than he gets anywhere else. He's portrayed as an uneducated upper class twit (Freud, who is he, is he a passenger?), full of pride and hubris and arrogance, who is implied to have overruled Thomas Andrews' recommendation for more lifeboats, and was sure to save his own skin when the ship was going down. He was also implied to have pressured Captain Smith to drive the ship harder to get the ship to New York sooner, although in real life the evidence to support that conjecture is tenuous at best, and Titanic was never built for speed.

As I noted in my edit, this doesn't fit the Acceptable Target trope, and these people are already covered (more succinctly) under Historical Villain Upgrade on the main page for the film.
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