TITANIC: CODE OF HONOR
I bet a lot of you remember the movie Titanic. That song came out, and for a few days we loved Celine Dion, until we'd heard it so many times we started wishing we could put her on that boat to sink with the rest of them.
Titanic was a movie that was loosely based on the true story of the great unsinkable ship that became a living embodiment of irony. It was quite sinkable.
The movie had incredible visuals. It was a magnificent boat, and watching the boat smash into the iceberg and eventually sink was both horrible and captivating.
But as the ship began to sink, there were a couple of scenes that the writers decided to portray in ways very differently than what really happened.
When the Titanic went on its first and only voyage, passengers included most of what would have been the Forbes 400 of the time. Many of the world's wealthiest businessmen died on the Titanic. In the movie, you see some heated moments where the greedy businessmen start pushing others aside to make sure they get on the life boats. Apparently all 1st Class passengers are 3rd class human beings. It takes some of the sailors pointing guns at the rich guys to make sure that it is women and children who get onto the life rafts.
But do you know that in reality, nothing like that happened? (More like 9/11)
John Jacob Astor was the richest man in the world at the time. He reportedly fought his way to a boat, then made sure his wife and children got on. He stepped back and waved goodbye.
Benjamin Guggenheim refused to take a seat. He said, "Tell my wife I played the game straight to the end. No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Benjamin Guggenheim was a coward."
Why make this change to the story? It seemed too unthinkable to the movie makers that wealthy people could value a code of honor so dearly that they would be willing to give their lives rather than to break it. If you got to the top, surely you'd sacrifice a little person rather than give up an opulent lifestyle.
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