Lusitania Cartoon - The Sinking Of The Lusitania… 1915-1918

Star Item
  • Add to Favourites
  • View as stills
This video has no sound
  • Description



    Title reads: "An amazing moving pen picture by Winsor (sic) McCay." Universal Films - The Transatlantic Film Co. logo on bottom of title. Introductory intertitle reads: " Winsor McCay, originator and inventor of Animated Cartoons, decides to draw a historical record of the crime that shocked Humanity."

    M/S of Mr McCay at his drawing board. He is in a drawing room setting. "Mr Beach giving Winsor McCay the details of the sinking - necessary for the work to follow." A man walks over to Mr McCay placing a large photograph of the Lusitania on the desk. They point to various parts of the ship and talk. "Twenty-five thousand drawings had to be made and photographed one at a time." M/S of animators at work in a studio. Winsor sits at work in the foreground. Animation of the moving sea. "From here on you are looking at the first record of the sinking of the Lusitania. Intertitles give the history of the sinking of the ship intercut with animated sequences showing the liner travelling past the Statue of Liberty. Intertitle reads: "Germany, which had already benumbed the world with its wholesale killing, then sent its instrument of crime to perform a more treacherous and cowardly offense." Animated sequence of submarine approaching the ship. The ship approaches Ireland. The German Submarine U-39 launches two torpedoes at the ship. People on deck of the submarine run to climb inside before it submerges. Submarine approaches the liner. Under the sea two fish look very alarmed and swim off as a torpedo comes towards them. Torpedo smashes into the side of the ship. Explosions wreck the liner, debris flies everywhere. Smoke pours from the hole made and engulfs the ship. The film details lives lost including "men of world wide prominence".

    Photographs of the following are shown in the film: Elbert Hubbard - modern philosopher and author, Charles Klein - distinguished American playwright, Alfred G. Vanderbilt - multi-millionaire and American sportsman, Charles Frohman - the world's foremost Theatrical Manager. "He faced death smiling, and uttered to those about them just before death came his immortal observation that "Death is but a beautiful adventure of life." The smoke lifts from the ship. Intertitle reads: "Germany, once a great and powerful nation, had done a dastardly deed in a dastardly way." Animation of lifeboats being lowered and people in the sea. The ship begins to list. Smoke pours from its funnels and from the ship itself. A second torpedo crashes into the engine room. Lifeboats are lowered down over the side of the ship. Another explosion takes place and the ship begins to sink. People jump and dive off the boat as it sinks into the sea.

    "No warning was given - no mercy was shown. People throw themselves off the boat as it sinks - we see the sinking from various angles. "The babe that clung to his mother's breast cried out to the world - TO AVENGE the most violent cruelty that was ever perpetrated upon an unsuspecting and innocent people." Lifeboats and people bob about on the surface of the ocean. We see the ship's mast going down and its ensign being engulfed by the sea. "Fifteen minutes after the first torpedo struck, the Lusitania had disappeared beneath the waves." The water bubbles on the surface of the sea as the ship goes down then subsides. Underwater scene of a mother sinking under the water with a baby in her arms. She tries to hold the baby above the water but doesn't manage to. Intertitle reads: "The man who fired the shot was decorated for it by the Kaiser! - AND YET THEY TELL US NOT TO HATE THE HUN."

    Note: it is unclear when this film was made and released. Could be sometime later than 1915.

  • Tags

  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1915 - 1918
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:26:25:00 / 01:37:53:00
    Sort Number:
  • Appears in...

    Animated Films ww1 news Lusitania Lusitania Films lusitania cartoon cardinal Universal Lusitania Sinking Ships WW1 Propaganda and Press WW1 U-boat The Naval War - World War One Richards workspace WW1 Cartoons Ireland between 1890-1920 Revolution in Colour
  • Stills

Comments (1)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.

All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

  • "Winsor (sic) McCay" - the "sic" is unnecessary, as Winsor McCay is the correct spelling of the man's name.

    Reducing the clip's current date range of 1915-18, the cartoon was released in America on 20 July 1918.

    "The German Submarine U-39 launches two torpedoes" - although this may have been the belief at the time, it is now accepted that actually just one torpedo was fired, and that the submarine responsible was U-20.

    jamied 17th Jun 2012

Add your comment

To post a comment, please Register or to add a comment
24 January 2015 marks 50 years since the death of British Prime Minister and international statesman, Sir Winston Churchill. British Pathé’s cameras followed Churchill throughout his career.
If you are a media professional and have seen some footage or stills you wish to include in your production, please contact us.
2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War One. To honour this landmark occasion, British Pathé have launched this definitive collection of WW1 films.

Related Videos

Captain Of The

Captain Of The "Lusitania" Retires

Captain Turner - Captain of the "Lusitania" seen in his garden following his retirement.

The Steamer

The Steamer "Lusitania" Has Entered Our Port

Ocean liner ship 'Lusitania' assisted by tugs enters New York harbour.

Lusitania Disaster 1915

Lusitania Disaster 1915

Disaster of a luxury liner Lusitania - 1915.

Lusitania Parade; Ambulances;

Lusitania Parade; Ambulances;

Demonstrations for Red Cross. Ambulances at Charing Cross.

Lusitania Memorial; Ambulances AKA Gift Of Ambulance

Lusitania Memorial; Ambulances AKA Gift Of Ambulance

Gift of ambulances & Lusitania memorial; given by children (?) Ceremony taking place outside Cunard shipping line offices:

Disaster Funeral

Disaster Funeral

Footage of some of the survivors of the the Ocean liner the 'Lusitania'.



People leaving on ship ( could be Lusitania ).

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. These images from Auschwitz and Belsen help to remember the horrors of the Holocaust.
The images taken from inside Buchenwald Concentration Camp after its Liberation show us what it was like; it tells us what happened and forces us to remember.
As Britain commemorates the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's death, here are Pathé's iconic images of the wartime leader.
British Pathe captured many extraordinary events on film over its 80 year history but sometimes the cameras were switched on when tragedy struck.
Franz Reichelt
The great politician and orator Winston Churchill left behind a sea of humourous quips and discerning quotes. We remember some of his finest epigrams and witty ripostes.
10 telling images selected from British Pathé's extensive WWI footage. 'The war to end all wars' was a war without parallel: over 70 million military personnel were involved and over 17 million people died.
There are some people who saw their mortality as really rather funny. Here are 12 of the best epitaphs.
Verbal warfare at its best. Here are some of history's greatest retorts and snarling insults. These people certainly didn't mince their words!
She may never have given a press interview but she is still one of the most famous women in the world. Here are 13 surprising facts you may not know about Queen Elizabeth II.