Film Review: A Night to Remember

Where most films go for the love story, A Night to Remember goes for the documentary view-point, trying to keep as much to facts as possible. As a result, for many this is the definitive Titanic film and it’s just been remastered and released again last week.

The Premise

An almost documentary like view of the sinking based on survivors tales.

The Disasters Faced

Death by irony it seems. “I’m not going in the lifeboats, I’ll catch a death a cold!”

The Execution

Following primarily the 2nd Officer Lightoller, we follow Titanic’s plight and also the California’s non rescue. Filmed in black and white, everything still looks really well done and this is once again due to meticulously built sets and no digital effects to speak of. As usual there’s a good cross-section of other people to follow too but while it’s still emotional and dramatic, it somehow feels more authentic and less gimmicky with the heartstrings.

The Effects

A Night to Remember stands the test of time remarkably. For a film made in 1958, the sets, stunts, effects and camera work is simply amazing. I do like the on-board shots of Molly Brown’s lifeboat going down the side of the ship. I’ve not seen the digitally remastered version but it can only make the picture better and the sound is possibly the only thing can could be improved.

Why Its Worth Watching

As an almost real-time enactment of the sinking, nothing gets closer to the actual events of the Titanic. Instead of spending time following fictional characters, this keeps things closer to the real survivors stories. The sinking itself is done respectfully and dramatically and strikes the perfect balance between documentary and drama. For a drinking game, have one every time you see the chef having one!

Favourite Character

Aside from Kenneth Moore, the chef played by George Rose is great and although he adds light relief to the picture, it’s amazing a true story. Who’d have thought getting absolutely drunk would have saved his life?!

Weirdest Moment

“I must have my lucky pig!” I beg your pardon?!

Conclusion

I have a soft spot for A Night to Remember. It gets better with each viewing. I still marvel at how it holds the test of time today and if anyone wants to see a proper factual account (aside from the Titanic not splitting in half) then this is probably one of the best sources you will ever get.

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