A Night to Remember (1958)

A Night to Remembera_night_to_remember_film_poster
Directed by Roy Ward Baker
Written Eric Ambler from a book by Walter Lord
1958/UK
The Rank Organization
Repeat viewing/Netflix rental

Dr. O’Laughlin: People first, things second.

Forever the best of the Titanic movies in my book.

This tells the same story as James Cameron’s more famous 1997 Titanic, minus the framing story and the romance.  The character out of dozens we get closest to is Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller (Kenneth Moore).

a-night-to-remember

The film nicely recreates the doomed voyage with beautiful and accurate sets and costumes.  It also covers activities aboard the S.S. Californian, a ship ten miles away which failed to notice any of the Titanic’s distress signals, and aboard the S.S. Carpathian, 50 miles away, which picked up the survivors.

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I liked this even better on my second viewing.  Throughout is that poignant stiff upper lip courage that I find so irresistible.  The special effects are convincing for 1958.  And the absence of the Rose-Jack romance only improves things.  I’m sure many respectable young women had sex with working-class stiffs in 1912 – but not in the back seats of cars parked in the Titanic’s hold!

The DVD contains a very good commentary by a couple of historians.

Trailer

 

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