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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • English Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Screen-specific audio commentary by Don Lynch, author, and Ken Marschall, illustrator, of Titanic-An Illustrated History
  • The Making of "A Night to Remember" (1993), a 60-minute documentary featuring William MacQuitty's rare behind-the-scenes footage

A Night to Remember

1998 Edition
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Roy Baker
Starring: Kenneth More, Honor Blackman, Michael Goodliffe, Kenneth Griffith, David McCallum, Tucker McGuire, John Merivale, Frank Lawton, Laurence Naismith, George Rose
1958 | 123 Minutes | Licensor: Rank/Carlton

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #7 | Out of print
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: May 12, 1998
Review Date: October 4, 2008

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SYNOPSIS

On April 14, 1912, just before midnight, the unsinkable Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than three hours, it had plunged to the bottom of the sea, taking with it 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers. A Night to Remember depicts the ship's final hours in an unforgettable rendering of Walter Lord's book of the same name. Now, aficionados of this terrific film can compare it to the facts with Criterion's special edition, which features screen-specific commentary by Titanic experts Don Lynch and Ken Marschall.

Forum members rate this film 8.3/10

 

Discuss the film and DVD here   


PICTURE

The Criterion Collection presents A Night to Remember in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on this dual-layered disc. The image has unfortunately not been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

For one of their earlier releases (which were usually ports of their laserdiscs) it doesnít look too bad. Sharpness and detail is pretty good, contrast is excellent, and black levels are spot on. There are some artifacts noticeable throughout, presenting some blotchy looking sequences, but itís not distracting. Well, on a regular television at least. Zooming in on a widescreen television makes these issues a little more noticeable.

The print used looks quite good overall. There are some marks and lines that appear throughout but these blemishes arenít all that heavy, though the lines are the worst offenders. The worst looking sequences involve moments where stock footage has been used.

It has its strengths and was a bit of a surprise, but the noticeable noise throughout and the fact its non-anamorphic holds it back from being a great transfer.

6/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The mono track is what it is. It sounds fine enough, voices are clear, and music and effects are strong enough. Thereís some noise and a little distortion but still easy to listen to.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

The transfer for the film is so-so but what makes this release worthwhile are the couple of supplements that are found on here. Thereís only two, but theyíre quite fantastic and really do round this release out quite nicely.

The big one is an audio commentary from Titanic experts Don Lynch and Ken Marschall, which focuses quite heavily on the accuracy of the film, and what is known about the Titanic. They cover the attention to detail on the sets and characters and even explain the actual people the characters are based on. They nit-pick a bit, pointing out little problems here and there, like the size of life jackets or the appearance of electric heaters in the rooms. They offer plenty of trivia, facts, and share stories (like the fact the captain may have actually been seen later on after the ship sunk). Overall it is a fascinating and informative track. It only touches on the production a bit, but for people who are fascinated by the Titanic this is a great track.

The best supplement on here, though, would be the 60-minute long documentary called ďThe Making of A Night to Remember. This rather in-depth documentary from 1993 touches a bit on the history of the ship (producer William MacQuitty shares his childhood memories about seeing the ship launch), the release of the source novel written by Walter Lord (he even participates in an interview,) the making of the film with extensive behind-the-scenes footage, and then information on its release. Itís a surprisingly extensive documentary and covers a lot in its hour. For me this feature makes the disc worth picking up.

And then there are the standards, including a theatrical trailer and a booklet by Michael Sragow, which covers the interest of the Titanic and how it peaked when the novel A Night to Remember was released.

Only a few supplements in all but I felt altogether they present a rather extensive and informative look at the disaster and the making of the film.

7/10

CLOSING

I think the supplements will be of great interest to people who like the film or are interested in the Titanic and for this aspect of the disc I think its worth picking up. The transfer, though, does leave a bit to be desired and I do hope one day that Criterion will consider re-releasing this film with a new anamorphic transfer.


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