on December 21, 2006
I saw this film for the first time when I was maybe 11 years old (mid-60s) and became captivated by everything concerning the TITANIC ever since.
It's a waste to compare it to either the 1953 Clifton Webb movie or to the Cameron version. For the Webb film, Walter Lord's book had not yet come out so the producers worked with what they had as far as historical "facts." As for Cameron, he "borrowed" many scenes from NIGHT TO REMEMBER both as an homage but because they are more gripping than anything a screenwriter could come up with.
As for the NTR version showing the ship sinking in one piece as being "historically inacurate", that was based on Lord's conclusions from the book tho he did acknowledge passengers saying that it broke in two before going under. Also, the Kenneth More character, although billed as Second Officer Lightoller, was actually a composite of Lightoller and Fifth Officer Lowe, but Lightoller being dominant.If you re-read the book and watch the movie again, you'll be able to tell what was Lowe's actions and what was Lightoller's.
More is brilliant and always seemed under-appreciated as an actor. Had the pleasure of meeting him in Toronto when he was doing a play there in the 1970s.
Hands down, NIGHT TO REMEMBER is the best movie about the TITANIC ever made and if Cameron's version couldn't top it with its budget, no other version ever will.
Needless to say, it is one of my top three movies.
This was the first Titanic movie I ever saw, as a child, and it remains my favourite. The acting is outstanding, the special effects very believable, overall the movie leaves a deep impression on the viewer. It is also seen as being the most historically accurate version of those events of one hundred years ago in the cold North Atlantic. The humanity of this movie will overwhelm you: the technological arrogance of the age, the class distinctions that vanish with the sinking ship, the desperation, the acts of courage and cowardice, all of it is here.
Easily a five star movie; if I could, I would give it six stars.
on May 10, 2012
This Blu Ray arrived and I couldn't wait to watch it! I put it in the PS3 to watch and it only stayed on the equivalent of the FBI warning screen. It wouldn't go beyond that screen. I took it out and tried it in our actual Blu Ray player and the same thing happened. I went online and did some research because the symbols on the front of the package, for ex "PG13" looked slightly different from the same symbols on other cases of movies I have and that's when I discovered that it was formatted for use in Europe and parts of Africa. NO WHERE on the site does it indicate this!!! I figured shopping on amazon.CA would mean that I was buying products that would be compatible with things in Canada but I guess I was wrong. There needs to be some kind of identification that this Blu Ray is for other regions on the web page when you buy it.
on September 4, 2001
because the sinking of the Titanic has proved to hold the interest of the world for nearly 90 years after that fateful night in April 1912.
I don't know if I can say I've seen "all" the Titanic movies, but I have seen Leonardo Di Caprion's version, Catherine Zita-Jones' version, Clifton Webb's version, and this one, which was the first one I ever saw, years ago, as a little child. Hands down, this British version is the best.
It's not that the others are stinkers; in fact, that would lessen the victory. After all, Leonardo's has some great special effects, Catherine was a pretty passenger, and Clifton Webb handled disaster very well. But this one has the hallmark of accuracy to it. When you've finished watching it, you KNOW the story of the Titanic well enough to perpetuate its memory to your own children's children. It captures the despair of the passengers who realize what's really happening, and faithfully recounts the different vignettes of self-sacrifice which characterize this tragedy in particular. Unlike the other three movies, "A Night to Remember" doesn't have to invent people for you to identify with; the real stories are far better than any invention and far more poignant.
Watch the others for entertainment, but watch "A Night to Remember" for edification.
on May 19, 2012
The quintessential version of the Titanic disaster. Shows how the English sailors and Edwardian passengers of the time would have reacted. Kenneth More is excellent.
Even the special effects of 1958 come off very well. The Blu-Ray quality really make the image quality jump out.
I only gave the DVD four out of five stars, because the DVD itself takes about two and a half minutes to get to the menu. It crawls through an essentially black screen without any indication the DVD is functioning. it's a shame that someone's really fine work is spoiled because they stuck a huge empty leader slug at the beginning
on August 11, 2010
this is, in my opinion the definitive movie on the titanic. James Camerons is all fluff, though the special effects are outstanding, but that is the benefits of the computer age, which was not available back in '57. But more of the facts were. And secondly, It just was not availabe in the stores, at least not in my town. I have now shopped a number of movies and CD's from Amazon. Boy, am I a believer.
A Night to Remember(released July/58)starred,among others Kenneth More,Ronald Allen,Robert Ayers and Honor Blackman .The film was based on Walter Lord's best selling book of the same name.Other than not showing the breaking up of the ship above the water,the film is a relatively faithful adaption of that book and the facts.
The story of course finds the supposedly unsinkable ship foundering after sideswiping an iceberg late on April12/14(It actually sank on the 13th).This movie gets us to the strike rather quickly and settles down for the rest of the film showing us the after effects of it.At first comes the calm and reasoning period as they try and figure out the real damage then start putting people on to the lifeboats.Slowly but surely a sense of urgency descends over the passengers,ultimately making way to out right panic.There are many heroic moments,along with the cowardly.But in the end it is a human tragedy that need not have happened at all had laws been more stringent re the life boats.Not to mention the incomprehensible behaviour of the crew of the Californian,just 10 miles away and which could have saved most of the lives lost.
