Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



There have been many films, both fictional and documentary, about the first and final voyage of the White Star liner, the “unsinkable” Titanic, but only three of them can really be classified as epic. This was the first, starring Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and a very young Robert Wagner. Five years later there was A Night to Remember, which I consider the best. Then, of course, almost forty years later there was that lumbering leviathan from James Cameron, which certainly outdid them all in terms of SFX and giant sets, but made the same mistake (in my opinion, I know many disagree with me) that this first one did, which is concentrating too much on a single story. The strength of A Night to Remember was that it told many stories. Titanic was a big, big boat (though not so much in terms of today’s cruise ships) with 2,224 souls aboard, 1,500 of whom died. Surely there could be more made of those, from steerage to the Astors and Guggenheims. In this case the story is of Webb as a useless upper-class twit who follows his fleeing wife aboard ship, determined to get his children back and raise them in the wastrel life he is accustomed to, while she wishes to take them to Montana, or some such place, to raise them like ordinary kids, with good old American values. After the collision, the old boy finds his spine, and behaves nobly for the first time in his life. I didn’t believe it for a minute, but I guess it went down well. This is worth your time, but is the least of the three.