Tag Archives: A Night To Remember

Titanic news to Start the new year

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year celebration. To get the year off, here is some Titanic news for your consideration.

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The Titanic’s Forgotten Sister (Forbes, 1 Jan 2019)
Olympic’s story illustrates an important lesson that technologies generally evolve gradually and not in sudden spurts. As Henry Petroski reminds us, engineers learn from failure and innovate to avoid making mistakes in the future. From the sinking of the Titanic, naval architects learned how to properly design watertight compartments, company managers realized the business value in having fancier staterooms and of course, everyone saw the necessity of having more lifeboats, safety drills and radio communications. Olympic, in large measure, was only able to have a long and successful career because her owners and captains had learned from the loss of her younger sister.
Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/berniecarlson/2019/01/01/the-titanics-forgotten-sister/#3e3bad942706

Book Your Place For The Last Chance To See The Titanic Shipwreck (Forbes, 31 Dec 2018)
And now, more than a century after her sinking, the Titanic is about to welcome new guests courtesy of OceanGate’s Titanic Survey Expedition, conducting six missions to the wreck between June and August 2019 in its appropriately named Titan submersible. And while such expeditions are usually reserved for experts and researchers, OceanGate has opened up its invitation to regular citizen explorers like you and me.
Source:https://www.forbes.com/sites/duncanmadden/2018/12/31/book-your-place-for-the-last-chance-to-see-the-titanic-shipwreck/#20eaee4537ca

‘Night to Remember’ featured Titanic survivor from Alabama (AdvanceLocal-Alabama,21 Dec 2018)
As the ship slipped under, Gracie jumped into the frigid water, eventually managing to cling to an overturned collapsible lifeboat until he was rescued and taken aboard the Carpathia. He was traumatized and injured, however; his body covered with cuts and bruised. He never fully recovered from the ordeal and died in Dec. 4, 1912. Before he died, he completed a rough manuscript of a book of his experiences called “The Truth about the Titanic.” It was published in 1913.Gracie IV is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York. His headstone is etched with the words “Hero of the S.S. Titanic.”
Source:https://www.al.com/alabama/2018/12/night-to-remember-featured-titanic-survivor-from-alabama.html

Titanic Musings

Wikimedia Commons (Wiegee)
Wikimedia Commons (Wiegee)

*Last year there was a theory that large numbers of icebergs in 1912 were caused by a rare celestial alignment. The theory, such as it was, received a yawn from the Titanic community. It does not matter whether the icebergs in 1912 were caused by a celestial alignment, a warmer current, or perhaps Marvin the Martian playing with his weapon on Mars. Titanic struck an iceberg because a lot of things went wrong. There was complacency of all kinds from the Board of Trade to Captain Smith deciding to speed up Titanic on a cold, moonless night through an iceberg field. Now researchers at Sheffield University disputes there was an abnormal amount of icebergs in 1912. They claim there was a “raised iceberg hazard” but it was not exceptional. But hold on because they claim that now it is much more dangerous because there is more ship traffic in the Arctic. And this means more iceberg incidents will occur. Well of course if your are moving through areas where icebergs normally float around in, the possibility of hitting one is not remote. Easy to avoid the ones that can be seen but no so the ones just under the surface or getting to close to a berg that has a much larger base underwater than can be seen.
Source: Titanic Theory Put On Ice: Icebergs Were Not At Dangerously High Levels In 1912 – But They Are Today
(9 April 2014,Daily Mail)

Lightoller, right, with third officer Herbert Pitman. Image: Public Domain
Lightoller, right, with third officer Herbert Pitman.
Image: Public Domain

* The upcoming Titanic memorabilia auction by Henry Aldridge includes a four page statement signed by Titanic’s surviving officers called “Letter of Marine Protest.” This document, signed by Titanic’s surviving officers, is part of the insurance claim White Star Line submitted. Henry Aldridge says of the document: “It is fascinating that the officers would seem to minimize their encounter with the rather large and ominous iceberg by describing it as a ‘small low-lying iceberg’. This could possibly have been an attempt to downplay the size of the iceberg due to the question of liability and who was to blame for the sinking.” Anyone who has submitted claims to insurance companies knows they want the who, what, when, and how the incident occurred. So the document says the date, time and location where it occurred that the ship collided with the iceberg. The iceberg is described as “ ‘growler’, or small low-lying iceberg.” To be fair to Charles Lightoller, the senior surviving officer, he did not see the iceberg and descriptions of it varied. I am not sure that saying it was low lying minimizes or changes the fact that colliding with it caused ruptures in the hull that sank Titanic. The lookouts did not see it until it was nearly upon them due to there being no moon and the stillness of the ocean. Other things are boiled down to simple factual statements like: “On examination it was found water was coming into several compartments; all hands were called on deck, the boats were ordered to be cleared, and subsequently filled with women and children.”

