- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Joe M
I though the film was excellent, and in black and white brings a certain reality. The characters in the film were true to life. It was just basic as what happened on that night and the tragic situation and ending. It with a personal situation gave it feeling as to a situation as probably many friends and families endured in those 2 1/2 hours.The picture was designed in some ways to portray a documentary of this circumstance that has lived on till now and in the future for all to remember and possibly never think that something like this could not happen again.One review by a professional said that the 1997 film was better because of effects, well 1953 they did not have the ability or budgets like they had in 1997, the picture A Night to Remember I never saw and so I cannot comment in any way.
The creation of the events surrounding the characters of Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck iS fictional, but that story line does add to the flow of the movie. I suppose I, too, prefer the British version (A Night To Remember) but that does not take away from this version. Their story (especially the drama about their son) helps us to focus on one family and the awful choices that had to be made that night by so many whose lives were lost. There is faithfulness to the facts in this film, to a large degree, and no director could ever improve on what truly happened that terrible night. The black and white works so well because it takes the viewer back to 1912. I'd rank this film as a gem. As a teacher, I've shown this version in history classes and it appears to have met with the often rigorous standards created by adolescents . The discussion after the film is among the best of every academic year. Kids tend to be fascinated by anything related to Titanic and the personal stories seem to haunt their imagination. This is a film that is well worth watching.
None of the reviews mention the Nazi German version made about 1940 ,although made as anti British propaganda , its not bad and is worth a look .
- Karen Ellis
I enjoyed watching the actors in this movie, as they made it very realistic for me. Barbara Stanwyck was outstanding! As was Clifton Webb. I think Jean negulesco did a good job of portraying the human drama.
today gal in Victorian drag
- don letta
My favorite of all the films of the Titanic tragedy is the British one from 1957. One reason is that it featured no major stars, allowing he audience to concentrate on the story itself.This 1953 version is chock-a-block with familiar faces, which detracts from the real drama. I like Stanwyck, but she was a today gal. No matter what the time it was filmed, her contemporary work was far better than her period pieces.Seeing her in a Pompadour wig and lace gowns is seeing her Act. Even though she hands the acting honors in this one over to Webb, who did a sterling job. While the shipwreck is handled well, it remains static and one-note throughout.Even Thelma Ritter who has saved many a turkey from tanking, couldn't add enough spice to make a difference.If you recognised the voice of Mrs. J.J. Astor, it was Frances Bergen... Candace's mother. No mystery where C got her looks.
The Best Version of This Tragic Story
Like other reviewers here, I believe Maltin missed it this time. I have seen the British "A Night to Remember" and the sappy, implausible melodrama of 1997. The elegance of "Titanic" propels this to the top. The producers pulled more empathy and emotion out of me in less time and with a fraction of the cost as the 1997 film. Thank you Turner Classic for offering this on the schedule occasionally. Gets me every time.
call me paranoid but..
the only move left for a remake would involve oliver stone and a grassy hill. the iceberg was just a patsy.
Born in the 20th century.
I do not understand why anyone could give the glitzy De Caprio version four stars. The USA version, which has a dozen major stars, and a substantial number of sub plots that do not hammer the fact that social class exists, and certainly did in 1912. The world did not begin in 2000, and films made in the past, showing events that are closer to the time of the event and the making of the film, in this case the British version which was based on the book writen by the highest surviving officer of the Titanic.
What a pleasure to watch such fine acting.
The understated, nuanced acting from the entire ensemble is superb. Leonard Maltin is wrong. This is in every way superior to the 1997 extravaganza.
- Theresa P
This is one of my new favorite movies. I feel so lucky to have seen this. The family's relationships are poignantly portrayed. Incredible performances by Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb. And the filming of the ship and the remaining men at the end - what a gripping story in itself. Thank you once again Turner Classic!
Three version of Titanic
Many films have been reproduced, and Titanic is no exception. I do not think anyone, at least anyone born in the 20th century would think the last glitzy version was the best. Re the British, A night to remember is better than the American Titanic 1953 film may be like asking whether you like tea, or coffee. The answer may depend on which side of the Ocean you were born. I would have to give an edge to the USA version due to the two leading stars, as opposed to the British version, which did not have a major headliner. I would grant that the British film seems more technically correct, inasmuch as it was based on a book written by the highest ranking surviving officer. But I like the US version because it shows a basic truth, and that a lot of things we think important, really are not when the water reaches your ankles.