The film is solidly acted all around and Kenneth More shines as Lightholer,the captain's second and who ultimately survived the sinking.This print(in B&W) is a restored one and it looks as clear and crisp as if it had been filmed yesterday.It is in its original a/r of 1:66:1.Extras are on the second disc which include past interviews with real Titanic survivors, a /93 documentary of the film and an /06 documentary by the BBC.
All in all a fabulous and must have film for those especially interested in the Titanic.Even if you are not a Titanic fan,the tragedy that plays out will keep you riveted to your seat until the end.As usual a Criterion release is a superior release,so you can bet on the highest quality presentation available.Highly recommended.
For many, A Night to Remember is still the best cinematic account of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912. Based on the bestselling book by Walter Lord, the movie followed in Lord's footsteps to create a drama as true-to-life and historically accurate as possible. A true tragedy such as this has no need for fictional soap opera melodrama, nor should it perpetuate the myth that every man and woman acted honorably as the cold and clasping hands of death reached up from the watery depths to claim their lives. While certain members of the orchestra may have played on, there was absolute panic during the ship's final moments. The harsh truth is that many a good man, woman, and child died that night, while others less worthy of survival lived to tell their tales of "sacrifice." Still, you will find no true villains here - although the captain and crew of the nearby and unresponsive Californian come close: Captain Smith and his crew all perform their jobs ably and honorably, the wireless operators' mistake in not passing a final ice warning along to the bridge is assuaged by his dutiful attempts to call for help until the last possible moment; and even Bruce Ismay, the chairman of White Star Lines, is cast in a surprisingly noble light. More importantly, I don't think any other film rivals this one in terms of the emotional force of the Titanic's final plunge into the sea, punctuated by the prayers in several languages from those in the lifeboats.
A Night to Remember gives you viewpoints on the disaster from each of the classes represented on board, from those in steerage (some of whom couldn't understand what was happening because they did not speak English and all of whom struggled to find their way up the decks where the lifeboats were), second class, and first class all the way down to the firemen and other crew members working in the bowels of the ship. Among the rich passengers are the noble - such as the men who downplayed the situation in order to get their wives and children in the boats and the women who refused to leave their husbands - and the ignoble, including several rich women who complained about the whole evacuation process and even castigated the manners of some of their fellow survivors in the boats. Even after the sinking, prudishness reigned on at least one lifeboat, with snobbish women poopooing the very idea of going back to save others. On other boats, low-ranking crew members "in charge" refused to go back for fear of those in the water capsizing their boats, while those who made it atop one of the capsized collapsible boats forcefully kept people from grabbing hold until Second Officer Lightoller swam up to restore order. You never really get to know the people onboard, yet they become incredibly real to you as the dramatic end of the Titanic plays itself out.
Most interesting to me is the movie's treatment of Bruce Ismay, the often-reviled chairman of White Star Lines. Not only does he exert no undue influence on Captain Smith to get to New York as quickly as possible, he actually takes an active part in evacuating women and children into the boats. When the fateful moment arrives that he does slip into one of the boats, he exhibits a great deal of shame in doing so. This is easily the most humane treatment of Ismay that I've ever seen in a Titanic-related film.
Of course, A Night to Remember does get a few things wrong, particularly in terms of the way the ship went down without breaking up - but many facts such as these weren't really established until years after this film was released in 1958. Obviously, the special effects of this era are a far cry from those at James Cameron's disposal almost half a century later, but I - and many others - still say that A Night to Remember still delivers the most accurate portrayal of the final moments in the life of the Titanic. You can't watch this film and not be moved by the scale of the human tragedy.
on April 19, 2004
I've been obsessed with the Titanic since Robert Ballard found the wreck when I was only five years old. Both this film and James Cameron's Titanic are chock full of historical facts and fictions. That said, I have to say that I do enjoy A Night to Remember a bit more. I think the technical accuracies were helped by having an actual crewmember as a technical advisor. The interiors were almost spot on, with just a few minor variations. It's also nice that most, if not all, of the main characters were actual crew members and passengers. I thought it was eerie how the ship in the movie groaned and popped as she settled into the water, much like the actual Titanic. And I might be the only one who noticed, but it seems like all movies since this one have a shot of a cart in the First Class Dining Saloon rolling down the tilting floor. I also liked that the ship's orchestra played the tune Horbury to the words of Nearer, My God to Thee, my favorite setting of the hymn. The featurette was such a wonderful behind-the-scenes additon, something James Cameron might think of including on his DVD someday. All in all, A Night To Remember is a moving and touching addition to any Titanic fan's collection.
on February 28, 2004
This is a review for the Criterion Collection release of the film.
Now you might not think of it as accurate with this film not showing the Titanic split in two before sinking, but it still is far more accurate than any film to date Feb 2004.
This film is based ot the book of the same name by Walter Lord. Unlike every other film about the Titanic which have seen. This one is based almost solely on acutal events characters and interviews with people involved in the disaster.
An interesting nt it that the band plays the British music to the hymn "Nearer my god to thee" instead of the American version which has been played in two other Titanic films which have seen.
Many of the actors were virtaully unknown at the time of release and one Actress in the film, Honor Blackman later became famous in the 007 film Goldfinger.
The supplementary features are also very good and the Audio commentary give reference to James Cameron's film. This was a film that was quite impressive for it's time and remains popular to this day.