Skip to comments.TCM Titanic Film: "A Night to Remember"
Posted on 04/12/2012 6:57:39 PM PDT by re_nortex
The 1958 film, A Night to Remember is scheduled for a showing this Saturday night, April 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
Because the book was so well written and the facts so compelling, it reads like a suspense novel. [Walter] Lord scrupulously researched all information available at the time, reviewing testimony from boards of inquiry, plus newspaper and eyewitness accounts of survivors from both passengers and crew.
There are a few scenes where slight artistic license is taken, but no wholesale fabrication of characters or fictionalized sub-plots.
In reality, the film is more docudrama, yet never lacks for tension. Costuming was perfectly detailed and accurate, interiors perfect reproductions of the actual grand staircase, dining rooms, and smoking lounges were used. It is the most accurate of all Titanic films, even though exterior modeling shots were a bit weak.
The British production, which took five months to film, added even more authenticity to the film with a cast mostly unfamiliar to American audiences. This film features an incredibly poignant scene with cellist John W. Woodward playing and singing Nearer My God to Thee in the more likely Horbury setting.
It is fun to see a young David McCallum as assistant telegraph operator Harold Bride, plus Honor Blackman, and very brief uncredited appearances as crewmen from both Desmond Llewelyn and Sean Connery (the latter three later appearing together in larger roles in Goldfinger.)
Those remarks are from Tennessee Jed of CommentaramaFilms, a source for Conservative film talk.
I recall it being a pretty good character study.
“Too bad real hats are not worn much.”
The Brits are still good at hat wearing.
It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one that hated the little romance.
"A hat should be taken off when you greet a lady and left off for the rest of your life. Nothing looks more stupid than a hat." ---P.J. O'Rourke
No you’re not. I’m not you’re typical woman in that I go for the average sappy romance, but it wasn’t even the romance that bothered me. It was that the story was ridiculous. I don’t want to see a documentary when going to a movie, but there have to have been plenty of interesting, TRUE stories that could have been fleshed out. If I had to rate it, it would be a C- and that’s because of the story bringing the A+ special effects down.
Near as I can figure out, there was no standard call for commercial shipping at the time.
CQD was a military code term for Close Quarters Distress. That is what they used ...
Most people think that SOS stands for Save Our Ship, but that is not true - in Morse Code, it was three dots - three dashes - then three dots.
This was the fastest method of signalling distress in Morse Code and they settled on it ...
thanks for the ping
CQD was a military code term for Close Quarters Distress. That is what they used...
By the way, the call sign for the Marconi Wireless on RMS Titanic was:
By the way, that's the IATA code for Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Montgomery County, Ohio.
In post #18, Nortex wrote in part, "I think part of the reason why it became such a big story was that mass communications was really starting to reach a global audience. It was THE STORY of that era."
I agree completely with the point Nortex makes. The news of the tragedy reached all continents quickly and continued in real time, something that wouldn't been possible worldwide in previous eras.
Another freeper wrote me: "IMHO, the reason the Titanic wins is because of the romance. Not Jack and Rose, but the whole idea of a ship steaming at night in darkness under the silent stars of a cold sea, wrecking and foundering with no one to hear.
"I mean, there was a monster black ice berg out there in the dark, just waiting.....and the lookouts never could see it.
"Any kid who had an imagination could see that picture in his mind's eye. Years ago, I saw a Titanic exhibit. It had an exhibit room dressed up to look like a lonely deck in the dark. You could stare out over the sea. They even had a cool fan blowing so you could feel the chill. It was eerie."
I think this is another cogent reason that the story of the Titanic is so seductively gripping....the drama, the heroics, the mystery, the darkness, the cold, the unknown, the feeling of fate and doom.....all the things that were going to be found in the ever-popular suspense and horror films of the fledging silent "moving pictures" industry (and later the talkies) of the time.
If you have additional opinions and comments of your own on the reason for the lure of the "Titanic story", let's hear from you.
Isn’t it true that the lookouts in the crow’s nest (”the eyes of the ship”) had no BINOCULARS!!?
IIRC, there were five pairs of binoculars on board, but none of the ship’s officers could remember where they were stowed.
Captain Smith was no doubt aware of this, but he had orders from Bruce Ismay to push the gigantic ship to its highest speed, on a moonless night, into a known ice field amid a flurry of ice reports from other ships, some of which were forced to stop in mid-ocean, surrounded by ice. Madness!
One of the myths that was addressed was that Lord Ismay allegedly ordered undue speed for the ship's progress, an order that spelled ultimate disaster.
It's being stated today that there exists not one shred of evidence, written or oral (other than highly-colored newspaper accounts and feverish rumors of the day) that any such order was given to Captain Edward Smith.
