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A Night to Remember (1958)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,497 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 61 critic

An account of the ill-fated maiden voyage of RMS Titanic in 1912.

Director:

(as Roy Baker)

Writers:

(from the book by), (screenplay)
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Title: A Night to Remember (1958)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ronald Allen ...
Robert Ayres ...
...
Anthony Bushell ...
John Cairney ...
Jill Dixon ...
Jane Downs ...
James Dyrenforth ...
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Harriette Johns ...
Frank Lawton ...
Richard Leech ...
...
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Storyline

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 drew_wallner@verizon.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

TITANIC... The greatest sea drama in living memory told as it really happened! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

16 December 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Titanic  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,680,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wireless Operator John Phillips mentions several time throughout the sinking that he has been in contact with a ship called the Olympic. The Olympic was the Titanic's older sister ship, entering service in 1911, and an almost identical copy of the Titanic. She was the first in a trio of sister ships built by the White Star Line to counter their rival company the Cunard Line and their new luxury ships the Lusitania and the Mauretania. Unlike the Titanic and the Britannic, (the third sister ship that was sunk by a mine during the First World War), the Olympic went on to have an illustrious career as a passenger liner and served proudly during the First World War as a troop transport gaining the nickname "Old Reliable". After nearly twenty five years of service the Olympic was taken out of service in 1935 and scrapped in the late thirties. Unfortunately on the night of the sinking the Olympic was five hundred miles away from the Titanic and unable to arrive to her aid in time. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end when Mr. Lightoller climbs on the overturned lifeboat and helps others on the boat it doesn't move. Any floating boat would have but this was obviously fixed on a pedestal for filming purposes. See more »

Quotes

Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: [after firing off the last of the distress rockets in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of the "Californian"] That's the last one, sir.
Captain Edward J. Smith: No reply to your signals?
Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: No sir. I think the bastards must be asleep.
Captain Edward J. Smith: Report to Mister Murdoch. He's shorthanded.
Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: Aye aye, sir.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Special Collector's Edition: Blu-ray: Super 8 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen blauen Donau Walzer (The Blue Danube Waltz) Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Composed by Johann Strauß
Played on the Titanic as dance music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Emotionally impacting, factually informative and surprisingly involving and fast paced
17 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Titanic was to be the greatest ship ever made, a veritable city on the sea moving between England and New York. Made in Belfast, the ship travels to England before its maiden voyage, which it makes loaded with over 2,100 people ranging from the richest gentlemen in first class down to those in stowage seeking a new life in America. However, a series of errors and oversights result in the Titanic striking an iceberg and ripping a gash along the side below the water level. As the "unsinkable" ship starts to fill with water the shortcomings of having only 1200 lifeboat spaces sinks in.

It has become very fashionable now to hate James Cameron's Titanic and it is the norm now, not only to prefer this film but to actively hate the 97 film in any review of other versions! I'm not a fan of the rather bloating modern film but I will refrain from making this review about that film and will focus on the one I've just seen. The first thing you notice here is how quickly the film moves and, after only a very brief introduction to the characters we are underway and hitting the ice. Shorn of romantic subplots and heart-tugging sweeping scores this is a very good approach and it simply lets the facts of the event and the real horror speak for themselves. In the remake we were supposed to get our emotional attachment to one or two characters based on their love for one another; here the film respects our humanity enough to know that we will be touched by the sheer number who died and the manner of their death. This works much better and it is genuinely eerie to see that large ship slip below the surface to a barrage of screams from unseen thousands – that the effects are not as good doesn't matter because they are good enough and the emotional impact more than covers for them.

This is not to say that the film lacks characters because you do tend to care for everyone and the film did very well in delivering little things without getting in the way of the rather documentary style form. The horror of the death is as well told as the horror of those watching it occur from the lifeboats; I liked the guilt of the designer and the guilt of the men who climbed into the lifeboats etc, these little touches work much better than inserting large fictional sections. With this sort of performance the actors do well – all realistic with none really upstaging the film with ham. Moore is a good lead and only at the end is his delivery a bit flat – but that is more the fault of a wordy conclusion. The rest of the cast do very well with realistic performances of fear even if they are being directed into generic class groups – simple but, with the delivery of the material, it works.

Overall, to me this is the best telling of the Titanic disaster that I have seen. The factual approach is consistently interesting and, without our attentions being directed to one or two people, the emotional impact is greater than I expected and I was quite chilled by the whole thing. For those irritated and put off by the sweeping sentimentality of the modern version, this film is the one for you.


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