Later thanks to survivor accounts and witness statements at American and British inquiries, we learn much more about what happened. The insurance company–Atlantic Mutual–had to determine whether the loss was covered or not. Were the officers and in particular Captain Smith negligent in full or in part for what happened?If they denied the claim arguing Smith was negligent, they would have to prove that in court. Who handled the ice warnings and why were they not plotted out? Those and other questions would have to be answered in court. Did Smith know the danger or did one of his junior officers fail to inform him? Get the picture? It would be difficult to prove in court whether Smith was really at fault or one of his junior officers. You could argue indifference or complacency but it would be a long legal battle that might take years to resolve. They choose to pay likely because it would cost more in the long run to litigate the matter and end up paying more in the end. Did Lightoller cover up for Smith or other officers who did not properly plot out the ice field from the warnings received? Possibly but the statements given in the document are factually accurate and meant to neither overplay or underplay anything. Just the basic facts, to paraphrase Sergeant Friday from Dragnet. Atlantic Mutual paid out £3 million (one news report said Titanic was insured for $5 million). When Titanic was discovered in 1985 and later a salvage award was issued, I believe they or a successor company put a claim in with RMS Titanic, Inc. A settlement was reached and the amount paid to them confidential.
Source(s):
1. Titanic Insurance Claim To Be Sold(10 April 2014,Irish Independent**)
2.TITANIC INSURED FOR $5,000,000(Encylopedia Titanica)

*The Titanic Effect is something I call that happens when people recall other maritime disasters that are less known. Consider what is called “Minnesota’s Titanic.” On 13 Jul 1890, a paddlewheeler called Sea Wing was smashed by a wave and turned over killing 98 people (mostly teenagers and young adults). Ben Threinen and Fred Johnson are preparing a documentary about this tragedy so that people remember what happened. Most are stunned when they learn of it says Johnson. And properly so.
Source:Documentary To Recount ‘Minnesota’s Titanic’(11 April 2014,Post Bulletin)

*Dr. Paul Lee is involved in a new project called Titanic Global Database. He is collecting locations “relevant to the Titanic society as an aid to researchers and tourists. ” He plans to add new locations each week but the project is huge and is just starting. You can visit his website at paullee.com.

*With another anniversary of Titanic’s sinking nearly upon us, I always take out two videos to watch. One is the 1958 movie A Night To Remember (based on the excellent book by Walter Lord). Although it was made long ago, it still does the story right and never fails to entertain. Another is the excellent A&E documentary which goes through everything with interviews from survivors, researchers, and others. And it is narrated by David McCallum (Ducky on NCIS) who played Harold Bride in the 1958 movie.

Amy and Samy Outside Restaurant. Photo: Fox
Amy and Samy Outside Restaurant.
Photo: Fox

*Kitchen Nightmares is back! Once again we find out how bad some restaurants can become and in dire need of Gordon Ramsay’s help. Of course the season could not start without first going over what happened at the now infamous Amy’s Baking Company. It was the rare episode in which Gordon realized there was nothing he could do since Crazy Amy and Samy The Hammer were totally in denial about what was wrong. They were not interested in anything Gordon had to say or suggest. And America saw two people who either were the greatest actors of all time or truly crazed. The Internet went wild and so did they in responding. From what I saw, it looks like they have not changed much and in fact angrier than before. Now they are making wild claims that Gordon Ramsay sexually harassed Crazy Amy. They make this claim in a video and are declining to take it down despite threats from Fox and the production company. You can view the video at Radaronline. However on their recent appearance on Dr. Phil, they did not make this claim.

