Things You Didn’t Notice in the Titanic Film

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago

1.Matthew McConaughey was supposed to play Jack

Matthew Mcconaughey - Turner Classic Movies(Image/ Source: won’t have picked up on this at the time, but it turns out that our beloved Jack could have turned VERY differently in Titanic. Studios had originally wanted Matthew McConaughy to play the lead role, but director James Cameron pushed back, as he had his eyes set on Leonardo DiCaprio from the very beginning.Original content sourced from

2. A steamy hand double

Titanic: Director James Cameron Drew Jack's Naked Charcoal Portrait(Image/ Source:’s hard to forget THAT scene in Titanic- the one where Jack finally draws his picture of Rose. Before things get steamy (literally), Jack put the final touches to his work. However, a more artistic hand was required for this, so Leo had a hand double. And the hand double was none other than director James Cameron!

3. The movie's running time is the time it took for the ship to sink

How Historically Accurate Was James Cameron's 'Titanic'?(Image/ Source: is a pretty poignant one. If you take out all of the “present day” scenes in the movie and focus on the scenes that take place in 1912, the running time of Titanic is exactly 2 hours and 40 minutes. This also happens to be the time it took for the ship to actually sink. Apparently, this was James Cameron’s plan all along.

4. The elderly couple were real

Great-grandson of elderly 'Titanic' couple shares their real story(Image/ Source: elderly couple that calmly accepted their fate in Titanic were actually based on two real-life people. Isador and Ida Straus were the co-owners of Macy’s, and had decided to set sail on the ship on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Apparently Ida didn’t want to leave Isador’s side when he refused a lifeboat spot because there were still women and children on board.

5. Mirror image

In Titanic (1997) there is a scene showing a boy playing with a spinning top on deck. This is actually a recreation of a real photo taken onboard the ship on April(Image/ Source: the scene when Jack passes two men watching a young boy play on the deck of the ship? Well, this was actually based on a real-life photograph! James Cameron was determined to make his movie as authentic as possible, so he did a lot of painstaking research to make sure he captured everything properly.

6. The truth about the chef

Titanic: Bizarre True Story Behind The Man Rose & Jack Saw On The Bow(Image/ Source: chef in the movie who drinks as the ship is sinking is based on Charles Joughlin, who was the Chief Baker on the Titanic. He was the last survivor to leave the ship, and swam for two hours in the freezing Atlantic waters until a boat picked him up. He said that he hadn’t felt the cold that much thanks to all the alcohol he’d drunk!7. Reaching for the stars (literally)You've got the wrong sky! How James Cameron altered night sky in reworked Titanic 3D after ten years of complaints from outspoken astronomer | Daily Mail Online(Image/ Source: Neil deGrasse/ Hayden Planetarium/ Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out that the placement of the stars was inaccurate as the ship sank. So James Cameron (being the perfectionist he is) decided to fix this for the 3D version of the movie. After having an in-depth chat with Neil about what the stars should look like, he changed the whole scene.

8. Real-life priest

The True Story Behind Titanic's Priest (He's A Real Life Hero)(Image/ Source: the priest Rose and Jack see towards the end of the film? Well, it turns out he’s also based on a real-life person. He was named Fr. Thomas Byles, and stayed on the ship to help people escape on the lifeboats. Apparently he also prayed with more than a hundred people as the Titanic met its early end.

9. Rose's bedside photos

Rose's life in photos - Titanic Photo (38711490) - Fanpop(Image/ Source:’s bedside photos really tug at the heartstrings- because they document everything she was going to do with Jack. She ice fishes, rides a horse, and even learns how to fly a plane. And if you look closely, you can see a rollercoaster in the background of the horse photo- a reference to their plan of riding roller coasters until they throw up.

10. Rose's outfits become more carefree

Titanic - Jack Dawson's Steerage Style » BAMF Style(Image/ Source: we first meet Rose, she’s dressed in pretty restrictive outfits. Tight skirts and jackets, corsets, the lot. Even her hair is pinned up. But as she begins to fall in love with Jack, she becomes much more carefree- and you can see this in her choice of dress! She opts for looser dresses, looser hair, and looks the picture of happiness.

11. The cast ate real caviar in the dinner scene

In Titanic (1997), the actors ate real Beluga caviar while filming the first class dining scene. : r/MovieDetails(Image/ Source: first class dining scene opens up another world to Jack. The characters eat plenty of high-class food- including Beluga whale caviar! And this caviar was actually real. The actors ate this caviar as they filmed, which was pleasant enough for them at first. However, after multiple takes, nobody really wanted to eat it anymore…

12. Rose was floating on the door frame, not the door

Unearthed 'Titanic' prop reignites Jack and Kate door debate(Image/ Source: you a firm believer that Rose could have moved up to fit Jack on the door when the ship sank? Well, it turns out that what Rose was floating on wasn’t actually a door- it was the frame. This means that it wasn’t actually strong enough to support both of them, and if Jack would have clambered on, they both would have died.