I suppose that this "myth" as well as its rebuttal will always be a matter of debate and conflicting opinion. So many compelling mysteries of the Titanic are viewed and solved one way or the other through the eyes of the beholder.
“this story reminds me how fragile we are, how much we are at the whim of nature and the defects of man made creations.”
It sounds like you would have been a better captain than
Capt. Smith that night.
Well.... it could be explored as to whether or not Titanic was steaming faster than her maximum speed as determined during sea trials, on the night of the collision.
Lord Ismay’s biggest mistake was surviving the disaster when 1,500 souls, including Captain Smith, didn’t.
Thanks for the reminders. I’ve always heard of this movie but never had the chance to see it.
I recall reading somewheres that CDQ was French..so can’t be sure what it stands for..
The John Jacob Astor death and The Unsinkable Molly Brown story always fascinated me.
I really don’t care too much about SFX. After all, I’m a bit of a fan of “Titanic” with Stanwyck, and that’s older (albeit American). That’s not what phases me unless it’s so bad as to be funny, like 1 of my Super8 movies. I love old movies. They’re just much classier.
As to Poe: I don’t think he was here much. Actually, he seems to have had a spotty life as far as living arrangements. He spent some time in Baltimore, but he was not “from” here.
You don't have to have a Twitter account to follow along. Just hit the link and have a look-see.
That link is awesome!
Thank you! What a great, if somewhat surreal link.
It’s actually mentioned by a few of us.
Simply “Titanic”, 1953. Barbara Stanwyck was his wife.
So, what did you think of A Night to Remember, which just finished about 20 minutes ago as I post this? I know that quite a few of you have never seen it before and your impressions would be of particular interest.
It is an excellent movie. So mush better than any other Titanic movie.
I think being in black and white added to the realism and atmosphere.
After having just viewed the film, I'm now catching up with what berdie so aptly described as surreal.
Maybe they've dropped off the scroll of these "virtual tweets" but I can't help but wonder what Captain Stanley Lord's (of the Californian) messages would have said. That may be the biggest "what if" of all regarding the Titanic. What if Lord's ship had responded to the distress signal?
100% better than the horrible Cameron “Titanic.”
Much more realistic...
I have read many different accounts of why there was no response. One account even speculated that the Californian wasn't the “mystery ship” at all. But I think that theory was shot down during the inquiry. Whatever the truth was, there is no doubt in my mind that Captain Lord had to have carried guilt with him to his grave. I don't know what maritime protocol was, but if I were in sight of another ship shooting off flares in the middle of the night..I'd have to check it out.
She just went down so quickly. Totally amazes me.
(BTW, I sat down tonight to watch a Night To Remember...and realized that I don't get TCM! Shows how much tv I watch. I was disappointed since I hadn't seen it is a long while.)
I kept getting phone calls last night, so could only watch the movie in bits and pieces. Sigh. It looked great what I saw. Guess I’ll have to see if I can find it on DVD.
As for James Cameron’s version, I agree, the Jack/Rose story was ridiculous. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Rose...who ditched her fiancee to party with Leonardo down in third class, (where the people were so much nicer and more fun, of course!) And she not only sleeps with Leo after just meeting him a day or two before, but she rubs her fiancee’s nose in it by posing nude for Leo and leaving the drawing where the fiancee will find it. Yes, the fiancee was a jerk, but still!
One thing I did love about the movie was the costumes, though. After two hours of sitting in the theater and looking at those beautiful costumes, I left the theater, and I felt like I’d gone back in time and just returned. There were all these people walking around wearing sweatpants that clung to every inch of their flab, ripped jeans, T-shirts with crude sayings on them, etc. The same clothing that had looked perfectly normal to me two hours earlier now looked so ugly and unflattering. It was an odd feeling.
I just saw it this evening, finally have some time (I have a million other shows to watch for it, so watching this now is just for you, RE).
I have to say I was quite impressed. It was very good, overall.
I had a beef with the 3rd-class treatment, but that may be expected at that time; just that it was more blatant than other details. Also bugged me that they made Olympic out to be niggling on details and “idiotic”, but that was brief.
I was so sad by the little boy. I fear he died. Little children in trouble really upsets me now, that I have a little 4yo boy.
But I was impressed by the movie overall. A good move-along story for just about anyone to watch.
Each visitor was given a "passport" with the identity of a real passenger. They were not told till the end of the tour if they survived.
“The same clothing that had looked perfectly normal to me two hours earlier now looked so ugly and unflattering. It was an odd feeling.”
Good. We need more of that feeling, and less of “casual Friday”.
Wow...if you walked thru an exhibit with a “passport” that attached you to a real passenger...
Interesting twist that would bring things home like no other.
I have to ask...were you a survivor?
The exhibit brought so many people we were too busy to take the tour ourselves!
I did the tour with two other people. 2 of us (including myself) didn’t make it and 1 did.
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