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Titanic (1997) Poster

(1997)

Trivia

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When Jack is preparing to draw Rose, he says to her, "Lie on that bed, uh, I mean couch." The line was scripted "Lie on that couch", but Leonardo DiCaprio made an honest mistake and James Cameron liked it so much he kept it in.
At the end of the movie, when Rose meets Jack on the Grand Staircase, the time displayed on the clock is the same time the ship sank, at 2:20 AM.
After finding out that she had to be naked in front of Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet decided to break the ice, and when they first met, she flashed him.
The elderly couple seen hugging on the bed while water floods their room are the owners of Macy's department store in New York; Ida and Isidor Strauss, both of whom died on the Titanic. Ida was offered a seat on a lifeboat but refused so that she could stay with her husband, saying, "As we have lived together, so we shall die together." There was a scene filmed that depicted this moment but was cut from the final version.
The hands seen sketching Rose are not Leonardo DiCaprio's, but director James Cameron's. In post-production, Cameron, who is left-handed, mirror-imaged the sketching shots so the artist would be appear to be right-handed, like DiCaprio.
The scene in which Rose meets Jack to thank him for saving her life was improvised by the two actors at James Cameron's request, and the spitting scene was almost all ad-lib. Cameron also credits Kate Winslet with writing the heart-wrenching "This is where we first met" line during the final sinking, as well as suggesting Rose spit in Cal's face rather than (as scripted) jab him with a hairpin. No one told Billy Zane about this change, however, and his reaction to the spit is genuine.
The scenes set in 1912, i.e. the whole movie except the present-day scenes and the opening and ending credits, have a total length of two hours and forty minutes, the exact time it took for Titanic to sink. Besides, exactly 37 seconds pass in the movie between the lookouts warning and the actual collision with the iceberg - the same amount of time it took in real life.
The studios wanted Matthew McConaughey, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio.
When James Cameron was writing the movie, he intended for the main characters Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson to be entirely fictitious. It was only after the script was finished that he discovered that there had been a real "J. Dawson" who died aboard the Titanic. This "J. Dawson" was trimmer Joseph Dawson, who had been born September 1888 in Dublin, Ireland. His body was salvaged and buried at Fairview Lawn cemetery in Nova Scotia with many other Titanic victims. Today, his grave stone (#227) is the most widely visited in the cemetery.
In the film, Molly Brown lends Jack a tuxedo that she has most likely purchased in Europe for her son who is supposedly the same size as Jack. The real Molly Brown did indeed have a son, Larry, who was 24 at the time that the Titanic sank.
Many of the "core extras" used for the movie took on characteristics of actual survivors. One scene where two little girls are loaded onto a lifeboat and the man says, "It's only for a little while" is based on testimony from one of the girls who survived.
When Jack prevents Rose from committing suicide, he shares a story about how he once fell into freezing cold water while ice fishing and how it feels like "being stabbed with a thousand knives all over your body." This was an actual quote from a Titanic survivor describing the temperature of the North Atlantic water.
Approximately 120 tons of water (triple what had been initially planned) were released for Eric Braeden's final scene. Braeden said that he has never been more terrified in his life than when he was preparing for it, as there was obviously no possible physical rehearsal.
Reportedly, James Cameron spoke to and personally provided each of the extras (at least 150 of them) with names and back stories of Titanic passengers.
Robert De Niro was offered the role of Captain Smith but turned it down due to a gastrointestinal infection at the time.
The movie's line "I'm the king of the world!", which was ad-libbed by DiCaprio, was voted as the #4 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007. The same was voted as the #100 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
James Cameron went on the dives to the real Titanic himself, and found it an overwhelming emotional experience to actually see it. He ended up spending more time with the ship than its living passengers did.
In the scene where the water comes crashing into the Grand Staircase room, the film makers only had one shot at it because the entire set and furnishings were going to be destroyed in the shot.
Paramount had to send out replacement reels to theaters who had literally worn out their copies.
Upon discovering the sketch of young Rose, Brock Lovett says "I'll be goddamned". These were the exact words of Dr. Robert Ballard upon his discovery of the Titanic wreck.
The staircase is not actually technically accurate, being slightly larger in the film than it was in real life. This is because people in 1997 were a bit taller than in 1912 so they would have looked out of place on a staircase that fit the correct dimensions.
Gloria Stuart, being only 86, was aged by makeup to play Rose at age 101. She did not find this a pleasant experience.
With her nomination for Best Supporting Actress at age 87, Gloria Stuart became the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar.
On the final night of shooting in Nova Scotia, one or more pranksters mixed the dissociative hallucinogen PCP (angel dust) into the clam chowder served to the cast and crew. 80 people were taken ill, and more than 50 were hospitalized with hallucinations. When James Cameron realized what was happening, he forced himself to vomit before the drug took full effect. Bill Paxton felt listless for two weeks after the incident (although PCP's primary effects only last a few hours, the drug itself can take eight or more days to completely metabolize out of the body). The culprit(s) were never caught.
At $200 million, the movie cost more than the Titanic itself. The cost to construct the ship in 1910-1912 was £1.5 million, equivalent to $7.5 million at the time and about $120 to $150 million in 1997 dollars.
James Cameron pitched the film to 20th Century Fox with the single line of "Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic."
The first Best Picture Academy Award winner to be produced, directed, written, and edited by the same person (James Cameron).
In the scene of Rose looking through the corridors for Jack, the water used was actually from the Pacific Ocean at the Baja California, Mexico set. The water was so cold that when Rose gasps when she first dives into the water, it was actually Kate Winslet's genuine reaction to the frigid ocean.
The first film to be released on video (DVD/VHS) while it was still being shown in theaters.