**Links to Republic of Ireland newspapers are not provided due to pay for links policy.


Review: Titanic(2012)

There were high expectations for this Titanic miniseries. Julian Fellowes, well known Titanic(2012)actor, novelist, and film director was writing the script. It promised a fresh look at Titanic and was co-produced by Canada, Hungary, and UK production companies. Released in time for the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, it was seen by a world-wide audience on various broadcast networks. The miniseries has an astonishing 89 main characters, unheard of in most serials of this kind. Despite the wealth of source material to draw upon, the serial is part Upstairs, Downstairs tossed in with bits and pieces of action adventure. Oh and a strange love connection that makes no sense anywhere except in a television serial.

What this reminded me of was Winds of War, the ABC miniseries drawn from Herman Wouk’s book of the same name. Wouk’s book was historical fiction using real history as a backdrop. The fictional Henry family moved through the history at different levels (high and low). Real historical figures were mixed in with fictional ones. The result was a blending that one might forget is fictional. And Fellowes follows that formula by blending real historical characters with fictional ones. One character I thought that played well was Captain Edward J. Smith. Smith was known as a tough captain and did not tolerate officers or crew disobeying his orders.

Smith’s depiction in A Night To Remember was of a captain barking out orders after the iceberg hit. This serial gets it right (and also a little wrong too). The serial implies he had to be summoned when in fact he came out right away. He summoned Thomas Andrews and they both went below to access the damage. That was when, as depicted correctly, he realized the impact of what was to happen. Nearly over 1500 people were going to be thrown to the sea as the lifeboats, if filled to capacity, would hold 1,178. That realization is perhaps why Smith went into shock later and never barked out orders. He had to be asked to lower lifeboats and other things.

Other things seem out of place, such as Murdoch having reservations about increasing speed due to icebergs. Or the justification for sending out lifeboats half-full to prevent them from splitting (they were fully tested by Harland & Wolff). Ismay getting into a lifeboat as it is going down (which did not happen). We also have Catholic vs Protestants, Irish home rule, social revolutionaries like Lord Manton’s daughter Georgianna agitating for women’s rights, or violent revolutionaries like Peter Pubov (based upon the real figure Peter the Painter). More nauseating are some characters who just are rude, unpleasant, and would make you long to grab a lifeboat and row away (Muriel Batley, Lord Manton’s wife Louisa, Grace Rushton).

More confusing was how the serial was presented. It jumped back and forth in time in each episode. Instead of showing the whole thing in one continuous stream, we switch back and forth to learn more about various characters or historical situations. I found this odd for a historical drama. Italians were probably incensed at how they were treated on Titanic. One scene has the waiters for the Italian restaurant locked up and left to die because they did not want them running around on deck (fiction). There are genuinely sad moments as well, like when Jim Maloney finds his daughter Theresa below but they are trapped by a locked gate. Or when Annie Desmond finds Paolo in the rescue lifeboat dead.

In the end, Titanic was not the worst serial ever done but just not that good. Fellowes tried too hard to convey the social, political and other issues of that time. Nor was it all historically accurate in many places either (like the fictional debate over lifeboats). People who know Titanic history will shake their heads at the many historical inaccuracies conveyed. If you are going to do historical fiction, at least make the real historical characters do and say what they actually did.

Final score: **1/2
What to watch for: Good acting, decent sets.

Titanic(2012) is available on dvd and streaming (Netflix).


My Favorite Titanic Movie

Titanic
(Photo courtesy George Behe)

Many Titanic enthusiasts were first drawn to Titanic by the 1958 movie A Night To Remember. The movie was based on Walter Lord’s historical book of the same name. Another movie, Titanic (1953), starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck, was also around as well. The 1953 movie was fiction but placed the characters on the doomed ship. Of the two though, A Night To Remember is a more faithful retelling of the tragic story of what happened in 1912.

Cinema rarely presents history the way it happened. Writers, directors, producers like to embellish or change things that look good on screen. Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day recounts the events prior to and on 6 June 1944. The movie version does alter a few things, namely the landing on Omaha Beach. Anyone who has read the accounts, watched documentaries, or seen Saving Private Ryan realizes how bloody awful it was. From the moment the landing craft got near, they came under withering German fire. Many were killed in the landing craft, some drowned in the water due the heavy weight of their gear, many junior officers were dead moments upon arrival leaving it up to the sergeants and corporals to lead their decimated units. So it is no surprise that even a near faithful treatment of Titanic would take some dramatic license.

