A Night to Remember - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Night to Remember Reviews

Page 1 of 23
December 9, 2016
I saw this film as a child in 1958, and it has spawned a lifelong interest in the story of the Titanic and the era that she came from. Now as an academic at a major public university, I am still able to use the story of the sinking as a relevant element of my teaching. What is so subtle and powerful about this film is that it focuses on the vessel, the sinking, and the underlying socio-cultural story that Walter Lord put into his account in the book with the same title. The Cameron version may have more technical details and special effects, but it does not capture the pathos and substitutes a love story for the history of the event. The Barbara Stanwyck version similarly focuses on a story of class distinctions for an American audience that misses the broader cultural story in which the Titanic is both symbol and tragedy. I only wish someone would remake this version with today's technology and knowledge, as well as the sensibilities of the BBC in Downton Abbey and its appreciation of the Edwardian age.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2016
It's good, but it lacks that extra je ne sais quoi that Cameron's version had.
½ August 31, 2016
This is a film that moves inexorably to a foregone conclusion - and it is no less suspenseful or moving (in some small moments) for that reason. Not really a soap opera but a look at a cross-section of passengers and crew on the doomed Titanic as it launches, hits an iceberg, and then sinks rapidly in the icy North Atlantic. Most of the attention falls on Second Officer Charles Lightoller (Kenneth More) who is most heroic and the first class passengers who escape to the boats first. Second class and steerage folks are mostly left to die, save for a few impetuous Irish (and Polish) passengers who make their way up to the top (one of these characters was apparently the inspiration for Leo DiCaprio's role in the 1997 film). But, as I said, this isn't a soap opera because the focus is less on the people and following their stories and much much more on the actual disaster and its mechanical causes and the actual process of sinking and rescuing (and dying). This makes the film ultimately more gripping and horrifying. Even with some obvious model work, the result is epic.
May 7, 2016
Nearly 60 years old this film hasn't aged a day and is still comfortably by some margin the definitive film about the Titanic sinking. It's not exaggeration to say that this is superior in every single element to Cameron's 1997 theme-park ride effort of a movie which reduced the tragedy to spectacle and a twiddly-dee love story. A cast of fantastic character actors, an incredible set and a story which manages to intertwine a raft of individual stories to impressive effect, this really is a classic. Easily one of the greatest British films ever made and by it's conclusion, incredibly moving.
April 28, 2016
If you're not too spoiled by James Cameron's 1997 telling of the Titanic disaster, you should give this film a look. This film cuts to the point very quickly, but you can still see how it influenced the Cameron film. The special effects hold up quite well as well.
April 14, 2016
One of they key & important film translations of the ocean disaster that is permanently etched into our minds. This film was ahead of the game in the late 1950's presenting a truthful & less sensationalized account than the 97' version.

It's interesting to see how much James Cameron was directly inspired by this film technically & the narrative elements also.

This film does fall short in the way of visual impact but provides more interaction between the crew of the titanic before the sinking. For its time it's exceptional & a must see if the story of Titanic is one that appeals to you...
April 14, 2016
Amazing to watch Titanic sinking in black and white!
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2016
This film wastes little time spending only ten minutes leading up to the night of April 12 and the circumstances of the sinking of the Titanic. Unfairly, when watching this, it will ultimately be compared with the 1997 James Cameron film, but at times this Roy Ward Baker film surpasses Cameron's. The most magnificent thing about the film is the way the camera starts to slant as the ship starts to sink. The film also doesn't focus too much attention on any one or two characters as it bounces back and forth in its narrative only on the survivors, who recounted their story to author Walter Lord. The upper class may seem incredibly archaic at times due to their total indifference to the lower classes on the ship showing truly how monstrous they were. Great special effects make this a lasting and enjoyable film.
March 18, 2016
Probably more a night you would want to forget. Matter of fact account of the Titanic's fatal voyage that is refreshingly devoid of Hollywood trappings and stylistics. Impressively filmed--especially for its time-notably once panic and desperation set it.
March 4, 2016
Very faithful adaptation of Walter Lord's meticulously-researched, very well-written book.
January 25, 2016
This looks as good as the 1997 film. After viewing this trailer I saw a lot of scenes that looked like James Cameron copied. I can't wait to get some spare time to watch it.
December 17, 2015
Legendary as the most accurate film about the Titanic, it is mannered, yet tense, well paced, and emotional. It wisely and richly focuses on the human drama with dignity and care, and the support and approval of several actual survivors enlisted as technical and character advisors.
This film is iconic in its accuracy and heartfelt portrayal, and the inspiration for the later and more detailed love story by James Cameron who lifted many scenes and character portrayals directly from Night To Remember.