Rose, in her old age, owns a Pomeranian. A Pomeranian was one of only three dogs known to have survived the disaster. As the real ship sank, a passenger freed dogs from their kennels and a survivor later recalled a French bulldog swimming in the ocean. James Cameron filmed scenes portraying the doomed animals but cut them.
Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Barry injured themselves while filming the scene in which their characters pull up a bench in third class and use it to smash a gate open. DiCaprio threw out a shoulder, and Barry caught himself in the chin with the bench.
The post-sinking scenes were shot in a 350,000 gallon tank where the frozen corpses were created by applying a powder on the actors that then crystallized when exposed to water. Wax was applied to hair and clothes to create a wet look.
Titanic is the most Oscar-nominated film (with 14 nominations) not to win in any acting categories.
James Cameron instructed the actors playing the officers to keep order amongst the extras in the sinking scenes. Jonny Phillips ad-libbed the moment when he whips around with the gun and shouts "keep back, or I'll shoot you all like dogs!" After the take, James Cameron ran up to him and told him it was great and to do it again, and Phillips asked "What did I say?", having been too caught up in the moment to realize what he was doing.
A 2012 episode of MythBusters: Titanic Survival (2012) tested whether or not Jack could have joined Rose on the floating door without submerging it and therefore survive the story. As it turned out, he could have, particularly if they strapped Rose's life vest underneath the door to add buoyancy. James Cameron, who appeared on the episode, maintained that Jack needed to die for thematic reasons, but conceded that he could have used a smaller door to make it more plausible.
After completing Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), James Cameron got the idea to do the film after watching A Night to Remember (1958). He spent five years doing research on the Titanic and its fate.
During the sinking scene, the priest reciting a passage from the Bible did exist on the Titanic. He is believed to be Father Byles of second class.
Jack has a line during the first-class dinner scene in which he asks Molly Brown which utensils to use for what. Because of the enormous amount of time spent shooting the scene, having to provide different angles and coverage for all the cast members at the table, Leonardo DiCaprio was so worn out towards the end that he picked up a fork and asked Kathy Bates, "Which one of these do I use to lobotomize myself?"
This was the first film to be nominated twice for an Academy Award, for the portrayal of the same character: Kate Winslet received a Best Actress nomination for her role as Rose and Gloria Stuart received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of the older Rose. The next time this happened was with the movie Iris (2001), which also starred Winslet.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet committed to the film even before the script was written, on the basis only of a 165-page outline James Cameron had written.
When Jack sneaks onto the first-class deck in search of Rose, we see a young boy playing with a top as his father looks on. The father is played by Titanic historian and author Don Lynch, of the Titanic Historical Society, who served as a consultant on the film. The scene is based on a famous photograph taken aboard Titanic during the second leg of the voyage, between Cherbourg and Queenstown (the photographer, Fr. Francis Browne, a Jesuit priest, left the ship when it docked briefly in Ireland). The boy, 6-year-old Robert Douglas Spedden and his father Frederic O. Spedden of Tuxedo Park, NY survived the sinking, but the boy died three years later in an auto accident in Maine, one of the first recorded in the state.
The piece of wooden paneling that Rose floated on after the sinking is based upon a genuine artifact that survived the sinking and is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, though it was scaled larger to provide sufficient buoyancy as a life-raft for Rose.
Titanic survivor Millvina Dean was asked if she would like to attend the premiere but she refused, stating that watching A Night to Remember (1958) was painful enough to watch.
Kate Winslet was one of the few actors who didn't want to wear a wetsuit during the water scenes; as a result, she got pneumonia, and nearly quit the production as a result. However, Cameron persuaded her to stay.
Composer James Horner thinks the titanic was sailing to Vincennes Indiana USA
The most expensive first-class suite on the Titanic cost $4,350, the equivalent of about $75,000 today.
As a joke in the edit suite, James Cameron had a razor blade with a label that said "Use only if movie doesn't work".
Gloria Stuart was the only person involved in the production of the film who was actually living in 1912.
Rose laughs during the flying scene when Jack sings "Come Josephine in My Flying Machine," as if she recalls the song from before. This is because a deleted scene shows the two characters singing it as they come out of the 3rd class dance.
When James Cameron decided to include real footage of the Titanic's remains on the seabed, he did not want to simply shoot from inside a submersible as had been done for the IMAX documentary Titanica (1995). To allow filming from outside the sub, Cameron's brother Mike Cameron and Panavision developed a deep-sea camera system capable of withstanding the 400 atmospheres of pressure at that depth.
The engine master says, "All ahead full," and we hear someone yell, "All ahead full!" in the background. That is actually director James Cameron's voice.
Only the starboard side of the exterior set was completed. In the scenes portraying the ship at the Southampton dock, all shots were reversed to give the appearance of the port side of the ship, as it was actually docked in 1912. This required the painstaking construction of reversed costumes and signage to complete the illusion, which was achieved by reversing the image in post-production. One cast member joked, "I wasn't dyslexic before starting this show. I am now."
James Cameron forfeited his $8 million director's salary and his percentage of the gross when the studio became concerned at how much over budget the movie was running.
Both Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio learned how to dance the polka for the scenes set at the party in the third-class compartments.
Gwyneth Paltrow was also up for the role of Rose Dewitt Bukater but lost to Kate Winslet.
The scenes during which Thomas Andrews chastises Second Office Charles Lightoller for sending the boats away without filling them to capacity is the only scene in the entire film in which the actors' breath was not digitally added in later.
When old Rose is looking at her drawing in the water, her original line was supposed to be "Wasn't I a hot number?", but both James Cameron and Gloria Stuart felt that this line was out of the character for Rose, so it was changed to the one in the final film.
