Top 10 Facts about Titanic the Movie

When Titanic came out in the '90s it permeated every aspect of pop culture. Decades later, it remains one of the most influential movies of our time. In this countdown we take a look at the Top 10 Facts about Titanic the Movie you didn’t know about! Did you know that MythBusters Proved There Was Room For Jack on the Door? That the cast and crew unknowingly ingested PCP? That there was a real J. Dawson onboard the Titanic?
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Top 10 Facts About Titanic the Movie


Whether you came for the romance, the action, or Leonardo DiCaprio, there was a little something for everyone in this historical epic. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Facts About Titanic the Movie.

For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia regarding James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster.

#10: Kate Winslet Flashed Leonardo DiCaprio

One of the film’s most iconic scenes is where Kate Winslet’s Rose poses nude for DiCaprio’s Jack. It’s understandable that someone would be a little nervous about stripping down to nothing in front of a stranger. So, to properly break the ice, Winslet flashed DiCaprio her breasts the first time they met. While the ploy no doubt had the desired effect, the two actors did a convincing job of portraying the nerves associated with young lovers exploring each other’s bodies for the first time. That is to say, Jack practically swallows his tongue when Rose drops her robe!

#9: Even Extras Had Backstories

In an effort to create a rich and detailed film that truly felt like it was taking place in the early 20th century, James Cameron went above and beyond the call of duty. The renowned director took the time to speak with over 150 different extras, telling each the name of their character, as well as the history of the person they were portraying. If that wasn’t enough, most of them underwent a 3-hour crash course on how to act like someone from 1912. All that extra work must have paid off, because the film was ultimately heralded for its realistic and meticulous detailing.

#8: First Film to Receive 2 Oscar Nominations for the Same Character

Thousands, if not millions, of films have been made in the past century. Yet, it took all that time for a film to receive two Oscar noms for a single character. “Titanic” earned the unique distinction when Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart both received Oscar nomination for their respective portrayals of Rose DeWitt Bukater. Winslet was recognized in the Best Actress category while Stuart was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, but neither won. James Cameron, however, set a record when he became the first person to direct, write, edit, and produce an Academy Award winner for Best Picture. Oh, and did we mention that the film took home eleven golden statues in total? Not too shabby.

#7: The Film Cost More Than the Ship

At the time the Titanic set sail, it was the largest ship ever built. It had the unique distinction of being “unsinkable.” At a cost of $7.5 million, it should have been. Now before you start jumping up and down screaming, “$7.5 million is nothing,” remember to calculate for inflation. In 1997, the year the film was released, $7.5 million would have had a relative value of at least $120 million. And yet, that number pales in comparison to how much it cost to recreate the event for moviegoers worldwide. “Titanic” had a budget of $200 million, which when adjusted for inflation, makes it the third costliest film ever made!

#6: The Elderly Couple That Died Together Were Based on Real People

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the film is of an anonymous couple holding each other in their bed as they are slowly engulfed by water. Yet, this couple was not a film creation, but instead one of the many horrifying realities of this terrible incident. They’re actually Ida and Isidor Straus, the latter of whom co-owned Macy’s department store. The two were passengers aboard the doomed vessel, and while Ida was offered a spot on a lifeboat, she refused in order to remain with her husband. A scene that gave the two characters a backstory was shot, but ultimately cut from the final version of the film.

#5: The 1912 Scenes Equal the Time it Took for the Titanic to Sink

James Cameron is a notoriously scrupulous director, so the fact that he added another constraint on an already immense production isn’t really that strange. However, it remains a very impressive feat. We should point out that the film’s actual runtime does not match up perfectly with the time it took the Titanic to sink. Instead, all the scenes that take place in 1912 amount to a total of two hours and forty minutes, which is exactly how long it took for the infamous ship to vanish underwater. Additionally, when the ship strikes the iceberg, it was reported to have lasted 37 seconds. The length of this scene in the film? 37 seconds. Cameron knows his stuff.

#4: Leonardo DiCaprio Adlibbed His Famous Line

Where does a truly great line come from? Is it the culmination of hours slouched over a keyboard? Does it emerge in a dream or fall from the sky like a drop of rain? Whatever the case, a great line is hard to come by. Yet, some of the wittiest, and most awe-inspiring quotes were never even written down. For example, the scene in which Jack rushes to the bow of the ship, spreads his arms, and exclaims, “I’m the king of the world,” was made up on the spot by DiCaprio. The line has endured over the years and was even good enough to earn a spot on AFI’s list of the top 100 Movie Quotes!

#3: The Cast & Crew Unknowingly Ingested PCP

In what has become one of the most notorious and well-known pranks in film history, an unidentified individual (or individuals) mixed a healthy amount of PCP into a serving of clam chowder during the last day of the film shoot. Before you start imagining hundreds of drugged-up cast and crew members running around chasing pink elephants, consider this: they had no idea what they had ingested. The results were disastrous, with 80 people getting sick and more than 50 hallucinating and having to take a trip to the hospital. Those who noticed what had occurred quickly attempted to make themselves puke. Because of how many people were required to make this film a reality, the pranksters were never apprehended.

#2: There Was a Real J. Dawson Aboard the Titanic

While he was penning the script, James Cameron decided he wanted his two main characters to be fictitious and not based on anyone who was actually aboard the ship when it went down. However, unbeknownst to him, there actually was a J. Dawson onboard the Titanic when it set sail. This passenger’s name was Joseph Dawson, who found work aboard the Titanic as a trimmer, a vital position in those days that involved the shoveling of coal towards the furnace room. Unfortunately, Joseph perished during the disaster and his body was buried in a cemetery located in Nova Scotia. Today, the gravestone of J. Dawson, #227, receives more visitors than any other in the entire cemetery.

#1: MythBusters Proved There Was Room for Jack on the Door

One of the most iconic and enduring images of this film is of Rose lying on a floating door in the middle of the ocean as Jack helplessly holds onto the Titanic until finally being swallowed by the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Fans and critics alike quickly noticed that the door probably could have supported them both. Thankfully, the MythBusters team put this timeless debate to rest. They found that if Rose had removed her life jacket and strapped it underneath the door, it would have provided enough buoyancy for both her and Jack to survive atop it until their rescue. When they confronted James Cameron about their discovery, he simply reminded them that according to the script, Jack had to die.
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