Reviews

  • Jun 16, 2021

    The disaster material is good, but it's a long old wait before you get there One of the three big Titanic films made over the years, alongside A NIGHT TO REMEMBER and James Cameron's TITANIC. TITANIC (1953) loses points for being more than a little dated. Instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty details of the famous disaster, for much of the running time TITANIC is content to offer turgid melodrama and worst of all, romance. It's hardly gripping stuff. The viewer is required to wait a full two thirds of the running time before we get on with the disaster itself. When it finally takes place, it's admittedly exciting, shocking, and moving as you could hope for, but it's that first hour which really tests the patience. The likes of Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Wagner are fine actors, but you're not watching to see the husband and wife bickering or to watch the young guy fall in love. You're here for the disaster, and everything else feels like a distraction. This is why A NIGHT TO REMEMBER remains my all-time favourite retelling of the Titanic story.

    The disaster material is good, but it's a long old wait before you get there One of the three big Titanic films made over the years, alongside A NIGHT TO REMEMBER and James Cameron's TITANIC. TITANIC (1953) loses points for being more than a little dated. Instead of focusing on the nitty-gritty details of the famous disaster, for much of the running time TITANIC is content to offer turgid melodrama and worst of all, romance. It's hardly gripping stuff. The viewer is required to wait a full two thirds of the running time before we get on with the disaster itself. When it finally takes place, it's admittedly exciting, shocking, and moving as you could hope for, but it's that first hour which really tests the patience. The likes of Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and Robert Wagner are fine actors, but you're not watching to see the husband and wife bickering or to watch the young guy fall in love. You're here for the disaster, and everything else feels like a distraction. This is why A NIGHT TO REMEMBER remains my all-time favourite retelling of the Titanic story.

  • May 12, 2021

    Not only does the 1997 version of Titanic basically serve as a remake to this with its melodrama & lack of focus on the sinking itself, the sound of my phone vibrating from across the room is basically a remake of the obnoxious, anxiety-inducing distant fog horn sound they made up for the beginning and end of this movie. When the sound started my wife checked her phone with such haste that for a brief moment I was sure she was worried I had discovered her secret lover. Anyway, while the acting was solid I didn't like many of the characters and felt they were mostly wasting my time getting to the juicy sinking bits. This was similar to the 20-odd Godzilla sequels in that this was one of the first important Titanic movies & they were already using the sinking as a backdrop for the real story they wanted to tell. They could just as easily, and had might as well have, turned this story into a musical as at least with some nifty songs the family drama wouldn't come off as so incredibly mundane. I'll end by noting that I try and review movies from the perspective of what I imagine the standard audience member to think, but in my case I did not at all like the plot detail of the guy having raised his son for ~10 years and then heading in the direction of no longer caring for him, regardless if he corrected himself by the end. Stanwyck was awesome though!

    Not only does the 1997 version of Titanic basically serve as a remake to this with its melodrama & lack of focus on the sinking itself, the sound of my phone vibrating from across the room is basically a remake of the obnoxious, anxiety-inducing distant fog horn sound they made up for the beginning and end of this movie. When the sound started my wife checked her phone with such haste that for a brief moment I was sure she was worried I had discovered her secret lover. Anyway, while the acting was solid I didn't like many of the characters and felt they were mostly wasting my time getting to the juicy sinking bits. This was similar to the 20-odd Godzilla sequels in that this was one of the first important Titanic movies & they were already using the sinking as a backdrop for the real story they wanted to tell. They could just as easily, and had might as well have, turned this story into a musical as at least with some nifty songs the family drama wouldn't come off as so incredibly mundane. I'll end by noting that I try and review movies from the perspective of what I imagine the standard audience member to think, but in my case I did not at all like the plot detail of the guy having raised his son for ~10 years and then heading in the direction of no longer caring for him, regardless if he corrected himself by the end. Stanwyck was awesome though!

  • Feb 08, 2021

    It's special effects don't hold up, and the sets are inauthentic, but this is probably the best written fictionalized version of the famous shipwreck, led by the always superb Barbara Stanwyck as the runaway socialite wife who - bit shock - escapes the clutches of her domineering husband by booking passage on the world's largest ship. She's in her element here as a woman who has made mistakes but owns up to them and pays the price. Clifton Webb is her snobbish, somewhat twee husband who follows her onboard under an assumed name in an attempt to get her back. I won't go into the details of their story, but suffice it to say that regardless of what happens between the leads, all bets are off once the ship hits that iceberg. Thelma Ritter almost steals the show as a Molly Brown-type character with an endless arsenal of one-liners. The sets are wildly inaccurate, which the casual viewer won't notice, but fans of ocean liners and all things Titanic the ship will be bothered by. But the story and pacing are leagues ahead of James Cameron's more famous epic.

    It's special effects don't hold up, and the sets are inauthentic, but this is probably the best written fictionalized version of the famous shipwreck, led by the always superb Barbara Stanwyck as the runaway socialite wife who - bit shock - escapes the clutches of her domineering husband by booking passage on the world's largest ship. She's in her element here as a woman who has made mistakes but owns up to them and pays the price. Clifton Webb is her snobbish, somewhat twee husband who follows her onboard under an assumed name in an attempt to get her back. I won't go into the details of their story, but suffice it to say that regardless of what happens between the leads, all bets are off once the ship hits that iceberg. Thelma Ritter almost steals the show as a Molly Brown-type character with an endless arsenal of one-liners. The sets are wildly inaccurate, which the casual viewer won't notice, but fans of ocean liners and all things Titanic the ship will be bothered by. But the story and pacing are leagues ahead of James Cameron's more famous epic.

