S.O.S. Titanic (1979)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History  |  23 September 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 824 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 1 critic

The Titanic disaster is depicted, primarily as seen through the eyes of one couple in each of the three classes on board.


(as Billy Hale)


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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Battley ...
Chief Boots: S. Stebbing
Henry Harris
Tony Caunter ...
Nicholas Davies ...
Lift Attendant: Alfie King
Matthew Guinness ...
Catholic Priest: Father Byles
Dan Marvin
Victor Langley ...
Band Leader: Wallace Hartley
John Moffatt ...
Martin Murphy ...
Bugle Boy: Peter Fletcher
Nancy Nevinson ...
Philip O'Sullivan ...
David Charters


On April 14, 1912 the R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage. Over 1500 people were lost. This docudrama follows the personal stories of some of the passengers and crew aboard on that fateful night. John Jacob Astor and his new bride Madeline, Laurence Beesley, Molly Brown, a group of Irish emigrants, the wireless operators and the stewards are among the characters. Written by Jim Sadur <jsadur@keyflux.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Titanikos  »

Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (DVD)

Sound Mix:


(archive footage)| | (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


Many scenes were filmed on board or around the famous RMS Queen Mary. See more »


Violet Jessop, the only surviving female to pen an account of the sinking, is showcased here as an elderly Stewardess. Jessop born in 1887 would have in fact been only 24-25 years old when she was employed on the Titanic. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

The following dramatization is based on factual and personal accounts which were researched and adapted for the telling of the story of the sinking of the Titanic in dramatic form.

Identifiable characters are drawn from actual persons and fictitious names were given to certain characters who existed but whose actual names remain unknown. See more »


Edited into No Greater Love (1995) See more »


I'm Falling In Love With Someone
by Victor Herbert & Rida Johnson Young
See more »

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User Reviews

An ambitious & intelligent film
1 March 2004 | by (East Coast, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

This is an intelligent mans' version of the Titanic tragedy & possibly my favorite film on the disaster. An ambitious production, it was filmed in England, Nova Scotia & Long Beach. It has the distinction of being the first Titanic movie filmed in color albeit for television. Contrary to previous posts it does not, to my knowledge, use recycled(colorized)footage from A Night To Remember. Bothe films use the newsreel footage of the original Queen Elizabeth being launched as a stand in for Titanic. If this had been made for the big screen it probably would've been better received as well as being better known today. The movie is based primarily on a book by 2nd Class pasenger/survivor Lawrence Beasley. Beasley's book came out in June 1912 only two months after the real disaster. So his recollections, such as getting into a lifeboat with his pajamas on, was still quite fresh and not diluted by forty or fifty years of time. Beesley is played here by David Warner who was the bodyguard Spicer in the Cameron-Titanic film. The film makers shot the picture in a sort of muted colors. that is to say what would be the opposite of splashy Technicolor. The 3rd Class gets the good treatment in this film. the scenes showing the Irish immigrants being ferried out to the liner are well done. Also the Phun Boats that marketed over priced Irish goods to wealthy ocean liner passengers. Beasley & his female consort Leigh Goodwin stand in for the generic 2nd Class passengers...adding to our consciousness the plights of the haves(1st Class)& the have nots(3rd Class). Some characterizations stand out: Maurice Roeves as stoker Fred Barrett, Geoffrey Whitehead as Thomas Andrews(he favors the real Andrews), Ian Holm as the best Bruce Ismay of any of the Titanic movies, Chloris Leachman as Molly Brown, David Janssen & Beverly Ross as the Astors, Harry Andrews as Captain Smith, Susan Saint James as a dignified Leigh Goodwin & D.Warner as a very thoughtful Lawrence Beasley. Exterior shots of the Queen Mary in Long Bch are obvious but it never hampens the story. It's just good film making to make the QM look like the Titanic. The soundtrack is excellent, mixed with elegant tunes from the period, from Victor Herbert to Scott Joplin as well as the film's original score. Particularly nice is the middle eastern theme playing while the women get a massage & their hair done as well as many other themes. Characters are included in this film that are left out in others ie: Leigh Goodwin, the two boot cleaners, Alvie the elevator boy, 1st Class stewardess Violet Jessop, Fred Barrett, Rene Harris etc. The film is wonderfully paced & takes it's time. The full uncut version(with Carpathia rescue at beginning)can run on t.v. for 3hrs. This is the version I'd recommend not the cut 90 min home vid version. There are long scenes of passengers going about their business like the elderly lady just sitting in her deck chair enjoying the excitement. This most likely was 1st Class passenger Emily Ryerson because the actress is made up to look just like a photo of Ryerson. The sinking of the ship is handled very well & shot from many of the passengers' points of view. There's no ship shown breaking in half as this was 1978 and before the wreck of the real ship was found. But the producers couldn't have been far off from the truth the way it is presented her.

Discrepancies abound as in every Titanic film. Violet Jessop while included here is shown as an old woman stewardess, not the young 25 yr old w/artist model looks that she was in 1912. Chief Officer,who drowned, is accurately shown writing a letter to his sister which he did but the film shows him writing words that 1st Officer Lighttoller had written in his own account of the sinking years later. And as stated earlier the QM is so obviously not the Titanic. Also the crew of the Carpathia are shown making rescue preparations at the site of the sinking instead of enroute to it.

So sit back and enjoy the Titanic tragedy events re-enacted sumptuously. Like I stated, it's a well mae & ambitious production intended for television at that. It gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

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