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
When Helen Melville Smith, Captain Smith's daughter, came to the set and met Laurence Naismith, she was overcome with emotion because of his striking resemblance to her father. See more »
Captain Smith and a member of crew are seen using binoculars but in reality the ship's binoculars were accidentally locked up in a cabinet which was one of the reasons the ship hit an iceberg. See more »
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 »
Off to Philadelphia
Played on violin and sung by Titanic passengers See more »
A FILM to remember too.
Including the very first movie that dealt with the Titanic disaster, SAVED FROM THE TITANIC (1912) starring Dorothy Gibson, an actual survivor who wore the same outfit in the movie that she had on that fateful night just a few months earlier, there have been TEN movies made covering the sinking, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, based on Walter Lords' ultimate reference work of the same name, was the 6th. The film has no equal! For those who are interested, the other nine ARE chronologically:
TITANIC (1915) TITANIC: DISASTER IN THE ATLANTIC (1929) TITANIC (1943) TITANIC (1953) A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1958) SOS TITANIC (1979) TITANIC (1984) TITANIC (1996) TITANIC (1997)
The REASON that A NIGHT TO REMEMBER excels, is that it is a straight up docudrama of the event. Historical accuracy (lets forget the "split,"... although actually "suggested" by a few eye-witnesses at the time, it was believed the ship had foundered intact) was observed, the main characters were vastly better portrayed than in later films and the "scale" of the disaster far more keenly felt, for all James Cameron's $180 million! Kenneth More made an unimprovable-upon Captain Lightoller and Laurence Naismith simply WAS Captain Smith. (The less said about Bernard Hill's loopy characterization in Cameron's epic, the better!) Those who wish to compare multi million dollar digitization to that which was available in 1958 need to get REAL and for all that money, and exciting as Cameron's was - it just didn't either LOOK or feel anything more than, well...a massive film-set! The 1958 version went to the heart of the tragedy...and took the viewer with them. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER will remain a tribute...THE tribute to that night of madness. Little things, David McCallum fighting for his life-vest, Michael Goodliffe as Thomas Andrews - dignity personified waiting for his last moments, the drunken cook - they were all worth more than $100 million dollars worth of fx! You can't BUY credibility. This could never have been an American tale - it didn't work with the 1953 Barbara Stanwyck version and it didn't ring true for Cameron (good though it was as a movie rather than as the tragedy!) Did anyone notice dear old "Q" (Desmond Llewelyn) below decks and old Brit-turned-Aussie favorite Stuart Wagstaff, as a steward in Steerage?
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