I don't think the Board of Trade regulations ever visualized this situation. Do you?
But lest we forget, A Night to Remember was a pretty big deal back in 1958 - the most expensive film produced in England up until that time, based on a popular bestselling book of the same title, and an impressive display of state-of-the-art special effects for its era. Meticulously researched by advertising copywriter Walter Lord, the book on which the movie was based still stands as an authoritative text on the incredible sequence of events that sealed the sad fate of a great technological marvel and over 1500 people who perished in the middle of the night on April 15, 1912 after the ship hit an iceberg two and half hours earlier. Its success as a fact-based exposition of what really happened caught the attention of William MacQuitty, a British producer who had actually seen the Titanic launch as a boy growing up in Belfast and shared Walter Lord's lifelong fascination with the subject. He saw the book as a perfect basis for filming an as-accurate-as-possible recreation of events to stand as an account for the ages. It was A Night to Remember indeed, that captured a fascinating scope of human drama, in all its courage and ineptitude, nobility and pettiness, grandeur and futility, for us to reflect on - and not forget! - for a good long time.
Of course, what ultimately did wind up happening is that the real story of the Titanic was mythologized and employed in the pursuit of generating massive showbiz profits and diversionary entertainment that, on its own terms, proved wildly effective and successful. And not only in Cameron's version, which to this day casts such a huge shadow that it's practically impossible to watch or even write about A Night to Remember without drawing comparisons and contrasts with the Oscar-winning romance/disaster/epic/blockbuster megahit that came out nearly forty years later. Other films, both before and after this Rank Studios project, exploited the undeniable power of the Titanic's story, fictionalizing and melodramatizing events however they saw fit. Be that as it may, I found A Night to Remember to land pretty close to what I was wishing the 1997 version of Titanic would have been when I saw it in theaters, the one and only time I ever sat through the whole thing. Just show me what happened, without the gun fights, chase scenes and steamed-up car windows, along with dozens of fictional characters who had no role in the historic events. I always figured that the real stories of actual people and their uniquely messy situations and peculiarities offered more than enough substance to draw from for making a good movie.
But James Cameron isn't just looking to make a "good movie," hence the need to overlay it with numerous elements that made Titanic the massive sensation and phenomenon it eventually turned into. I don't begrudge him that, it's just that his approach didn't hold my interest enough to draw me back for multiple viewings. So I'll leave it at that.