Lightoller Movie

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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I am firmly convinced that the life of Charles Lightoller, if done right, would make for an interesting movie (it's already made for an entertaining book).

It could begin with his early days at sea, surviving the wreck of the Holt Hill, a cyclone aboard the Primrose Hill, and a bout with Malaria in Africa.

It could continue with his quest for gold in the Klondike, his stint as a cowboy, his notorious prank in Australia, his romantic chance encounter with his future bride, his surviving the sinking of the you-know-what, and his exploits during WWI (including the ramming and sinking of a German U-boat).

And it could climax with Lightoller's acquisition of the Sundowner, using it to spy on Germans just before the outbreak of the war and finally using it to rescue over a hundred men at Dunkirk.

Now if that doesn't seem like enough to warrant a film, I don't what does. In fact, it might possibly be TOO much to squeeze into a two hour film. Perhaps a mini-series a la "From the Earth to the Moon" would allow for a more deatiled depiction of the many chapters of Mr. Lightoller's life.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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I agree that it would be wonderful to see Lightoller's life on film. If done right, it would make for a very interesting and informative piece of entertainment. But, as good as his life's story is, what film company do you think would want the rights to it? I mean, obviously he was involved with several historic events, but how many people unfamiliar with the tragedy actually knows who Charles Lightoller is? On the other hand, a film on someone like Thomas Jefferson would attract a broader audience, since he is known by basically everyone in the states. I could be wrong, but I figure the film companies try to pick the life stories of very well-known individuals to make into movies or mini-series. I really like this idea, though, and would love to see it carried out by someone. This is just my two cents.
 

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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Not always. Lightoller is probably no less famous than Erin Brokovich was before Julia Roberts brought her to the big screen.
 
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Patricia Bowman Rogers Winship

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Given Lightoller's numerous adventures and accomplishments, it would take a mini-series the length of I, Claudius to do him justice. (Can you imagine how an employer today would react to that man's resume and personnel file? WOOOhoo!)

My husband came up with the idea of casting Kenneth Branagh as Lights a couple of years ago when we and some like-minded friends were creating an imaginary cast for an American Inquiry movie. This, mind you, was before Branagh did Shackleton. If you wanted to go for a younger man, possibly Simon Baker-- I've seen pictures of him that had the right look.


Pat W.
 

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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He could probably pull it off.

It's kind of hard for me to get a good mental image of what Lightoller should look like. As opposed to someone like Capt. Smith, who, with the white beard, makes it easy to get a general idea of what you're looking for.
 
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John Meeks

Guest
I have the same problem as Neil. Can't help thinking of Kenneth Moore...

On the other hand; for a title...how about "A Life to Remember" ?

Regards,

John M
 
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Cristina Sasse

Guest
Hi there!
I would call the Lights-movie "sundowner". Because he was a sundowner(maybe some of you don't know this word but it means the same as "tramp")and his first ship's name was "Sundowner".
Love,
Crissy
happy.gif
 

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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I think Cristina had a great name there:

"Sundowner: The Charles Lightoller Story" (sound like one of those Hallmark/Lifetime TV movie of the week types, doesn't it?)

Nevertheless, as tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of his death, I find it very appropriate that we are talking about this now.
 
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sharon rutman

Guest
Amen. Let's also not forget the romantic angle--Lights is also very much a love story about a devil may care sailor and his beautiful, courageous Australian invalid bride. I wonder--who would make a convicing Sylvia? Let's not forget her shall we? After all she struggled all of her life against having clubfeet and she could barely walk without agonizing pain. Maybe the story could be told from her perspective--its been ignored long enough.
 

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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According to his biography, one of Lightoller's old WWI shipmates visited him the night before he died and they reminiced about old times. That might serve as a good setting for flashbacks to Lightoller's earlier days. (The book specifically says they didn't talk about the Titanic but hey, every bio pic takes a few creative licences.)
 

Jamie Bryant

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Aug 30, 2003
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If a film were made, first I'd have Cameron's Lightoller, though far more accurate in character, as he has that 'Lightoller' aura about him. Plus one of the trailer would be similar to the beginning of Raiders: Last Crusade with the teenage Lights being ship wrecked, and a huge wave would sweep over him and as it receeded the little ship would become Titanic with Building Panic playing in the background and a more mature looking Lights emerging though, in the same predicament. It would also feature his cowboy stint and Dunkirk clip. Though I would have the story told through Lightoller, with Titanic only featuring for about 10mins, risky but I would hate the film to be hijacked by the sinking, after all Charles Lightoller's life featured much more than just one night/morning.
 
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sharon rutman

Guest
Light's biopic should also be done as a romance--the handsome young, devil-may-care sailor falling in love with a beautiful Australian invalid. Even Sylvia's story would be truly inspirational--how she battled the odds against being physically challenged to lead a normal life played against the backdrop of English history from the early 1900's to her husband's death in 1952.