Titanic
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Titanic (1997) More at IMDbPro »

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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Titanic can be found here.

The sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Titanic is, indeed, a true event that took place in April 1912 when it hit an iceberg and sank just after midnight on 15 April 1912. The movie, Titanic, is based on a screenplay by Canadian-born producer and director James Cameron. Cameron did extensive research on the ill-fated Titanic, including organizing a dive to the wreck of the Titanic itself. During his research, Cameron was given access to the Titanic builders' blueprints and other archives. However, the drama between Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) is fiction.

She left Southampton, England on Wednesday 10 April 1912 and took on more passengers at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland (now called Cobh) later that day. On Sunday 14 at 11:40 p.m. (ship time) she struck an iceberg 400 miles (650 km) south of Newfoundland, and went under at 2:20 a.m.

Jack Dawson, Rose Bukater, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), Rose's mother Ruth (Frances Fisher), Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton), Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner), Fabrizio (Danny Nucci), and Tommy Ryan (Jason Barry) are all fictitious. The most prominent real-life characters mentioned by name are multimillionaire John Jacob Astor (Eric Braeden) and his wife Madeleine (Charlotte Chatton), Ben Guggenheim (Michael Ensign) (the guy who dresses in his best and asks for brandy), Margaret "Molly" Brown (Kathy Bates) (in real-life her nickname was Maggie, not Molly), the Countess of Rothes (Rochelle Rose), Colonel Gracie (Bernard Fox), Sir Cosmo (Bernard Fox) and Lady Duff Gordon (Rosalind Ayres) (who really did design lingerie), the ship's architect Thomas Andrews (Victor Garber), White Star Line president Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde), and the captain and crew members. Shown but not named are Ida (Elsa Raven) and Isidor Strauss (Lew Palter) (the old couple shown lying on the bed near the end), who co-owned Macy's with Strauss' brother, and Charles Joughin (Liam Tuohy) (the baker on the railing with Jack and Rose). Named but not shown is Arthur Ryerson. Robert Douglas Spedden is the kid spinning the top on the promenade deck, a scene based on an actual photograph taken en route to Queenstown.

At the time of the Titanic disaster, steering orders were still given in concurrence with an old tradition. Early ships were steered with an oar and then later with a tiller that would control the rudder. In order to turn to starboard you would turn the tiller to port and vice-versa. So if an officer said hard-a-starboard, that meant turn the tiller to starboard and the ship would go to port. During the early 18th century, the wheel was introduced. Now turning the wheel to port would steer the ship to port, but the old orders stayed the same - i.e., if an officer said hard-a-starboard (as in the movie), the helmsman would turn to port; in essence the helmsman had to turn in the opposite direction to what the officer had said. Confusing? Yes, but this was finally corrected in Britain on January 1st, 1933 when hard-to-port finally meant turn to port and hard-to-starboard finally meant to starboard.

Lewis makes this cynical comment after Brock has emptied the salvaged safe in the beginnning, and finds out the diamond is not in there. Many viewers outside the USA may not be familiar with Geraldo and this infamous event. Geraldo Rivera was an American journalist known for his talkshow 'Geraldo' and several famous human interest stories. In April 1986 he hosted a 2-hour live television special called The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault; surveyors had recently discovered a secret room below the Chicago Lexington Hotel, that had been used by notorious crime boss Al Capone. The television special focussed on Riviera's attempts to retrieve Capone's vault that was buried there. The show was extremely hyped in advertisements, due to the allusion that the excavation might reveal dead bodies and riches. Approximately 30 million people watched the show ending in disappointment, when no bodies were recovered, and the vault contained merely dirt and some empty bottles. The term 'Al Capone's vault' has since become a description for an overhyped event that ends in an anti-climax.

Some people think that Lizzy Calvert (Suzy Amis) is Jack's granddaughter. Not true. Rose says to Lizzy, "I've never told anyone about Jack before, not even your grandfather". Lizzy's grandfather was a guy named Calvert that Rose married in the 1920's.

That was the Norwegian girl, Helga Dahl (Camilla Overbye Roos), with whom Fabrizio was dancing in the third-class dance. She was supposed to be Fabrizio's love interest, but all her other scenes were cut from the movie. They are included in the Special Edition DVDs.

Warm weather causes huge chunks of ice to break off from glaciers at the point where they meet the ocean. The icebergs then float south with the currents until they eventually melt. Because of its location in the North Atlantic, the iceberg that the Titanic hit is thought to have most likely come from Greenland.

