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Remembering Titanic: Best Films to Watch

Updated on March 17, 2015
Adele Jeunette profile image

Adele Jeunette has been a librarian for 20 years. She lives in Denver, not too far from the Molly Brown house.

This site includes best films to watch about the Titanic.
This site includes best films to watch about the Titanic.

Films to Watch at Home About the Sinking of the Titanic

When the Titanic sank over a hundred years ago, the event captured the public's imagination and signaled the end of an era.

People followed the exploits of America's rich as if they were royalty or movie stars, and when they sank into the icy waters, society's faith in progress and industrialization suffered a big blow.

Today, the story still captures our imagination. It is a microcosm of the optimism, confidence, and excess of the era. The opulence, brashness, and perfect storm of careless mistakes which doomed the ship all make for a multifaceted drama.

Here are five of the best film events to watch at home in commemoration of those who experienced the tragedy.

A Night to Remember Movie Poster
A Night to Remember Movie Poster

A Night to Remember

A classic movie based on a classic book

This black and white film is based on Walter Lord's definitive book of the same title. In contrast to James Cameron's sweeping romance, A Night to Remember focuses on historical characters, particularly Charles "Bertie" Lightoller, the second officer who survived the sinking and took charge of the survivors precariously balanced on an overturned collapsible lifeboat.

Produced in 1958, intelligent and suspenseful, it avoids the sentimentality of some films of the period. Viewers on Amazon have overwhelmingly voted this a 5-star movie.

"But is it slow?” you are wondering. When our family started watching it for Friday movie night, my 13-year-old, who is used to the whiz –slam-bang of modern movies, groaned, "Oh, it's in black-and-white." By the end of the movie, she pronounced it better than Cameron's Titanic (once her favorite movie), "because it tells you more about everything that was going on and why the ship sank."

"A Night to Remember" Available from Amazon

A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Here is the Blu-Ray version of the DVD.

 
A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection)
A Night to Remember (Criterion Collection)

Here is the regular DVD of the movie.

 

Titanic: The Complete Story

The History Channel does a nice job of pulling together interesting footage, photos, and narration in this collection of three feature-length programs: Death of a Dream, The Legend Lives On, and Beyond Titanic

Titanic: The Complete Story
Titanic: The Complete Story

The programs touch on familiar themes: class distinctions, position of women in society, and the industrial age. It explores the reasons why the crew missed the iceberg until it was too late, the importance of the new wireless telegraph, the perplexing behavior of the crew on the nearby ship, the Californian, and the courageous, compassionate and thorough actions of passengers and crew on the rescue ship Carpathia.

PBS is re-releasing this 2-DVD set in March of 2012 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

 

"Titanic" Movie Directed by James Cameron

While it's common for Titanic buffs to roll their eyes at director James Cameron's big-budget blockbuster, it's still a sumptuous piece of storytelling. Cameron (who was director of the first two Terminator movies) knows how to create suspense, and turns in a fine tale of a romance on a doomed ship.

Titanic's Reading and Writing Room
Titanic's Reading and Writing Room

Titanic Miniseries on ABC

ABC aired this four-part miniseries in April 14 and 15, 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

It is a rare foray into a miniseries; network television has generally ceded this format to the cable networks. It was produced by the same British network and screenwriter (ITV and Julian Fellowes) as the breakaway hit Downton Abbey. We can all be hopeful.

The series follows different story threads involving passengers in all classes.

For more information click here

Titanic: 4-part Series - "Downton Abbey" Writer Pens a Titanic Story

ABC aired this four-part miniseries in April 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

It is a rare foray into a miniseries; network television has generally ceded this format to the cable networks.

The series follows different story threads involving passengers in all classes.

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Though the Titanic disaster is only mentioned at the beginning of the first episode (the heirs to the estate perish in the sinking), this series is worth watching because it gives readers such a feel for the Edwardian era that informed the lives of the Titanic's passengers.

The sinking of the Titanic was the first harbinger of things to come, when civilization began to discover that progress in the industrial revolution would not cure all ills.

Downton Abbey is often compared to the classic series "Upstairs, Downstairs" as it blends family drama and social commentary by contrasting the lives of the Lord and Lady to their retinue of servants.

It is a series that has captured the imagination of the viewing public, filmed in an actual manor with a stellar cast (including Maggie Smith) and Academy award-winning Julian Fellowes writing the screenplay.

Downton Abbey Available from Amazon

The series is available in streaming version, DVD or Blu-ray

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    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      Great work here about Titanic films. I like it :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I have seen a few of these Titanic movies, but I do see a couple that I need to rent. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      interesting lens.