The film starts out with the passengers boarding at Southampton. The movie depicts the life of the passengers on board the ill-fated ocean liner. On 14 April, during dinner in the Café Parisien, the Titanic strikes an iceberg, throwing the passengers in the cafe to the side. Panic strikes the passengers and the crew ready the lifeboats despite the fact that their are not enough of them. Woman and children are loaded while the men held back. The radio operators and captain jump ship and the Titanic sinks. Some survivors make it to a lifeboat, where they are pulled in. The captain swims to the lifeboat but when he is offered to be saved, he instead swims away and goes underwater to drown.
The film was produced by Continental Film Studios of Berlin, and while most of it's footage was shot in studios and in a lot behind the studio building, some footage was shot in Hamburg and some was possibly done aboard the German ocean liner Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, then docked at Hamburg. The Berlin Fire Department Provided water to use for the sinking scenes. With a running time of 35 minutes, In Nacht und Eis was three times longer than the average film of 1912. Shot in black and white, various scenes were tinted to heightened their impact, such as night scenes in dark blue and a shot of a stoker feeding a burner in red.
The film was only made in old film rolls and was considered a lost film after the last known copy was destroyed.
In 1990 however, a copy was found and re-copied. To make sure the film would never get lost again, the copy was streamed online.Various scenes can be seen in the documentary Beyond Titanic. The movie itself is available to view in it's entirely on YouTube.