Night to Remember A (1958)
Though it didn’t achieve anywhere near the box office success (nor critical acclaim) domestically (or worldwide) that the Academy Award winning Best Picture Titanic (1997) did this historical drama gives a more accurate accounting of the facts surrounding the famous ocean liner’s demise. It’s based on Walter Lord’s well researched book about the incident. Directed by Roy Ward Baker and featuring a screenplay by Eric Ambler (The Cruel Sea (1953)) this telling includes much more detail about the Californian the nearby ship that tragically did not hear the sinking ship’s distress calls nor correctly interpret its signal rockets and the Carpathia the ship which answered the call and rescued the too few survivors (700 out of 2200!). Plus without a fictionalized love story like the one added to (1953’s Titanic and) the most recent film it’s considerably shorter (especially the time it takes until the ship and its passengers are in peril). However several of the actual story-lines (even some specific scenes) will be familiar to those who’ve seen the later film. While not on the same scale as the Oscar winner the Special Effects are more than adequate for this B&W picture. The cast is/was largely unknown though many movie fans will recognize Kenneth More who plays the Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller Anthony Bushell as Captain Arthur Rostron (of the Carpathia) and David McCallum (one of his earliest roles) as Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride particularly those who’ve seen a fair number of other British productions.