Titanic: Birth of a Legend (2005)

TV Movie   |    |  Documentary, Drama

Titanic: Birth of a Legend (2005) Poster

Dramatised documentary which follows the lives of the men who designed and built Titanic and her sister ship Olympic at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, showing the violence, ... See full summary »


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27 February 2007 | de_niro_2001
| The best dramatised documentary I have so far seen
Just a few years ago it wouldn't have been feasible to have made this documentary. Through the wonders of CGI we can see the Belfast skyline as it was in 1907 and even a street with tramcars running along it. The recreation of the ship does vary a bit though. Largely because of out of scale water in some scenes the ship looks like a model. But the scene where she is being towed out for her sea trial and the tugs cast off their cables is incredibly realistic. The actors bear a closer likeness to their real life counterparts than in James Cameron's film except for Captain Smith. Alan Rothwell is a bit too short but on the other hand Bernard Hill made him sound too scouse. The documentary pulls no punches about how tough life was for ordinary people in the early 20th century and also that it was long before health and safety at work. It also depicts the sectarianism that has blighted Northern Ireland almost up to the present time. It's not just a documentary about the history of Titanic, it's a social documentary.

Did You Know?


In the documentary, Bruce Ismay seems to name the first ship "Olympic" at random, though he actually had a real reason for naming the first of the two ships that name. Ismay's father had planned for a ship named "Olympic" to be built before he had died, and the order for that ship was never fulfilled. Ismay chose "Olympic" as the name for the new class of liners in honor of his father's wish.


Liam Flaherty: Would you look at her, Alfie? Titanic's... magnificent! We really built all this?
Alfie Cunningham: You, me, and one or two more. She didn't build herself, that's for sure.
Liam Flaherty: Well, isn't she grand? Solid, like she's always been here.
Alfie Cunningham: And always will be.
Alfie Cunningham: Maybe she's too ...


As the actor playing Lord Pirrie is reviewing the Titanic's blueprints in the conference room (in the scene tiled "January, 1910) for Bruce Ismay and Alexander Carlisle, when discussing accommodations for the First Class Passengers he mentions "39 private suites" , each having its own bathroom.

In reality, according to deck plans, forty-three deluxe "Parlor Suites" on the RMS Titanic had their own private built in bathrooms; the remainder of the Titanic's First Class cabins did not have their own built-in bathrooms and so the majority of First Class Passengers shared communal public bathrooms for bathing, use of toilet facilities, etc.

Alternate Versions

An edited 43 minute version of the documentary aired on the US Discovery Channel in 2005.


Plot Summary


Documentary | Drama


Release Date:

5 May 2005



Country of Origin

UK, Germany

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