13. The Master of Arms

Scots Titanic actor feared career sunk after filming – but job offers flooded in | The Scottish Sun(Image/ Source: ship’s Master of Arms (played by Game of Thrones actor Ron Donachie) was the guy who arrests Jack earlier on in the movie. We spot him again as s the Titanic breaks in half; the Master of Arms is actually right next to Jack, and we spot him plunge to his death when he can’t hold on to the ship any longer.

14. Only the port side of the ship was built for the set

Titanic stories – fxguide(Image/ Source: the port side of the ship was built as a set for the movie because of budget limits. However, James Cameron knew that there would be a pivotal scene that would feature the ocean liner on its starboard side, so he came up with a plan to get around this. The costumes and signage were reversed, and the image was flipped in post-production.

15. Rose wears the same dress in two different colors

Titanic (1997) - The dress Rose wears to meet Jack at the grand staircase clock earlier in the movie, is the same one she wears (in white) when she meets him there(Image/ Source: LOVE Rose’s ever-changing wardrobe in Titanic. And it seems she’s a big fan of a sequinned dress! She’s spotted wearing a red sequinned dress to meet Jack by the grand staircase clock earlier in the movie, and she’s wearing a stunning white version when she meets him there again at the end of the film. N’aww.

16. The secret of the fourth smoke stack

Interesting Facts About The Titanic That Will Blow Your Mind(Image/ Source: users are pretty good at spotting small movie details. Someone on the site pointed out that the ship’s fourth smoke stack doesn’t emit any smoke on the set, and must be a dummy. Turns out, they’re right! The fourth smoke stack was indeed a dummy that was used to look more proportionate.

17. Mum's Irish mythology

Little 'Irish boy' from Titanic still pockets hundreds of euro a year from the film in royalties 20 years later | The Irish Sun(Image/ Source: the Irish family on the ship? As the Titanic starts to go down, the mother tries to soothe her children to sleep with an Irish song, which draws on Irish mythology. The woman tells her children about "Tír na nÓg, the land of eternal youth and beauty." In Irish mythology, Tír na nÓg can be reached by going underwater or across the sea.

18. The engineer warms his soup in an unexpected way

In Titanic, Chief Engineer Joseph Bell was shown warming soup over one of the pipes as the order comes in to set the engine full astern. On the real Titanic, engineers would(Image/ Source: chief engineer on the ocean liner was Joseph Bell, who was spotted warming his soup over one of the pipes. This tiny detail is actually historically correct; on the real Titanic, the engineers of the ship would typically warm their soup of food on the pipes and boilers as they were always scalding hot.

19. Fabrizio's knife

In Titanic (1997) Jack and Fabrizio win a pocket knife in the beginning of the film while playing cards. Fabrizio later uses the knife to cut the ropes of the life boats. :(Image/ Source: movie detail spotted by Reddit users. At the beginning of the movie, Jack and Fabrizio win a pocket knife during a tense game of cards. As the ocean liner starts to sink, Fabrizio can be seen using the pocket knife to cut the ropes of the lifeboats as he frantically tries to get women and children to safety.

20. The importance of 2.12

In Titanic (1997), Mr. Andrews changes the clock on the mantle to read about 2:12, estimating when the ship will be fully submerged. The Titanic officially sank entirely at 2:20 a.m. : r/MovieDetails(Image/ Source: the Titanic hits the iceberg, Mr. Andrews changes his mantle clock to read 2.12. This is his estimate of when the ship will be fully submerged. However, Mr. Andrews was incorrect; the ocean liner actually sank at 2.20, which is eight minutes later than he’d initially expected. And speaking of 2.20…

21. Set to 2.20

At the end of Titanic, The clock says 2:20. Titanic sank at 2:20 am : r/MovieDetails(Image/ Source: the very end of the Titanic movie (when Rose has got her fab white dress on), she meets her beloved Jack one more time at the grand clock by the staircase. The clock is now set at 2.20, which is the exact time the ocean liner sank, in the movie and in real life. Which makes this scene even more heartbreaking!

22. Searching for love

The real Jack Dawson? Man suing James Cameron for stealing his life story for Titanic - Source: love is just a big game of hide and seek- in Rose and Jack’s case anyway! During the movie, the pair are constantly searching for each other. And the ship’s pretty massive, so we understand why. Savvy internet users have clocked Jack calling his beloved for Rose over fifty times during the film.