A Night To Remember opens up with a christening, something Harland & Wolff never did. They did have a ceremony where guests where invited to see the new ship slide into the water. The early scene with Lightoller and his wife on the train likely did not happen either. Lightoller is chastised by an older couple when reading aloud a soap advertisement (an actual one for Vinola) and making fun of it. They assumed he was critical of the ship but are forgiving when he is revealed as an officer aboard the ship and making fun of the advertising. We see different types of people from the very rich to the poor setting out on their journey to Titanic. We get a sense right away of the very stark differences in class that existed in that time. The poorest go with what they had and could carry while the rich came with servants and lots of baggage. Most of the characters used in the movie are based on real people and there are some composites as well.

We also see the stark differences between two other ships and captains-Captain Stanley Lord of Californian and Captain Arthur Rostron of Carpathia. Both of these ships play a critical role in the Titanic story. When Rostron is informed of the emergency message from Titanic, he quickly springs into action. Lord, since the radio operator is off-duty has no idea what is happening to Titanic and does not investigate when rockets are sighted. We also see the various characters react to the sinking and the acts of sacrifice that take place. Titanic captain Edward J. Smith appears decisive unlike what was learned later at the hearings. In fact, he had to be asked what to do by many of the officers instead of barking out orders as the movie depicts. Most likely the fact that many were going to die was something that weighed heavily on his mind.

Keen observers will notice some actors that became well known later. Honor Blackman, who was the first female accomplice on The Avengers and Pussy Galore on Goldfinger is in the movie as Mrs. Lucas. Those who remember Man From Uncle or like the character of Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS will notice David McCallum as assistant wireless officer Harold Bride. Bernard Fox, whose Colonel Crittendon made live miserable for Colonel Hogan on Hogan’s Heroes, plays lookout Frederick Fleet (he was also in Cameron’s Titanic playing Colonel Archibald Gracie). Sean Connery plays a Titanic deck hand. Kenneth More, a well known British actor in the 1950’s, plays the role of Charles Lightoller. There are many others who will look familiar if you watched movies or television from this period.

The movie was done in black and white, but there may be copies out there in color. The Criterion Collection of this movie is the one to purchase or rent. Also this version has been digitally restored and some of the older copies are not that good. There are extras well worth considering if you plan to purchase. First the audio commentary by Titanic authors Don Lynch and Ken Marschall fills in a lot of detail as you watch the movie, often correcting what the movie does not depict correctly or adding lots of interesting details. A 60 minute documentary about the making of the movie and, perhaps even better, an archival interview with Titanic survivor Eva Hart.

I would encourage, if you can, to read the book by Walter Lord. The book is extremely well written and Lord had a knack for telling a good historical story. He wrote a sequel after Titanic was discovered in 1985 called The Night Lives On that deals with what was learned afterwards. He actually wrote a lot of history books. His one on Pearl Harbor attack (Day of Infamy) is still considered on the best in that area. His The Miracle of Dunkirk really nails what it was like to be trapped with Germans advancing on you with the only hope rescue from the sea. It also includes, for those who did not know, how Charles Lightoller (the same one from Titanic) became a hero rescuing soldiers and bringing them home to Britain. His book on the Battle of Midway (Incredible Victory)details how the battle came about. Some of his books may be available digitally.

So as you decide what to watch for the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, consider the 1958 A Night To Remember. I think you will like it it. It will not have all the lush colors of Cameron’s Titanic, but it tells a story that will be worth the watch.


Titanic Musings

With the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking over, things have quieted down. News wires were jammed with Titanic themed stories, sometimes just repeating what others wrote. There were remembrances galore, Titanic dinners, heartfelt commemorations. And then inevitably come the commentators all trying to write that piece that sums up Titanic. I lit a candle and watched the movie  A Night To Remember based on Walter Lord’s book of the same name. Though we have modern treatments like Cameron’s and a recent BBC miniseries, this movie still resonates.

I recommend the Criterion collection version which has commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. They provide lots of interesting details, historical and otherwise, to the movie. The movie does a good job of visualizing Lord’s book but does shift around some things and not always historically accurate (like the opening scene which depicts a ceremony christening Titanic which never happened). Captain Smith comes across as more decisive in the movie but in actuality less so. The movie tends to show the crew working better than in reality in lowering lifeboats. On Titanic most of the crew and officers were unfamiliar with the ship and there were no drills. We see also how frightening it was to step into those boats seeing how far down they had to be lowered. We also see two very different reactions to Titanic’s sinking on California and Carpathia.

