Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Night to Remember (1958).

Until I heard it talked about in a Titanic documentary, I honestly didn't know that there was a movie made from the classic Titanic book, A Night to Remember (which I haven't read yet). As soon as I heard, I added it to my Netflix queue. :)

I really enjoyed A Night to Remember. It's very different from all of the other Titanic films. The major difference is that it doesn't focus on a fictional character or couple. There's no dramatic, romantic plot for you to get caught up in- it's strictly factual and informative (though that doesn't make it any less fascinating!). Walter Lord, the author of the book, tracked down and interviewed many survivors to get personal insight on the sinking.

As Ruth mentioned in her (awesome and cohesive :) review, nobody is really made into a villain. Even people like Bruce Ismay, who is honestly torn apart in other versions (more on that in a later post). In this film, he's seen shedding tears as his lifeboat is rowed away from the sinking ship.

{They leave it up to you to decide whether he's mourning the loss of money or the loss of so many lives.}

I have to say, this movie carries on the tradition of making third class/steerage on the Titanic look like so much more fun than the first class. At least in the dining and community areas (not necessarily the rooms). The third class passengers are always shown dancing and singing and generally having a good time, while the stuffy first class have their expensive dinners and cigars and walk around with their noses in the air. :) Just saying.

A Night to Remember also keeps in two of my favorite real-life moments. First of all, I love how the band keeps playing out on the deck, trying to keep some semblance of normal in the middle of all the chaos. I love that in every Titanic movie. And I especially love it when the band starts to split up at the very end, and one lone musician continues, and then all of the others come back and rejoin him. I don't know why that part always gets me, out of everything else going on, but it does.

Then there's Isidor Straus, co-owner of Macy's, and his wife Ida, who refuses to leave him and get on a lifeboat. {In real life, he was told he could get in the boat with her. He refused because there were still women and children aboard and tried to persuade his wife to get in, but she wouldn't.}

Anyway, I highly recommend this film. It's really set apart from all of the other adaptations and definitely worth watching. Now I want to read Walter Lord's book. :)

P.S. An interesting little fact: Do you remember the "English valet" named Malcolm Merriweather who was in two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show? He was also a guest star in two episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show. His name is Bernard Fox. Anyway, I was shocked to see him in the '97 Titanic when I watched it again back in 2010. I was even more surprised to see him in a tiny part in A Night to Remember, as the officer who shouts, "Iceberg, dead ahead!" It's pretty neat that he was in two Titanic films, made almost 40 years apart.

Until next time,


  1. I'm so glad you liked this film! And thanks for the link. :)

  2. I did comment already, but there were some MAJOR typos! Anyhow...I love this film! It's one of my all-time favorite black and whites of the Titanic's Maiden Voyage and her final moments.


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