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
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 »
At different times while the wireless operator is sending his distress message, the wireless radio is made to have two distinctly different sounds. The radio transmitters aboard ships in that era were spark gap transmitters. Most times the sound that is used could pass for the sound that those transmitters would make. But at other times you hear the clicks that early telegraph sent over wires would make. That sound is more appropriate in old western movies. See more »
I've seen several film versions of the Titanic tragedy (I'm something of a buff--I'm distantly related to Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Kimball, who were 1st class passengers!) "A Night to Remember" is still the best, no contest. The effects are 1958 state-of-the-art, the script was meticulously researched, and the people are actually written and played as 1912 people (James Cameron's cast were a bit too much 1990's to be convincing). Even those characters who are slightly fictionalized (the "lady" who represents--without mentioning--Lady Cosmo Duff-Gordon, and "my dear son" and his family, for examples) behave as their real life counterparts would have in 1912, giving the film a documentary feel without failing to give the viewer people to identify with and care about. This is classic film-making at its finest!
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