Night to Remember, A

7.92 h 3 min19587+
A ship's officer sees disaster as the Titanic hits an iceberg and slowly sinks on its 1912 maiden voyage.
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William MacQuittyEarl St. John
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4.7 out of 5 stars

1738 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Noah.SReviewed in the United States on March 20, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Film That Did It First: The Perfect Companion Piece to James Cameron
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This film has really stood the test of time, especially now in this lovely digital restoration. "A Night to Remember" reigns supreme as a historical telling of what transpired that night. It eschews the love story of the 1997 film in favor of spotlighting the historical characters and the events leading to the sinking.

We are given the usual treatment of life aboard the ship, all of the lovely ice warnings, and we are given details on the ships nearest to her at the time of the sinking. It does not sugar coat the neglect by the crew of the Californian, who was the closest vessel at the time of the sinking. It also follows much of the popular folklore that surrounds certain figures (which are also present in the 1997 film) such as the band playing as the ship went down, Captain Smith dying at his post, and Thomas Andrews remaining within in perpetual grief.

It was made before the discovery of the wreck so, unfortunately, it portrays the Titanic as sinking in one piece. However, what it lacks in the primal terror of that final apocalyptic moment, it makes up for in emotional sucker punches.

You can even see many shots that were later recycled in James Cameron's 1997 film. Which I find to be a lovely way to bridge the gap between the two movies. It links them on a small level. Both of these movies go hand in hand, and I find myself enjoying both films as a depiction of one of the greatest tragedies in human history.

"A Night to Remember" should be on the lists of those who enjoyed "Titanic" as they are essentially the same film, but one gives more historical context and they play off of each other beautifully. Get them both! I would say to watch this one first to get more insight into the disaster before watching James Cameron's film.
16 people found this helpful
chirpReviewed in the United States on January 15, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
True Account of the Titanic
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I have to admit I do like the more recent splashy, Winslet/DiCaprio version of the Titanic tragedy for its love story but I prefer this one. It quietly shows how the tragedy unfolded and brings in the history of the famous personalities who heroically remained on the ship. It also shows the musicians who played until the very end so that those that would perish with them would find peace until their very end. The more recent version pretty much ignores all of this in favor of the love story. This version comes with a small booklet and a second disc which goes into how the movie was made. My only problem this is second disc was that I needed subtitles which are not provided. There are subtitles for the first disc of the movie.
25 people found this helpful
Lisa L. BurkettReviewed in the United States on January 6, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
A true maritime must-have!
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If William MacQuitty had had post-1985 knowledge of the wreck and the budget James Cameron had, this would be THE DEFINITIVE Titanic movie of all time. As it is, it comes close. There is no filmmaker who has presented the history in as complete and respectful a manner. In spite of the flaws, and there are some, there is a ring of genuineness is this film that is sorely lacking in others. One of the things that I appreciate most is that MacQuitty doesn't arrogantly try to "fill-in" information that is unknown. For example, the identity of the man who died aboard upturned collapsible B...remains unknown. MacQuitty doesn't speculate, but leaves the reality of the mystery in place. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a level of responsibility that is not often displayed in filming. Real people come center stage, rather than Hollywood's fictional characters, and actuality is retained as much as possible. This was made as a piece of important history telling, rather than a make-tons-of-money-from-other-peoples'-suffering flick.
65 people found this helpful
Bread HeadReviewed in the United States on August 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Classic! You can see some of James Cameron's inspiration here.
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Much more literal in its recounting of the true stories gleaned from records and interviews with survivors. Delivers the tale with a dramatized documentary undertow yet keeps your focus on the tragedy and how it came to pass. Suspend your current experience of technology, CGI, blockbusters movies, and lightning-quick availability of world information. Take yourself to the mid 20th century when the film was made. Let it wash over you with its factual information within a well-crafted delivery.
Interestingly, you will spot more than a few scenes, lines of dialogue, and images that were later explored in homage by Cameron in his award-winning epic 50 years later. That's how much of an impact this B&W film can deliver if you let it. ChefMike Approved.
5 people found this helpful
Jerrie BuchananReviewed in the United States on December 3, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
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There are a lot of versions of Titanic. This is one of them with some different perspectives. Very predictable, but I prefer these older versions of the story. Hollywood will continue to try to tell the story. It is one of those situations where no one really knows all of the facts and only the survivors can tell what they remember which is one small part of a big scene. A tragic story with a very sad ending. I recommend this movie.
2 people found this helpful
C. C. BlackReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Neither the Earliest Nor the Latest--Only the Best
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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.
14 people found this helpful
Joseph SaylorReviewed in the United States on October 3, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
Still great in 2010!
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I purchased this movie along with [[ASIN:B00005UW79 Titanic - The Complete Story]] and it turns out those DVDs compliment each other perfectly. After reading the sterling reviews here about the accuracy of events in this film, I wanted to see how it stood the test of time. I wasn't disappointed. The dialog even matched up perfectly with some of the stories told by survivors on the A&E DVD. I also found the acting & special effects to be very good, especially since there were no big stars of the time in the film. The scene of the elderly waiter holding a baby in his arms as the ship went down was as poignant as anything in James Cameron's movie (which I think is a fine movie in its own right). I enjoyed the fact the movie concentrates on actual events and there is no fictional romance. I also really liked how the film let us get to know the actual crew and passengers, a stark contrast to Cameron's movie. The bravery of the crewmen desperately trying to operate the pumps & keep the electricity on is highlighted as well. There is character development however as a young couple who was just married is introduced in the movie meet a fate similar to Rose & Jack, but their's was even worse. In fact I can see some nods that Cameron made to this movie in his own version. Don't get me wrong, MacQuitty took a few liberties in the film (i.e. the old man holding the baby during the sinking), but nothing that hurts the movie or disrespects what happened the night the ship went down.

The "Making Of" documentary was a nice extra, though made in 1993. If I could find any flaws with this release, it would be nice if the film could be cleaned up, upgraded to Dolby 5.0 (yes, they can do that with mono soundtracks by mixing the source & adding other sounds). This is a movie deserving of Blu Ray treatment.

Update 4/2012:

Well the blu ray is here after all! I just wanted to say the picture quality is outstanding, much better than the DVD. The dirt and scratches are almost completely gone. The sound is mono still, but louder than before. No 5.1 but given the source audio that is understandable. All the extras from the DVD are here along with some additions. Very worth the money for the upgrade.
4 people found this helpful
Not BobReviewed in the United States on August 10, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Dramatization of the Titanic Tragedy
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In 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest passenger ship in the world at the time, set sail from Southampton, England bound for New York City on its maiden voyage with about 2,200 people on board. Famously, it would strike an iceberg in the mid-Atlantic and sink taking the lives about 1,500 passengers with only about 700 surviving. It would go down in history as by far the most famous shipwreck and one of the greatest civilian disasters.

In 1955, Walter Lord wrote the book "A Night to Remember" using dozens of accounts of survivors to write a non-fiction account of the events of the sinking. In 1958, this film, based on the book, was released.

Unlike other media involving the Titanic, A Night to Remember contains no fictional characters or fictionalized events. Most of the movie is a recount of the sinking itself that, for the most part, stays as close to the facts as possible. Most of the incorrect facts can attributed to the limited knowledge of the time which include depicting the ship sinking in one piece. That theory was generally accepted until the wreck was discovered in 1985.

The acting and effects are all very well done.

This movie is an excellent account of the Titanic disaster and a masterpiece of film making. I would recommend this to those interested in the Titanic.
One person found this helpful
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