A Night to Remember

  • UK A Night to Remember (more)
UK, 1958, 123 min

Directed by:

Roy Ward Baker

Based on:

Walter Lord (book)


Eric Ambler


Geoffrey Unsworth


William Alwyn


Kenneth More, Anthony Bushell, David McCallum, Alec McCowen, Laurence Naismith, Andrew Keir, Derren Nesbitt, Bernard Fox, Desmond Llewelyn, Honor Blackman (more)
(more professions)


On April 14, 1912, just before midnight, the "unsinkable" Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than three hours, it had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it more than 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. In his unforgettable render­ing of Walter Lord's book of the same name, the acclaimed British director Roy Ward Baker depicts with sensitivity, awe, and a fine sense of tragedy the ship's last hours. Featuring remarkably restrained performances, A Night to Remember is cinema's subtlest and best dramatization of this monumental twentieth-century catastrophe. (Criterion)


Videos (1)


Reviews (3)


all reviews of this user

English Roy Ward Baker shot, in a modest and humble manner, a factual and accurate account of what happened on the 14th of April 1912, based on Walter Lord’s book and survivor testimonies. It’s a quality historical reconstruction, a good part of which is depicted more or less in real time. And even though we know how the whole thing ends, it’s hard not to hold our breath with each passing minute. The plot follows a broad variety of secondary characters (the central one being Officer Lightoller, even if he’s not considered the main character), showing a series of smaller plot twists and motifs, some of which were later borrowed by James Cameron for his 40 years younger version. There are some inaccuracies – for instance, Titanic does not break in half in this film (the wreck was discovered and explored 27 years after the film was made, so it’s understandable), and I would do without the somewhat patronising lecturing towards the end, but given the technical and creative possibilities of Great Britain in 1958, I believe the film could not have been made in a better way. That’s why, despite some reservations, I’m giving the highest rating for the very impressive and dignified spectacle, in many regards comparable to James Cameron’s version, in some aspects even better. ()


all reviews of this user

English A sensational film about the Titanic, and please don't use the annoying crutch of "for the time". Those who might fear that the two-hour film from 1958 will be long-winded or even boring need not worry. The wait for the iceberg lasts about half an hour, followed by an hour and a half of very impressively chilling spectacle, which is not based on a few obviously flamboyant heroes with whom the viewer can identify, but on a cast of more ordinary and therefore more believable characters - from the sweaty guys in the engine room to the passengers of all classes to the commanders on the bridge and crew members of other ships. The gimmick aspect is a chapter in itself, as it greatly succeeds and is spoiled only by a few unpleasantly and unnecessarily used "authentic" shots of the departure from the harbor ("authentic" because they don't even show the Titanic, but the Queen Elizabeth from 1938), and the cinematography is also beautiful. No wonder James Cameron borrowed so many shots - especially the night shots. Although the film doesn't have a generous widescreen format and doesn't have any stars in it, it wouldn't be lost on the big screen and I'd give a lot to see it in the theater today. ()



all reviews of this user

English Of course, it's not as grand and technically perfect as Cameron's spectacle, but Roy Ward Baker already knew that this is a story about people and their fates, not just about the sinking itself. And he managed to capture this excellently. And it must be admitted that even the sinking itself is very well filmed for its time. ()

Gallery (61)