Millvina Dean: The last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic

Millvina Dean had the double distinction of being both the youngest passenger on the Titanic and the last of the survivors of its sinking in the Atlantic in 1912. Her life almost ended at the age of nine weeks when the liner sank after its collision with an iceberg. But instead of a tragically short life she had a particularly long one, reaching the age of 97.

First Impressions: Titanic (1997)

There are any number of reasons why the SS Titanic ended its maiden voyage imbedded in the ocean floor in the early hours of 15 April 1912 – poor visibility, a negligent captain, a big hunk of ice. To this list the film-maker James Cameron adds one more contributing factor to lessen the burden of responsibility on that iceberg: a pair of bored officers distracted from their vigil at the warning bell by the sight of a couple canoodling on the deck. This is actually one of the more plausible details in the thoroughly loopy Titanic, if only because it obeys the cardinal rule of the disaster movie, which decrees that any and all catastrophes shall occur in exact correlation to the effrontery of the characters involved. You play with fire and you get burnt. Or drowned. The voyeuristic sailors aren't to blame for the corpses littering the ocean. It's the fault of those young lovers – Rose (Kate Winslet), who is poised to marry into obscene wealth but chooses instead to desert her fiance in favour of Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a scruffy ragamuffin from the Wrong Side of the Tracks. The naivety of the characterisation is almost charming.

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