During the corset scene, it is originally Rose who is suppose to be tightening her mother's corset. However, James Cameron and the actresses felt that the scene had much more of an effect of Rose being in the corset.
Was the most-voted-for film on IMDb that is not on the Top 250 List. However, as of 2014, it has been overtaken by James Cameron's Avatar (2009).
The most expensive movie to be filmed in the 20th century with a budget of $200,000,000.
During the lunch scene, the line "Freud? Who is he? Is he a passenger?" was an ad lib by Jonathan Hyde.
In the movie, Jack is a 3rd class passenger on the Titanic who sneaks his way up to first class with the hopes of never getting caught. In the real disaster in 1912, Third Class Passenger Hilda Maria Hellström, really did sneak up to first class out of curiosity and never got caught, however she was in her 3rd class cabin when the Titanic hit an iceberg and ended up surviving the sinking by boarding one of the last lifeboats to leave, Collapsible C.
In the scene in the beginning where the captain orders full-speed ahead and the shot moves down into the boiler room, the set was really just about three boilers but the film makers had huge mirrors installed to visualize a great big long room. (In this scene you can see workers shoving in coal, and about 20 feet down the room you can see the mirror image of the workers).
Rose's chiffon dress which she wears for the latter part of the film was designed to look just as good wet as dry. Costume designer Deborah Lynn Scott had about 24 of them made.
The opening was originally going to be an Irishman painting the word 'Titanic'. During that same scene, it is not, as believed by some, a real tape from her departure in 1912. James Cameron wanted to use actual footage, but at the time there was none. So he attempted to create what he thought took place. However after the movie was released, some actual footage was discovered.
After filming, the remains of the full-size set were sold as scrap metal.
In 2012, Entertainment Weekly reported that when the movie was re-released in 3D, director James Cameron didn't update any effects or fix any errors except one. When astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium, first saw the movie in its original theatrical release, he noticed that the configuration of stars in the night sky during Rose's night in the water bore no resemblance to what the sky really looked like over that place on that night (and, in fact, the same incorrect set of stars had just been duplicated in post-production). Tyson wrote a letter to James Cameron explaining the error; several years later, upon meeting Cameron in person, Tyson repeated his complaint; and then at an event that occurred at the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson spoke about it to Cameron a third time. Finally, a post-production technician working on the re-release called Tyson and asked him to provide a picture of what the sky really would have looked like, and Tyson's star image was used to fix that shot. Before the shot was fixed, the stars were arranged to look like the Heart of the Ocean necklace.
Most of the ocean which extras were jumping into was 3 feet deep.
At the TED conference in February 2010, James Cameron stated: "Secretly, what I wanted to do was I wanted to dive to the real wreck of 'Titanic'. And that's why I made the movie". The statement brought laughter and applause.
Most of the stuntmen in the engine room scenes were only about 5 feet tall to make the engine room look a lot bigger.
Gloria Stuart who was 87 at the time of the film's release, lived to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its release at age 97. She became a real-life centenarian on July 4th, 2010.
In preference to hiring new extras all the time and repeatedly having to fit them for clothes and coach them in proper 1912 mannerisms, a group of 150 "core extras" was hired who would stay with the picture through the entire production. They and other performers learned proper 1912 behavior in a 3-hour course from Lynne Hockney, who was also the film's choreographer. Hockney also produced a video "Titanic Etiquette: A Time Traveler's Guide", which was then left playing continuously in the wardrobe department.
On the set of Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio's pet lizard was run over by a truck, but with some TLC, DiCaprio nursed him to health.
When the scene where a wall of water bursts through a doorway was first shot, James Cameron said that the 40,000 gallons of water dumped into the corridor set were not enough, and asked for triple that amount. The set had to be rebuilt to stand up under the additional weight of water.
Christian Bale auditioned for the role of Jack Dawson, but was turned down because James Cameron didn't want two British actors playing the lead roles of two Americans.
The "Sinking" coat was a size 8 while the rest of the gowns were a size 4. It was so large to make Rose seem more vulnerable in the sinking scenes.
Egg white was used for the initial spitting sequence, but petroleum jelly was used in the sequence where Rose spits on Cal.
Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard who built the Titanic in 1909, opened up their private archives to the production, sharing blueprints that were long thought lost.
The film was re-released on April 6, 2012 in 2D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sailing and sinking of the ship and of the foundation of Paramount Pictures.
The first class lounge was deemed to be too expensive a set to be built. As a miniature of it was required for the flooding scenes, one was built to quarter of the real size. This was then greenscreened as background for the scenes where the actors were seen sitting in the lounge.
For the safety of the stuntmen, most of the props were made of foam rubber.
James Cameron wrote the role of Lewis Bodine with his friend Lewis Abernathy in mind. When he couldn't find an actor to play the part, he went to Abernathy and asked, essentially, if he would play himself. Abernathy replied, "If you want to f*** up your movie by casting me, buddy, alright."
Reba McEntire was offered and had accepted the role of Molly Brown, but due to later schedule conflicts, had to turn it down.
Was #1 at the U.S. box office for a record fifteen consecutive weeks, from 19 December 1997 to 2 April 1998.
James Cameron was adamant about not including any song in the film, even over the closing credits. Composer James Horner secretly arranged with lyricist Will Jennings and singer Céline Dion to write "My Heart Will Go On" and record a demo tape which he then presented to Cameron, who responded very favorably and included the song over the closing credits. The song went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In a 2012 interview on MTV News, shortly before the movie was re-released in 3D, Kate Winslet admitted that she strongly dislikes the song "My Heart Will Go On," which was recorded by Céline Dion and prominently included in the film. She said about it, "I wish I could say, 'Oh listen, everybody! It's the Celine Dion song!' But I don't. I just have to sit there, you know, kind of straight-faced with a massive internal eye roll... It haunts me."