"Eternal Father, Strong to Save". This is also known (to Americans) as the Navy Hymn--note the lyrics: Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea! Its use in this movie constitutes an anachronism, because although the original lyrics of the hymn were written by William Whiting of Winchester, England, in 1860, and were set to music by John Dykes, an Anglican clergyman, in 1861, the verse that precedes Whiting's famous reference to "those in peril on the sea"...O Spirit, Whom the Father sent / To spread abroad the Firmament; / O wind of heaven, by Thy Might, / Save all who dare the eagle's flight; / And keep them by Thy watchful care / From every peril in the air.... is the one that first appeared in the printed hymnal of the U.S. Protestant Episcopal Church in 1940 and so would not have been part of services aboard a British ship in 1912.

There's a possibility that he did. An officer indeed shot himself on the deck, but no one knows for sure which, and it's most likely no one ever will. The officer who shot himself could have been either 1st Officer William Murdoch (Ewan Stewart), Chief Officer Charles Wilde (Mark Lindsay Chapman), or 6th Officer James Moody (Edward Fletcher), all of whom died that night. Witness testimonies over this matter varied. Some also say it was Captain Smith (Bernard Hill), but due to how recognizable he was, it's doubtful that anyone would confuse him, if he was indeed the man who shot himself. Murdoch could have done so over guilt for crashing the ship, Wilde could have done it because he lost some relatives in a car crash earlier, and Moody could have done it simply due to stress over how awful the situation was. It was most likely Wilde, because the officer who killed himself was in his section of the ship. Both Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller (Jonny Phillips) and Fourth Officer Joseph Groves Boxhall (Simon Crane) said that they hadn't noticed anyone shooting himself on the ship as she sank. Then again, Lightoller also stated that the ship never broke in half even though the wreck speaks for itself. Lightoller also wrote a letter, signed by himself and several other officers that Murdoch did not kill himself. Wireless Operator Harold Bride, who swam from the ship and survived the night on Collapsible B with Lightoller, said that he saw the bodies of both Murdoch and 6th Officer James Moody in the water. Both were dead. Murdoch was clinging to a deck chair and Moody appeared to have a head wound (which Bride said made him wonder if Moody had shot himself). Lightoller's testimony could be questioned, as there is little reason for Bride to lie about seeing Murdoch in the water. Based on this, if an officer committed suicide, it seems less likely that it was Murdoch and more likely it was Moody of Wilde.

We know that Ruth DeWitt Bukater was on the Carpathia; and Rose explained what happened to Cal in later life, but Old Rose (Gloria Stuart) never mentions what happened to her mother. Some assume that Ruth probably went poor and died penniless or married again to a merchant. Many widows of the Titanic disaster did marry again. While the mother was depending on Rose to marry Cal, she could herself have married later, perhaps to a less extravagant but still financially secure level. Another possibility is that Cal made financial appropriation for her as his mother-in-law. Rose and Cal, as mentioned by Cal in the movie, would have been recognised as man and wife in practice, and Cal would have been very conscious of maintaining a gentleman's status in high society. It would have appeared extremely callous for Cal to cut Rose's mother loose with her daughter presumed dead.

Possibly, but the fact that they came from a high-class background and had only lost their wealth recently meant that Rose was still a suitable "match." In any case, he would probably have liked the idea of Rose being financially dependent on him. The movie makes a point of the distinction between new and old money indicating that financial gain is not on its own as powerful as the name that accompanies it. This is evident in the first class passengers attitude towards the 'vulgar' Molly Brown and the assumption that Jack is of the Boston Dawsons. Rose's mother indicates that Rose's father had a name sufficient enough to cover his destitution. It's possible that Cal was well aware of Rose's situation but appreciated that her name joining his would consolidate both.

That song was a popular tune back then called "Come Josephine in my Flying Machine." It was first written in 1910 by Fred Fisher and Alfred Bryan, then recorded by Blanche Ring. In 1911 it was recorded again as a duet between Billy Murray and Ada Jones. On the "Back To Titanic" soundtrack it is heard sung by Maire Brennan with lines from the movie in the background said by Rose towards the end. It is also heard again on a deleted scene on the special edition DVD.

Cal committed suicide after the Great Depression in 1929. In a deleted scene, he offers Lovejoy the diamond if he can bring him Rose (or stop Jack from winning her), so he apparently did not know whether or not she survived. If Rose became a noted actress after 1929, Cal would have posed no risk to her. If she was an actress before then, she might have done so without attracting his attention, especially if she performed on stage rather than on film and if she never achieved any real prominence. As she was 17 at the time the ship sank, her appearance would have changed as an adult, and the makeup used in early cinema was very heavy, therefore making her much less recognisable.

The movie gives us no explanation. In the alternate ending, she says that she didn't cash in on the diamond because she didn't want to rely on Cal for money. In any case, the Heart of the Ocean was unique and incredibly valuable, so it would be almost impossible to sell without attracting attention. The diamond was also a reminder of her promise to Jack to "Never let go." She throws it into the water at the end of the film because, by that point, she had fulfilled her promise to Jack (to live her life to the fullest) and was ready to move on. Notably the smaller diamonds on the necklace chain are all missing implying Rose sold them over the years.

