Titanic 1953

Titanic

Critics Consensus

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91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 86,440

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Movie Info

Stuck in an unloving marriage, rich socialite Julia Sturges (Barbara Stanwyck) boards the Titanic with her two young children with the intent of divorcing her husband, Richard (Clifton Webb), when she arrives in the States. At the last minute, Richard discovers her plan and manages to get on board the ship in an attempt to convince her to stay with him. Their marital problems take a backseat, however, when the Titanic collides with an iceberg and begins its descent into history.

Cast

Clifton Webb
as Richard Ward Sturges
Barbara Stanwyck
as Julia Sturges
Robert Wagner
as Gifford Rogers
Audrey Dalton
as Annette Sturges
Thelma Ritter
as Mrs. Maude Young
Brian Aherne
as Capt. E.J. Smith
Richard Basehart
as George Healey
Allyn Joslyn
as Earl Meeker
James Todd
as Sandy Comstock
William Johnstone
as John Jacob Astor
Charles FitzSimons
as Chief Officer Wilde
Barry Bernard
as 1st Officer Murdock
Harper Carter
as Norman Sturges
Edmund Purdom
as 2nd Officer Lightoller
Camillo Guercio
as Mr. Guggenheim
Anthony Eustrel
as Sanderson
Helen Van Tuyl
as Mrs. Straus
Alan Marston
as Quartermaster
Frances Bergen
as Madeleine
Guy Standing Jr.
as George D. Widener
Hellen Van Tuyl
as Mrs. Straus
Roy Gordon
as Isidor Straus
Marta Mitrovich
as Mrs. Uzcadam
Ashley Cowan
as Phillips
Merry Anders
as College Girl
Gloria Gordon
as College Girl
Melinda Markey
as College Girl
Ron Hagerthy
as College Boy
Conrad Feia
as College Boy
Richard West
as College Boy
Mae Marsh
as Woman
Ralph Grosh
as Steward
John Fraser
as Steward
Elizabeth Flournoy
as Woman with Baby
Robin Hughes
as Junior Officer
Robin Camp
as Messenger Boy
Pat Aherne
as Seaman
Patrick O'Moore
as Relief Man
John Costello
as Undetermined Role
Pat O'Moore
as Relief Man
Michael Hadlow
as Messenger
Ivan Hayes
as Officer
Robin Sanders Clark
as Junior Officer
Herbert Deans
as Junior Officer
John Dodsworth
as Stoker Exclaiming 'For God's Sake!'
Salvador Baguez
as Jean Pablo Uzcadum
Eugene Borden
as Dock Official
Richard Peel
as Undetermined Role
Harry Cording
as Boiler Room Engineer
Joan Hayes
as Undetermined Role
Bert Stevens
as Passenger
Duke Seba
as Undetermined Role
Joyce Newhart
as Undetermined Role
George Boyce
as Undetermined Role
View All

Critic Reviews for Titanic

All Critics (11) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Titanic

  • Mar 20, 2018
    In director Jean Negulesco's 1953 version of Titanic, Clifton Webb plays an affluent man brimming with confidence and as we soon see, a touch of arrogance. He believes their children should continue to be raised in Europe, and his wife (Barbara Stanwyck) believes they should return to America to get a taste of more humble surroundings. The two are at odds with another, and it culminates in the film's best scene, her informing him that their boy is not his son, and then walking off with the door slowly closing. The scene later where she describes how it happened, and the frostiness of his reaction, is sad and chilling. We admire Webb's certainty and his understanding of just what to do in social situations, and we recoil in horror at the coldness of his feelings, and his disdain for the common man. He's an iceberg, on a ship destined to hit an iceberg. Another nice moment is when Barbara Stanwyck reads the poem 'When I Was One-and-Twenty" by A.E. Housman to a young man played by Robert Wagner. Unfortunately, Wagner's character isn't all that likeable. He has a few comments to Stanwyck's daughter (Audrey Dalton) that may make you smile, such as "Never heard it before? Where have you been, locked up in some art gallery? Why, that's the hottest jig the kids do." However, he also has some musical performances between the 60 and 70 minute points of the film (pre-iceberg) that don't have the intended endearing effect, including a cringe-inducing performance of the "Navajo Rag", about how they dance down on the ol' reservation. Richard Basehart is strong in his supporting role of priest who we find out has been defrocked because of his drinking, and his scene with Stanwyck on the deck at night, each lost in their own troubles, is a good one. However, the performance seems a bit wasted, as there's nowhere for the character to go, and the film ends up choosing a path high in schmaltz. Unenviable comparisons to other Titanic movies aside (in particular Cameron's), the film fails most post-iceberg. Some of the right elements are there, including the hubris of a foolhardy increase in speed in order to impress the world in the first place, and the lack of enough lifeboats. The special effects are relatively brief but reasonably good for the time period. And of course, the moment is poignant, being a true story, and fate being so arbitrary. Stanwyck is said to have cried on set imagining the horror. Perhaps one of the ways people have of coping with this is to create heroic characters. In this version, it just gets to be a little much, and the stories between Webb and Stanwyck, their little boy, Basehart, and Wagner all seem false. Similar accusations are leveled at other movies that I sometimes find myself defending, but I can't in this case, or at least, as much. It's an average movie, certainly watchable, but dated and without balance in the fictional part of its story.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 10, 2016
    While not the darling of the new millennia, this version shines as a family drama involving (like Cameron's popular outing) class warfare. Dad (Webb) wants children to rise in social circles. Mom (Stanwyck) longs for the honesty of the lower classes (hey! did Cameron crib from here?!), but has a secret to tell Pop about that just might be hot enough to melt the iceberg coming up. But the stage for all this drama (as we all know) famously sinks. Will there be any resolution? While the film is as obvious as all get out, it is still entertaining.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 16, 2015
    From Twentieth Century-Fox comes Titanic, the first major motion picture about the Titanic disaster. The story follows a society couple that attempts to reconcile their estranged marriage on the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic. Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck both give strong performances and have tremendous screen presence. Additionally, the writing (which won an Academy Award) is quite engaging. However, the film glosses over a lot of the actual people and events of the real sinking. Yet despite the lack of historical accuracy, Titanic is an especially well-made film that's dramatic and exciting.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 25, 2012
    I saw this version of 'Titanic' after I saw the James Cameron version. It is much more subdued - and displays the men of the Titanic as much more heroic than the later version.
    Red L Super Reviewer

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