The first film James Cameron ever directed that did not include or mention nuclear weapons.
James Cameron originally wanted Enya to compose the score for the film and even went so far as to assemble a rough edit using her music. When Enya declined, Cameron hired James Horner (who had composed the music for Cameron's previous film Aliens (1986)) to write the score. Horner stated that the tensions with Cameron were so high during post-production of "Aliens" that he assumed he and Cameron would never work together again. However, Cameron was so impressed with Horner's score from Braveheart (1995) that he was willing to forget the past experience. According to some accounts, Horner independently decided the film's score should be done in Enya's style. As a result, several pieces of the score sound very similar to some well-known Enya songs, in particular her theme song for Far and Away (1992) (Book of Days).
Early in production, this film's brief "decoy" working title was "Planet Ice".
Jack Dawson is depicted as both one of the last passengers to board the Titanic as well as one of the last people to go into the ocean when the ship finally sinks.
Production of the film began in 1995 when James Cameron shot footage of the real wreck of the Titanic. He was able to persuade 20th Century Fox to invest in the film by convincing them that the publicity surrounding a real-life dive to the wreck would be really beneficial to the production.
The original release date was 25 July 1997. When Harrison Ford, whose upcoming film, Air Force One (1997), was scheduled to be released the same day, found out, he demanded that Paramount push the release date to a different time. Paramount, who had distributed many successful films of Ford's, agreed, being worried that Ford would never do another film for them again.
Was the highest grossing film in box office history with a worldwide gross of US$1.8 billion until it was surpassed by Avatar (2009). Both films were directed by James Cameron.
When the stern of the ship is vertical, Chief Baker Joughin (Liam Tuohy, in white) is drinking from a flask. Joughin was one of few to survive the freezing water, allegedly due to the alcohol (but this is disputed as unlikely since alcohol is known to accelerate hypothermia, not to help resist cold). The scene was added after Liam showed the flask to James Cameron explaining that it was a family heirloom as old as the Titanic itself.
The Swedish phrases that Sven and his buddy exchange during the card game translate into the following: "I can't believe you bet our tickets!". "Shut up!". When grabbing Jack by the throat: "You damn weasel!". And after punching his buddy in the face: "You damn idiot! What the hell are we gonna do? I'm gonna kill you!".
In 1998 it became the first film since 1966 to win the Oscar for Best Picture but not be nominated for its screenplay (the previous film to hold this "honor" was The Sound of Music (1965).
Jack and Rose officially meet on Friday evening, April 12, 1912.
One of three films to win a total of 11 Academy Awards, the others being Ben-Hur (1959) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
James Cameron met his fifth wife, Suzy Amis, on the set of this film. Of all his marriages, theirs has lasted the longest.
According to the cast and crew commentary on the Special Edition DVD, the first scene filmed between DiCaprio and Winslet was the nude scene where he draws her and the last shot of the film was the flooding of the captain's wheelhouse. It was a three second sequence that required multiple cameras and safety divers and a stuntman to play Captain Smith.
The scale model of the under water wrecked ship, has been on display in the Titanic museum in Branson, MO for a number of years. In August 2011, it will be removed and taken back to Hollywood where it is to be used to film the new Titanic 3-D movie.
Jack's portrait of the one-legged prostitute is actually visible for two frames as he turns the page to his sketch of "Madam Bijoux". James Cameron decided not to show the portrait as he thought the audience would imagine something better.
This was the first movie to win both the Academy and MTV Movie Award for Best Picture.
In the scene where the lifeboats are rowing to the Carpathia, there is a brief scene that shows Fifth Officer Lowe waving a green flare and shouting something, but for dramatic reasons the diologue is muted. If you were to read his lips, you can tell he is saying "Come on, put your backs into it, men. We've been saved! Row!"
The original carpet manufacturers were persuaded to make an 18,000 square foot reproduction of the original weave that was on the ship.
There was a scene storyboarded, in which Rose was to walk off the Carpathia and disappear into the crowds. Since the budget had run so high, however, James Cameron had to cut this scene due to the expense of having almost 1,000 extras brought to New York to film just 30-seconds.
The rooms that Caledon Hockley, Rose DeWitt Bukater and Ruth DeWitt Bukater occupied (B52, B54 and B56) were actual rooms on the real Titanic. They were originally booked by J.P. Morgan, but he canceled before the ship sailed. Morgan had a controlling interest in International Mercantile Marine, a conglomerate that owned the White Star Line. Bruce Ismay booked the rooms following Morgan's cancellation. (See Goofs.)
That's real Beluga caviar in the first class dining room sequence. After sampling it, Jonathan Hyde said he "made an acting decision on the spot that Ismay was a big eater".
The bedtime story the Irish mother tells her children is the story of "The Children of Lir," an old Irish folktale about children turned into swans. That is, unless it's actually the story of "Tir na nOg, Land of eternal youth and beauty", an Irish folktale where no one ages.
The film contains over 100 speaking parts and over 1000 extras, all of whom needed to be dressed in lavish period costume.
Lindsay Lohan auditioned for the role of Cora Cartmell. Lohan, who was then an unknown and was only 8 years old at the time casting took place, was the top choice for the role. However, James Cameron felt that Lohan's fiery red hair would confuse people into thinking she was related to the characters Rose and Ruth, who both had fiery red hair. Alexandrea Owens was cast instead.
Rose says "Jack" 80 times, not counting when she calls him "Mr. Dawson", but counting both Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart. Jack says "Rose" 50 times.
For some wreck interior shots, a set was constructed and submerged.
