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A Night to Remember (1958)

Not Rated  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  16 December 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,131 users  
Reviews: 145 user | 61 critic

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


(as Roy Baker)


(from the book by), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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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 ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Action | Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

16 December 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Titanic  »

Box Office


$1,680,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The First of three films and two TV series that Roy Ward Baker would direct Geoffrey Bayldon in. See more »


During the final moments a steward is seen comforting a child as the crowd moves aft. He is heard to say "Keep off this child! Keep off this child!" However, he is actually seen speaking to the child before, during, and after this dialogue and his mouth is not saying the words that are heard. See more »


Mr. Bull, man on train: [discussing the ship] You're joining her at Liverpool, I take it?
Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller: No sir, Belfast. Then we sail down to Southampton.
Mr. Bull, man on train: Ahhh, how I envy you. The newspapers say she's a virtual floating city. Symbol of progress; of man's final victory over nature and the elements.
See more »


Remake of Kraft Theatre: A Night to Remember (1956) See more »


Off to Philadelphia
Played on violin and sung by Titanic passengers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This movie is staggering
30 June 2004 | by (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

I am nothing short of amazed by what the filmmakers pulled off. Before I saw this movie, I tried to write a script that would encompass the whole story of the Titanic. I had stacks of Titanic books scattered around me, a huge map of the Titanic spread out in front of me, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer mountain of anecdotes and facts and technical details and contradictions in survivors' accounts. Reconstructing the event seemed impossible, and finally I abandoned the project by the time I got to about 1:30. Then I saw A Night to Remember, and wouldn't you know, it was exactly what I was trying to do! Kenneth More's portrayal of Lightoller is perfect. Laurence Naismith is heartbreaking as Captain Smith. The factual, historical, and technical detail is so thorough that this may be the most meticulous historical movie ever made -- certainly that I have ever seen. Somehow the stark black-and-white cinematrography is more realistically convincing than James Cameron's full-color treatment, in which things are inexplicably blue. The thing that disappointed me the most about Cameron's film was the lack of reverence for the historical characters. Lightoller, my personal hero, came off as an cowardly twit, Captain Smith as an incompetent fool, Ismay as the force of all evil in the universe, and Benjamin Guggenheim's change into evening ware as an excuse to get drunk! A Night to Remember had that reverence that was so sorely lacking in Cameron's film. Lightoller is portrayed as the hero that he was. Captain Smith is a fine captain who is understandably ovewhelmed by the magnitude of the tragedy facing him. Ismay is irritating, but tries to help out and be a responsible president -- and when he jumps into the lifeboat, well, would any of us do different? And Guggenheim's final stand brings tears to the eyes. The drama of the Carpathia is as exciting as any fictional Hollywood action film. This is the only Titanic movie that addresses the problem of the Californian, and though Lordites will object to the rather anti-Lord portrayal of the events, the facts speak for themselves. If you want to be picky, you can complain that the movie doesn't go into the politics behind building the Olympic and Titanic, or the near-collision with the New York, or lots of the little personal stories, but let's be fair: the movie has two hours to tell the story of, as Walter Lord put it, "the death of a small town." It's simply not possible for a movie, or even a really thick book, to cover everything. I don't think it's possible for a better movie to be made about the Titanic than A Night to Remember.

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