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S.O.S. Titanic (1979)

On its maiden voyage in April 1912, the supposedly unsinkable R.M.S. Titanic hits an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean.

Director:

William Hale (as Billy Hale)

Writer:

James Costigan
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Andrews ... Capt. Edward J. Smith
David Battley ... Chief Boots: S. Stebbing
Ed Bishop ... Henry Harris
Tony Caunter Tony Caunter ... Chief Officer: Henry Wilde
Nicholas Davies Nicholas Davies ... Lift Attendant: Alfie King
Matthew Guinness Matthew Guinness ... Catholic Priest: Father Byles
Jerry Houser ... Dan Marvin
David Janssen ... John Jacob Astor
Victor Langley Victor Langley ... Band Leader: Wallace Hartley
Gerard McSorley ... Martin Gallagher
John Moffatt ... Benjamin Guggenheim
Aubrey Morris ... Steward: John Hart
Nancy Nevinson ... Ida Straus
Philip O'Sullivan ... David Charters
Robert Pugh ... James Farrell
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

S.O.S. Titanic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film of Robert Pugh. See more »

Goofs

Most of the exterior scenes were filmed aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Even though the Queen Mary resembles the Titanic in a generic sense, one noticeable difference between the two liners is the color of the funnels. The Queen Mary's funnels are 'Cunard Red' (a deep reddish-orange hue) with black bands, while the Titanic's were 'White Star buff' (a creamy yellow tone) and not banded. This obviously could not be helped when filming scenes on-deck aboard the Queen Mary, where the banded orange funnels are prominently visible. However, the visual FX shots of the Titanic model, including the colorized footage from A Night To Remember (1958), as well as the Boat Deck set seen during the sinking scenes, show the Titanic's funnels in the proper yellow color. (In addition, the Queen Mary has three funnels where the Titanic had four, but this is not apparent from any shots in the film.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J. Bruce Ismay: Her name, like everything about her, gave promise of something mighty and splendid. They called her Titanic. She was the longest, the tallest, the most luxurious ship in all creation.
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 »

Alternate Versions

The movie was originally released in two versions. A 140 minute version told in flashback fashion was shown on American TV, and a 109 minute version shown in European theaters. This is the version available on DVD & VHS See more »

Connections

Version of Titanic (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

This one was my Favorite
28 May 2004 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

Cameron's was nothing more than a teen aged frolic and a technical masterpiece, but as far as catching the effectiveness of the era and expectations and afterwards, he is far below this one.

No doubt, this movie is where my fascination with David Warner began, as his portrayal of Lawrence Beesley is a marvel to listen to. Cameron felt the romance with Leigh Goodwin (portrayed by Susan St. James, Goodwin was a real woman on the Titanic, but I don't know if she knew Beesley, but the romance was fictitious regardless) was cold and icy. I found it to be utterly delightful compared to Jack and Rose's juvenile romp in the motor car.

And unknown to Cameron, Bernard Fox (best known as Doctor Bombay in Bewitched) who played Col. Archibald Gracie in the '97 Titanic movie, was Lookout Frederick Fleet in A Night To Remember.

So Fox and Warner are two actors who have been in two Titanic movies. What intriguing names.

Leachman's Molly Brown is a twist compared to Kathy Bates forgettable '97 interpretation or even Marilu Henner's out-of-date '96 telemovie portrayal.

It is fun to compare the movies and persons shown. This one did focus on a few more, such as the Harrises and the Marvins, the Countess of Rothes, Emma Bucknell, a bit more steerage.

The '96 telemovie with George C. Scott as the captain is the only one to show the Allisons, altho it doesn't clearly say what that was all about with the nanny, Alice Cleaver.

Lawrence Beesley would jump to the lifeboat while still holding his night clothes, he wasn't wearing them. Fred Barrett would ask him why he had them, and he replied he had no idea.

This movie was rich, however, with the shoeshine lads, the sensational music, from the sauna (as someone else mentioned) to the mundane (but it was all they had) steerage music.

There is a much stronger feeling of Irish third class here than in any other Titanic movies, and we get a more overal feel of those in peril here, as compared to Cameron's version with only Rose in danger.

Wireless operator Harold Bride as well as chief wireless operator Wilde have never been decently shown in a movie. Night to Remember had David McCallum and the '96 movie showed them also, but the overturned lifeboat has only been observed in Night To Remember, and only if you have really read about it, do you realize that is what is happening here in S.O.S. Titanic.

Great fun in having to pinpoint the Strauses because Mrs. Straus would call her maid by her first name, Ellen, and I recalled from reading that Mrs. Straus' maid's name was Ellen Bird.

The only way the Strauses were shown in this movie.

Interesting also to note that in 1912, wives were listed under their husbands names, but maids were listed individually.

The biggest complaint about this movie is the wrong date shown, which I suppose is inexcusable for the subject matter.

Pearl Harbor wasn't attacked on December 9th, 1941.

Still this one is nowhere near the worst. That would have to be the 1931 version. The '53 Babs Stanwyck one is a bit wincing also.

And I'm not familiar with the Queen Mary, so its usage here is hardly a hindrance to me.

Helen Mirren's moment as the maid who converses with Thomas Andrews is inspired.

In watching this one as I type this, the silence throughout much of it is as effective, if not more, than Cameron's symphony orchestra.

Sadly, I am aware that what I have just ordered is indeed an edited copy.

The opening with the Carpathia is missing, with Ian Holm's chilling "my ship" as he describes the Titanic.

Also missing is the elderly woman leading the steerage in song.

And I fear the wonderful exchange between the shoe shine lads is cut also.

The sauna may also be missing.

And one post lists Charles Herbert Lightoller as the First Officer, another post says he was the second Officer.

Lightoller was the Second Officer, highest ranking surviving officer from the Titanic.


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