New Box Art
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Passengers mingle and a couple bicker before the packed luxury liner hits an iceberg and sinks in 1912.
Although it was never known for strict authenticity, the elegant 1953 production of Titanic holds just as much fascination as A Night to Remember and James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster. Its original screenplay deservedly won an Oscar® for its brilliant, dramatically involving creation of fictional characters--primarily a strained couple on the verge of divorce (Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck)--whose lives are forever altered on that fateful morning of April 15, 1912. Director Jean Negulesco focuses on this human drama, lending a personal touch to the luxury liner's fatal collision with an iceberg; if the scale-model disaster (complete with motorized miniature lifeboat rowers) looks quaint by modern special-effects standards, it still captures the emotional impact of Titanic's ultimate fate. While Titanic's sinking is inaccurately depicted (here the ship is damaged on the port side, and sinks in one piece), the Webb/Stanwyck relationship is handled with sophistication, style, and well-earned redemption. As would happen with Cameron's Titanic 44 years later, fiction proved a perfect vehicle for tragic factual history. --Jeff Shannon
- "Beyond Titanic" documentary
- Movietone newsreels
- Audio essay by Titanic historian Silvia Stoddard
- Still gallery
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story evolves around the Sturges family, dynamically portrayed by Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck - as Richard and Julia, their daughter Annette portrayed by Audrey Dalton, and son Norman portrayed by Harper Carter. Torn from the onset, the Sturges family convenes for one last time aboard Titanic - where their destiny is interrupted by a pivotal event that will define who they really are and, sadly, bringing them closer together than they've ever been - just before tearing them apart. The human interactions in this movie are deeply felt and can evoke deep emotions within the viewer. A few of the sub-plots involve a "brand new" Robert Wagner as Gifford Rogers and his romantic interlude with Audrey Dalton's character, Annette, and a troubled young priest portrayed by Richard Basehart who is traveling back to his family after being dismissed from his religious servitude.
Yes, the special effects are exactly what you'd expect for 1953, but they vividly get the point across. It's troubling to see that as the special effects have gotten better and better through the years - the stories have suffered, accordingly. The perfect equilibrium seems to have occurred around the late fifties and early sixties with movies like "The Bridge on the River Kwai", "Ben Hur", "Lawrence of Arabia", and "Doctor Zchivago".
And, in terms of script and story, who could ever forget the line "May I bone your kipper, Madmoiselle?" eloquently spoken by Clifton Webb's character, Richard, to his daughter, Annette (Dalton) as she prepares to eat breakfast. I have tried this line in my best Clifton Webb impersonation at several gatherings and still have several loose teeth as a result - funny what you pick up from the movies! Maybe, I must try this line when the young damsel is preparing to eat some form of fish...
The movie begins with a view of ice cracking off glacier into the North Atlantic. The details of this story are taken from the official records of the investigation. The ship will sail a great circle route, the shortest route, to set a record. [Will this be closer to the cold arctic?] We see some of the 2,200 passengers on the ship. Richard Sturgess hurries to get aboard; money talks. Sturgess greets many old friends aboard ship. He has a conflict with his wife over life styles. Is he a snob? One man wants to send a telegram to Boston. The ship continues its passage. The Sturgess' family conflict continues. We learn more about their past. "I think I understand." She later meets a defrocked priest. The "S.S. Baltic" sends a warning about icebergs. We see a song and dance for entertainment. We see clumps of ice floating on the sea. First class passengers spend their time playing cards. Another iceberg warning is received.
"Iceberg dead ahead!" The ship turns left, but scrapes against its side. There was damage, water is pouring in. A CQD is transmitted on the radio, the lifeboats are made ready. Are there enough lifeboats? Passengers must wear life jackets. [But icy water kills by hypothermia in 15 minutes.] Women and children are put into the lifeboats. The ship lists, then begins to settle in the water. When the water hits the boilers it will be all over. The band plays music. There is a low rumble from below. "I didn't count on this." The band plays "Nearer My God to Thee", and the remaining passengers join in. The boilers explode, and the ship plunges into the icy ocean.
The story ends without telling of the aftermath. New rules required enough lifeboats for all passengers. Ships would avoid the northern areas of the Atlantic (although this is the shortest route from Europe to North America). One reason for the disaster was the rivets used to hold the plates of the ship together. If too hard, they shattered from the force of the iceberg and the plates separated. There was a twin ship to the `Titanic', built at the same time. It was the ???.
The story of family conflicts in the upper class was used to add drama to this movie. Could it also symbolize the actions of the rulers of Europe that led to the Great War? This family conflict may have been shocking at the time but is now what you might see on the "Jerry" or "Maury" show today.