Remember on Friday night when I said this “new” blog will contain things I love like history? Well, saddle on up, folks. Here’s the first installment! It’s about my most precious history lesson of all time: The Titanic. It is zero secret to my friends and family that I’m obsessed with the Titanic. Sure, it started because of a certain Leo and Kate but grew into a real-life weird craze. Just wait till I get to the post about our European Titanic adventures. It’s epic.

But I wanted to keep the first “History Bit” simple and easy. You might even know about this already!

Did you know that before James Cameron wrote his amazing hit of a movie, the first film based on the tragic event was released just a month after the sinking? A MONTH. 

It gets even wilder. The actress? Dorothy Gibson, a Titanic survivor, who played herself and even wore the same dress that she did the night of April 14, 1912.

Dorothy Gibson was a silent film actress who sailed the Titanic with her mother, Pauline. She was playing bridge with others and had just gotten ready to go back to her stateroom when the Titanic struck the iceberg. She, of course, was able to get on a lifeboat with her mother and survived.

A scene from the film of her playing bridge.

Saved From the Titanic was released on May 16, 1912. Gibson was having an affair with the film’s producer so it may have been an easy persuasion for her to sign onto the silent film. She signed up just a few days after being rescued by RMS Carpathia. She was also co-writer, which makes sense because they needed her to fill the word-less script with memories and an account of what happened on the Titanic and the night a month earlier. The movie was filmed in Fort Lee, New York on an empty ship in the New York Harbor.

It was said that Gibson would burst into tears several times during takes, obviously still traumatized by the event.

The film completed in a week and was ten minutes in length. Of course, the film had quite a few critics that believed the film was in poor taste, especially being released so soon after but it also had many raving reviews.

Gibson’s promotional photo for the silent film, wearing the same outfit she did on the night of the sinking.

Dorothy quit acting shortly after the Saved From the Titanic. Ready for a crazy extra history bit? She moved to Paris and became a Nazi sympathizer and allegedly a spy. WUT. Yeah, this is true. She was later jailed as an anti-Fascist agitator. She then escaped but then died of a heart attack in 1946.

 

I hope you liked my first little history bit! I have so much more coming your way!!!