The influence of A Night to Remember


barrykenyon

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Sep 6, 2014
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Am I alone in thinking that the 1958 film A Night to Remember has had an enormous negative impact on how people see Captain Lord of the Californian? Only one other major cinema movie covered the Californian incident and that was the 1943 Nazi epic Titanic - equally unsympathetic to Lord. The Californian segments were deleted from the 1997 Titanic version although you can occasionally see its sidelights on the horizon as Leonardo diCaprio leaps around on deck! There are so many errors in A Night to Remember. Lord is shown talking about his passengers when there weren't any on that voyage and is later sleeping in his pyjamas when in reality he was lying fully dressed on the chartroom settee. Stone and Gibson are shown looking through binoculars at a brightly lit, four funneled liner (before the collision) which is frankly silly. And so on. Captain Lord was still alive in 1958 (dying in 1962) and never saw the movie, but had read a review of the prior book by Walter Lord in the Liverpool Echo. The son Stanley Tutton Lord once told me that he had seen the film and only his father's advanced age prevented the family from attempting to sue the Rank organization. Millions of words have been used on the Californian controversy, pro and anti Lord, but my bet is that the film version of A Night to Remember, still shown on TV and available as a good-selling DVD, has done more than all of them to mold public perceptions of this aspect of the disaster. All the best, Barry Kenyon.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Hi Barry,

Your thoughts on ANTR are interesting as it seems to be generally accepted that ANTR is the most factual Titanic movie thus far.

I think that ANTR was quite harsh on Lord but I don't believe it was unreasonable. If you take a look on some other threads about Lord and the Californian on these forums, you'll find that some members believe Lord behaved perfectly reasonably whilst others, myself included, believe he could have done much more.

Anyone who looks over the evidence from 1912 can draw their own conclusions but every film needs a hero and a villain, and Lord was one of the villains in ANTR. Was it unwarranted? No, I don't believe so.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

agustin_arg

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Jul 21, 2014
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At what point in the movie Cameron (1997) californian lights are? can not find him. what is the second?

I could spend some link to the movie night to remember?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I don't need any movie's help to be critical of Captain Lord and Company. I can take a look at what's in the inquiry transcripts to see that there's plenty there to be critical of. Likewise, I don't need the help of any of his defenders the reflect on what happened, what could go badly wrong, know how they all could have been mislead by prevailing conditions and think "There but for the grace of God go I."

As a sailor, I note what Doctor Ballard once said when he observed that "I know how easy it is to die out there" as well as mentioning that if he was in trouble, he would hope that somebody would come and get him. By the same token, I note that Monday morning quarterbacking is easy. Any fool can "Lawyer around" on this and be wise after the event and a lot of people frequently are. They have no idea how easily one can be mislead by seemingly ideal conditions out there at sea. I do. Been there, done that for a living.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not justifying their mistakes, but I know how easily they could make them and without any of the dishonesty, malice and rancor which is frequently attributed to any of these people.
 

Doug Criner

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Dec 2, 2009
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Don't get me wrong: I'm not justifying their mistakes, but I know how easily they could make them and without any of the dishonesty, malice and rancor which is frequently attributed to any of these people.
50 or 100 years from now, there will still be ship collisions, groundings, sinkings, etc. - despite all the regulations and electronic navigation devices. Same with cars and trucks traveling on highways, plus aircraft.

But, still, many such maritime accidents will be properly attributed, at least partially, to operator mistakes. As well they should.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>But, still, many such maritime accidents will be properly attributed, at least partially, to operator mistakes. As well they should.<<

That much is true, but it misses the point I was trying to make in the statement you quoted. The problem is see there is the demonization and vilifying of Captain Lord as if it's not enough for him to have goofed, he has to be evil above and beyond the call of eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-vile to act or the fail to act as he did. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Poor communication, a lack of understanding, and if his officers though the situation was REALLY urgent, they had a lackluster and uninspiring way to get the message across. Wrong place, wrong time, and as a sailor, even under ideal conditions, I know how easy it is to misread the tealeaves. I really don't think it's any more complicated then that.
 

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