The movie was called "Atlantic," but everyone knew what it was about. The movie alternates between empty, pause-infected, stagey, overdramatic set-pieces and chaotic scenes of extras clawing each other for a boat seat in the dark. A mess, all around. If you’re familiar with the two major subsequent Titanic movies, these clips should show how far the art of cinema has advanced.

First: two women are looking for a guy, so they stop another guy and ask if he’s seen, you know, the guy. He has indeed - why, just a few scenes ago he came across the missing guy canoodling with a hotsie-totsie mama on the deck. But he can’t say that to these women. So he stutters his reply.

To indicate that this is a comic scene, the soundtrack kicks up mad jazz, which was presumably drowned out by the audience’s laughter.

Ready? Strap yourself in for the breakneck hilarity of Clip #1:

 

 

What's the secret of comedy?

In the next clip, we meet Lancester, who’s serving as Lightholler in this movie - albeit a clinically depressed version. It’s his job to go around and (TIMING! THE SECRET OF COMEDY IS TIMING) tell the first-class passengers that the ship is in trouble. Unfortunately, Lancester is crippled by some sort of anxiety disorder that makes it difficult to speak to people, and he also seems to be operating under the idea that the ship will sink within the next six weeks, possibly sooner.

 

 


After he’s dealt with the padre, he seeks out the Colorful Irascible Writer-Type Person, who may or may not be modeled after Elbert Hubbard. I have no idea. The brilliance of this clip can be found in the moment when Lancester - more depressed now than before - is so consumed with misery he turns his back on the man to whom he’s breaking bad news. (Actually, turns his side.) Inspires confidence, that Lancester.

 

 

 

 

I'd show you the scene where the ship sinks, but there isn't one.

That's right: a Titanic movie that doesn't show the ship sinking.