23. Different dress size

The authentic coat pink worn by Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) in Titanic | Spotern(Image/ Source: the most hardcore Titanic fans spotted this one! As Rose runs around the ocean liner looking for Jack as the ship starts to sink, James Cameron made a sneaky decision to make her look even more vulnerable. He switched her dress to a much larger size to make her look like she was swamped in her own clothes.

24. Exact replicas

Titanic (1997)(Image/ Source: Cameron’s team wanted the ship to look as much like the original as possible, so they used old photos and plans from the original builders to keep things authentic. Everything from the carpeting, furniture, light fixtures, upholstery, cutlery and crockery were recreated with the White Star crest.

25. The ocean was only 3ft deep

James Cameron explains why Jack couldn't share the wooden door with Rose in Titanic | Entertainment News,The Indian Express(Image/ Source:’s no way you’ll have noticed this at the time, but the freezing “ocean” the Titanic sinks in was only 3ft deep in the movie! All of these terrifying scenes were filmed in an enormous swimming pool, which was heated at James Cameron’s request. He wasn’t really keen on the cast spending hours in a cold pool.

26. Leo's improv

Leonardo DiCaprio didn't want to say 'I'm king of the world' in Titanic | Metro News(Image/ Source:’s known for his many improvs on set- and one of his most famous cases was during the filming of Titanic. After boarding the ship at the start of the movie, Jack screams, “I’m the king of the world!”. This line was entirely improvised, and James Cameron liked it so much that he decided to keep it in the movie.

27. Secret spiking

Titanic – Deep Focus | Movie Reviews for the Internet(Image/ Source: the last night of filming, the cast and crew were spiked. Pranksters mixed PCP into everyone’s food, which caused fits of laughing, crying, and hallucinations. But the joke ended badly when over 80 people were rushed to hospital, and the culprit was never actually caught. We bet James Cameron was livid…

28. The little girl

Here's what Cora, the girl from Titanic who got to dance with Leonardo DiCaprio, looks like now(Image/ Source: the cute little girl in the movie? Well, it turns out she was supposed to be played by Lindsay Lohan! She did so well in the Parent Trap that the eight-year-old caught the eye of the producers, but James Cameron eventually turned her down as he was worried her red hair might make her look too much like Rose.

29. Construction costs

Love in the Titanic. Titanic was called “the ships of… | by carmen E | KeepIt112 | Medium(Image/ Source: turns out that it actually cost more to make the movie than it did to build the original ocean liner! The cost to construct the Titanic back in 1910 was $7.5 million (around $120 to $150 million in 1997 dollars). Meanwhile, James Cameron’s epic movie cost a whopping $200 million to make! No wonder he could only afford to build one side of the ship…

30. The film was pitched as a Romeo and Juliet epic

This Titanic Theory Suggests Jack Was Just a Figment of Rose's Imagination | Glamour(Image/ Source:, James Cameron had originally pitched the movie as “Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic” to 20th Century Fox bigwigs. But executives weren’t all that keen on the idea, and James Cameron had to fight for the film to be produced. After a bit of tweaking, he finally got the film signed off, but executives were slightly disappointed there would be “no Harrier jets, shoot-outs, or car chases”. We’re not really sure how that would work on a ship, but there you go!

31. The Actress Who Played Older Rose Was The Only Person On The Film To Be Alive In 1912

Image Source / BuzzFeedActress Gloria Stuart, who played the older Rose in the movie, was the only person working on the film to actually be alive in 1912 when the real Titanic sank. She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the oldest person to be nominated for an Oscar at the age of 87!

32. Leonardo DiCaprio Had A Pet Lizard - Who Was Run Over On Set

Image Source / BuzzFeedDid you even know that Leo had a pet lizard? Well now you do! Apparently he took it with him to film Titanic and it was actually run over by a truck on set - but luckily, the lizard lived and was nursed back to good health by Leo! Phew.

33. Reba McEntire Was Supposed To Play Molly Brown

Image Source / BuzzFeedSinger McEntire, also known as the Queen of Country music, was actually supposed to play the role of Molly Brown. She'd even gone so far as to accept the role, but had to eventually turn it down due to filming conflicts.

34. Kate Winslet Actually Got Pneumonia

Image Source / Digital SpyDespite the fact that the water scenes were shot in 3ft-deep water in a warmed swimming pool, actress Kate Winslet still managed to catch pneumonia due to her not wanting to wear a wetsuit during the filming of the water scenes.

35. Titanic Was Actually Released On Video Whilst Still In Theaters

Image Source / BuzzFeedWe all remember what videos are, right? The relics of a time passed when we had a collection of films on VHS tape instead of streaming on Netflix. Usually DVDs and videos of movies would be released a while after they'd been taken off the cinema, but Titanic's video was released while it was still playing at cinemas!

