A Night to Remember (1958, Roy Ward Baker)

An ensemble version of the Titanic story without the James Cameron love story – in fact, with no lead actor at all, just a lead event. Second officer Kenneth More is first billed, followed by a hundred British actors I’ve never heard of (makes you realize just how few British actors appear in the Cameron version), and supposedly Sean Connery and Desmond Llewelyn in bit parts. A quality film, the biggest British production of the 1950’s, made as accurately as possible based on survivor accounts. Seems pioneering in that respect, that it’s a massive studio film meant to be a true-to-life account without big stars or melodramatic additions.

Roy Ward Baker (not yet fallen to the depths of Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) mixes in footage of the Mauretania and from the 1938 launching of the Queen Elizabeth, plus scenes from a Nazi-made Titanic movie. We spotted some dialogue recycled by Cameron, who reportedly loved this movie. Won a golden globe in the forgotten category “best english-language foreign film” (the only other winners: Richard III in ’56 and Woman in a Dressing Gown in ’57).