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
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. See more »
[approaches a woman as she's about to get into a lifeboat]
[She turns in surprise as he hands her an envelope]
If I don't get through, will you send this to my sister? The address is on it.
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The 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 »
Roy Baker made this extraordinarily fine film about the sinking of the Titanic in the style of a documentary. Although it has a large cast it has no real stars, except perhaps Kenneth More who was a star in Britain at the time. He is an officer on the ship and is the central, linking character. Constrained by budgetary considerations the film used models but the cutting and the matte-work are so fine you are seldom aware of this. The tragedy engulfs you and the tragedy is of epic proportions. The stories of individual passengers come to the fore and the naturalistic acting of the cast make these stories very moving. The film is an honest tear-jerker in a way American movies never can be. It shows the florid, flabby and bloated James Cameron movie up for what it is.
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