A book by Walter Lord recreating the fateful night the Titanic sank.

Publisher's Note:

She was the world's biggest-ever ship. A luxurious miracle of twentieth-century technology, the Titanic was equipped with the most ingenius safety devices of the time. Yet on a moonlit night in 1912, the "unsinkable" Titanic raced across the glassy Atlantic on her maiden voyage, with only twenty lifeboats for 2,207 passengers. A Night to Remember is the gut-wrenching, minute-by-minute account of her fatal collision with an iceberg and how the resulting tragedy brought out the best and worst in human nature. Some gave their lives for others, some fought like animals for survival. Wives beseeched husbands to join them in the boats; gentlemen went taut-lipped to their deaths in full evening dress; hundreds of steerage passengers, trapped below decks, sought help in vain. From the first distress flares to the struggles of those left adrift for hours in freezing waters, here is the legendary disaster relived by the few who survived and can never forget the many who did not.

Noder's Note: The actual estimated total of passengers aboard the Titanic was around 2,220. (705 survived.) Also, the builders of the Titanic never claimed it to be "unsinkable" - it was an article in Popular Mechanics which proclaimed the Titanic to be "practically unsinkable." The media dropped the "practically."

Noder's Note: The synopsis says "moonlit night", but there was no visible moon the night the Titanic sank.

Accipiter has been a Titanic history buff since 1985.

Short story by Geez

The uneaten pizza lay exquisitely on the scarlet padding, just ever so slightly askew, for all to see. The sign on the side of the showcase explained all the technical details – the brown spots were meat substitutes made from soy, that was common during that period in time, and the red stripes were extra tomatoes. It told how people embittered their sodas with quinine and spiced their pizzas with chili pepper. The sign told nothing, of course, of the story of the pizza, of the complicitous loved one and his zealous lover. It was not possible and there was no need. The story was known to all.

It is a strange thing. Sometimes a story is well known yet admitting knowledge of it is considered bad taste. A farm girl, walking with her city cousin and his friends could pass by the showcase, and asking of it receive a backhanded compliment for her knowledge of the topic. All knew the story, all had to remember it, yet dwelling on it for too long would surely lead to lunacy. The pizza was left laying there, a cold and somewhat tasteless souvenir to the most terrible story in the history of mankind. It was certainly A Night to Remember.

A Night to Remember (1958)
Directed by Roy Ward Baker, written by Eric Ambler based on Walter Lord's book.

A Night to Remember was obviously... well, Titanic of its time, if you excuse me for using this extremely clumsy comparison.

The movie makers managed to contact a lot of Titanic survivors, and made everything to make sure the movie felt as authentic as possible. The movie making involved building a detailed 10-meter model of the ship.

The movie mostly concentrates on the accident, leaving the leave and the travel to lesser focus. The accident is very well detailed, aside of the slightly accelerated sense in the very end.

ANItR was, to me, the movie that made me to realize the true horribleness of the whole event. I had seen the National Geography documentary and local science mag's photographs from Robert Ballard's discovery. That was when I was a kid. Nothing scary. Just black and white photos and numbers and dates and pictures of a rusting wreck. Now, this movie on the other hand... I could feel the terror creeping among the passengers.

There are some mistakes in the movie that even amateurs can spot: For example, the film begins with christening of the ship, and Titanic was never christened (the footage is from christening of Queen Elizabeth). And, of course, the ship sinks intact (but the fact that the ship broke in two was not confirmed until the wreck was found!)

Obviously, many later Titanic films are in debt to this movie; The 1997 Titanic has a couple of scenes that are clearly influenced by it, or are almost similar. (In fact, so similar that I can't remember in which movie that was. Either the makers borrowed the scenes or both made startlingly accurate depiction of eyewitness account =)

Now, I only wish I could find this on a DVD. The copy I have is actually a CD-ROM with a video as a QuickTime file; It has an UI that has all sorts of extras, including something not found in many DVDs - a full word search of movie dialogue.

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