7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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.
on December 9, 2002
Cameron's film has its moments, but in truth I only liked it for the chance it gave me to see a great old ocean liner brought to life again on screen. In "A Night To Remember", the effects are not nearly so impressive, but the story is far better. It's very much in the style of a docudrama, but its a docudrama about one of the most fascinating and enduring stories in all of history. I don't quite know why Cameron felt it necessary to tell a soap opera melodrama about two fictional lovers and use one of the most dramatic stories in all human history as nothing more than a backdrop. "A Night To Remember", based on Walter Lord's outstanding book of the same name, tells the story of the disaster itself. Kenneth More plays a heroic Second Officer Lightoller, and the film actually makes him out to look a little better than he did in reality - he lowered several of the lifeboats less than half loaded, and permitted no men at all to get in, even when the boats were ready to lower and no more women were nearby to board. Still, this bit of dramatic license doesn't hurt the film.
The account of Titanic's loss has something in it to appeal to everybody. For the lovers of a great story it has incredible drama and suspense. For lovers of nostalgia it is far the best documented voyage of any ship from the golden age of the great ocean liners. For those interested in tragic irony there is the story of a great ship, regarded as unsinkable going down after ominous warnings were ignored. For those interested in stories with a moral, there is the cautionary tale of placing blind faith in any work of human hands, or thinking that the things of men are impervious to the forces of nature. For students of human nature, Titanic was a microcosm of society, with the full range of human strength and weakness on display, from acts of inspiring heroism to those of despicable cowardice. For those interested in social history, there is the huge gulf between the first class passengers with their vast wealth, and those in steerage with little more than the clothes they stood up in.
Few stories have proven so enduring and so fascinating as that of the Titanic. This movie remains the best, and most faithful film version of it to this day.
on July 2, 2002
Walter Lord sadly died in May 2002 aged 85 and is justly famous for his meticulous research of the circumstances surrounding the sinking on Monday 15/4/1912 of the White Star liner,RMS Titanic and stirring the public's interest in this disaster.There are a few factual errors in this marvellous Rank Organisation 1958 film.The ship is seen to sink in one piece but this was the received wisdom in 1955 when the book was first published.The picture above the fireplace in the first class smoking room is seen to be "The Approach to the New World (by Norman Wilkinson).In fact this hung in the equivalent location on her earlier sister ship, RMS "Olympic".The correct painting should have been "Plymouth Harbour" by the same artist.Also White Star and the ship's constructors, Harland & Wolff just launched their liners at their Belfast shipyard without flowery speeches such as "....I Name this ship Titanic.May god bless her etc etc".The launching scene is actually of the "Olympic" which you can tell because of her light grey painted hull made more photogenic for the cine cameras of the day - Titanic's hull was black. with white superstructure and a gold band separating these two colours.Lord admitted these understandable errors in his sequel "The Night Lives On" (1986) after Dr Robert Ballard ( of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute ,Massachussets) at last found the final resting place of the ship, 2 1/2 miles down on the Atlantic floor in 1985.
That said, this is a riveting and unforgetable docu-drama of this historical event, arguably the most infamous maritime disaster (although loss of life has been greater in other shipwrecks).The fascination lies in the "if onlys".i.e. if only she had been going a few knots slower, if only she had had enough lifeboats for all instead of the maximum laid down by the British Board of Trade in their already out of date 1894 regulations, when the maximum tonnage was deemed to be up to 10000 tons.Titanic came in at 46000 tons.If the weather had been rougher, waves would have broken over the base of the iceberg thus making it more visible.If the crow's nest crew had been given binoculars (they were removed at Southampton).If the Titanic had not been delayed in her construction (and therefore her 31/5/11 launch) by her shipworkers being transferred to the repair in September 1911 of the RMS Olympic following a collision in the Solent with HMS Hawke.If 1st officer Murdoch had steered straight at the berg instead of trying to avoid it the ship may have stayed afloat (although deaths would have occurred by the crumpling of the bow).If the "California's" captain, Stanley Lord had raised wireless operator, Cyril Furmston Evans who had just retired for the night, instead of trying to contact the mystery ship with a Morse lamp.If Alexander Carlisle, marine architect who originally planned 32 lifeboats had not been over-ruled by White Star because it made the boat deck look "cluttered".In fact RMS Titanic ended up with 16 lifeboats, the regulation number required by law, but then White Star actually exceeded the quota by the provision of an extra two Englebert collapsible sided lifeboats with a further two lashed on top of the officers' quarters.If a vital ice message from the "Caronia" sent on behalf of Capt. Barr and received by senior Titanic Marconi operator John Phillips, had gone to the bridge in good time, warning of icebergs directly in the path of the ill fated vessel.And so the "if onlys" go on.
The fascination is of a small Anglo Saxon floating town set in 1912 with all the social classes represented from the aristocratic and rich (first) class, to the professional middle (second) class down to the emigrant and poor (third/steerage) classes - and "never the twain shall meet".The "gilded age", as termed by Mark Twain, had begun in about 1890 and society was marvelling at the wit of man and the many technological innovations and inventions.Perhaps Mankind could outdo Nature but a Greek tragedy was waiting in the wings to punish man for his rash hubris and arrogance.
There is a companion video available called "The making of A Night To Remember" which goes behind the scenes at Pinewood studios and shows the locations used.Actual Titanic survivors were invited as advisors to the Irish producer, William MacQuity, among them were Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall, Lawrence Beesley, the science master from Dulwich College (who wrote the book "Titanic Its Story and Its Lessons, published by Houghton Mifflin 1912)- a second class passenger who escaped in boat 13.Captain Edward John Smith's daughter Helen stated that the actor Lawrence Naismith who played him, was uncannily like her father as evidenced in contemporay photographs of the two men at approx. the same age.Captain Smith died aged 62, (probably on his last voyage before retirement although this can never be proved).Actor Kenneth More is seen chatting to Sylvia Lightoller the widow of Charles Herbert Lightoller who was second officer,- read his biography "Titanic Voyager".The convincing creaking sound you hear as Andrews tries to sit down in the first class smoking room just before the end, was the actual sound of the hydraulic lifting gear in the studio as it progressively raised the floor.MacQuitty was very careful to ensure the accuracy of the film set angles (of the ever slanting deck as she sank by the bow and rose by the stern), were always matching the dramas recorded by witnesses, so there is a marvellous sense of continuity in the filmed sinking.The B&W photography merges seemlessly with the authentic period film and all the actors convincingly say their lines many based on actual speeches said by the principal characters as remembered by witnesses.This is a superb film.Watch Cameron's "Titanic" 1997 only for the special effects.