Although James Cameron’s “TITANIC” is not only the most successful film about the great ship’s disaster, but one of the most successful films of all time, “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER” is arguably a better film. FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT has released yet another fine retelling of the events surrounding the ships’ sinking with the 1953 film, “TITANIC”.
There’s plenty of melodrama here, and why shouldn’t there be? After all, this one’s got Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Wagner together! Stanwyck plays Julia, on board the Titanic with her two children, hoping to finally start a new life with them in America, away from her rich husband, played by Clifton Webb. While her daughter is angry about a romantic arrangement coming apart, her romantic urges are instantly awakened at the sight of a college preppie(Wagner). Of course, all of relationships, old and new, will take on new meaning as the ship moves ahead towards its fate at sea.
With all of the melodrama, Stanwyck still stands out with grace. The film’s imperfect, but highly entertaining. The effects, often feel amateur in comparison to what Cameron was able to achieve with CGI, but there’s something still thoroughly enjoyable about seeing the obvious miniature version of the ship as it moves across a miniature setting(for the ocean)with old fashioned effects for steam, etc.
FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT has presented a wonderful transfer for this release. The black & white image is in pristine shape, with minimal signs of age. It’s an almost glossy picture throughout, and the contrast is terrific, with deep blacks and grays.
The audio is fine for the most part, with dialogue never sounding harsh, however, fidelity is sometimes limited.
FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT has included a documentary, which while entertaining, also has a fair amount of needless filler. What makes it worthwhile is the footage from other “Titanic” films. A Nazi version of “TITANIC” was even made, and is astounding to watch! Of course in this version, the English get their comeuppance, and a German officer on board(never happened) is the only truly heroic one on board the fated ship.
An audio essay with an expert on the disaster, Silvia Stoddard, is included, but it’s lacking in anything new.
FOX has included not one, but “two” running commentaries! One is with noted film critic, Richard Shickel, and while it has its silent passages and dull spots, is still insightful, educational, “and” entertaining.
A 2nd commentary, again with “expert” Silvia Stoddard and cinematographer Michael Lonza, is pretty ho-hum. However, Robert Wagner and Audrey Dalton appear sporadically, almost making it worthwhile.
Add to this newsreel footage and a trailer, and this is one extremely worthwhile addition to every dvd collection.