“Titanic: The Complete Story” is a three-documentary collection that tells the story of the world’s most famous maritime disaster. It covers a lot of historical territory, beginning from the inception of the Olympic-class of ocean liners all the way to the Anglo-American investigations into how and why one of the most modern and luxurious vessels then in existence sank less than three hours after colliding with an iceberg.
Partially written and directed by Melissa Jo Peltier (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) this three-part, five-hour-long documentary series was re-released in 2012 on DVD. Originally made for the A&E and History cable channels, this miniseries examines many facts about the ill-fated Royal Mail Steamer Titanic. the British-flagged (but partly American-owned) White Star Liner which proved not to be as “unsinkable” as some of its enthusiastic advertisers thought.
“Titanic: The Complete Story” consists of the following documentaries:
- DEATH OF A DREAM – The largest ship ever built is christened in Ireland before a cheering crowd of 100,000. Witness the disaster this trek becomes as numerous iceberg warnings go unheeded and the ship sinks in the icy North Atlantic.
- THE LEGEND LIVES ON – Overpacked lifeboats edge away from the crippled liner as futile SOS signals flare into the night – leaving 1,500 passengers to a watery grave. Also, witness the courageous deep sea expedition to unearth Titanic’s secrets.
- TITANIC’S ACHILLES HEEL – Elite divers explore the explosive theory that the doomed liner may have had a fatal design flaw – using advanced CGI technology, archive documents and photographs, as well as footage from modern-day HISTORY expeditions.
The series also covers Dr. Bob Ballard’s long search for Titanic’s wreck near the Grand Banks in the North Atlantic, which finally succeeded in 1985. Ballard’s discovery of the ship’s remains revived media and public interest in the famous maritime tragedy.
Obviously, the documentary focuses a great deal of its running time to the familiar narrative of Titanic’s abbreviated maiden voyage and its tragic, almost made-for-legend ending (1500 passengers and crew, including Capt. E.J. Smith, died).
And as in many History/A&E broadcast documentaries, “Titanic: The Complete Story” features the usual mix of archival footage, some modern-day recreation (mostly of famous sections of the ship, such as the Grand Stair Case),still photos, commentary from historians and experts (Bob Ballard, Walter Lord – who wrote the non-fiction classic A Night to Remember – and artist/historian Ken Marschall) and, most poignantly, several elderly survivors, including Eva Hart and Milvina Dean, who have since passed away.
- Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
- Number of discs: 2
- Rated: NR (Not Rated)
- Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
- DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
- Run Time: 300 minutes