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,
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
Actor Frank Lawton, who plays J. Bruce Ismay, also had a role in Cavalcade (1933), which also prominently featured the Titanic. See more »
Captain Lord of the Californian makes reference to the Californian's passengers being "in no hurry - they wouldn't be with us if they were." Although the Californian was capable of carrying both passengers and cargo, they did not have any passengers on board at the time. See more »
"A Night to Remember" is an extraordinary film that gives a magnificent account of the Titanic tragedy. The film is based on Walter Lord's book that describes what happened to the ship, that by all accounts, could not sink. The wonderful script illuminates on the facts of that fateful night in which the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic; it was written by Eric Ambler, in a fabulous adaptation for the screen.
We had seen this film years ago. On second viewing, the movie has kept its impact on us like no other. The amazing cinematography of Geoffrey Unsworth looks as crisp as when it was first released. Contributing to the enjoyment of the film, Sidney Hayers' editing is excellent, as is the music by William Alwyn. This film shot in London's Pinewood Studios seems real, given the technology of the movies in those days.
The human tragedy aboard the Titanic comes across vividly and with high intensity, as the director, Ray Ward Baker, kept everyone moving in perfect formation. One of the many achievements he was able to get from his cast and crew was this precise staging of the story. There is not a false moment in the movie. In keeping the film narrative as a documentary, Mr. Baker gets amazing results from everyone.
Among the large English cast, Kenneth More, has the most important part of the ensemble players. Some of the best English actors, working in films at that time, are seen in the movie. The more prominent faces one sees are Honor Blackman, David McCallum, Alec McCowen, Michael Bryant, among others serve the film well in roles that intermingle without making anyone shine over the rest.
"A Night to Remember" was one of the best English films of the period and it is gratifying to have seen it again after many years looking so well. This is a film to treasure.
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