36. Rose's Pomeranian In The Movie Is A Nod To Dogs On The Actual Titanic

Image Source / BuzzFeedThe older Rose in the movie is seen to own a Pomeranian dog. This is because there were actually dogs present on the real Titanic, and when it sank, a Pomeranian was one of the dogs (of sadly only three) to survive the sinking of the ship.

37. James Cameron Wanted Enya To Provide The Film's Music

Image Source / BuzzFeedYou can't think of Titanic these days without thinking of the epic soundtrack, but originally James Cameron wanted singer Enya to compose the movie's score. She declined, so director Cameron ended up hiring James Horner instead.

38. The Remaining Pieces Of The Set Ship Were Sold As Scrap Metal

Image Source / BuzzFeedWhen filming on the movie was over, you might wonder what happened to the many, many pieces of that massive set ship that were left over. Well, whatever was left of the prop Titanic was actually sold as scrap metal!

39. Gwyneth Paltrow Might Actually Have Played Rose

Image Source / BuzzFeedKate Winslet wasn't the only actress up for the role of Rose, even though we now couldn't think of anyone else playing her. Gwyneth Paltrow was actually in the running to play the lead role, alongside Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Sharon Stone, Jodie Foster and Madonna!

40. Kate Winslet Flashed Leonardo DiCaprio The First Time They Met

Image Source / Smooth RadioThis wasn't just some wildly inappropriate action on Winslet's part - it was because she was trying to break the ice (pardon the distasteful pun) after finding out that she was going to be naked in front of him for the movie. She obviously wanted to get it out of the way quickly!

41. The Exterior Of The Ship Was Built On A Beach In Mexico

Image Source / BuzzFeedThe exterior set of the ship was actually built in a tank, and it was built on a beach in Mexico, south of the city of Rosarito in Baja California. When you think of the Titanic, you definitely don't think of Mexico!

42. The Whole Set Was Mounted On Hydraulic Jacks

Image Source / BuzzFeedHydraulic jacks must be vital for filming movies as they can lift up very heavy loads - and in this case, one huge ship. The whole set of the movie was mounted onto hydraulic jacks so that they could be lifted and titled up to 6 degrees!

43. The Filmmakers Only Had One Chance To Get The Staircase Flooding Scene Just Right

Image Source / BuzzFeedIn a pinnacle moment of the movie, the grand staircase is drowned by a crash of water, and - understandably - filmmakers only had one chance to get the perfect shot seeing as the water crashing in would destroy the entire set and all the furnishings along with it!

44. Actors Were Actually Drinking Root Beer In The Movie

Image Source / BuzzFeedWhen you see actors in the movie heartily drinking beer, particularly the scenes where Jack takes Rose dancing with the lower classes, what's actually being drunk is root beer. Because of course they couldn't drink real alcohol and risk getting a bit tipsy!

45. Robert De Niro Was Offered The Role Of Captain Smith

Image Source / BuzzFeedCaptain Smith was of course the man who went down with the ship when it sunk, and he was played poignantly by Bernard Hill. Originally, though, actor De Niro was offered the role, but turned it down due to a gastrointestinal infection.

46. The Engine Room Stuntmen Were Only 5 Feet Tall

Image Source / BuzzFeedThe engine room scenes in the Titanic movie are amazing for the sheer size and power of that equipment. And there's a reason the engine room felt so epic on scale, because the stuntmen placed for these scenes were actually around 5 feet tall so that everything around them would appear bigger.

47. The Film's Original Name Was 'Planet Ice'

Image Source / BuzzFeedNo offence to ever came up with this - and whether it was a working title or actually intended - but it definitely sounds a little silly! Or maybe that's just because we're so used to Titanic now that we couldn't imagine it being anything else.

48. James Cameron Spent More Time With The Ship Than Living Passengers Did

Image Source / BuzzFeedWhilst working on this epic movie, James Cameron actually spent a total amount of time on the ship that would be a lot more than the people who were actually on the original ship as passengers did! That's a lot of hours work to put in.

49. Cameron Found Out There Was A Real 'J. Dawson' Only After He'd Finished The Script

Image Source / BuzzFeedIn real life, there was actually a person named J. Dawson who was on board the Titanic and died when it sank. Cameron only found this out after he'd finished the script, in a huge coincidence after he'd named the lead Jack Dawson.

50. The Piece Of Door That Rose Lies On Is Actually Based On A Real Thing

Image Source / HelloGigglesWe won't get into the whole door debate now, but the piece of panelling that Rose is floating on isn't just some random prop piece - it's actually based on a real artifact that was on the ship and actually survived the sinking. The real thing is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, in Nova Scotia.