The official record is on Dalbeattie's side. So when a representative of the other Murdoch -- 20th Century Fox's VP Scott Neeson -- came to the hero's hometown Wednesday, he apologized and offered the local school $8,000 out of the movie's $1 billion-plus profits. Not enough, say Dalbeattieans, who are demanding that Fox clear officer Murdoch's name in the "Titanic" video credits. "Filmgoers all over the world will see him portrayed as a coward," complained school head Linda Kirkwood. Not to mention how bad Fox looks for dishing out what will undoubtedly be seen as a paltry bribe. Will we ever learn from the movies?
You don't need to be a "Titanic" groupie to remember the character of bridge officer William Murdoch. He was the one who took a bribe from Billy Zane, shot a steerage passenger to stop him from boarding the lifeboats, and ended his life ingraciously with a gun at his head. Which didn't go down too well in Dalbeattie, Scotland, where the real-life officer Murdoch is remembered as a selfless hero who saved lives and went down with his ship.