While a number of film versions show the band playing "Nearer My God to Thee", it's highly questionable. The major problem is that the only ones who know the answer for sure (that is, the band) went down with the ship. However, many of the rumors which sprung up as soon as the survivors of the Titanic reached land said that "Nearer My God To Thee" was indeed the last song that the band played as the Titanic sank. In Walter Lord's book, A Night To Remember, which recounts the specific events from that night, Lord states that the last song to be played by the band was "Autumn". Wireless Operator Harold Bride, who was one of the last survivors to leave the ship, also said in later interviews that the last song the band was playing was "Autumn". While that song has been ruled out, what's now believed is that Bride was referring to "Songe d'Automne" with which he would undoubtedly been familiar and which he would have referred to simply as "Autumn", as it was widely known at the time. If we assume the song was "Nearer My God To Thee", there's still room for debate. This song comes in three main versions (and five other alternate versions): the American version ("Bethany"; played in this very movie), the British version ("Horbury"; played in A Night to Remember (1958)), and the British Methodist version ("Propior Deo"; currently not yet played in any Titanic movie to this date). All the members of the Titanic's band, save for one French member, were British. Thus the American version played in this movie is out of the question. The leader of the band, Wallace Hartley, was a Methodist, and so was yet another member of the band. And so the possible versions of "Nearer My God To Thee" that could have been played that night are the British and the British Methodist versions. The band was playing to keep the passengers calm as the ship was sinking, and playing "Nearer My God to Thee" would certainly have worked against the calm that the band had been working so hard to instill in the passengers that night.

Accounts vary slightly, but the best estimate is that 12-13 people were picked up from the water by lifeboats. Of these, at least three died of injuries or exposure. See here for more details.

He would do anything to prevent Jack from winning Rose. As Cal had said a few moments earlier to Jack as they watched Rose descend in the lifeboat (that she soon jumped out of), "I always win, Jack. One way or another." Once Rose jumped back onto the Titanic and into Jack's arms, Cal saw that he wasn't going to "win" and his thought process was likely "If I can't have her, no one can.", making him homicidal.

Rose is laughing because she is remembering the night before when she was with Jack after the steerage party and they sing the song together. This is a deleted scene on the three disk special edition DVD.

Women and children meant females of all ages and boys who were 14 or younger. However, the lifeboat boarding policy depended on which officer was controlling the boarding. Second Officer Lightoller had a strict policy of women and children only (he tried to keep Arthur Ryerson's 13-year old son out, but relented when the father protested. "No more boys," Lightoller grumbled, according to Walter Lord's account in the book "A Night To Remember." Other officers allowed any passengers to board the boats. Lifeboat #1 was boarded by Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, his wife, her secretary, and two other first class men for a total of only 12 passengers in a lifeboat made for about 40.

This is explained in a deleted scene (which can be seen on the Special Edition DVDs). The scene where Cal chases Jack and Rose originally ran longer. Knowing that Rose is unknowingly carrying the diamond, Cal tells Lovejoy that, if he can get the diamond, he can keep it. Lovejoy enters the flooded part of the ship, as Jack and Rose are trapped by a locked door. Seeing Lovejoy following them, they go and hide behind a table. Jack sneaks up on Lovejoy, and in the ensuing fight, Jack bashes Lovejoy's head through a window and then against a wooden beam. Jack and Rose then break out toward the upper deck, leaving Lovejoy unconscious.

Lots of people question why Rose and Jack didn't share the board. But what they don't seem to realize is that Jack and Rose did try to share the door, but it flopped over. There was too much weight. If they both managed to get on, the door would have been about a foot under water, which would have led to both of them dying. So only one could get on and the other had to stay in the water, so Jack sacrificed himself. They couldn't take turns either. The water was ice cold, so they couldn't just move back and forth in it. Remember when Rose got off the door to get the whistle? She could barely swim. And even if they could take turns, they both probably would have ended up dying of hypothermia or exhaustion. When you're in that kind of water, "you can't move, you can't think. Well, at least about anything but the pain".

In "MythBusters" (2003) {Titanic Survival (#13.1)}, Jamie and Adam tested weather Jack and Rose could have stayed afloat on the door. Adam and Jamie stood in for Jack and Rose, and a piece of debris, accurate to the movie and to the time period, was built. To account for their additional mass over the characters, Adam and Jamie added some cork to the bottom of the board to increase its buoyancy. Initially the pair struggled to both stay afloat on the board. However, they realized that Rose (Jamie) was wearing a life jacket and they could tie it under the board to make it float better. Now, they were both able stay on the board and keep most of their bodies out of the water therefore making it possible that they could have both survived.

