By comparison, James Cameron's terrific VFX epic "Titanic" is windswept with emotion from beginning to end, a five-hankie showstopper bursting at the seams with romance, grandeur and Celine Dion. It's unguarded, all-stops cinema. While Cameron's film openly moves from revelry to tragedy, "A Night to Remember" feels more private, like a standoffish acquaintance who comes to you sobbing, gasping in his last moments of life. It's unsettling and riveting.
The Criterion Collection has outdone itself with special features. Everything you could ever want to know about the film or the Titanic disaster can probably be found in the 3 (!) documentaries included: "The Making of 'A Night to Remember,'" with rare behind-the-scenes footage; the BBC's "The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic"; and Sweden's "En natt att minnas" featuring interviews with the ship's survivors.
Angelinos, take note: The TCM Classic Film Festival will present a brand-new, beautifully restored DCP of "A Night to Remember" on April 14 at 9:30 PM, the exact 100th anniversary -- almost to the minute -- of the sinking.