A Night to Remember: born in Belfast

A Night to Remember (1958) captured people's hearts and imaginations long before Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were even born

Based on the American author Walter Lord's book of the same name, the film relived the fateful night when the Titanic sank on 15 April 1912. As the video explains, Belfast man William MacQuitty had a better reason than most to take on the project as producer in 1957.

Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast

Titanic memories

As a six-year-old boy growing up in Belfast, William had the privilege of watching the Titanic set sail on its first and only Atlantic crossing. The experience stayed with him through adulthood. When his wife came home one day with Walter Lord's manuscript, William knew then this was the story he had to tell and he fought for his vision to come to life.

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Love for the film

Celebrating his work and that of many others is Gallery 8 in Titanic Belfast where all Titanic-themed film posters are displayed, proving what a cultural impact this maritime tragedy had.

Nancy Oleksy, a regular follower of the Titanic Stories Facebook page posted that "A Night To Remember was the first thing that ever introduced me to Titanic and it made an impression. I saw it when I was little and ever since then had a curiosity about it [Titanic]."

Another Titanorak and Titanic Stories fan is Jackie Jones, who writes, "A Night to Remember will always be my favourite movie about the sinking of the Titanic. Such realism."

Faithful to the truth

Lord interviewed survivors as part of his research for the book and there were even some present on set to offer advice. James Cameron cites the movie as his inspiration for his 1997 film Titanic.

Stephen Cameron (no relation), chairman and co-founder of the Belfast Titanic Society, believes A Night to Remember is definitely the most faithful to the tragedy of Titanic's end:

"MacQuitty was very fortunate to be able to draw on survivors to give an account of that terrible night and in the film he portrays that sad night with truth and respect."

Along with many others, Stephen rates this film "as the best Titanic film ever made". Sounds like William MacQuitty did himself, Belfast and the Titanic legacy proud.

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