How accurately does the film, "A Night to Remember" depict the actual sinking of the ship Titanic?

Essay by jillieboe11Junior High, 8th gradeA-, May 2007

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My opinion is that the film showed the build up and actual sinking of the ship very accurately indeed. There were of course a few discrepancies as would be expected. Also remembering that a few of the mistakes may not have been found out until later, the detail of the movie was excellent and showed it extremely well.

The ship in the movie was almost exactly like the real life Titanic and showed all the features that the real one would have, like the size and design of the decks. They showed not only the exterior well but also the interior was very well copied. There were things like the big staircase that the first class passengers would use, third class cabins were just like they would have been with very comfortable conditions compared to other third class surroundings and the dining rooms, bedrooms and most surroundings were just like that of the real ship.

They showed how the passengers on different classes would have been living and entertaining themselves very well, for instance, the third class passengers would be playing their own folk music and dancing whilst the first class passengers would be entertained with a five man band and sit around and drink champagne. The costumes used for the different classes were very accurate also, with exquisite gowns for first class and simple frocks for third.

The hitting of the iceberg in the movie depicted the real story well, even though it did look a little fake…Where the iceberg actually struck was very accurate, making it's fatal gash in the starboard (left) side of the ship. The effects of the iceberg were showed well and were very accurate such as what happened in the boiler rooms and what was done about it (scooping water out). They showed the fatal mistake of Jack Phillips getting several ice warnings and mixing them up with the passengers' messages to land, which was an important chapter of the Titanic story. They showed the exact actions of many of the people associated with the striking of the iceberg, they showed Frederick Fleets rings of the bell and ice warning, but did not show him ring the bell trice as he had been reported doing in real life.

The evacuation in the film was shown in great detail and connection to the real happenings. The fact that the women and children were to load the boats first was shown very clearly in the movie and the reactions of those on board was extremely accurate. It showed that at the start of evacuation people were reluctant to get into the lifeboats as they thought that nothing was wrong, then nearer the end it showed that people were desperate to get to safety and wives hesitant to leave their husbands. It showed that first class passengers were generally led to the top deck whilst third class were left to find their own way through the labyrinth of the ship. It showed the actions of Captain Smith and the rockets being fired. The designer of the vessel telling Captain Smith that the ship had only one and half to two hours to live as five of the compartments had been badly damaged and water was filling quickly. It also included the famous words of the Captain when he told the crew that their duty had been completed and "It's every man for himself". It showed many quotes from people. It also told of specific people and their actions taken during evacuation, for example one woman would refuse to leave her husband saying they had been together for many years and she expected it to stay that way and a child who had lost his parents and had been taken in by an old man who stayed with him right to the end.

The sinking in the movie was well done and very realistic. Although it didn't break in half, everything else was like it would have been and perhaps when they were making the movie they didn't know that the ship broke. They showed the bow dipping into the water with the stern rising and the band playing music whilst everyone was screaming with terror at their near deaths. The forward funnel collapsed and killed many swimmers who had previously jumped. It also explained what was happening inside the ship. There were plates and tables being thrown across the room as the boat became more vertical by the minute. But a scene in the film was showing that inside people were having to walk on a 25-degree angle floor with nothing falling of the walls or tables, everything seemed to be intact, which would not have been the case.

In the movie the ship, Carpathia, picked up the survivors as they were in real life. They also showed a group of people who were gathered on an upturned collapsible boat and their having to fight people off, as they would have sunk the boat and everyone on it. A line that is also used which is claimed to be said by a man who tried to get on the upturned boat is "god bless you" when they swam away after being told they weren't aloud on the boat. It showed that when the survivors were all on Carpathia they had a service to mourn those who died along with the ship.

But the movie did an excellent job of explaining what happened to the ship and the passengers that fatal night. They had much detail and many facts on the actual events. A very good source for information on the sinking of the Titanic.

Bibliography Facts About Titanic, Merideth, Lee WSinking of the Titanic, Dudman, John