In Nacht und Eis

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In Nacht und Eis
In Nacht und Eis.jpg
Directed by Mime Misu
Starring Waldemar Hecker
Otto Rippert
Ernst Ruckert (Anton Ernst Rickert)
Music by Joel McNeely
(2006 reissue)
Distributed by Continental Kunstfilm
Release dates
Running time
30 minutes
Country German Empire
Language Silent film
German intertitles

In Nacht und Eis (English: "In Night and Ice"), also called Der Untergang der Titanic ("The Sinking of the Titanic") is a 1912 German film about the sinking of Titanic. The filming began during the summer of 1912 and the film premiered that winter. The film's special effects are primitive by modern standards, but were impressive for that time.[citation needed] In the film, a small model ship hits an ice block in a small pond and sinks.


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 Film Studios of Berlin, and while most of its footage was shot in studios and in a lot behind the studio building, some footage was shot in Hamburg and some was possibly done aboard the German ocean liner SS Kaisern Auguste Victoria, then docked at Hamburg. 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 of the film a title card reads- Der kliene milliardenerbe, welcher mit seinem Kindermadchen gerettet wurde, weil sich die ganze familie opferte, um den Namen zu erhalten- in english it translates to: THE SMALL INHERITOR OF BILLIONS, WHICH WAS RESUCED BY HIS NANNY TO PRESERVE THE NAME, SINCE THE WHOLE FAMILY SACRIFIED THEMSELVES, meaning that the boy which is going to be the inheritor of his parent's wealth, was saved by his nanny to continue the wealthiness of parents because his parents didn't survive the sinking. The only thing related to that, is the true story of the Allison family which were travelling in First Class, in which Baby Trevor escaped the Titanic with his nanny Alice, while his older sister and the rest of his family perished in the sinking, . The Café Parisien scenes were filmed in the vessel's Winter Garden.

Preservation status[edit]

The February 20, 1998 Los Angeles Times reported that German Horst Lange possessed the only known surviving print.[1] Various scenes can be seen in the documentary Beyond Titanic. The movie itself is available to view in its entirety on YouTube.

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