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23 Facts About "Titanic" That'll Completely Change The Way You Watch The Movie

They ate actual Beluga Caviar when shooting the dining scene, but not everything is historically accurate!

1. Early on in the movie, James Cameron re-created this actual photo of a boy spinning a top on the deck of the Titanic.

An actual photo of a boy spinning a top on the deck of the titanic, and a scene from the movie based on the photo
Paramount Pictures / Public Domain

2. The duplicate Titanic they built for the film was a replica of the starboard side of the ship, but it was actually the port side that faced the docks at Southhampton. So for historical accuracy, everything on the set was built backward (note the "White Star Line" sign), and the footage was flipped in post production...

A scene from the movie flipped to show what it actually looked like while they were filming
Paramount Pictures

3. ...and when I say everything, I mean everything — including the tickets:

20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Everett Collection, Yourprops / Via

4. It might be difficult to see from this angle, but the fourth smoke stack doesn't emit as much smoke as the other three. This is a true-to-life detail as only three of the four stacks were connected to the ship's furnaces. The fourth stack was mostly for aesthetics, but might've also provided ventilation for the kitchens.

The titanic setting sail, and the fourth smoke stack is highlighted to show less smoke
20th Century Fox Film Corp. / Everett Collection

5. When shooting the dining scene where Jack attends a first-class dinner with Rose's party, actual Beluga Caviar was served to the actors.

A delicate dollop of Beluga caviar on a plate, with a dinner roll on the side
Paramount Pictures

As of 2005, Beluga Caviar — one of the most expensive types of caviar you can buy — is now illegal in the United States (barring some exceptions).

6. It might not surprise you to learn that Jack's sketch of Rose wasn't really done by Leonardo DiCaprio — it was actually drawn by director James Cameron.

Jack's hand sketching Rose in the movie, but in real life it was James Cameron's
Paramount Pictures

7. Speaking of the sketches, when Rose is looking at Jack's sketchbook he shows her a drawing he did of a one-legged prostitute that the audience isn't given a chance to really see — that is, unless you pause the movie at just the right moment:

A pencil sketch of topless one with one leg and crutch
Paramount Pictures

8. While they were filming the scene just after the ship goes down when Rose is floating on that controversial door, the water was probably just a little bit colder than it actually should have been, and Kate Winslet ended up getting hypothermia:

Rose, ice in her hair, tries to blow on a whistle to get a lifeboat's attention
Paramount Pictures

9. And that's not even the worst of it: As they filmed the scene when Jack and Rose were running from a wave that was sweeping down a corridor, Kate's dress got caught and she reportedly almost drowned.

Rose and Jack running from a wave
Paramount pictures

10. The 1912 Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville being hoisted onto the ship at the beginning of the movie is the same one Jack and Rose have sex in later on. And guess what? According to the ship's manifest, there actually was one of these aboard the Titanic, and amateur treasure hunters have launched several expeditions in an attempt to locate it at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean (to no avail).

The 1912 Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville as it's being hoisted onto the ship, and then when Rose and Jack find it in the ship's cargo hold
Paramount Pictures

11. At the end of the movie when Jack and Rose meet by the clock, the clock reads 2:20. In real life, the Titanic sank at 2:20 a.m.

Jack standing beside a clock that reads 2:20
Paramount Pictures

12. An inquiry made in 1912, shortly after the tragedy, found that there were 37 seconds between when the iceberg was spotted and when it made contact with the ship. In the film, Cameron made sure the scene between the spotting and the impact lasted precisely 37 seconds.

A lookout on the ship spotting the iceberg in the distance
Paramount Pictures

13. Despite Cameron's apparent obsession with historical accuracy, right down to the smallest of details, there were still a few errors. At one point Jack tells Rose that he went fishing on Lake Wissota in Wisconsin, which is impossible considering the lake wasn't formed until five years after the Titanic sank due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam.

Rose looking through Jack's sketches on the deck of the ship
20th Century Fox / Everett Collection

This particular inaccuracy was one of several inconsistencies that led to a popular fan theory that Jack is actually a time traveler.

14. He also got the sky wrong in the original theatrical release — an oversight he likely never expected to be called out for. Instead of an actual night sky, it was just a random assortment of barely visible white dots — he corrected this in the 2012 rerelease after being called out by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Paramount Pictures

15. At the very beginning of the movie, one of the items Jack and Fabrizio win in the card game is a pocket knife. When the ship is sinking, Fabrizio uses that same knife to cut down a lifeboat.

The knife laying on top of the Titanic ticket, and Fabrizio using it to cut a rope
Paramount Pictures

16. Speaking of the poker game, Jack shows a mean poker face when drawing his winning card — it was a tense moment. In reality, he already had three of a kind and would've won the game anyway.

Jack's winning poker hand sitting face up as he pulls his winnings in
Paramount Pictures

17. Remember this guy? Jack and Rose encounter him on the deck as the ship is going down. Did you know he's based on an actual Titanic survivor by the name of Charles Joughin, who was the chief baker and one of the best paid crewmen on the ship?

Paramount Pictures

Rumor has it that he survived in the frigid water because of the amount of alcohol he had consumed before the ship went down.

18. The man and woman that lie in bed together as their room floods are also based on real people: Isidor and Ida Straus, co-owners of Macy's Department Store, who died in the wreck.

An elderly couple embrace in bed as water rushes into the room around them
Paramount Pictures

19. This actual artifact recovered from the wreckage and that you can see at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia (left), looks suspiciously similar to that infamous "door" that's been so hotly debated since the movie's release over 20 years ago. / Via, Paramount Pictures

20. There's a scene in which Thomas Andrews, upon realizing that the "unsinkable" ship he designed is sinking, rests both hands on the mantle and stares into the clock. That moment is a direct reference to a scene in A Night to Remember (1958), which is also about the Titanic tragedy.

Identical stills from A Night To Remember and Titanic
The Rank Organisation / Paramount Pictures

21. At one point Jack tells Rose he'll take her to the Santa Monica Pier where they'll "ride on the rollercoaster til [they] throw up, then [...] ride horses on the beach, right in the surf." At the end, when it's panning through Rose's old photos, there's one of her on horseback with the Santa Monica Pier in the background.

The photo as it appears on Rose's nightstand
Paramount Pictures

22. During this heart-wrenching scene where a mother is trying to soothe her children as the ship sinks, she tells them of Tír na nÓg, which is paradise in Celtic mythology. Another name for it is "Tír fo Thuinn," which translates to "Land Under The Wave," as one of the methods for getting there is by going underwater.

A mother putting her two boys to bed as the ship sinks
Paramount Pictures

23. And lastly, when we first meet Rose, she's wearing a sort of locket that appears to be of a similar size and shape as the Heart of the Ocean. We now know she had it all along, but had she been wearing it all these years too?

Arrows pointing to elderly Rose's large locket
Paramount Pictures

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