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A Night to Remember (Digitally Re-mastered) DVD

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Two years after 20th Century Fox released its melodramatic disaster film Titanic in 1953, Walter Lord's meticulously researched book A Night to Remember surprised its publishers by becoming a phenomenal bestseller. Lord had an intuition that readers craved the reality of the Titanic disaster and not the romantically mythologised translations (like Fox's film, starring Barbara Stanwyck), which relied on fictional characters to "enhance" the world's worst maritime disaster. Lord's book proved that the truth was far more compelling than fiction, outlining the many "if onlys" (if only the iceberg had been spotted a few minutes earlier, etc.) that lent sombre irony to the loss of 1,500 Titanic passengers. Three years after Lord's book appeared, it was brought to the screen with the kind of riveting authenticity that Lord had insisted upon in his own research. The 1958 British production of A Night to Remember remains a definitive dramatization of the disaster, adhering to the known facts of the time and achieving a documentary-like immediacy that matches (and in some ways surpasses) the James Cameron epic released 39 years later. The film erroneously perpetuates the once-common belief that the Titanic sunk in one piece (instead of breaking in half as its bow began to plunge), but many other misconceptions are accurately corrected, and the intelligent screenplay by thriller master Eric Ambler is a model of factual suspense. By making Titanic the star of the film, director Roy Baker emphasises the excessive confidence of the booming industrial age and creates an intense you-are-there realism that pays tribute to Walter Lord's tenacious quest for truth. --Jeff Shannon

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The story of the Titanic has been visited to differing degrees on the small and big screen many times But there a strong and compelling argument that 1958 A Night To Remember based on Walter Lord novel is the best of the lot For several reasons What most sets A Night To Remember apart is the sheer humanity of it Approached in a documentary style and with the story told mainly from the perspective of Kenneth More Charles Lightoller it less epic in physical scale than for instance 1997 Oscar-magnet Titanic Yet there a core of authenticity here that never been beaten on big screen or small It might lack the big special effects budget then and it might also have been a little shyer in attracting awards but A Night To Remember is a conscientious quality piece of film making that stands up extremely well --Jon Foster

Classic documentary drama based on Walter Lord's book about the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Told from the perspective of Second Officer Charles Lightoller (Kenneth More), the story follows the supposedly 'unsinkable' ship as she embarks on her maiden voyage and ultimately founders in the North Atlantic Ocean. The ship leaves port and soon Captain Smith (Laurence Naismith) is given several ice warnings but decides not to decrease the Titanic's speed. When the ship hits an iceberg late at night on April 14th the situation looks bleak, especially with the realisation that there are not enough lifeboats to carry all on board. The Titanic's distress call is received by the Carpathia but she is four hours away and unlikely to reach the ship before it sinks. Chaos breaks out both above and below deck as the passengers and crew race against time for their survival.

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