A Night To Remember has been given a tremendous coat of polish for its release into the Criterion Collection. This 1958 film is the original Titanic, albeit which much better acting and less fluffy plot. The film is a veritable who’s who of actors from this period; Laurence Naismith takes on the role of Captain Edward J. Smith, while Ronald Allen is Mr. Clarke and John Cairney is Mr. Murphy. What A Night to Remember does is establish that a film with a large cast can allow a variety of actors ample time to get across their character’s motivations and desires. What results with A Night to Remember is two hours of suspense; while viewers know exactly what is going to happen to everyone on-screen, the acting will have an audience riveted to their seats.
The DVD features are numerous, including a commentary hosted by Ken Marschall and Don Lynch, who are experts in all things Titanic. I dug the inclusion of The Iceberg That Sang the “Titanic,” a BBC-made documentary the goes into detail about the specific course of events that lead to the singing of the Titanic. Make sure to read the included booklet, which includes an article written by Michael Sragow that describes the importance of the film in the larger context of film. Make sure to view the 1993 documentary about the making of the film, which touches upon the intricacies of making this title, 35 years out. Criterion has made the definitive version of A Night To Remember; pick up a copy of the DVD or Blu-Ray version and well-stocked local stores or at a number of online retailers. Check out the Criterion site for more information about their 2012 slate of releases.
A Night to Remember (DVD) / 2012 Criterion Collection / http://www.criterion.com