The Titanic: 11 Things The Movie Got Wrong

The Titanic: 11 Things The Movie Got Wrong

James Cameron’s epic feature film Titanic is considered one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. After all, according to Box Office Mojo, it ranks as the second highest grossing movie ever with a worldwide intake of nearly $2.2 billion, only behind the hit film Avatar, which coincidentally also happens to be directed by Cameron as well. Before its release in 1997, the movie was not expected to be a hit. In fact, it was feared by many of the creators that it would be one of the biggest bombs in cinema history as the production costs skyrocketed past expectations.

Fortunately for Cameron and his team, the movie went on to be the highest grossing film of all time at the time of its release, breaking just about every single box office record in existence up until that point. It connected with audiences on a scale that few films do, becoming a cinematic sensation through its action-packed ship journey and an epic love story between the two main characters, Jack and Rose, played by a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

11. First Officer Will Murdoch Wasn’t A Villain

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Will Murdoch, one of the officers in the film, was depicted as a villainous man who took the lives of some third-class passengers before taking his own. In reality, this was far from the truth. In fact, he was actually quite the hero, who was responsible for saving many lives before perishing in the sinking.

According to USA Today, James Cameron had regrets when it came to his depiction of First Officer Will Murdoch, saying, “I was being a screenwriter. I wasn’t thinking about being a historian, and I think wasn’t as sensitive about the fact that his family, his survivors might feel offended by that and they were.”

10. Rose Would Likely Have Perished As Well

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Long before Rose ever mounted the wooden door that kept her afloat in the middle of the cold Atlantic Ocean, it’s likely that she would have not made it that far.

Her thin dress simply wasn’t enough to combat the frigid temperatures she experienced throughout her difficult journey in the waters, both on the ship and off. Even if she did make it that far, even propped up on the door outside of the water, there’s a high likelihood she would have succumbed to hypothermia while waiting for her rescue.

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09. Molly Brown Wasn’t Known As Molly Yet

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One of the fan-favorite characters of the film is Margaret Brown, played by Kathy Bates, also referred to as the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Although she was a very charismatic person, played perfectly in the film, it was inaccurate that she was known as Molly Brown during her time onboard the Titanic.

She didn’t actually become known for this moniker until after the ship’s sinking and her survival thereafter due to her antics onboard, becoming famous for her help and urging of the crew to go back to offer more assistance to passengers being left behind.

08. Titanic’s Sinking Was More Dramatic In The Film

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Although Cameron accurately depicted the hull splitting in half, it’s definitely safe to say that he took some great liberties when portraying the rest of the Titanic’s sinking.

Of course, as a director looking to make an epic adventure action film, he made the sinking significantly more dramatic to ensure audiences remained captivated throughout the three-hour runtime of the film. It’s safe to say this was the right decision, considering Titanic’s massive box office success.

07. Jack And Rose Were Pretty Much Made Up For Dramatic Love Story Effect

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The center of the entire movie focuses on the love story between the two lovers, Jack and Rose, which made the film the giant cinematic hit it turned out to be. Without their storyline, Titanic would have been an epic failure, but it has to be noted that their very existence was entirely made up for the dramatic love story effect.

Many fans want to believe their love story was real, but unfortunately, it was Cameron’s imaginative storytelling that captured the world’s attention instead of a true story.

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06. Jack’s Dinner Party Attendance Would Have Never Happened

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In one of the more talked about scenes of the film, Jack attends a fancy dinner party with the first class passengers alongside Rose after he saves her life. In reality, it is highly unlikely that any passenger from the third class section would ever be invited or allowed to mingle with the high class as there were strict rules that prohibited this type of class cross-socialization.

One of the better scenes of the movie is likely something that would have never happened in real life, unfortunately.

05. Jack And Rose Would Not Have Made It Off The Ship

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In the movie, Jack and Rose were one of the last passengers to make it off the boat as they hang onto the railing high up in the sky as half of the ship floats in the ocean, suspended in the air. Once they make it into the cold waters of the ocean, their fates are decided. But before they ever made it this far, the truth is they likely would have perished long before. The pair is seen running through the halls of third class far down in the bottom of the hull where water has dangerously filled up the passageways.

The water from the Atlantic is so cold that running and swimming through it for the hour that Jack and Rose did is simply unrealistic. They would have perished from hypothermia long before making it off the Titanic.

04.Ismay’s Character Didn’t Survive By Sneaking Onto A Life Boat

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Cameron’s Titanic depicts Bruce Ismay, the president of the company that constructed the great ship, as a villainous coward. He is seen sneaking onto a lifeboat ahead of women and children in a cowardly and selfish act, leaving audiences to dislike him a great deal. reports that , “according to the British Inquiry Report, Ismay got in a boat after he helped many passengers board.” Cameron, as with many other high ranking members of the ship, portrayed Ismay in a negative light for dramatic effect.

03.Third Class Passengers Weren’t Locked Beneath Deck

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In one of the scenes that incites the most outrage from the film, third class passengers are locked beneath deck in their quarters by crew members keeping them from escaping and giving them very little chance for survival with only drowning as a real possibility. Ultimately Jack and other members of the below deck class broke through the steel gates, freeing everyone.

According to, “historian Richard Howells argues that there is no historical evidence to support this. He claims that the gates seen in the film weren’t meant for a shipwreck, but other reasons like preventing the spread of infectious diseases.” There was likely no malicious efforts by crew members to keep passengers from escaping with their lives.

02.The SS Californian Ship Was Entirely Omitted

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There was no mention of the SS Californian in Cameron’s film. This ship was actually quite close to the Titanic when it sank and would have very likely seen the rockets being propelled into the nighttime sky as distress calls. The SS Californian did not answer the calls of the Titanic, leading to condemnation from both the United States and English governments which claim its assistance would have led to more lives being saved.

Cameron chose to leave this great detail out so as not to interfere with the story he was depicting.

01.No One Actually Claimed The Titanic Was Unsinkable

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Throughout the film, the phrase “unsinkable” is repeated several times in reference to the grand Titanic ship. The architect, Thomas Andrews, as well as Captain Smith and the president of the ship, Ismay, all allude to the unsinkable nature of the ship, highlighting its giant and immovable nature at the time. The reality is that no one truly claimed this to be the case about the Titanic. It certainly was a marvel in maritime architecture, but everyone accepted the notion that it could sink like any other ship.

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