On April 10, 1912, the ocean liner RMS Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage. Five days later, the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and foundered. Out of 2,200 passengers, 1,517 died in the icy waters. To mark the 100th anniversary of this maritime disaster, the very successful James Cameron film Titanic is being reissued in 3-D and may well regain its distinction as the highest-grossing film in history. Meanwhile, the Humboldt County Library Eureka branch is commemorating the centennial with Mal Voyage, a collection of films about various catastrophic seagoing journeys.
The series begins Tuesday, April 3, with the classic Marx Brothers comedy Monkey Business, which finds the wild and crazy bros stowing away on an ocean liner and generally wreaking havoc (the ship does not sink). Yours truly, Bob Doran, is host for the evening, introducing the film and leading a post-screening discussion.
Next up in the Based on the Book series, Phillip Wright serves as your captain for an April 10 showing of director Roy Ward Bake's 1958 British docudrama A Night to Remember. Based on Walter Lord's book by the same name about the sinking of the Titanic, the dramatic tale of death and survival is lauded by nautical historians as a relatively accurate take on the tragedy.
Librarian (and series coordinator) Michael Logan introduces the April 17 screening of the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure, based on a novel by Paul Gallico, directed by Ronald Neame and produced by Irwin Allen (who went on to cement his disaster flick rep with The Towering Inferno). The story concerns the fateful voyage of a luxury liner flipped over by a tsunami. The all-star cast includes Gene Hackman as a preacher who tries to lead survivors up to safety.
Concluding the series on April 24 is Alfred Hitchcock's 1944 war film Lifeboat, based on a novella by John Steinbeck about a group of passengers stuck together in a lifeboat after a battle between an American ship and a German U-boat. Jan Ostrom hosts the screening.
All screenings take place at the Eureka branch of the Humboldt County Library (1313 Third St.) beginning at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission. Call 269-1900 or go to co.humboldt.ca.us/library for further information.