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The Titanic Sinking: 1912: "The Titanic" in Popular Culture

This libguide overviews the history, the people, and the legacy of the Titanic and provides sources for additional research

Popular Culture

The Titanic in Popular Culture

(Of course, this review is just the "Tip of the Iceberg")

Since the fateful night, it seems the world has been captivated with The White Star Liner. Through culture, she has moved from being a tragedy to being a phenomenon and a legend. The stories of those on board and of the ship herself are timeless and are represented in a variety of mediums.


Titanic the Musical


In 1997, Titanic the Musical opened on Broadway. It won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. It recounts the dreams and ambitions of the passengers on board and the history of the tragedy.





Some of the Many Movies


(These films can be found on Netflix , YouTube, or other websites)


Saved from the Titanic (1912)


Stars actual Titanic survivor Dorothy Gibson and was released one month after the ship went down. Considered a Lost Film.



In Nacht und Eis [In the Night and Ice](1912)


Also called Der Untergang der Titanic ( The Sinking of the Titanic). It is a German film dramatizing the events. Available in its entirety on YouTube.





Atlantis (1913)


A Danish film and the first fictional film, Atlantis is a love story and considered one of the better Titanic-themed movies.





Titanic (1943)


This Titanic film was created by the German Nazi party as anti- Allies propaganda. The director changed the historical events in order to make the Allies appear foolish. This film was also the first to use the name Titanic as a title.





Titanic (1953)


This version of the Titanic’s tale is of American creation and features a marriage on the rocks.





A Night to Remember (1958)


Considered one of the most historically accurate films made on the subject. Based on the book of the same title by Walter Lord.





Titanic (1996)


The James Cameron film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio .





Some of the Many Television Shows


“A Flight to Remember” Futurama, Season 1 (1999)


In this episode, Fry Leela, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth go on the maiden voyage of the spaceship Titanic.





“Voyage of the Damned” Doctor Who: The New Series, Season 4 (2007)


In this episode, the 10th Doctor and his companion visit a spaceship called the Titanic.



“My Heart Will Go On” Supernatural, Season 6 (2011)


In this episode, named after the Celine Dion song, Balthazar time-travels back to the Titanic in order to prevent it from sinking.





Novels and Books


The Titanic has been the topic for an assortment of books over the years, some of which can be found in the Coastal Georgia libraries.


The book that is often tied to the Titanic is Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember (1955). It is a nonfiction account of the ship’s history and is considered one of the best books on the subject.







Of course, one of the books that relates to the Titanic was written well before she was built. An 1898 novella titled Futility, or Wreck of the Titan documents the events of an unsinkable ship named the Titan, who struck an iceberg and sank in April in the Atlantic Ocean. Like the Titanic, the Titan had too few lifeboats and had more than half of her 2200 passengers die.



Titanic- Themed Games


Titanic the Board Game


          Game description: Gossip with the other passengers, receive telegrams and collect all five pieces of your property to advance from second-class to the first-class section of the ship. But watch out, you might get put back into steerage, or worse yet, never make it to your lifeboat on time.



Starship Titanic


Game description: At the heart of our Galaxy, an advanced civilization of which we know nothing has built the biggest, most beautiful starship ever, the Starship Titanic. To begin with, you are a third class passenger, and you quickly find yourself in the grip of one of the most powerful forces known to modern man, the desire for a free upgrade. As you move up to second and at last to first class, more and more of the ship becomes accessible to you, and more and more of its mystery unravels. From Douglas Adams, creator of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It can be downloaded online.


Starship Titanic box art.jpg








The Titanic in Folk Music


A Folk song titled The Titanic, or It was Sad When that Great Ship Went Down, or Titanic (Husbands and Wives), came into existence only a year or two after the tragedy. Traced to African-American origins in Alabama, its lyrics are as follows:


It was on one Monday morning just about one o'clock
When that great Titanic began to reel and rock;
People began to scream and cry,

Saying, "Lord, am I going to die?"








It was sad when that great ship went down,
It was sad when that great ship went down,
Husbands and wives and little children lost their lives,
It was sad when that great ship went down.


When that ship left England it was making for the shore,
The rich had declared that they would not ride with the poor,
So they put the poor below,
They were the first to go.




While they were building they said what they would do,
We will build a ship that water can't go through;
But God with power in hand
Showed the world that it could not stand.




Those people on that ship were a long ways from home,
With friends all around they did n't know that the time had come;
Death came riding by,
Sixteen hundred had to die.




While Paul was sailing his men around,
God told him that not a man should drown;
If you trust and obey,
I will save you all to-day.




You know it must have been awful with those people on the sea,
They say that they were singing, "Nearer My God to Thee."
While some were homeward bound,
Sixteen hundred had to drown.