Top positive review
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Best Titanic movie yet.
on December 9, 2002
Cameron's film has its moments, but in truth I only liked it for the chance it gave me to see a great old ocean liner brought to life again on screen. In "A Night To Remember", the effects are not nearly so impressive, but the story is far better. It's very much in the style of a docudrama, but its a docudrama about one of the most fascinating and enduring stories in all of history. I don't quite know why Cameron felt it necessary to tell a soap opera melodrama about two fictional lovers and use one of the most dramatic stories in all human history as nothing more than a backdrop. "A Night To Remember", based on Walter Lord's outstanding book of the same name, tells the story of the disaster itself. Kenneth More plays a heroic Second Officer Lightoller, and the film actually makes him out to look a little better than he did in reality - he lowered several of the lifeboats less than half loaded, and permitted no men at all to get in, even when the boats were ready to lower and no more women were nearby to board. Still, this bit of dramatic license doesn't hurt the film.
The account of Titanic's loss has something in it to appeal to everybody. For the lovers of a great story it has incredible drama and suspense. For lovers of nostalgia it is far the best documented voyage of any ship from the golden age of the great ocean liners. For those interested in tragic irony there is the story of a great ship, regarded as unsinkable going down after ominous warnings were ignored. For those interested in stories with a moral, there is the cautionary tale of placing blind faith in any work of human hands, or thinking that the things of men are impervious to the forces of nature. For students of human nature, Titanic was a microcosm of society, with the full range of human strength and weakness on display, from acts of inspiring heroism to those of despicable cowardice. For those interested in social history, there is the huge gulf between the first class passengers with their vast wealth, and those in steerage with little more than the clothes they stood up in.
Few stories have proven so enduring and so fascinating as that of the Titanic. This movie remains the best, and most faithful film version of it to this day.