1953 Movie On DVD

Jun 8, 2002
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Hi, Susan!

Don't forget the Astors and all three of the Wideners who make a brief appearance in the dining room early in the film. George is also seen in the Smoking Room at the bridge table with Thelma Ritter and Clifton Webb.

I like the music, too!

Regards,
Doug
 

Pat Cook

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Apr 27, 2000
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I must say that I was amazed recently when I saw this one again and noticed the music being played by the ship's band was right out of the White Star Line repetoire.

However, this one DOES have one VERY SAD error. After the ship hits the berg and the Clifton Webb character speaks to Captain Smith, the exchange runs roughly like this:

Smith: I've ordered all women and children to the lifeboats.
Webb: You mean there's no lifeboats for the men?
Smith: No, there are no boats for the men.

I cannot help but think that, here in the early 50's, this could only help enforce the anguish felt by that those men who DID escape the catastrophe and their children as well.

I know one lady, now 85, who told me she was made to feel so bad by her friends that her father had lived through the event that she stopped telling anyone about him and was made to feel ashamed.

I'm sure you've guessed by now that her father was Lawrence Beesley.

Best regards, all around,
Cook
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
About a week or two ago, I just happened to have the TV on, when I noticed that the 1953 "Titanic" Stanwyck movie was about to begin. I frantically rummaged through piles of VCR tapes to find one I could use (who keeps new VCR tapes around, anyway?). I did manage to find one, and got the entire movie on tape - pausing out the commercials. I hadn't seen it in years in its entirety, although I know it's been on TV a number of times. I assumed that the Thelma Ritter role was Molly Brown disguised as a fictitious passenger?? I also just received the DVD version of "A Night To Remember". I hadn't seen that in years! I'm a new member, so pardon me if I'm being repetitious of anthing posted before. I finished reading Geoff Tibbals' "Mammoth Book of the Titanic", which I thought was very accurate and informative. I especially enjoyed the surviving passengers' accounts of their recollections.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Welcome, Mary!

I'm glad you captured 53's "Titanic" on video. My old copy, taped in the 80s, is ready for retirement, so the DVD is coming out just in time.

I was a pre-teen when I first laid eyes on Audrey Dalton, aka Annette ("shouldn't you be in school somewhere?") Sturgis. Recently, my friend Shelley Dziedzic, told me she was still alive, living in retirement in California. I subsequently wrote her a fan letter, my first, not counting that to Walter Lord, also as a very young man.

Unfortunately, unlike Lord, Ms. Dalton did not reply. That's OK. At 49, I still think she has great "bedroom eyes"!

Best regards,
Doug
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
I received your e-mail, Dr. Doug, and hope you have received my reply. Please let me know if you didn't get it. I was about eight when we walked past a movie theater advertising "Titanic" with Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb. I still remember the movie poster. I asked my father what it was all about, and he told me only that "it was a great sea disaster". He was an Army officer, and we then lived in a land-locked area in the States (Texas?) , and I had no clue what a "sea disaster" meant.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Mary, I've been "land-locked" in Texas for years! This might exlain my obsessive interest in all things nautical. We had a ski boat which we proudly navigated in a tight circle on Beautiful Buffalo Springs Lake near Lubbock.

Since then I have more than made up for my arid beginnings by my interest in several maritime disasters and about a dozen ocean voyages!

If you need a Texas "fix", check out the details of our upcoming meeting in Salado on the "Let's Meet" thread.

And no, I didn't get your e-mail, if you sent one privately.

Best regards,
Doug Willingham
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
> [Well, I finally figured out how to do this e-mail reply thing! You're only a couple of states over from me. I'm in 90% land-locked Alabama (not really by choice) and we do have a bit of over-priced coastline. I'm originally from Colorado, so all things nautical are limited to freezing montain lakes and white-water rafting! Down here, all things nautical have to do with pontoon boats and too much rain! What kinds of ocean voyages have you done? I've done many cruises and spent several weeks during summers on a three-masted authentic tall ship in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, it sank off of St. Maarten during Hurricane Lenny in 1999. I'm an Army brat and a retired school counselor, currently working as a travel agent, but hope to get into the Auburn Univ. system. Are you a doctor of the medical or philosopy variety? Thank you so much for responding to my post!? ]
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Hi, Mary.

Were you on the "Fantome" of Windjammer Cruises? I thought that was the sailing vessel lost in a hurricane. I took a cruise on her in the late 70s. Other voyages have included three transatlantic crossings (Michelangelo and QE2-twice), three other Caribbean cruises, a Bermuda cruise, a voyage from Alcapulco to San Francisco, the Alaskan Inside Passage , the Delta Queen on an Ohio River cruise, and a cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow. I guess you could say I like them ships!

Doug
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
> Hi, Doug! No, I've never been on the Fantome, but was on the Flying Cloud many years ago. I think the Fantome sank off the coast of Belize during a hurricane with a loss of Captain and crew. The ship I was on many times was the Sir Francis Drake, a privately-owned passenger schooner that did Caribbean cruises. Very sad about her sinking. My one and only trans-Atlantic was back in the 50's as a kid when my dad was stationed in Germany. (I don't remember much about it as I was urping quite a lot.) . It's a good thing I didn't know about the Titanic back then!!
 

