Here is the trailer of A NIGHT TO REMEMBER – the greatest RMS Titanic film made.
A Night to Remember is a 1958 docudrama film adaptation of Walter Lord’s book of the same name, recounting the final night of the RMS Titanic. It was adapted by Eric Ambler, directed by Roy Ward Baker, and filmed in the United Kingdom. The production team, supervised by producer William MacQuitty, used blueprints of the ship to accurately create the sets, while Titanic fourth officer Joseph Boxhall and ex-Cunard Commodore Harry Grattidge both worked as technical advisors on the film. The film premiered in the United Kingdom on Tuesday July 1, 1958, and in the United States on Tuesday December 16, 1958.
A Night to Remember won the 1959 “Samuel Goldwyn International Award” for the United Kingdom at the Golden Globe Awards.
It is considered the finest film made about the famous ship.
The Titanic was the largest vessel afloat, and was widely believed to be unsinkable. Her passengers included the cream of American and British society. The story of her sinking is told from the point of view of her passengers and crew, principally second officer, Charles Lightoller (Kenneth More).
Once in the open sea on her maiden voyage, the Titanic receives a number of ice warnings from nearby steamers. Captain Edward J. Smith (Laurence Naismith) is unconcerned and the ship continues on at high speed.
Late on April 14, 1912, a lookout spots an iceberg directly in front of the ship. The ship turns hard to port, but the Titanic collides with the iceberg on its starboard side, opening the first five compartments to the sea, below the waterline. Thomas Andrews (Michael Goodliffe), the ship’s builder, inspects the damage and finds that the ship will soon sink, a bad situation made horrific by the fact the ship does not have sufficient lifeboat capacity for everyone on board.
A distress signal is immediately sent out, and efforts begin to signal a ship (depicted to be the SS Californian) that is seen on the horizon, a mere 10 miles away. But the ship’s radio operator is off duty and he does not hear the distress signal. Fortunately, the radio operator on the Carpathia receives the distress call, understands the emergency and immediately alerts Captain Arthur Rostron (Anthony Bushell) who promptly orders the ship to head to the Titanic at maximum speed.
Captain Smith orders his officers Lightoller and Murdoch to start lowering the lifeboats. Many women and children are reluctant to get in a small, cramped lifeboat, and Murdoch and Lightoller must use force to put them in. Many men try to sneak into the lifeboats, but Lightoller will not allow them. Murdoch, working the other side of the ship, is shown as more accommodating to men. As the stewards struggle to hold back women and children holding third-class tickets (“steerage”), most of the women and children from second and first class climb into the lifeboats and launch away from the ship.
The bow of the ship is taking in a lot of water and there are only two collapsible lifeboats left. Lightoller and other able seamen struggle to untie them and, unable to take the time to put passengers into the boats, leave them in the hope that the boats will save more lives.
The RMS Carpathia is four hours away and is racing to the site, in hope of saving more lives. The ship sinks amid much chaos on the decks, with third class passengers allowed up from below after the boats are gone.
Lightoller and many others swim off the ship. The ship sinks deeper into the water suddenly a funnel breaks loose and crashes into the water and the ship goes down. One of the overturned collapsibles is floating, so Lightoller and a few more men balance on the boat and wait. Chief Baker Joughin is found in the water, not minding the cold, and pulled up on the boat. Lightoller spots another lifeboat and the men are saved. The Carpathia comes and rescues the survivors.
As the film ends, Lightoller, the senior surviving officer, reflects that they were all so sure about the safety of the ship, and that he will “never be sure again, about anything.”