I was Pleasantly Surprised by my Crying
This was the first time I had seen this movie all the way through. (Previously I'd seen the first 30 minutes about 3 times.) It had me interested because it's the Titanic and Barbara Stanwyck, together. I really wasn't sure how much I would like it because I had seen Cameron's Titanic 3 times in the theater (which I've never seen a movie even twice before in a theater) and each time I had cried like a baby! (Once I had even cried through my kleenex so bad I had to get up and go to the restroom sobbing. Embarrassing.) So I said all that because while I was excited to see Stanwyxk in a Titanic movie I didn't think it could hold a candle to Cameron's. Well, I was wrong. I really enjoyed this movie. I liked the fact it was under two hours, yet it still made me tear up and hold in my crying. And now I won't even watch Cameron's Titanic. It's too long and too overdone and too "Twilight" with Rose and Jack. This story is more mature and more realistic. A very good movie, indeed.
- Renee C
I can not agree with Mr. Maltin's review for one main reason. This movie was made 44 years ago and therefore should not be compared to newer versions. I enjoyed this movie more than James Cameron's version. It had a story with an actual meaning, instead of following a one couple, who seemed to be more important to the movie than the ship and people themselves. Without having all the information of what was uncovered after the Titanic hearings were completed and the files were made public, I think they did an remarkable job. I plan on purchasing the movie to have for my collection.
The Best TITANIC
- Jery Tillotson
This powerful black and white drama of the Titanic still surpasses all the other versions--yes, even the James Cameron extravaganza. Cameron turned this unforgettable sea tragedy to a Romeo and Juliet love story that went on and on and could have benefitted by at least 30 to 45 minutes cut.But in this l953 version, we're told the story through a battling married couple who somehow rediscover their love before the tragic end of the doomed liner.We've got two towering professionals: Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb who make us believe in them as tragic characters. Both shine throughout and we feel genuine pathos at the end when they're parted.The production and cast members are all superb and the script rightfully won an Academy Award. The dialogue is adult, gripping and adds immeasurably to the sense of doom.A young Robert Wagner can be seen, along with Audrey Dalton.This version was first conceived by that masterful genius, David O. Selznick back in the early l940s as a Technicolor spectacular but World War II curtailed such an idea because of the physical materials that would be needed for bringing this legendary tragedy to life on the screen. James Cameron re-conceived this original concept and his final product certainly its champions but to me, this stunning black and white version has all the punch and emotional intensity that the other versions lack.Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb are unforgettable and they'll linger in your mind long after you've seen them on the screen.
I first saw this film as a young girl and it forever convinced me I would never take an ocean voyage and I haven't! I later saw "A Night to Remember" and it only solidified my feeling about ocean liners. The modern version "Titanic" was beautiful in its cinematography but I much prefer the other two versions. This iteration was superbly acted by Clifton Webb as Mr. Sturgess, the curmudgeon who had left his family once he found out his son was not his biological progeny. His later redemption through the bravery of his son is worth watching the entire film for. The incomparable Barbara Stanwyck as Mrs. Sturgess adds much to this film. The stoicism of the crew and the men and women who stayed behind does belie the fact that in reality there really was panic and many dived overboard from the ship. The one thing I did not quite understand is the use of the name Maude Young (wonderfully acted by Thelma Ritter) when the character was clearly based on Molly Brown. They used the actual name of Titanic's captain and disguising Mrs. Brown's name was a bit strange.
Leonard Maltlin is half correct.
Critic Leonard Maltlin agrees that this film, staring American Actors, is not up to Night to Rember, the British version. This film is still better than the latest production of the Titanic Disaster, with all its color, bells and whistles. The Titanic sinking is one of the all time disasters, which has captured the imagination of the world. The word Titanic is now a word used frequently to desribe other disasters. Making a film about such an event can go either to historically correct. In the British version, the surviving highest ranking Officer is the main star, told from his viewpoint. Despite most films that come across as documentaries, the British version, as Matlin would agree, is the best. However, he seems to place the last US version on a higher pedistal than I would place it. That version, was more of a social commentary made with the vision of a later age. In 1912, the world was 2 years away from WWI, which altered society more than any other event. The dominance of male superiority, the rich, and the underclass of emigrants, was more effectively portrayed in the two other films. I recommend watching all three at the same time, and see if you do not agree with my assesment.
- Jay Higgins
This bears little resemblance to the 1997 epic, this story focuses on a particular family and their ups and downs. Very engrossing and well written, great production and cast. Barbara Stanwyck is excellent as always.
The real "Titanic"
The 1953 version of "Titanic" is so much better a film production that the newer release. The older version, just aired on TCM stars the divine 46yo Barbara Stanwyck. Her performance is the centerpiece of the film. The focus of the film is much better placed upon how the Titanic's crew tried to the bitter cold end to get another nearby ship to come to their passengers' rescue. The newer version is a soaper and slobbering romance. While Stanwyck's role is about a wife's marriage on the rocks, her performance doesn't overshadow the seriousness of the disaster at sea. Robert Wagner also gives a fine supporting performance.