The depiction of Lord in that movie caused the real Captain Lord to seek a new investigation believing he had been unfairly maligned. Lord came under severe criticism in 1912 for failing to act. Conflicting testimony and Lord’s own statement the ship seemed to steam away gave rise to theories of a third ship, but that has never been proven. What is damning is that neither the officers or him were that interested in that ship to wake-up the wireless operator. Had they done so the SOS would have been heard. Rostron on Carpathia sprung into immediate action once he got the information and immediately set off. It is that standard that Lord, fair or not, is held to. Now had Lord had learned the same information at the same time as Carpathia, the outcome would have been the same. Both would have arrived long after the sinking and most passengers had died. So to blame Lord for Titanic deaths is a stretch and both of those captains heeded the ice warnings and stopped for the night while Captain Smith sped on.

There are many stories associated with Titanic and one notable is about Isidor and Ida Straus. When Isidor declined a seat on a lifeboat insisting that women and younger men be saved before him, Ida declined a seat saying “I will not be separated from my husband.”  As we have lived so will we die together.” It is one of those stories, told by witnesses afterwords, that had a lingering impact on people who learned of it. Such a remarkable show of love and devotion tends to do that. While most people learn that Isidor Strauss owned Macy’s not much else is reported about his life. Wikipedia has a biographical sketch but does not give you a feel for who he really was.

Thankfully an article in Jewish Ideas Daily does. Born in 1845 in Otterberg, Germany, his family immigrated to America in 1854 and settled in Talbotton, Georgia. While his family was Jewish, the family no longer was observant and ate bacon from their own smokehouse. He tried enlisting in the Confederate Army but was too young (16) and spent the war working as a store clerk. After the war the family moved to New York where he and his brother Nathan ran a shop selling family glassware and crockery at Macy’s Department Store. By 1896 both Isidor and Nathan took over ownership after the Macy family decided to sell making Isidor a very wealthy man.

Despite having no Jewish education and a secularist, he supported many Jewish institutions and causes even many he did not agree with. He was ardently anti-Zionist and wrote scathingly of its cause. His brother Nathan though was a supporter after a trip to the Holy Land. Ida was more appreciative of Jewish traditions reminding her grown children to remember Pasach and to eat Matzos. Like many he believed himself no longer Jewish but assimilated. Isidor and Ida’s deaths was mourned. Many Jews had died on Titanic but their story was the most well known. Memorial services were held in many places, a park in their name opened three years later (Straus Park). There is a memorial plaque on the first floor of Macy’s in New York, a public school named after them, and Straus Hall at Harvard (a gift from his three sons).

Walter Lord Still Lives On

Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember  first published in 1955 is enjoying record sales, print and e-versions. According to an AP report, 30,000 downloads of the e-edition were recorded by Open Road Integrated Media–the digital publisher. This is an excellent book. Check your local library to see if they have the old or newer editions of the book. It is worth reading and Lord’s excellent writing style does not disappoint. His book about Dunkirk is also highly praised. Worth a read if you come across it.

The Dark Side of Titanic

Gerry Adams penned an op-ed piece in the Irish Echo about Titanic. Adams, of course, was one of those agitating against the British in Northern Ireland for many years. So it comes as no surprise, despite the peace accords, that he would take a whack at British dominated Ireland in 1912. Harland & Wolff did not hire many Catholics, some were expelled, beaten or even killed. He writes further of the bad conditions Catholics endured and the divisions festered by government and business owners. It is interesting that while Adams praises the promising jobs created by Titanic themed building in Belfast, he wants no one to forget the society that built it. He praises Titanic but rues the society that built it.

Here We Go Again….Titanic II

Right after James Cameron’s movie came out there were people saying they wanted to build Titanic II. Nothing came of them, except lots of chatter on the Internet. Fast forward to 2012 and guess what? Some very rich guy who lives down under wants to build Titanic II. Oh and with Chinese help! It is his money, of course, so he is free to spend it as he wishes. However one wonders if it all just publicity stunt for something else. Whatever. Not holding my breath for tickets available for Titanic II in the near future.

Tacky Titanic:Titanic icecube

 

Need I say more?


Titanic Musings

Titanic. Put that into a search engine and you get a lot back. Lots of sites to explore devoted to the subject (shameless plug alert for Titanic News Channel) along with sites that incorporate it in some fashion. Of course the entertainment news sites are full of stuff about the stars of that Cameron movie and what they think today about their roles. The movie is still widely popular and many will likely see the 3-D version. It is a visually stunning movie with perhaps the best recreation of what the ship and people looked like in 1912.

