Favorite Moment


S

sharon rutman

Guest
That's an easy one! It's the charming scene near the beginning of the film showing the Lightollers aboard the train to Belfast. Lightoller, played by the redoubtable Kenneth More, laughs as he reads an ad for Violetta Toilet Soap to Sylvia played by Jane Downes. They both chuckle as Lightoller observes "For First Class mind you. The rest of us have washcloths."

Unfortunately the joke falls flat as the elderly gentleman opposite Lightoller snidely asks if he's a radical or a foreigner. After all, everyone is proud of the unsinkable Titanic! Of course leave it to Sylvia to save the day as, cool as a cucumber, she politely informs the man that her husband is going along as her Second Officer! Sylvia's coolness cuts the old guy to shreds as he mumbles,"Er, I apologize."
Naturally Lightoller is most cavilier as he rejoinds,"Soap is no laughing matter."

I also adored the brief glimpse of the Lightollers as a married couple. There's Sylvia doing all those wifely chores as she brushes her husband's jacket with tender loving care. Lightoller, the loving spouse, asks if she wants anything from New York. The ever-practical Sylvia feels he won't find anything over there that she can't get at home. In that moment of pure love and romance Lightoller tells her about the shop on Broadway full of garters with big frilly bows. Sylvia can't stop laughing at the notion of her tough sailor husband buying something as frivolous as garters with big frilly bows on them. Of course by this time Lightoller, with X-rated thoughts and sex on the brain, chuckles in response, "Ah, but the thought of you wearing them! Oh! Ooo-la-la." Then he sweeps her into his arms and over her protests that he's going late, kisses her over and over again. Unfortunately, the scene is spoiled by the ship's whistle! I'll leave it to your imagination as to what happened next! (Clue: the Lightollers wound up making five children!)

See contrary to stereotypes of Victorian/Edwardian stuffiness, these people really enjoyed sex! Herbert and Sylvia were incredibly passionate for one another as that scene depicts and I bet the long sea voyages were very hard on both of them. They couldn't wait to lock the bedroom door either before or after another transatlantic crossing.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Sharon, The end of that first line is actually even funnier - "The rest don't wash, of course". I agree it's a great scene, and an object lesson in how to introduce both the lead character and the subject matter in an efficient and very entertaining way.
 
S

sharon rutman

Guest
I don't remember that line! But for my money, it was the best scene in the whole flick. It showed the Lightollers as very human and totally believeable. You don't see that in any other Titanic film.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Poor old Lights does get a rough deal in other films - he comes across as a very cold fish in Cameron's version. But you'll be happy to know the ANTR Lightoller in those early scenes is the real McCoy, except for the voice - in reality he sounded more like Long John Silver!
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
35
243
South Florida
I love those scenes too, and every time I open my curio cabinet, I am greeted by the lovely scent of Vinolia Otto Toilet Soap, one of my favorite acquisitions, particularly because of that scene in ANTR. Thanks for sharing the touching moments so eloquently, Sharon.

Kyrila
 

John Lynott

Member
Mar 31, 2000
78
1
238
64
Addingham, Yorkshire
Not so much a favourite moment but I am puzzled by a scene early on when the Irish passengers are leaving home and the priest says they'll all come home when they have made their fortune. John Cairney - Murphy - says something like: "We will that foss" Can anyone enlighten me? PLUS ANTR fans, get your hands on ANTR The Definitive Titanic Film by Jeffrey Richards (see Titanic books thread)
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Here ya go, Kyrila:

The Definitive Titanic Film: A Night to Remember - by Jeffrey Richards - British Film Guide series by I.B. Taurus

$17.95 from www.Amazon.com

For a serious analysis of Cameron's film, I recommend also:

Titanic - by David M Lubin - BFI Publishing

$10.36 also from Amazon
 
Jun 4, 2000
1,286
6
313
[off topic]

Er...a bookshop?
happy.gif


Seriously though, if Australian bookshops are carrying it, the book should be available in the US too. And it it's not, ask 'em to order you a copy. It's an excellent read.

Richards, Jeffrey
A Night to Remember: the Definitive Titanic Film
IB Tauris & Co Ltd, London, 2002, ISBN 1860648495

See Mike T's site for more info: www.titanicbooksite.com/author%20pages/richardsjeffrey.html

[/off topic]
 
Jun 4, 2000
1,286
6
313
LOL! Snap! Bob wins by a milli-second!

And David Lubin's book on Cameron's Titanic is good too, as is William MacQuitty's Titanic Memories: The Making of a Night to Remember. (However, I think Richards is the better option for those who aren't rabid ANTR completionists.)

Um, slightly back on topic... I can't really pick just one favourite moment. Also what seemed silly moments actually become more poignant on further viewing or depending on what I've been reading. I'm very fond of Super-Lights' little speech at the very end, always have been.
 
S

sharon rutman

Guest
If there was a central character in ANTR it was Lightoller. In other Titanic films, he's simply in the background.
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Agreed, though surprisingly he's only onscreen for 20 minutes. Producer Bill MacQuitty didn't want any actor to 'star' in the film as he always maintained that the real star should be the ship.
 
Jun 4, 2000
1,286
6
313
Only 20 minutes? Super-Lights is only on screen for a scant 20 minutes? Garn! You do realise that now I'll have to watch the fillum with a wretched stopwatch in hand? Oh, but the magic has gone....
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Give or take. MacQuarry states "20 or so", and he was concerned that Kenneth More (a big star in the UK at that time) might not take such a small part. It's a good measure of the strength of More's performance that we all find that figure so hard to believe.
 
A

Anita Casey-Reed

Guest
I've always been curious about this line - when the players at the card game realize they are in a bad situation, the gambler says "What shall we play now, happy families?" I assume this is a card game?
 
Mar 28, 2002
1,015
13
233
I was "recuperating" on my settee Sunday morning after a night of medicinal brandy and peps and decided to watch ANTR. How could I have forgotten the scene where Molly Brown is recalling her teenage marriage to her dinner table companions. After she tells how her husband had silver dollars CEEEmented into the floor of every room, a chap turns to her and says "Really??? How awfully tiresome for you."

Cheers,

Boz
 

Don Tweed

Member
May 5, 2002
590
12
183
The lines in the movie do reflect how we were.
The "hoity-toityness" of the line speaks volumes.
I don't know if the comparison has been made between ANTR and Camerons' film, but they are night and day and worlds apart.
But that's my world, Don
 

Similar threads

Similar threads