James Cameron's regular Michael Biehn was nearly cast as Cal Hockley and attended numerous meetings with Cameron to discuss the role. Rob Lowe, Rupert Everett, Peter Greene and Pierce Brosnan were also considered, though ultimately the part went to Billy Zane.
Shay Duffin, who played the pubkeeper in England, is related to one of the original Irish workers who built the Titanic.
James Cameron, being a certified scuba diver, has admitted that the reason why he wanted to make a movie about "a big ship that sinks" was because he just wanted to dive to the real wreck of the Titanic.
During the 3rd Class party scene, Jack and Rose try to dance the Polka, with neither one really knowing the steps. The Polka is the official state dance of Wisconsin, where Jack is from.
At the party in steerage, a foreign-speaking man is speaking with Rose and she says "I'm sorry, I can't understand you." The man is Swedish, probably a friend of Sven's, and he's saying to her "Talar fröken svenska?" In English that translates to "Does the miss/lady speak Swedish?" which she obviously doesn't.
During the sinking of the actual Titanic, there was concern that the davits might not be strong enough to lower the boats fully loaded, although they had in fact been tested under such a weight. The davits in the film, which can be seen flexing under the weight, were made under the same dimensions as originally designed by the White Star Line.
Kate Winslet had to learn how to scuba dive in preparation for her scenes in the water.
The "full-size" ship exterior set was constructed in a tank on a beach south of Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. Construction started on the 85th anniversary of the real Titanic's launch - May 31, 1996 (see also A Night to Remember (1958)). To reduce costs, the number of instances of some repeated components (such as windows) was reduced, and other parts (such as the funnels and lifeboats) were built at 90% scale to produce the correct visual appearance. The set was oriented to face into the prevailing wind so that the smoke from the funnels would blow the right way.
After the ship breaks in half, the bow section sinks rapidly. To film this, the full-size set was in fact divided into sections. But the bow section would not sink fast enough, due to its own buoyancy and the narrow clearance between it and the tank. James Cameron observed that once "God's 10,000,000 kW light" had risen they would have to wait until the next night, and suggested sinking the set, letting the air space between the two decks fill with water, then raising the set again and quickly sinking it before the water ran out. This worked.
In the movie the original script included scenes of newlywed couple Daniel and Mary Marvin, Daniel being a cameraman and son of Henry Marvin, co-founder of the movie production company American Mutoscope & Biograph. Daniel Marvin died aboard the Titanic, but not without photographing some of the only existing film of the liner.
As is the case with many 20th Century Fox films, the film cans for the advance screening and show prints had a code name. Titanic's was "Baby's Day Out 2."
The film was initially budgeted at $135,000,000, but going two months over schedule required asking Paramount Pictures to contribute an additional $65,000,000 in exchange for U.S. distribution rights.
The character of Rose is partially based on California artist Beatrice Wood, who died in 1998 at the age of 105.
The deep-sea camera held only 12 minutes' worth of film, but each dive took many hours. To make the best use of his resources, James Cameron had a 1/33 scale model of the wreck constructed and used it to rehearse each dive. The Russian sub operators would walk around the model ship holding model subs in their hands as Cameron explained the shots he wanted.
Fay Wray was originally offered the role of the older Rose but turned it down, saying, "I think to have done this film would have been a tortuous experience altogether". Hollywood legend Ann Rutherford also turned it down.
Most of the decor on the ship was either reconstructed by or under the supervision of researchers of the White Star Line, the original company which constructed and furnished the Titanic.
The car in which Jack and Rose make love was a Renault owned by the Carter family.
During World War I, Titanic's former Second Officer Charles Lightoller served in the Royal Navy Reserve in multiple vessels (including 3 commands). Despite his distinguished record (he would be decorated twice for valor in combat), he would never command a merchant vessel for White Star or any other shipping line. After leaving merchant service, he owned a small motor yacht for much of the rest of his life. His was one of the many private citizens who helped in the evacuation of British and Allied forces from Dunkirk, France; he and his two sons would be credited for evacuating approximately 130 Allied personnel in the dangerously overloaded vessel.
Even though the actors wore waterproof makeup for the scenes shot in the aftermath of the sinking, they constantly required touch-ups, as chemicals in the pool they shot in would wash the makeup off.
The only real decks were the boat deck and A deck, with a facade of plating and lighted portholes completed only on the starboard side. So many lights were required that cinematographer 'Russell Carpenter' commented: "And you walk inside, and 70 miles of one kind of cable and 70 miles of another kind all add up to this Terry Gilliam vision of the telephone company of the 1950s."
Jack mentions he is from Chippawa Falls, Wisconsin. James Cameron grew up in a town called Chippawa in Ontario, Canada.
Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of Rose DeWitt Bukater.
To sink the Grand Staircase into the purpose-built 5 million gallon tank, 90,000 gallons of water were dumped through it as it was lowered into the tank. Such was the volume that the staircase was ripped from its steel-reinforced foundations.
Titanic marks the first time that two actors, Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart, were nominated for an Academy Award for playing the same person in the same film. They both played Rose but neither won.
A number of scenes are arranged and in some cases scripted almost identically to similar sequences in A Night to Remember (1958). This is particularly true of these scenes: - Thomas Andrews telling Capt. Smith the sinking is "a mathematical certainty"; - The Titanic's band preparing to depart at the end, only to turn around and regroup as Hartley begins playing "Nearer My God to Thee" by himself (though a different version of the song is used in the 1958 film). - A shot of Ismay in a lifeboat as the Titanic sinks behind him. - Thomas Andrews looking at a painting as Titanic prepares to sink - Andrews encountering a man by the Grand Staircase and telling him the ship is doomed (in this film, he tells Rose).
[June 2008] Ranked #6 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Epic".
