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25 Things You Didn't Know About The Movie "Titanic"

"I'm the king of the world!"

1. The studio wanted Tom Cruise to play the role of Jack Dawson.

20th Century Fox /
Warner Bros. Pictures /

20th Century Fox wanted both Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise for the lead, but James Cameron insisted on Leo DiCaprio.

2. If all of the present day scenes were deleted, leaving only the scenes that take place in 1912, the film would run 2 hours and 40 minutes, the exact time it took for the Titanic to sink.

20th Century Fox / Via

3. Jack and Rose's spitting scene was almost entirely ad-libbed, as was the moment when Kate Winslet spat in Billy Zane’s face.

20th Century Fox / Via

Rather than spitting on Billy Zane's face, Kate Winslet’s character was supposed to stick him with a hairpin.

4. After writing the fictitious character of Jack Dawson, James Cameron learned that there was a real J. Dawson who died on the Titanic.

20th Century Fox / Via

Joseph Dawson, along with many other Titanic victims, was buried in a cemetery in Nova Scotia. His gravestone is apparently the most visited in the cemetery.

5. This is the second film that features the sinking of the Titanic to win the Best Picture Oscar.


The first was 1933’s Cavalcade.

6. The elderly couple who lie in bed as water floods the room is a tribute to Ida and Isidor Strauss, the owners of the Macy’s department store, who died on the Titanic.

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Ida was offered a seat on a lifeboat but turned it down because she wanted to stay with her husband. She is quoted as saying: “As we have lived together, so we shall die together.”

7. Kate Winslet was one of the only people who didn't wear a wetsuit while filming.

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She got pneumonia and almost quit the production.

8. It’s actually James Cameron’s hands that are seen sketching Rose, not Leo Dicaprio’s.

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This image was then mirrored onto the screen, as James Cameron is left-handed but Leo DiCaprio is right-handed.

9. It cost more money to make the movie Titanic than it did to actually construct the original ship.

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Movie's cost: $200 million.

Ship's cost: $7.5 million ($150 million when adjusted for inflation).

10. The final dress Kate Winslet wears in the movie is made to look as good wet as it did when dry.

20th Century Fox /
20th Century Fox /

Also, costume designed Deborah Lynn Scott made 24 identical versions of the dress.

11. The line “I’m the king of the world!" was ad-libbed.

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And it's considered among AFI’s 100 greatest movie quotes of all time.

12. Composer James Horner said that the first cut he saw of the film was 36 hours long.

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(This is how I imagine James Horner looked after viewing 36 hours of footage.)

13. During the final scene of the movie, when Rose meets Jack at the Grand Staircase, the clock reads 2:20 a.m., which is the exact time the Titanic sank.

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14. Barbra Streisand and Reba McEntire were both in talks to play Molly Brown.

Getty / NBC
Getty / R. Diamond

But the unsinkable character was ultimately played by Kathy Bates.

15. Madonna was considered for the role of Rose.

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Getty / Tony Barson

16. Titanic was the 10th film that James Cameron directed, but it is only the first that didn’t include the use or mention of nuclear weapons.

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17. Most of the movie’s extras were given a three hour lecture on proper 1912 mannerisms and behavior, so as to give the film a more authentic look.

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18. Gloria Stuart was the only person who worked on the production of the film who was actually alive during the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912.

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She was born on July 4, 1910.

19. Titanic was the first film to have two people nominated for an Oscar for portraying the same character.

20th Century Fox /
20th Century Fox /

The second film to do so was Iris (2001).

20. Most of the ocean that the actors jump into is just a giant, 3-feet-deep pool.

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21. To make the bodies in the water appear frozen, a powder was applied to the actors’ faces, which then crystallized when exposed to water.

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Wax was also applied to everyone’s hair and clothes, which gave everything a glossy, frozen look.

22. James Cameron provided more than 150 extras with names and backstories of real Titanic passengers.

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23. The entire film contains over 100 speaking parts, with more than 1,000 extras.

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24. Titanic was the first non-musical Best Picture winner to also win the Oscar for Best Original Song.


Going My Way (1944) and Gigi (1958) are the only other Best Picture winners to also win the award. Both are musicals.

25. The film was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, the most Oscar nods for any film, ever.


This ties the record set by All About Eve in 1950.

Correction: Number one on this list has been updated, as Tom Cruise did not audition for the role of Jack Dawson. Instead, the studio merely wanted him to play the part.