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A Night to Remember (1958)

Not Rated | | Action, Drama, History | 16 December 1958 (USA)
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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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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ronald Allen ...
...
...
Anthony Bushell ...
John Cairney ...
Jill Dixon ...
Jane Downs ...
James Dyrenforth ...
...
Kenneth Griffith ...
Harriette Johns ...
...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Lord recorded that the painting hanging in the First Class Smoking Room was of New York Harbor and was called "The Approach to the New World". The painting was faithfully reproduced for the film and after completion it was presented by the Rank Organization to Lord, who later discovered that the painting had actually hung in the Titanic's sister ship, Olympic. It was a painting of Plymouth Harbor that hung in the Titanic. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene when Lightoller and Captain Rostron are on the deck of the Carpathia, the horizon in the background is moving up and down to indicate the rocking motion of the ship. However the angle of the shadow cast on their faces by the rope in front of them does not move. See more »

Quotes

Ismay: [trying to urge people to get in the boats] Women and children first.
Mr. Isador Straus: [sees Ismay past and tries to get his wife to follow Ismay's directions] Please, Rachel, get in the boat.
Col. Archibald Gracie: Yes, Mrs. Straus, you must.
Mrs. Straus: I've always stayed with my husband, Colonel. So why should I leave him now?
Mr. Isador Straus: Please, be sensible.
Mrs. Straus: We have been living together for many years, Isador. Where you go, I go.
Col. Archibald Gracie: I'm sure nobody would object to an old gentleman like Mr. Straus going in a boat. I'll ask the officer.
Mr. Isador Straus: No! I will not go ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1912 See more »

Connections

Referenced in 500 Questions: Episode #2.3 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Off to Philadelphia
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on violin and sung by Titanic passengers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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