12 dives were necessary. On the last two dives, shots were taken by sending a remotely operated vehicle into the wreck; James Cameron had intended using this device only as a prop.
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The detached stern section of the full-size set was moved onto a separate tilting platform which would allow it to be rapidly turned vertical for the final phase of sinking. There were 10 takes, each requiring 100 stunt players to fall from or along the set while 1,000 extras were attached to the railings by safety harnesses.
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A 162-foot crane originally intended for construction and lighting was mounted on railway tracks and used for most high-level exterior shots, rather than expensive helicopters. The camera platform was big enough for a gyro-stabilized Wescam, a Steadicam and a hand-held camera. James Cameron directed atop it to be able to see the entire set.
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Long shots showing the whole ship's exterior were produced by Digital Domain. A 1/20 scale model was filmed and computer-generated images of people, ocean and smoke were added. For one scene, James Cameron instructed them to "imagine we're making a commercial for White Star Lines and we need beautiful shots sweeping around the ship from a helicopter."
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Tom Wilkinson was considered for the role of Lovejoy, which eventually went to David Warner. Wilkinson went on to do The Full Monty (1997), which became one of Titanic's contenders at the Oscars next year.
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Steven Spielberg was so impressed with the film's 3D conversion, that he hired the same retrofitting company to do the same for Jurassic Park's 3D conversion.
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Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Jodie Foster, Cameron Diaz and Sharon Stone were all considered for the role of Rose.
Was the highest-grossing film in Japan until Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (2001) opened.
The completed film ignores the freighter Californian, which had stopped for the night due to the ice hazard and was within sight of the Titanic throughout the sinking (the Californian's warning had been received and sent to the bridge but was not placed in the chartroom). An early version of the script included a scene on the Californian, but James Cameron cut out the subplot after filming it to shorten running time. The two actors in the scene on the Californian were Adam Barker as radio operator Cyril Evans and Peter John White as Third Officer Groves.
Macaulay Culkin was considered for the role of Jack Dawson.
First winner of the Best Picture Academy Award to be converted to the 3D format after its original 2D release.
Before announcing development of this film, director James Cameron shot footage of icebergs off the coast of Nova Scotia under the pretense of making a film titled "Planet Ice".
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Ranks first in the Academy Award Most Nominated Films List with 14 nominations, tying with All About Eve (1950).
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All the artifacts were created from scratch by Peter Lamont's production design team to recreate the newness of everything on the ship.
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River Phoenix was James Cameron's first choice to play Jack Dawson while Cameron was planning to make the movie, by the time the movie was make, Leonardo DiCaprio had reach the perfect age.
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James Cameron supervised all of the underwater shots of the Titanic himself.
Mark Lindsay Chapman was fired and rehired twice, and survived an accident where he was struck by a boat and had to be pulled from the water.
Several scenes show all four funnels smoking but the smoke from the fourth funnel is fewer and cleaner. The White Star Lines competitors all had four and they did not want to lose face. So the fourth funnel was designed as additional storage space that was used on the first trip for livestock and to provide ventilation.
The line, "I'd rather be his whore than your wife", was originally spoken by Peggy Lipton as Norma Jennings in Twin Peaks: Episode #2.16 (1991). Coincidentally, Billy Zane and David Warner, who played Cal Hockley and Spicer Lovejoy respectively in Titanic, appeared in that episode.
Came eighth in the UK's Ultimate Film, in which films were placed in order of how many seats they sold at cinemas.
One of the Swedes in the beginning of the film, Erik Holland, is really Norwegian, and currently works as a doorman at a nightclub in Stavanger, Norway. The other, Jari Kinnunen, is an actor from Finland. His Swedish is so heavily accented as to be incomprehensible to Swedes.
Although a sizable publicity campaign had already been prepared, the release of the film was delayed from summer to Christmas 1997 as some elements in post-production (especially the special effects) took longer to complete than anticipated.
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The name of the character Caledon Hockley derives from two small towns (Caledon and Hockley) near Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, where James Cameron's aunt and uncle live.
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Tom Cruise was considered for the role of Jack Dawson.
Barbra Streisand was considered for the role of Molly Brown.
The "ale" in the below decks party was actually root beer.
The schedule was originally meant to last 138 days but grew to 160 - 20 days short of 6 months.
The highest-grossing film ever to win the Best Picture Academy Award, and one of only two Best Pictures to gross over $1 billion (the other being The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)).
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #83 Greatest Movie of All Time. This was one of the newest entries on the list (from films which were released between 1997 and 2005).
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At the departure scene the extras were filmed on a green screen in a parking lot.
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All the scenes where there is an exterior sunset shot were filmed at the Fox Studios set in Baja California, Mexico. The set was constructed specifically for the film, as no studio was large enough at the time to encompass the almost full-scale replication of the ship.
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David Warner, who played Spicer Lovejoy, also played real life survivor Laurence Beesley in the 1987 TV movie S.O.S. Titanic (1979).
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Famous American author Morgan Robertson published a novella titled The Wreck of the Titan in 1898. It is a fictional story about a large passenger liner that struck an iceberg while sailing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Ironically, the storyline in Robertson's book contains very striking resemblances to the events of the RMS Titanic, despite it being written fourteen years earlier.
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The drawing Jack made entitled "Lady Bijou" wasn't really just any picture. They got the idea from an old 1933 photograph taken by Brassai called "Bijou".
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Upon sighting the iceberg, the ship's officers shout 'Hard to starboard' at the helmsman, but the helmsman turns the wheel to port. The ship did actually alter course to port and then Murdoch attempted to 'starboard the ship' to swing the stern clear of the iceberg. Titanic's steering followed the old British practice (derived from sailing ships) that turning the wheel to starboard would make the rudder, and thus the ship, turn to port. Conversely, turning the wheel to port, as the helmsman is shown doing, would make the ship turn to starboard.
