The story of the 1912 sinking of the largest luxury liner ever built, the tragedy that befell over two thousand of the rich and famous as well as of the poor and unknown passengers aboard the doomed ship.
George C. Scott,
A successful attempt at an even-handed portrayal of the White Star Line's (later part of Cunard) luxury liner R.M.S. Titanic's sinking from the standpoint of 2nd Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller, himself the most senior of the ill-fated ship's Deck Officers to survive the disaster. (Lightoller later went on to distinguish himself as a line British Naval Officer during the First World War and served as a Senior Naval Staff Officer (convoys) during WWII. Between wars he owned and operated a successful family business producing pleasure craft.) His own survival of the sinking, along with several others, is shown atop one of the liner's two "collapsible" lifeboats which was capsized in floating off the liner as it sank. The picture depicts then known facts (c1958) as reported after the sinking; such as the woeful lack of adequate lifeboats, the ship's band playing true to the very end, White Star's co-owner Bruce Ismay's somewhat less than chivalrous departure from the sinking vessel -... Written by
In the first establishing shot of the Californian, where the bows are pointing camera left, the ship's name is seen backwards. Later we see the same shot, this time with the bows pointing camera right and the name seen correctly. Evidently the first shot was flopped to match the next shot on the bridge, where the crew are looking camera left. See more »
No comparison should be made...this was based on a DOCUMENTARY novel...
Why do all the commentators here insist on comparing apples to oranges? There is a huge difference between the two movies BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS INTENTIONAL--'A Night to Remember' is based on Walter Lord's documentary-style novel which does not use a fictional story at all. 1997's 'Titanic' does not paint itself as a documentary--the author (James Cameron) chose to tell a fictional love story set against an enormously famous tragic event--AND THIS IS WHAT HE DID. He was not striving to make a documentary. Therefore, no one should be wasting their time trying to compare the two films--each had a specific purpose in mind and accomplished it.
If you read the Walter Lord novel, you'd know that 'A Night to Remember' is intended to be a crisp re-telling in documentary style of the events of that fatal voyage. It does so without any frills, sticking closely to the novel's minute by minute description of events. The film never once misses a true beat and all of the performances are excellent. Only in the area of special effects is there a letdown--the model is an obvious model filmed against a black backdrop for the sky. There are other minor flaws that one could quibble with--but on the whole this is a fine, realistic depiction of the actual event. On the other hand, if 1997's 'Titanic' insults you by telling a fictional love story told against this background, then don't bother to see it for that is exactly what Cameron intended it to be--a fictional love story set against the background of an historical event, much the way 'Gone with the Wind' was a fictional love story told against the background of the Civil War and its aftermath.
BUT PLEASE--STOP COMPARING THE TWO MOVIES. It's a senseless thing to do. They weren't meant to be compared--each takes a different route toward telling the story and shouldn't be compared, any more than you compare fiction with non-fiction! Each has its own assets and one shouldn't be judged superior to the other. And yes, each one is undeniably an example of great filmmaking.
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