In one of Criterion's typically choice special features, one of the few surviving producers of this great film puts his finger on why "A Night to Remember" stands out among all filmed presentations of the Titanic, before or sense: "The star in this film is the ship." Keep that firmly in mind. This is not a vehicle for Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck (1953) or for Leo DeCaprio and Kate Winslet (1997). This is not a schmaltz. It is not the melodrama of "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972). This is the lightly fictionalized, factually grounded story of hubris that turned into nightmare when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It is amazing that a story whose ending everyone knows, even laughs at in gallows humor, could be as compelling as this film is. Part of the reason for that, I think, is that the leading actors, including Kenneth More and Honor Blackman, though altogether professional, were never stars of the first magnitude: as a result, they help in telling the story without riveting our attention upon them. The main reason this film succeeds, I believe, is that it was produced in Britain, not Hollywood. There is a grim, understated quality in the proceedings, evacuated of all razzle-dazzle (though some darn good special effects for 1958), that keeps us focused on the disaster. A dark theme that runs throughout this film is the rigid class structure of Britiain at the turn of the twentieth century, how it strains and finally collapses under the pressure of a natural and technological disaster, and nobody in 1950s' Los Angeles could have translated that so perceptively onscreen. Finally, this is a heart-breaking movie, because it never forces you to feel. It tells the tale straight, no chaser: the arrogance, courage, fecklessness, greed, compassion, confusion, faith, doubt. Thanks to Criterion, a movie to remember.