|S.O.S. Titanic was conceived as a joint venture between ABC TV and the British company EMI. The idea behind the $7,000,000 production was to revisit the idea behind "A Night To Remember", but show the whole voyage from the departure in Southampton to the rescue aboard the Carpathia. The movie doesnt focus on any one plotline, but bounces around from the Astors in First Class, to Lawrence Beesley in Second Class to various passengers in Third Class with assorted composites thrown in, like Beesley's(composite) shipboard flame, Leigh Goodwin. We get to meet people not seen before or since, like honeymooning couples The Harris' and Marvins.We also get to see life belowdecks with the crew as well, like Alfie King, the elevator operator, Stewardess Mary Sloan, Peter Fletcher, ships bugler, The Boot Boys, etc.
The movie was the first color version of the story. It can be seen in two versions: A 140 minute version told in flashback fashion, starting with the rescue, and a 109 minute version, shown in straightforward fashion. The longer version was shown on ABC TV, September 23rd, 1979, and the shorter version was shown in theaters around Europe. The shorter version suffers from bad editing, and lapses in plot cohesion. The movie starred David Janssen as John Jacob Astor, David Warner as Lawrence Beesley, Susan Saint James as Leigh Goodwin, & Cloris Leachman as Molly Brown(revisiting a part she played in 1956 on TV), Ian Holm as Bruce Ismay and future star Helen Mirren as Mary Sloan.
The movie was filmed at Shepperton Studios,England, The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, The Waldorf Hotel in London and in the Artic.