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A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 399 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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, A Night to Remember, the acclaimed British director Roy Ward Baker (Don’t Bother to Knock) depicts with sensitivity, awe, and a fine sense of tragedy the ship’s final hours. Featuring remarkably restrained performances, A Night to Remember is cinema’s subtlest, finest dramatization of this monumental twentieth-century catastrophe.

Special Features

New high-definition digital restoration

Audio commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall, author and illustrator of “Titanic:” An Illustrated History

The Making of “A Night to Remember” (1993), a sixty-minute documentary featuring William MacQuitty’s rare behind-the-scenes footage

Archival interview with Titanic survivor Eva Hart

En natt att minas, a forty-five-minute Swedish documentary from 1962 featuring interviews with Titanic survivors


PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Sragow

Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth More, Honor Blackman, Michael Goodliffe, David McCallum, Tucker McGuire
  • Directors: Roy Ward Baker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006ML50SS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,025 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
For all the special effects and color cinematography of recent years, few films in the disaster genre have been able to top this amazing film of the fateful voyage of the Titanic; it is smartly written, with extraordinary cinematography (by Geoffrey Unsworth) and brilliantly acted by a cast of mostly unknown actors, although the star, Kenneth More was famous in England. American audiences will probably only recognize David McCallum (Illya Kuryakin in the Man from U.N.C.L.E. series) who plays a radio operator, and Honor Blackman, who gained fame as the Bond Girl with the naughty name in Goldfinger, who has a small part as the wife of a brave and stoic man, and the noted British actor Laurence Naismith, who is marvelous as Captain Smith.

Even though one knows the end, the tension runs high, and we get caught up in lives of the people aboard "the floating palace", and how they handled their dreadful fate. The characterizations are beautifully developed, which is rare in this type of film.

The scenes of the inner workings of the ship are intense, and very well re-created. When compared to documentaries made about the Titanic, this film would seem to be quite accurate, in the physical aspects of the ship, and of the people who sailed her, as passengers and as crew.

I find this 1958 version far superior to the 1997 Oscar winning "Titanic", mostly because the script and acting are much more believable, making the events of that dreadful night come to life and stir the emotions in a deeper way than the newer film ever could.

Adapted for the screen by Eric Ambler from the book by Walter Lord (which I read many years ago and also found fascinating), the direction by Roy Ward Baker is superb, and the almost symphonic score by William Alwyn terrific.

"A Night to Remember" won a 1959 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.

Total running time is 123 minutes.
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Format: VHS Tape
Unlike other film versions of the famous maritime disaster, "A Night To Remember" does not attempt to romanticize the sinking of the Titanic via fictional characters playing out a superficial and often implausible story--and demonstrates that the basic facts are far more fascinating than any soap-opera-bubble that can be imposed upon them.
As frequently noted, the film has a somewhat documentary feel that adds considerably to its tension. Less frequently noted are the remarkable performances of the ensemble cast, playing characters who fight to retain their integrity in the face of rising panic. Unlike the soapy 1950s Stanwyck version or the overblown James Cameron film of the 1990s, there are no easy endings for those who are trapped, no love recognized at the last moment or sustaining memories of brief shipboard happiness to float them forward through life: at the end there is only darkness and death--mitigated, sometimes nobly, by the human kindness and sacrifice. Powerful stuff.
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Format: VHS Tape
Walter Lord sadly died in May 2002 aged 85 and is justly famous for his meticulous research of the circumstances surrounding the sinking on Monday 15/4/1912 of the White Star liner,RMS Titanic and stirring the public's interest in this disaster.There are a few factual errors in this marvellous Rank Organisation 1958 film.The ship is seen to sink in one piece but this was the received wisdom in 1955 when the book was first published.The picture above the fireplace in the first class smoking room is seen to be "The Approach to the New World (by Norman Wilkinson).In fact this hung in the equivalent location on her earlier sister ship, RMS "Olympic".The correct painting should have been "Plymouth Harbour" by the same artist.Also White Star and the ship's constructors, Harland & Wolff just launched their liners at their Belfast shipyard without flowery speeches such as "....I Name this ship Titanic.May god bless her etc etc".The launching scene is actually of the "Olympic" which you can tell because of her light grey painted hull made more photogenic for the cine cameras of the day - Titanic's hull was black. with white superstructure and a gold band separating these two colours.Lord admitted these understandable errors in his sequel "The Night Lives On" (1986) after Dr Robert Ballard ( of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute ,Massachussets) at last found the final resting place of the ship, 2 1/2 miles down on the Atlantic floor in 1985.
That said, this is a riveting and unforgetable docu-drama of this historical event, arguably the most infamous maritime disaster (although loss of life has been greater in other shipwrecks).The fascination lies in the "if onlys".i.e.
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