After a boiler explosion aboard an aging ocean liner, a man struggles to free his injured wife from the wreckage of their cabin and ensure the safety of their four-year-old daughter as the ship begins to sink.
Andrew L. Stone
Titanica reveals the clearest motion pictures ever captured of the Titanic. Witness startling images of the long-lost ruin contrasted with never-before-seen 1912 archival photos showing her... See full summary »
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,
Escaping from a Canadian prison farm, master thief Gerard Dennis (David Brian) makes his way to Buffalo with Peggy Arthur (Perdita Chandler), who supplies him with money needed for forged ... See full summary »
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
The Shaw Savill Shipping Line agreed to allow exterior scenes to be taken on one of their ships, MV Dominion Monarch but shortly before filming was to begin, permission was withdrawn. The matter had come to the attention of the chairman of the line, Basil Sanderson. He was the son of Harold Sanderson, who had been the chairman of the White Star Line from 1913 to 1927 and was himself married to the daughter of J. Bruce Ismay. He did not want the matter reopened. Neither did the rest of the shipping companies, all of which refused co-operation. This led to the decision by Sir Frederick Rebbeck, chairman of Harland and Wolff, to also refuse any co-operation. The company issued a statement deploring the fact that a film company was seeking to make money out of the tragedy: "Too many people from the shipyard lost their lives that night and too many others as well. Why should we help to make an entertainment out of it." Producer William MacQuitty managed to get permission from the firm of Ship Breaking Industries to film on an old steamship, RMS Asturias, which was waiting to be broken up. It was repainted in the White Star Line colors by art students. See more »
The Titanic's forecastle is seen being submerged when the bridge is going under. In fact, it was actually submerged for maybe 40 minutes before the bridge went under. See more »
Capt. Arthur Rostron:
[Captain Rostron is urging his Chief Engineer to give him all the speed possible as they race to the rescue]
Cut your heating and hot water. Cut anything you like. But I've *got* to have every ounce of steam you can give me.
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The Titanic disaster has provided material for quite an assortment of films, and a number of them have at least something to offer. This is one of the more effective, with its straightforward and, based on the knowledge then available, factually accurate approach. One particularly worthwhile aspect is that it spends more time detailing the reasons for the disaster than do most movies on the subject.
Often movies that try to stay close to the facts suffer from a lack of focus, especially when there is/are no central character(s) to hold things together. In this adaptation of "A Night to Remember", they solved the problem by focusing much of the action around Second Officer Lightoller, who was involved in some way in so many different aspects of what happened. As a device it works well, and there is enough action involving the other characters to keep it balanced.
Another inherent challenge in the story is that there are so many characters, and most of them hold some interest. In this adaptation, they chose simply to depict as many brief situations as possible, often without giving much with which to identify the characters. If you are familiar with Walter Lord's book, it is often possible to identify many of them, but otherwise, it might be a little confusing to sort through so many characters.
For such a detail-heavy story, this is an effective and commendable movie. With very few frills, it tells the story believably and sometimes memorably.
It does a pretty good job of meeting the main challenges, not telling the complete story, of course, but providing a worthwhile overview of events.
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