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This was the first time the Best Song Oscar (for "My Heart Will Go On") was won by a non-musical Best Picture winner. Best Song Oscar had been won by Best Picture winner only twice before (Going My Way (1944) and Gigi (1958), both musicals).
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Billy Zane was cast after James Cameron saw him in the film The Phantom (1996).
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The name of the band seen playing at the party in 3rd Class is Gaelic Storm.
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Despite the fact that this was filmed in Super 35, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.
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Rufus Sewell and Jason Isaacs were both considered for the role of Cal.
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Adrian Paul was considered for the role of Caledon 'Cal' Hockley. As was Jack Davenport, but he was deemed too young.
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20th Century Fox acquired 40 acres of waterfront south of Playas de Rosarito in Mexico and started building a brand new studio in May 31 1996. A 17 million gallon tank was built for the exterior of the reconstructed ship, providing 270 degrees of ocean view. The ship was built to full scale but production design removed redundant sections on the superstructure and the forward well deck so that it would fit the tank. The remaining sections were filled in digitally. The lifeboats and funnels were shrunk by 10%. While the boat deck and the A-deck were full working sets, the rest of the ship was steel plating. Contained within that was a 50 foot lifting platform for the ship to tilt during the sinking sequences, whilst towering above that was a 162 feet tall tower crane on 600 feet of railtrack. This was used as a construction, lighting and camera platform.
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Bernard Fox appeared as Lookout Frederick Fleet in A Night to Remember (1958) (uncredited) and as Col. Archibald Gracie in this film.
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Thomas Andrews was originally suppose to appear during the "King of the World" scene, but was removed because he hadn't yet been introduced.
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Of the special effects houses involved, VIFX were responsible for the icy, visible breath of the passengers floating in the water after the ship sank. They also worked on the engine room sequence and a lot of the workers seen therein. POP Film handled digital face replacements and matte paintings, Banned from the Ranch took care of some underwater shots, CIS Hollywood were responsible for sky replacements and bluescreen composites, whilst Digital Domain - James Cameron's own company - dealt with the bulk of the big showcase special effects.
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Jeremy Sisto screen tested opposite Kate Winslet for the role of Jack Dawson.
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A 1/8 scale model of the ship's stern was also used.
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James Cameron regular Jenette Goldstein appears in period costume here. Previously she had showed up in period costume at the auditions for Aliens (1986), her first movie with Cameron, thinking it was a period movie.
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WILHELM SCREAM: After the Titanic hits the iceberg, water splashes inside the ship, hitting the crew members.
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The only film to win both the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie.
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A model was used for the ship in the background during the poker scene so the onlookers are missing.
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Dolores O'Riordan was asked to both act in and compose music for the movie, but refused both offers due to the birth of her son.
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Leonardo DiCaprio was initially not convinced about playing Jack, thinking the part to be "a bit light".
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The specially constructed Baja water tank cost $40 million alone.
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The engine room scenes were partially filmed aboard the WWII ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Smaller railings and catwalks were installed to make the engines appear bigger.
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The entire set was mounted on hydraulic jacks and could be tilted up to 6° intact within the depth of the tank.
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Claire Danes and Gabrielle Anwar were considered for the part of Rose.
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The second film about the Titanic to win the Best Picture Oscar, after Cavalcade (1933).
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James Cameron said his original pitch for the film consisted of his showing the Fox studio executives a book full of famous Titanic paintings by Ken Marschall and said "This ship... Romeo and Juliet."
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Prior to this film, four other pairs of actors (Charles Laughton and Richard Burton'; Robert Donat and Peter O'Toole; Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro), Jose Ferrer and Gérard Depardieu) had been nominated for an Oscar for playing the same part. Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart became the first pair of women to be nominated for the same part. Just the year later, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench were both nominate for playing Queen Elizabeth I, and then Winslet and Dench played younger and older versions of the title character in Iris (2001). Leonardo DiCaprio would later become one of two actors nominated for playing Howard Hughes, the other being Jason Robards. He also appeared in This Boy's Life (1993) and Marvin's Room (1996) with Robert De Niro. He and Winslet have both worked with Gérard Depardieu in Hamlet (1996) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998). DiCaprio also appeared in Gangs of New York (2002), with Daniel Day-Lewis, who later became the second nominee for the role of Abraham Lincoln (following Raymond Massey).
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To achieve tilt angles beyond 6°, the "underwater" parts of the facade were simply detached from the set and the support structure adjusted accordingly.
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In some shots the apparent tilt angle was steepened using various tricks such as tilting the camera and horizon.
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Interior shots also involved hydraulically tilted sets in tanks (in various studio soundstages).
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Stephen Dorff and Billy Crudup both turned down the part of Jack.
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The first movie to be filmed at Fox Studios Baja.
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Jack mentions to Astor that he is of the "Chippewa Falls Dawsons". This is the nearest city to Lake Wissota which he mentions earlier, when he is saving Rose, as a lake near his childhood home. His childhood home would most likely be Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, United States.
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Anthony Higgins turned down a role in this movie to do a play.
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Lorcan Cranitch was the first choice for the role of Thomas Andrews after James Cameron was impressed with his performance as DS Jimmy Beck in Cracker (1993). Victor Garber was cast after Cranitch turned the role down.
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In the original script, after Jack, Fabio and Tommy break down the locked gate, Rose steps through the wreckage and calmly orders the steward to escort the steerage passengers to the boat deck immediately. As filming progressed, 'James Cameron I' became impressed with 'Jason Barry's I' performance in a relatively small role and wanted to give him a stronger scene. With 'Kate Winslet's' blessing, Cameron changed the gate breakdown scene to give Tommy the last word instead of Rose.
