Herbert Selpin

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Titanic (1943) Review


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The production of this 1943 Titanic was a cinematic disaster to rank alongside the maritime disaster it depicts. And it couldn't have happened to nicer folks: the Nazis. The story goes like this:

Titanic was a production of the German company Tobis, which hired as its director Herbert Selpin. Millions of marks were spent on what was one of Germany's more lavish wartime productions, with principal photography shot aboard the Cap Arcona. (This ship was later used to evacuate liberated prisoners from the Nazi prison camp Neuengamme to Amsterdam; when the Allies accidentally fired on and sank the ship, most of the prisoners not killed in the accident were picked off by Nazi forces stationed on the coast nearby.) Before location shooting had been completed, director Selpin, aggravated by second unit delays, was overheard making disparaging remarks about the German navy; his complaints were relayed to the Gestapo, who arrested him. He was later found hanged in his cell at the Gestapo prison Prinz-Albrecht-Palais in Berlin, the victim of a dubious "suicide."

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