The 100th anniversary of the sinking has spurred many an event around the world, so many it is hard to keep track of. Why does Titanic still grab us long after sank in 1912? Recently while viewing an old National Geographic on India’s historic railway, the narrator noted that images linger long after leaving. And that is possibly at play here. Many who learn about Titanic get an image of a grand ship, of the people who worked on it, of the people who sailed on her from the highest to the lowest, and the image of the grand ship sinking on a cold moonless night taking with her 1,500 souls. Some were well known men and women, others just people working the ship to make money or traveling to a new life in the United States. The images linger.

Walter Lord’s  A Night To Remember (and later its sequel The Night Lives On) connected people to what happened in 1912. When it came out in 1955, people rediscovered the story which had lain dormant through two world wars and the Great Depression. It spurred a 1958 movie, A Night To Remember, which became a classic and many consider to be faithful to the actual story. Lord interviewed many Titanic survivors and did considerable research for his book. Both the movie and the book relay images from a time that linger with you. Perhaps it is seeing the Strauss’ deciding to stay aboard or Guggenheim dressed in his Sunday best. Or the people rowing away watching the ship go down. While some survivors reported the ship broke in two, that was discounted at the hearings but verified in 1985 when the wreck was found.

Other images have come into focus as well, such as seeing images of the wreck. The stern section is completely twisted and torn up likely because of trapped air inside as it went down. The front still has the outline of the famous ship but it too shows damage. Many artifacts have been brought up from the debris field, many of which are part of the traveling Titanic Exhibition. People may disagree over whether salvage was right or not, but seeing the artifacts of those who traveled aboard make the story come alive. And the story continues to thrive all over the place such as school kids doing Titanic themed projects or people putting up small displays about Titanic in a retirement home.

The wreck is suffering the ravages of time. Robert Ballard believes submarine excursions to the wreck have caused damage but there is disagreement. Some think that trash dumped by ships nearby is causing more bacteria activity that is eating away at the wreck. One thing is certain: the wreck will not last forever. Some argue the front section could be brought up (Douglas Wooley for instance) and put on display. Many, however, believe that would be an impossible task considering how deeply embedded the ship is in the sand. The images of the wreck remain with us as a haunting reminder of what if. What if this had been done instead of that. There are many things that if had been done differently might have averted the catastrophe and tragedy to come. Sometimes we get a jolt when a ship like Costa Concordia ends up on the rocks reminding all of the perils at sea even in our modern times.

There have been many notable and even worse shipwrecks than Titanic. Yet despite that Titanic lingers in the mind more than those events. The images linger.


Cameron’s Titanic In 3D For Spring 2012

Well its official according to Cinematical. A 3D version of Cameron’s Titanic is set to be released in spring 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of its sinking. I expect it will be shown somewhere, along with another great Titanic movie A Night To Remember on the same day Titanic went down. Of the two A Night To Remember is more historically accurate than Cameron’s treatment. And I am not particularly fond of 3D! This was a brief blip on the cinematical experience long ago. It failed because audiences tired of it and studios found it costly to produce. Besides those 3D glasses made you look silly. 🙂

A Night To Remember-Worth Getting The DVD

In the Titanic FAQ posted on this site, I noted that several years ago the movie A Night To Remember had been put on a computer disc and viewable through the dvd player on your computer. But I was not sure that it had been converted to a full movie dvd. As it turns out, it is available as  part of the Criterion Collection. The dvd is well worth getting for several reasons. First, the digital transfer is excellent with clear images and sound. Second, the this dvd like the computer version has the audio commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. That alone is worth the price in my book. They give a running commentary on every scene putting it all in context for those new to Titanic and those who have been avid enthusiasts for years. Finally there is a  documentary called “The Making of A Night To Remember” which has some rare behind the scenes footage.

I have seen a lot of Titanic movies over the years and I still come back to this one as the best. I know many out there like Cameron’s Titanic, which is a fine movie in its own right. But it is a fictional story set in a historical context while A Night To Remember is based upon Walter Lord’s book of the same name. Remember to get the Criterion Collection and not just some poor quality copy that is floating out there. I got mine at Amazon but I imagine other places sell it as well.