Eric Paddon

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Jun 4, 2002
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Here's some full info on the extras on this DVD.

2 commentary tracks
1st: film critic Richard Schickel
2nd: cinematographer Michael Lonza, historian Silvia Stoddard, and cast members Robert Wagner and Audrey Dalton

94 minute documentary on the Titanic

footage of the 1943 German propaganda version of the story
two Movietone newsreels
theatrical trailer
still gallery
Titanic Aftermath-an audio essay by Stoddard
 
Jun 6, 2003
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I can't wait either. I have loved that movie since I saw it as a kid on "Saturday Night at the Movies" in 1962, just about the same as I read "A Night to Remember".
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
And I just discovered that Audrey Dalton was a Dubliner, who is now married with four children and living in California. I have no idea if she made other movies, or if her husband was/is in the film industry. I'm sure she wouldn't mind a visit from you though, Doug!
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Hey, all!

'Just received my DVD of "Titanic" (1953). It holds up beautifully as a screenplay set against the backdrop of the disaster, with the "Titanic" itself in a supporting role, as opposed to "A Night to Remember" which downplays any one personal story. The set decoration and costumes, the foggy tank shots and the model are awesome, but the performances of Webb, Stanwyck, Aherne, Dalton, Ritter and Basehart, and a story line that beats the hell out of that of Jack and Rose, are what makes this film, at least as a fictionalized account, superior to Cameron's film--especially with the resources and technology available in 1953.

'Just my opinion, of course!

Doug
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
Aw, Doug - you just wanted to see Audrey Dalton in color! It's funny, because this movie is my least favorite of the "Titanic" movies, and has so many mistakes that I chose to tape it from TV rather than order it. But, my addiction to Amazon "forced" me to order the DVD version a few days ago..strictly for the commentary value, of course. I have since enrolled myself in Amazon's 12-step program, which is aiding me in my refusal to order the only orderable "Titanic" movie I do not own...the Gallagher/Zeta-Jones made-for-TV version. I could use a little support, here.
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Now Mary, I want you to give '53's "Titanic" a serious second look. And I'm not just saying that because I still love Audrey Dalton.
Despite the inaccuracies, the acting is superior to Cameron's "Titanic", which by the way I love, too. Basehart's priest character, Stanwyck's troubled Julia Sturgis and Clifton Webb as, well, Clifton Webb, combined with great writing should at least take this film off the bottom rung of your Titanic movie list.

BTW, I saw watched the Gallagher/Zeta-Jones version a couple of nights ago and now realize that I, too, need a 12-step program of some kind.

Stop the insanity!
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
Well, Doug, Clifton's movie is now on the second rung up. I hadn't watched it since I taped it, but just viewed it again tonight. I opened my heart... just a bit. Please join me in our next 12-step meeting, which will be in Hollywood tomorrow evening. You must either be Welsh and beautiful, or have 5-inch thick unibrows and blue eyes to attend, though.

"712 people in 19 lifeboats survived"
"Titanic" - 1953
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Back in the old days .....

I think the very first Titanic references I ran into, either late 50s or early 60s on good old black & white TV, was the Clifton Webb "Titanic", and the movie "A Night to Remember". In 1963 or so, I tripped across a copy of ANTR in my school library. But I think I saw the movies first.

Okay, so the Clifton Webb movie isn't that accurate! So what? I've seen it several times since, and have it on video somewhere upstairs. It was an interesting enough movie to spark me into reading ATNR, and here I am, 40 something years later.
 
May 5, 2001
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Hello Ladies & Gentleman,

I am now the proud owner of Titanic (1953) on DVD, although I haven't seen it yet, I do hope it's in Black & White, I kinda like it better in good old B&W, gives it age and recognition. One of the BIG reasons it's a classic is because for some reason, this movie holds up quite well, even with the inaccuracies in it and the story does rather kick the hell out of the Jack & Rose storyline but I still like (97) much better.

"It looks like we're having Sand for breakfast"
-Clifton Webb

Much Regards,
Bill
 
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Mary S. Lynn

Guest
Right on, Bill. I think I posted somewhere that my first awareness of Titanic (the event) came when I was walking with my father (Ft. Sam Houston??) in 1953 or 54, and we passed a movie theater with the Webb-Stanwyck poster. I had just been on the SS Washington a couple of years back, coming back from Germany, and the picture of the sinking ship was pretty scary. All Dad told me was that it was a terrible sea disaster, and that many people had died. I'd seen the movie a few times since then, before ANTR and Cameron, and thought it was pretty good, seeing as it was the only Titanic movie I'd ever seen. I will agree with the superior acting of Clifton Webb, though. Miles above Leo DiC! OK - I've just moved this movie up two rungs. I bow to gentle pressure.

"I'm wearing long trousers, Sir".
-Norman Sturges
(Now, if THAT doesn't bring a tear to your eye....)