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A Night to Remember (1958) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

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.
The film is set in 1912, yet a passenger on deck in a life jacket clearly has a 1950s (Tommy Steele) style haircut.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

At one point, Molly Brown helps a crewman convince a woman to wear her life belt. She then makes a reference about going "boating" but clearly mouths the word "yachting" the more common British term.
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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.
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Continuity 

In the film, many shots show promenades in places which were occupied by cabins, such as C-Deck. In the model shots, this is corrected.
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While Titanic sank on a very cold night, there is no consistency regarding condensation of actors' breath in frosty air - in some shots, breath can be seen, in others not a trace.
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The transcription of the ice warning keeps changing: when it is being written the last two letters of the word ICEBERGS project outside the border of the printed box on the wireless form. A few seconds later, as the purser lays down a new bundle of messages to be transmitted, the letters ERGS are outside the border. When the wireless operator spikes the used forms, the word is contained entirely within the box. A few minutes later there is another view of the spiked forms and it is back to the last two letters of the word being outside the box (i.e. the one we actually saw being written.)
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In the first establishing shot of the Californian, where the bows are pointing camera left, the ship's name is seen backwards. Later we see the same shot, this time with the bows pointing camera right and the name seen correctly. Evidently the first shot was flopped to match the next shot on the bridge, where the crew are looking camera left.
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Crew or equipment visible 

About 14 minutes into the movie, what looks like a full-size sun reflector on a big stand, is seen sitting unused, dead-center, in the background for 3-5 seconds as the steerage passengers say good-bye to friends and a priest near their homes.
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When Chief Engineer Bell orders the men working the pumps to leave work and save themselves (1h 16m), the roof of the studio (not a ship's deck) can be seen over his shoulder.
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Factual errors 

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.
It was the first, not fourth, funnel that broke off and killed several people in the water.
Junior wireless operator Harold Bride is seen attending the service on the Carpathia at the end of the film. He was at this time unconscious in the ship's hospital.
Titanic's water-tight doors were closed after the impact with the iceberg, not in preparation of the impact as depicted in the film.
The watertight door indicator on the bridge was horizontal, not vertical as shown.
Second Officer Lightoller yells at J. Bruce Ismay for trying to lower boat number 5 too quickly. The officer who actually yelled at Ismay is Fifth Officer Harold G. Lowe, not seen in the film.
While the crewmen and Ismay are uncovering and hoisting out the boats, a rocket goes up. It would be about 12:15 or so. The first rocket didn't go up until 12:45, 30 minutes later. (The first boat, No.7, also was lowered at this time)
Thomas Andrews's room, A36, was in the after grand staircase, not in a corridor with the other regular A-Deck cabins.
Lightoller is loading boat 4 when a boy of 13 comes up. Lightoller at first refuses permission to enter the boat. Then a man convinces him. However, boat number 4 was lowered to A-Deck, and the event with the boy happened there. In the movie, it was on the boat deck.
In the movie the Titanic is launched by an eminent lady smashing a bottle against the side of the ship in front of a public crowd and announcing "I hereby name this ship the Titanic". In reality this never happened as the owners, the White Star Line never christened their ships. The ship set out on its maiden voyage without any such ceremony taking place, although many people were there simply cheering it on.
When Mr. Straus asks his wife to get into the lifeboat, he calls her "Rachel". Her actual name was Rosalie Ida.
In the shots of the Titanic underway at sea, we see smoke coming from all four smoke stacks. Only the first three were operational on the Titanic; the fourth was not a smoke stack but was used as a vent for the kitchen and engine rooms.
The Titanic did not have a children's playroom.
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.
The rudder on the real Titanic was straight during the whole sinking, but in the movie the rudder goes from left to straight to left again. 1:28:27-1:28:51, the rudder is turned to the left. 1:37:22-1:37:24, 1:43:02-1:43:04, the rudder is still turned to the left. 1:43:08-1:43:11, the rudder is straight. 1:47:26-1:47:28, the rudder is turned to the left.
One of the last lifeboats being lowered is noted to have only 12 persons in it; this was only true of the very first lifeboat. The danger wasn't taken seriously at first and passengers were reluctant to board, thinking that it was safer to remain on the Titanic.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

As with most pictures about the Titanic, filmed before the discovery of the wreck in 1985, A Night to Remember portrays the Titanic as sinking in one piece. The discovery of the wreck revealed that the ship had broken in two and most films about the ship, Titanic, and Titanic, have reflected this point. Although scholars debate to this day whether the break up happened while the ship was above the water line or while it was under the water, and out of the view of survivors, plunging towards the ocean floor. Eyewitness testimony to the sinking diverge in opinion about this fact meaning that A Night to Remember's portrayal of the ship sinking intact, while above the water line, may still be accurate.

Revealing mistakes 

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.
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Toward the end when Mr. Lightoller climbs on the overturned lifeboat and helps others on the boat it doesn't move. Any floating boat would have but this was obviously fixed on a pedestal for filming purposes.
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In some shots of struggling swimmers after the sinking several extras are wearing rubber bathing caps (they look wrinkled and reflect the lights).
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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