REVIEW: A Night To Remember

A few years back when I was picky with film selections of which to watch and which not to watch, I had heard of Titanic films called Titanic but I hadn’t heard of this one until I decided to do some research on the films based on the sinking of the ship. I am a huge fan of the American epic romantic-drama by James Cameron and after realising that this isn’t only based on history regarding the sinking of the ship, but it goes into a deeper story than that and the main characters involved were real-life people (both survivors and ones who perished in the disaster) and that made the film even more interesting.

What I really liked with how well this film was handled was that it had almost precise historical facts about what really happened, who was on the ship etc which is something that the James Cameron version lacked. However, in small doses, that one had a few more precise key moments than A Night To Remember did. There were a few faults that I spotted in this film and they were the Titanic didn’t sink the original way. It split in half and the back of the ship tilted upwards and sank in a vertical angle whereas in this, the front of the ship went down and then the back just followed it. Also, it took too long for it to sink. I mean, in James Cameron’s film, the ship was sinking rather fast despite it being a much longer film than A Night To Remember but it just lacked the fast pacing of the water and we were just stuck to the passengers in the lifeboats.

I haven’t seen Kenneth More in a leading role before until A Night To Remember although I saw him in Scrooge as the Ghost of Christmas Present. I did like his acting as Second Officer; Charles Lightoller. However, there was one minor fault that I didn’t really like was after the ship sank completely, there is almost no fear, heartbreak or tension on his face or anybody else for that matter but the solid direction, screenplay and great music saved the film from a bad ending. Just like in the 1997 film, there are other real life characters in A Night To Remember such as Captain Edward J. Smith, Thomas Andrews, First Officer; William Murdoch, J. Bruce Ismay and a few others. Aside from the characters on the Titanic, we see and meet characters on Carpathia and ship which was near the Titanic (about 10 miles away but could see it) when it struck the iceberg and did nothing about it so we learned more historical facts in this one.

I was thinking that this could be a pretty damn cheesy film in comparison to the films made nowadays but I think despite it was made in the late 1950s, I thought the filming was incredible and the effects were awesome! I was also impressed with how well it was edited for its time. The best filming moment was obviously when the back of the Titanic was being hoisted upwards and people are falling downwards of the top of the back. I also was impressed with how real Titanic looked when it was a long shot as it was slowly sinking diagonally into the Atlantic. Making it black and white than colour was just brilliant because of the real pictures of the Titanic itself that we have seen, it makes it look more believable like it is the real Titanic in the film. The script was adapted from the book of the same name by Walter Lord so that was a helping hand to write a solid script but it still takes someone with real talent to write a solid script, especially in a film like this where there is a lot of actions involved.

Overall, A Night To Remember is an absolutely fantastic film based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic that is, despite its flaws, one of the most underrated films of all time and one of the best British films ever so it is definitely a must-see for everyone! It makes its clear mark as perhaps the most precisely historic Titanic film yet (I guess I will have to wait until I see the 1943 and 1953 version whether to know for sure). I do prefer the James Cameron version but this almost reaches up to that high level of masterful filmmaking that is almost beyond believe where we are on this tragic adventure. In a word; fantastic!


~ by SJMJ91 on 21/05/2012.

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