  • Jul 21, 2020

    The stories don't live up to the performances or real event.

    The stories don't live up to the performances or real event.

  • Apr 22, 2020

    The slow burn of a narrative reaches its understated crescendo that proves worthy of its tenacious build up. Stanwyck is as real as ever, and despite the ham-fisted supporting cast, she and Webb carry the film above its obvious premise. Surprisingly moving.

    The slow burn of a narrative reaches its understated crescendo that proves worthy of its tenacious build up. Stanwyck is as real as ever, and despite the ham-fisted supporting cast, she and Webb carry the film above its obvious premise. Surprisingly moving.

  • Nov 05, 2019

    This is quality movie with a great cast and without a doubt the best of the movies that tell the story of the tragic end of the Titanic. Only the last 30 minutes of the movie hint at any kind of danger. I think the movie would have been better if danger were presented as a possibility throughout the entire movie and eventually leading up to the sinking of the Titanic.

    This is quality movie with a great cast and without a doubt the best of the movies that tell the story of the tragic end of the Titanic. Only the last 30 minutes of the movie hint at any kind of danger. I think the movie would have been better if danger were presented as a possibility throughout the entire movie and eventually leading up to the sinking of the Titanic.

  • Jul 07, 2019

    After winning a trip on the RMS Titanic during a dockside card game, American Jack Dawson spots the society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater who is on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé Caledon Hockley. Rose feels helplessly trapped by her situation and makes her way to the aft deck and thinks of suicide until she is rescued by Jack. Cal is therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffers through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirits Rose off to third-class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future all together, Rose asks Jack, who has made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal has given her. Cal finds out and has Jack locked away. Soon afterwards, the ship hits an iceberg and Rose must find Jack while both must run from Cal even as the ship sinks deeper into the freezing water.

    After winning a trip on the RMS Titanic during a dockside card game, American Jack Dawson spots the society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater who is on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé Caledon Hockley. Rose feels helplessly trapped by her situation and makes her way to the aft deck and thinks of suicide until she is rescued by Jack. Cal is therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffers through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirits Rose off to third-class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future all together, Rose asks Jack, who has made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal has given her. Cal finds out and has Jack locked away. Soon afterwards, the ship hits an iceberg and Rose must find Jack while both must run from Cal even as the ship sinks deeper into the freezing water.

  • Feb 22, 2019

    There is no computer generated glitz here -- just a well-thought out portrayal of one of the twentieth century's first disasters. Stanwyck is the center of this drama as the children and her husband interact with her throughout the film, even at the end when she laments that the years have gone by wasted, even though we all see it was her husband who wasted them. Everything else is forgotten as Stanwyck sits in her lifeboat and watches as the ship lurches and sinks into the bitter coldness of the sea -- taking the son she cherished with it, as well as the husband whose recent conversion she had left Europe to escape.

    There is no computer generated glitz here -- just a well-thought out portrayal of one of the twentieth century's first disasters. Stanwyck is the center of this drama as the children and her husband interact with her throughout the film, even at the end when she laments that the years have gone by wasted, even though we all see it was her husband who wasted them. Everything else is forgotten as Stanwyck sits in her lifeboat and watches as the ship lurches and sinks into the bitter coldness of the sea -- taking the son she cherished with it, as well as the husband whose recent conversion she had left Europe to escape.

  • Feb 15, 2019

    An unhappily married couple struggle to deal with their problems while on board the ill-fated ship. The 1912 sinking of the luxury liner Titanic is used as a backdrop for a several fictional subplots, chief of which involves snooty socialite Clifton Webb and his wife Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck has booked passage on the ill-fated passenger ship with her daughter (Audrey Dalton) and son (Harper Carter), leaving Webb far behind. Webb manages to board the ship at the last minute, and discovers that Stanwyck plans to divorce him; she further informs him that he is not the father of their son. Though Stanwyck and Clifton Webb make for an unlikely married couple, this b/w Oscar-winning 1953 melodrama about the sinking of the famous liner is worth seeing. Not as big as James Cameron's computer-generated bonanza, but it's nonetheless impressive. Exciting, well-acted version of the infamous voyage

    An unhappily married couple struggle to deal with their problems while on board the ill-fated ship. The 1912 sinking of the luxury liner Titanic is used as a backdrop for a several fictional subplots, chief of which involves snooty socialite Clifton Webb and his wife Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck has booked passage on the ill-fated passenger ship with her daughter (Audrey Dalton) and son (Harper Carter), leaving Webb far behind. Webb manages to board the ship at the last minute, and discovers that Stanwyck plans to divorce him; she further informs him that he is not the father of their son. Though Stanwyck and Clifton Webb make for an unlikely married couple, this b/w Oscar-winning 1953 melodrama about the sinking of the famous liner is worth seeing. Not as big as James Cameron's computer-generated bonanza, but it's nonetheless impressive. Exciting, well-acted version of the infamous voyage

  • May 26, 2018

    I’m not a fan of black and white old fashioned movies

    I’m not a fan of black and white old fashioned movies