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A Night to Remember (1958)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 16 December 1958 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
On its maiden voyage in April 1912, the supposedly unsinkable RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.

Director:

Roy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)

Writers:

Walter Lord (from the book by), Eric Ambler (screenplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth More ... Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller
Ronald Allen ... Mr. Clarke
Robert Ayres ... Maj. Arthur Peuchen
Honor Blackman ... Mrs. Liz Lucas
Anthony Bushell ... Capt. Arthur Rostron
John Cairney ... Mr. Murphy
Jill Dixon ... Mrs. Clarke
Jane Downs Jane Downs ... Mrs. Sylvia Lightoller
James Dyrenforth James Dyrenforth ... Col. Archibald Gracie
Michael Goodliffe ... Thomas Andrews
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips
Harriette Johns Harriette Johns ... Lady Richard
Frank Lawton ... Chairman J. Bruce Ismay
Richard Leech ... First Officer William Murdoch
David McCallum ... Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride
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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:

The fantastic story of the sinking of the Titanic based on the book by Walter Lord. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Lord found 64 survivors in researching his book "A Night to Remember." The Rank Organisation found many more in making the film, and several visited the set, including Edith Russell, a fashion journalist and stylist who had with her a lucky stuffed pig that played music. During one of her many visits to the set, Miss Russell (along with her stuffed pig) had the chance to meet the actress (Teresa Thorne) who was playing her. She also had the chance to show her the stuffed pig, which was much bigger than the one used in the film. It was bequeathed to Walter Lord in her will. See more »

Goofs

Isidor Strauss and his wife famously refused to board a lifeboat just before Titanic submerges. In reality while the pair were offered seats on a boat they were actually offered seats when the first lifeboats left the ship not when everyone started to panic. See more »

Quotes

Wireless Operator Cyril Evans: Hear it?
[hands Groves his headphones]
Wireless Operator Cyril Evans: That's the "Titanic".
Third Officer Charles Groves: [listens then gives the headphones back to Evans] What's she saying?
Third Officer Charles Groves: "Best wishes to Joe and Hattie. Wish you were here. See you Wednesday. Love Myra and Bill". Private stuff. Yes, there must be a lot of money on that ship. He's been at it the best part of the day.
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Crazy Credits

The ITV Studios Global Entertainment logo seen on the 2012 Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray of the film is colored black and white instead of its usual pink and blue. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1998 US Criterion Collection DVD is slightly edited. After the Titanic has sunk and Second Officer Lightoller (Kenneth More) is on top of the upturned collapsible lifeboat, a steward swims up to him with a child. Lightoller takes the child, but in the DVD, you don't see him find out that the child is already dead, and then he gently places him in the water. See more »


Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Emotionally impacting, factually informative and surprisingly involving and fast paced
17 January 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Titanic was to be the greatest ship ever made, a veritable city on the sea moving between England and New York. Made in Belfast, the ship travels to England before its maiden voyage, which it makes loaded with over 2,100 people ranging from the richest gentlemen in first class down to those in stowage seeking a new life in America. However, a series of errors and oversights result in the Titanic striking an iceberg and ripping a gash along the side below the water level. As the "unsinkable" ship starts to fill with water the shortcomings of having only 1200 lifeboat spaces sinks in.

It has become very fashionable now to hate James Cameron's Titanic and it is the norm now, not only to prefer this film but to actively hate the 97 film in any review of other versions! I'm not a fan of the rather bloating modern film but I will refrain from making this review about that film and will focus on the one I've just seen. The first thing you notice here is how quickly the film moves and, after only a very brief introduction to the characters we are underway and hitting the ice. Shorn of romantic subplots and heart-tugging sweeping scores this is a very good approach and it simply lets the facts of the event and the real horror speak for themselves. In the remake we were supposed to get our emotional attachment to one or two characters based on their love for one another; here the film respects our humanity enough to know that we will be touched by the sheer number who died and the manner of their death. This works much better and it is genuinely eerie to see that large ship slip below the surface to a barrage of screams from unseen thousands – that the effects are not as good doesn't matter because they are good enough and the emotional impact more than covers for them.

This is not to say that the film lacks characters because you do tend to care for everyone and the film did very well in delivering little things without getting in the way of the rather documentary style form. The horror of the death is as well told as the horror of those watching it occur from the lifeboats; I liked the guilt of the designer and the guilt of the men who climbed into the lifeboats etc, these little touches work much better than inserting large fictional sections. With this sort of performance the actors do well – all realistic with none really upstaging the film with ham. Moore is a good lead and only at the end is his delivery a bit flat – but that is more the fault of a wordy conclusion. The rest of the cast do very well with realistic performances of fear even if they are being directed into generic class groups – simple but, with the delivery of the material, it works.

Overall, to me this is the best telling of the Titanic disaster that I have seen. The factual approach is consistently interesting and, without our attentions being directed to one or two people, the emotional impact is greater than I expected and I was quite chilled by the whole thing. For those irritated and put off by the sweeping sentimentality of the modern version, this film is the one for you.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Russian | Polish | German | Italian

Release Date:

16 December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Titanic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,680,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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