5 out of 5
½ December 7, 2015
Watching A Night to Remember for the first time I was constantly comparing it to Titanic and by the end I think I would prefer watching Baker's film over the big blockbuster tent-pole flick. I am planning a much more comprehensive write up soon, but the short answer is that A Night to Remember is a very, very strong film.
½ July 30, 2015
This extraordinary docudrama of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912 delivers everything that James Cameron's 1997 epic skipped over in favor of spending more time with Kate and Leo. This beautiful, sharp, rich Criterion transfer of Roy Ward Baker's 1958 drama resurrects the black-and-white picture with striking results and immediacy. Adapted from the book by Walter Lord, the movie doesn't skimp on the details and yet still manages to not sputter like certain docudramas tend to do (I'm talking to you Tora! Tora! Tora!), such as the fact that the Californian ship was only ten miles away and took no action.The cast, led by a terrific Kenneth More as second Officer Herbert Lightoller, skillfully underplay the drama in favor of allowing the events to take center stage and the result is remarkable.
May 27, 2015
it was an ok titanic movie
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2015
A Night to Remember recounts the tragic tale of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic on its maiden voyage after it struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Based on Walter Lord's bestselling book, the film follows various Titanic passengers and crew throughout the sinking, along with the rescue efforts (or lack thereof) of the Californian and Carpathia. This is simultaneously the film's greatest strength and weakness; as it allow for an expansive overview of events, but also makes it difficult to get to know individual characters. The model work and special effects are pretty good (for the time), and give a real sense of scope to the tragedy. However, the score is rather bland and doesn't have much emotional resonance to it. Still, while A Night to Remember has some weaknesses, it delivers a compelling portrayal of one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.
April 2, 2015
The most tragic Titanic reenactment I've ever seen. It was a big picture for it's time, but nowhere near the scale of Jame Cameron's version. Thankfully, this one didn't have Celine Dion on the soundtrack. It actually had very little music, apart from some short dramatic moments and the ships orchestra. They keep playing to the bitter end. This Titanic is very restrained and more realistic because of it. The iceberg hits early, but there's no action until the end. Just women and children boarding lifeboats. Some of the language and mannerisms and social statements are outdated by today's standards, but it's black and white so it's expected and forgivable. The Cameron film had emotion and romance to sustain its first half, while this mostly had a lot of chivalry which became redundant, but it's probably accurate in the historical context, so more faithful to the actual event. The movie is restrained, but not slow paced. The film keeps a steady pace up until the end. And then the ship tips to a 90 degree angle. The Cameron version was a spectacle, this one is just heartbreaking. This isn't Hollywood, this is a trip back in time. I imagine because of the sensibilities of the time the people on the Titanic really were like this. It seemed through the whole movie everything that you could possibly complain about was being shouted, except for the words "we're sinking!" The people on this Titanic were more lovable so it was harder to see them go. I highly recommend this one. Even if the thin plot isn't to your liking, every shot of the Titanic is very iconic and worth seeing. I also highly recommend the Cameron version.
January 1, 2015
This is still and will always be in my top five all-time favourites. It's truly one of the greatest movies made.
November 17, 2014
Still one of the best films about the Titanic. Up there with Cameron's Titanic. Nothing short of amazing. Still packs an emotional punch even after almost 50 years.
Page 1 of 23