Cameron really left that up to the audience to provide their own interpretations. Some people think that the very final scene is only a dream, others are of the opinion that Rose died safe in her bed, just like Jack said she would and that the final scene is their souls reuniting in the afterlife. Also, given the fact that everyone who is present in the grand staircase are those who perished on the ship and the film fades to white after her and Jack kiss. This also strongly hints that this was her ascent to the afterlife.

Several digital alterations were made for the Blu-ray Version, e.g. corrected goofs/ mistakes like visible lighting equipment or tools like threads etc. were removed. The probably most distinct difference is the altered background (sunset) during the famous "I am flying!" scene with Leo and Kate. A very detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

The sinking of the Titanic is a popular movie subject. Some of the more memorable movies include Titanic (1943), Titanic (1953), and A Night to Remember (1958). There have also been several TV series featuring the Titanic, such as 'S.O.S. Titanic' (1979), 'Titanic' (1996), and 'Titanic: Blood and Steel' (2012), as well as movies about the aftermath of the Titanic including Raise the Titanic (1980), the animated Titanic: La leggenda continua... (2000), and Titanic II (2010). A more complete listing of films and TV shows that feature the Titanic can be found here.

Emitations.com offers the necklace as part of a set or you can purchase it by itself as a ring under the Movie & TV Jewelry section of their website found here.

In many ways everyone's and no one's. The radio room had recieved warnings of icebergs in the area but were too busy sending private messages for the passengers to pass it on to the bridge. Lord Ismay pressed Captain Smith to travel as fast as he could but this was not unusual for Atlantic liners and he certainly would not have done so if he had recieved the ice warnings. The lookouts were in the crow's nest rather than at the front of the ship where they would have seen the iceberg sooner and lacked binoculars which were locked in a cabinet for which the key was missing (the crewman in possession of the key had been transferred to another ship forgetting to leave it behind and no one wanted to be responsible for smashing the lock on the cabinet). Upon sighting the iceberg the crew turned the ship and threw the engines into reverse but this meant that the Titanic struck the iceberg at an angle rather then head on. Had she struck head on only the first few compartments would have been flooded and the ship would almost certainly have survived. Striking the iceberg at an angle meant the damage extended down the side of the ship, flooding more compartments and resulting in its' loss.

No, no ship in the world could have survived such a collision and the Titanic probably remained afloat longer than any other vessel could have. The Titanic's sister ship the Britannic also sank but that was after hitting a mine during World War One. Her other sister ship, the Olympic had an exemplary career with no problems whatsoever. Miraculously White Star stewardess Violet Jessop survived the sinking of both the Titanic and Britannic and was also aboard the Olympic when she was badly damaged in a collision but remained afloat.

The Board of Trade had not changed its' safety rules since the days of sailing ships, the number of lifeboats specified in direct ratio to the size of the crew. However modern steam powered liners carried far more passengers and fewer crew meaning there wasn't enough for everyone (the Titanic actually exceeded the recommended number of lifeboats). The White Star line had not trained the crew well enough in evacuation procedures and they let some of the boats go without reaching their maximum capacity. The SS Californian was nearby but did not have a radio operator on watch (it was not legally required at the time) and the Titanic did not respond to her signal lamp, either it was too distant or no one noticed it during the panic of the evacuation. The Titanic fired white communication rockets rather than red which was the official distress signal and fired them at the wrong intervals for a ship requesting assistance. The boats crews did not return soon enough to rescue the survivors from the water because they feared being swamped by hundreds of people.

(1) That she was carrying gold bullion; incorrect although there would have been a great deal of precious jewelry and cash kept in the ship's safe for rich passengers during the crossing. (2) That she sank due to the curse of an Egyptian mummy that was being carried in the cargo hold from the British Museum; the British Museum has no record of any such artifact, nor does the White Star line. (3) That she was sabotaged by Catholic extremists who were resentful of her makers, Harland and Wolf, employing an overwhelmingly Protestant workforce. The contemporary Home Rule Bill (Britain granting Ireland limited self-government with provision for progressive independence in the same way as Canada, Australia etc) had racheted sectarian tensions in Ireland up to a high degree and wild rumours spread as a result. (4) That Lord Ismay took a place in a lifeboat to save himself at the cost of other's lives; Ismay actually played a key role in persuading 1st class passengers to enter the lifeboats and helping them aboard. When he himself boarded one it was half empty with no one else queuing for it. Numerous wild stories spread in the press about his conduct on the night and he was vilified in the press but the subsequent enquires disproved them all. (5) That it was the first use of SOS; it had actually been introduced in 1908 but the sinking of the Titanic made it much more famous and popularised its' employment.

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