DIRECTOR: Jean Negulesco
Of all the Titanic movies, this Hollywood attempt from 1953 must surly stand as one of the worst, even standing next to the appalling Nazi propaganda version from 1943! I would not even call this a truncated version, rather and rushes and lackadaisical re-telling of the disaster, in which there are heroes, dignity and a lack of conviction or at least confidence in telling this story.
The disaster itself is reduced to a half an hour of footnotes whilst the main story is a first class melodrama focusing a Barbara Stanwick and Clifton Webb’s impending divorce and the true parentage of their son. Though I must admit, these relationships do provide the nearest thing to a palpable character arch during this movie, which not only takes numerous liberties, it also misses the point several times.
But having said that, it would not be until 1958 with A Night To Remember (1958) where a sobering and more detailed examination would be committed to celluloid and this film is clearly a product of its time, just off the back of Hollywood’s Golden Age and it may well have been perceived that audiences would not be interested in a more detailed break down of the disaster itself. Maybe this was true?
Overall, it will do for its time but being so light and fluffy, it cannot stand the test of time.