“A Night To Remember” The Original 1956 Kraft Theater Television Program

By Steve Vertlieb: One hundred eight years ago tonight, at 11:40 p.m., RMS Titanic fulfilled its terrifying date with history as innumerable heroic souls perished beneath the icy waters of The Atlantic. (RMS Titanic hits iceberg – Apr 14, 1912.) This horrifying remembrance remains among the most profoundly significant of my own seventy-four years.

As a little boy, during the early to mid-1950s, I was tormented night after night by nightmares of finding myself upon the deck of a huge ocean liner cruising the darkened waters of the Atlantic. After a time, I’d find myself walking along the brooding ocean floor, enveloped in crushing darkness, when I sensed a horrifying presence behind me. I’d turn slowly each night with fear and encroaching trepidation. As I gazed up into the watery sky, I’d find myself next to the enormous hull of a wrecked and decaying ship. I awoke screaming on each of these nights.

I’d never heard of Titanic in my early years, but I was tormented by these crippling dreams, night after suffocating night, for years. To this day, the very sight and sound of the name “Titanic” sends me into cold sweats and an ominous sense of dread, and foreboding. I’ve come to believe that I may have been aboard the doomed ocean liner that awful night, and that I’d been reincarnated three decades later. I fear the ocean still. Suffice to say, it is a chilling remembrance that will forever haunt my dreams.

May God rest Her immortal soul, and all those who perished that terrible night.

Here is the famous 1956 Kraft Theater television production of Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember. Directed by George Roy Hill, narrated by Claude Rains, and co-starring Patrick Macnee as the ship’s builder, Thomas Andrews, this highly anticipated television adaptation of the celebrated book by Walter Lord precipitated the acclaimed motion picture of the same name by two years.

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