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20th Century Fox wanted Chris O'Donnell for the part of Jack.
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Caleb Deschanel was the first cinematographer. He clashed with James Cameron over the lighting of the film and was eventually fired to be replaced by Russell Carpenter.
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1000 extras were drafted in for the opening scene where the Titanic leaves Southampton.
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Was the last first-run film to have a 70mm release until The Master (2012). James Cameron paid for the 70mm prints himself.
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British newspapers alleged that Michael Caine refused a role.
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Both David Warner and Billy Zane starred in Twin Peaks: Episode #2.16 (1991), although their characters do not interact.
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Director Cameo 

James Cameron:  Standing behind Fabrizio on the deck waiting for a lifeboat when Murdoch starts shooting.
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James Cameron:  Just below Lovejoy during the below decks party, with a gray beard.
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Director Trademark 

James Cameron:  [perfect cut]  Several dissolves between the Titanic on the seabed to the Titanic of the past, and the dissolve from the young to the old Rose.
James Cameron:  [theme]  humanity's arrogance and over-reliance on technology, leading to disaster.
James Cameron:  [feet]  The shoe at the beginning, Rose's feet while climbing the rail, Jack's feet when taking off his shoes, Rose's and Jack's feet while dancing.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

As originally scripted, Cal was intended to actually find Rose aboard the Carpathia after the sinking. Rose was to tell him to let her mother know that she died on the Titanic, and that he would leave her alone for the rest of her life.
The photos Old Rose has on her dresser all show things Jack said she would do with her life. Like riding a horse with both legs either side.
Considerable controversy arose when James Cameron depicted the suicide of First Officer Murdoch. While Cameron did apologize to Murdoch's family members for the upset the scene caused them, he still kept the shot in the film, stating simply that while no one could prove that it did happen, neither could anyone prove that it didn't. Murdoch's body was never recovered, but it is generally agreed that he either froze to death in the water or went down with the ship.
An alternative ending was shot, in which old Rose shows Brock the diamond before she throws it into the sea. James Cameron didn't use it, because it took away too much closure for the character of Rose.
When Rose is afloat on the wood looking up at the stars, there is a vague image of the necklace. It is outlined by brighter stars shaping the heart loosely, and a few bright stars shaping the chain. This shot is omitted in the 3D re-release, in which it is replaced with a shot of how the stars really looked like in 1912.
When we last see Cal's bodyguard Lovejoy in the finished film, he is hanging onto the side rail of the Titanic as it is breaking in half, with the side of his head appearing quite bloody. A scene had been cut that explains how Lovejoy got to look so bloodied and disheveled. The existing scene where Cal chases Jack and Rose down the Grand Staircase, shooting at them and then runs out of bullets (prior to realizing he put his coat which contains the diamond on Rose), was actually supposed to continue, where Cal hands Lovejoy the gun and tells him that if he gets the diamond from Rose, he can keep it. Lovejoy then loads the gun and goes hunting for them in the dining room. Cameron states on the 3-Disc Special Edition DVD that includes the scene, that it was not only considered much too long, but preview audiences didn't buy the fact that Lovejoy turns into a murderous villain trying to get a diamond from Jack and Rose as the ship is sinking (and they're ALL liable to die anyway). Lovejoy's head gets bloodied when Jack catches him off guard, crashes Lovejoy's head through a glass window and roughs him up a bit before he and Rose run away.
In order to visit Rose as she's touring the bridge with Thomas Andrews and Cal on the day of the sinking, Jack steals a coat and hat belonging to a first class passenger named A.L. Ryerson. A.L. Ryerson (Arthur Larned Ryerson) was a real 1st class Titanic passenger who boarded in Cherbourg with his wife Mrs. Emily Maria Ryerson and three of their five children including their son John Borie Ryerson. The Ryerson's stayed in staterooms B57, 63, and 66 and the family purchased their tickets from the White Star Line for a total of 262 pounds 7 shillings. The scene in which Jack steal's the coat depicts a famous picture of a father and his young son playing with a top on Titanic's deck. The scene in the movie takes place on April 14, 1912, the day of the sinking. The original photo however was taken on the day of the sailing, and it's generally accepted that it was the Spedden who appear in the picture. Originally from Harford, PA the Ryersons were traveling aboard the Titanic to Cooperstown, NY. Emily and the children were rescued aboard life boat 4, but Arthur perished in the sinking.
Rose only says "I love you" to Jack once while they are both shivering in the water. Jack never says it, although he mentions what he loves about her (see Quotes).
Danny Nucci (Fabrizio) stated that there were several different versions of his death that were scripted. One of them would have involved him swimming up to Cal's swamped lifeboat and begging to be let aboard, saying it was his destiny to go to America. At that point Cal was supposed to have knocked him unconscious with his oar and tell him "IT'S THAT WAY!"
Cal's snide comments notwithstanding, Rose intuitively has quite an eye for art. She bought herself a canvas considered one of the most influential paintings of the 20th century: Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Ladies of Avignon). During the sinking, it is shown floating in Rose's cabin -but actually it has been on exhibit safe and dry for decades at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (see Goofs).
When Mr. Ismay is being lowered down in one of the lifeboats, the band is playing Orpheus from the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus descended to Hell to rescue Eurydice, his wife from a life of misery in the underworld. Since the camera shows Ismay being lowered at the time, its almost like he's descending into his own personal Hell. Because if it weren't for his insistence on speeding up, the Titanic never would have hit the iceberg. So he gets to watch it sink while the lifeboat slowly sails away.
The films both Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet did prior to Titanic were William Shakespeare adaptations (Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Hamlet (1996), respectively) and both of their characters died by committing suicide in the films.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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