Night to Remember, A

A Night to Remember (PG)

A spectacular – for its time – recreation of the first and last voyage of the Titanic, as it sets off from Southampton for its date with an iceberg and destiny. Kenneth More is the ship’s officer at the core of Roy Ward Baker’s dramatic tale but watch for the dozens of cameos flitting in and out of the action as the ships sails and sinks in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.

More, at the height of his fame and popularity, gives a magnificent performance as the clear-headed hero desperately striving to stave off inevitable disaster as Titanic heads for the ocean floor. The sharp monochrome photography (by Geoffrey Unsworth) is superb. Until James Cameron’s $200m Titanic, A Night to Remember was the definitive account of the sinking: 54 years on it remains a classic British drama which ranks among the very best of its kind.

Baker’s wartime experience directing documentaries here serves him well as A Night to Remember benefits hugely from a sober, sombre docudrama approach that lends credibility to the recreation of the disaster.

Based on Walter Lord’s authoritative book, this rendering of the final hours of the Titanic is packed with honest performances as well as a deeply respectful view of the ship, the class strata within it and the unique community that counted millionaires and peasants among its number.

As a portrait of the decline of a social regime and a great moment in history, A Night to Remember is unsurpassed.


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