Titanic (1953) - Rotten Tomatoes


Titanic (1953)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Titanic Photos

Movie Info

The 1912 sinking of the luxury liner Titanic is used as a backdrop for a several fictional subplots, chief of which involves snooty socialite Clifton Webb and his wife Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck has booked passage on the ill-fated passenger ship with her daughter (Audrey Dalton) and son (Harper Carter), leaving Webb far behind. Webb manages to board the ship at the last minute, and discovers that Stanwyck plans to divorce him; she further informs him that he is not the father of their son. When the Titanic sideswipes an iceberg and begins its slow descent in the Atlantic, the women and children are put on the lifeboats while the men stay behind to face death (except for cowardly cardsharp Allyn Joslyn, who disguises himself as a woman). The formerly class-conscious Webb acts with conspicuous bravery, seeing to it that several steerage passengers are ushered to safety. He is reunited with his son, who has given up his lifeboat seat to an elderly woman. All misunderstandings swept aside, Webb and his son face their final moments on earth together. In the film's best moment, a miniature recreation of the Titanic is seen sinking beneath the waves as the survivors watch from their lifeboats in numb horror. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Clifton Webb
as Richard Ward Sturges
Barbara Stanwyck
as Julia Sturges
Robert Wagner
as Gifford Rogers
Audrey Dalton
as Annette Sturges
Thelma Ritter
as Mrs. Maude Young
Brian Aherne
as Capt. E.J. Smith
Richard Basehart
as George Healey
Allyn Joslyn
as Earl Meeker
James Todd
as Sandy Comstock
William Johnstone
as John Jacob Astor
Charles FitzSimons
as Chief Officer Wilde
Barry Bernard
as 1st Officer Murdock
Harper Carter
as Norman Sturges
Edmund Purdom
as 2nd Officer Lightoller
Camillo Guercio
as Mr. Guggenheim
Anthony Eustrel
as Sanderson
Helen Van Tuyl
as Mrs. Straus
Alan Marston
as Quartermaster
Frances Bergen
as Madeleine
Guy Standing Jr.
as George D. Widener
Hellen Van Tuyl
as Mrs. Straus
Roy Gordon
as Isidor Straus
Marta Mitrovich
as Mrs. Uzcadam
Ashley Cowan
as Phillips
Merry Anders
as College Girl
Gloria Gordon
as College Girl
Melinda Markey
as College Girl
Ron Hagerthy
as College Boy
Conrad Feia
as College Boy
Richard West
as College Boy
Mae Marsh
as Woman
Ralph Grosh
as Steward
John Fraser
as Steward
Elizabeth Flournoy
as Woman with Baby
Robin Hughes
as Junior Officer
Robin Camp
as Messenger Boy
Pat Aherne
as Seaman
Patrick O'Moore
as Relief Man
John Costello
as Undetermined Role
Pat O'Moore
as Relief Man
Michael Hadlow
as Messenger
Ivan Hayes
as Officer
Robin Sanders Clark
as Junior Officer
Herbert Deans
as Junior Officer
John Dodsworth
as Stoker Exclaiming 'For God's Sake!'
Salvador Baguez
as Jean Pablo Uzcadum
Eugene Borden
as Dock Official
Richard Peel
as Undetermined Role
Harry Cording
as Boiler Room Engineer
Joan Hayes
as Undetermined Role
Bert Stevens
as Passenger
Duke Seba
as Undetermined Role
Joyce Newhart
as Undetermined Role
George Boyce
as Undetermined Role
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Critic Reviews for Titanic

All Critics (11)

It's standard Hollywood stuff, but Webb and Stanwyck are both in fine form, adding moments of humanity and emotional truth to the otherwise stilted surroundings.

August 6, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Titanic, the story of the great liner's first and only trip across the Atlantic, is a perfectly excellent picture, finely balanced between fact and fiction, stocked with plausible characters, working up quietly but strongly to its shattering climax.

June 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Though Stanwyck and Clifton Webb make for an unlikely married couple, this b/w Oscar-winning 1953 melodrama about the sinking of the famous liner is worth seeing.

March 18, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Not as big as James Cameron's computer-generated bonanza, but it's nonetheless impressive.

January 19, 2005 | Rating: 76/100

Exciting, well-acted version of the infamous voyage

October 7, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

Manages to tell its tale in a compact 98 minutes. That's nearly 100 minutes less than it took James Cameron, and there's something to be said for that.

November 24, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Titanic


While not the darling of the new millennia, this version shines as a family drama involving (like Cameron's popular outing) class warfare. Dad (Webb) wants children to rise in social circles. Mom (Stanwyck) longs for the honesty of the lower classes (hey! did Cameron crib from here?!), but has a secret to tell Pop about that just might be hot enough to melt the iceberg coming up. But the stage for all this drama (as we all know) famously sinks. Will there be any resolution? While the film is as obvious as all get out, it is still entertaining.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


I saw this version of 'Titanic' after I saw the James Cameron version. It is much more subdued - and displays the men of the Titanic as much more heroic than the later version.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer


Compelling, far better than the most recent version. Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck are outstanding as a wealthy couple whose marriage is disintegrating and the love story is sweet and unlike the other version makes sense since both characters are from the same class as would be natural at that time. The ending is heart rending.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Titanic Quotes

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