Doors in Cameron's Titanic


Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
1
71
Everyone remembers the sight of that poor, abandoned little boy on E-deck in the '97 version of "Titanic." What were those doors that were about to burst open?
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
Ben,

That's a good question. I was looking at my plans (Chirnside's) for D and E Decks and they don't match exactly with Cameron's setup.

First, let's follow through the action: After Jack beat Lovejoy in a fight in the 1C dining saloon, he and Rose ran aft, busted through the doors on the starboard side, into a dark paneled wall (which doesn't seem to exist in the D Deck plans), went left about five feet (to starboard) and scuttled down a short flight of stairs that doubled back halfway down and open at the bottom to the left again. This opening would have been in a passageway that traversed across, not longitudinal, if the stairs that led to it were going toward starboard and then back toward port. This passageway, in which they saw the little boy, might have been a secondary corridor, such as the one containing E-65.

However, here is the conundrum: There is a staircase located across from E-65, but E-65 was next to the hull. When Rose and Jack came down the stairs, they looked both ways. The corridor in question ran on for a considerable distance in both directions. The boy they encountered was to their right, which would have put him farther port (although on the starboard side of the ship). The boy's father arrived through an adjacent corridor leading longitudinally from the stern, grabbed the boy, and headed port, toward the doors in question, which burst a moment later. The flood of water carried them all to starboard, which seemed to go on for at least a block. This could not have been the stairs across from E-65.

The only other nearby staircase was that located against the back of the third funnel casing and did go up through the 1C kitchen.

One guess is that it was this staircase, since it extended from the boat deck to E Deck, although it wasn't situated in the same place on Cameron's Titanic. The lovers went down while Lovejoy went up. This staircase was right at the aft expansion joint, which is the generally accepted location at which the breakup ensued. This area, too, is where the bloodied Lovejoy was when said breakup commenced--not too far from the top of the staircase in question. He probably thought the lovers went up to the boat deck and then followed.

Let us also consider the man and the boy. They did not speak English and were definitely not dressed as 1C passengers. The third-funnel staircase mentioned above hits 1C on E Deck, around E-62/63 and 66, so the lovers would have had to go down to either F or G Deck. The problem with that, however, is the 3C pantry is in this area on F Deck and the boiler casing on G Deck--no corridors.

Unless the lovers fled through the kitchens and 2C dining saloon on D Deck and entered 2nd or 3C from there. The problem again is that the 2nd class dining saloon opens to corridors to cabins immediately aft--no wall or staircase--and this is so close to stern that the water hadn't reached that far yet.

There IS a sort of twisting staircase that comes to E Deck from above along the back wall of the casing to the Reciprocating Engine Room, directly under the 1st/2ndC kitchens on D Deck. This staircase opens on the main hallway running lengthwise down starboard, with cabins and doors both aft and forward, and it is located in 2C.

My conjecture is that the mysterious staircase is either this one or the third-funnel staircase. The doors in question were presumably in the main corridor of E Deck on the starboard side, somewhere around the RB casing.

Keep in mind, too, that Cameron was likely not going by the exact layout, as many of the lower-deck arrangements did not coincide with the deck plans. This design was likely a matter of convenience to the plot rather than to accommodate accuracy, so you cannot necessarily rely on this to map out the lovers' flight plan on the real Titanic.
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
1
71
Hmmm . . . I was wondering that. The plans I have in "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy" do not agree with the direction they went. Still on the topic of the door, would there have actually been one like that on E-deck? If so, where would they have been??
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
Ben,

Sorry for confusion here. I was editing my post when you responded, so you might have missed a couple of things. The doors in question were likely in the main longitudinal corridor on E Deck on the starboard side, around the Reciprocating Engine casing, which fell directly below the 1/2C kitchens. Since there is no exact correlation between the actual deck plans and Cameron's, there is no way to determine for certain, but this appears to be the closest placement.

As for whether or not doors were actually located in the main corridors on E Deck, according to the deck plans, there were. Dotted lines suggest the location of a door or a gate. Whether they were double or single doors, I really don't know. Due to the width of the corridor, I would presume double. Doors (or gates) were fixed at the forward and aft ends of the Reciprocating Engine casing on either side. The aft door on the starboard side was right next to the "twisted" staircase that descended the back wall of the said RE casing.

Again, not perfect, but this is the closest area involved.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,654
581
483
Easley South Carolina
>>That's a good question. I was looking at my plans (Chirnside's) for D and E Decks and they don't match exactly with Cameron's setup.<<

Since there was quite a bit about the interior which was given over to dramatic license, this shouldn't come as a surprise. They got the location of the Master-At-Arms shack wrong. On the fictional ship, it was along the side with a porthole so you could see the water creeping up outside. On the real ship, it was located along the centerline across from the forward 3rd class accomadation.

That said, the doors in this scene really weren't out of place. They would have been the typical non-watertight doors which lead into and out of various spaces and which are quite common on a ship.
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
quote:

. . .and scuttled down a short flight of stairs that doubled back halfway down and open at the bottom to the left again. This opening would have been in a passageway that traversed across, not longitudinal, if the stairs that led to it were going toward starboard and then back toward port.
Also, let me point out that the staircase they descended might have been 'L'-shaped, which would have opened up on a longitudinal corridor. Again: the main corridor on the starboard side of E Deck.

By the way, it would seem funny that an aft door would burst open and flood water forward on a ship sinking at the head. If the lovers had somehow come out in the port side corridor on E Deck, the man would have run forward. However, no passenger cabins were located in this area on E Deck--that would have been Scotland Road, which, thinking about it, was where Rose and Jack busted through the wall and told Steward Hart to "shut up!" This corridor--Scotland Road--was by far larger than the one in which the little boy was found and couldn't have been involved in the 'bursting door' scene.​
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,480
3
221
I have no interest in trying to work out what Camero depicted, but there seems to be some confusion with regard to Titanic's actual staircases.

>>There IS a sort of twisting staircase that comes to E Deck from above along the back wall of the casing to the Reciprocating Engine Room, directly under the 1st/2ndC kitchens on D Deck. This staircase opens on the main hallway running lengthwise down starboard, with cabins and doors both aft and forward, and it is located in 2C.<<

I do not believe so. My understading is that the twisted stairway descends from a passageway that leads from Scotland Rd down to the Engineer's quarters on the starboard side of F-deck. There is a small staircase near the Engineer's Mess for the port-side Engineer's rooms on F-deck.
Then there is the staircase just forward of the forward 2nd Class stairway that runs from D-deck down to E-deck with a separate continuance to F-deck aft of E-87 and descending near F-11.
The Steward's Staircase which descended from the Boat-deck, became port and starboard stairs between D and E-decks which is different from the Shipbuilder/Olympic plans.

Where can I find Mark Chirnside's plans?
Lester
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
Les,

I don't remember the link to Chirnside's site. Perhaps Mike, Jason or Mark can provide it.

As for the E Deck plans, I could email it to you now so you can see what I am talking about, but the PMs won't allow an attachment. There is a curved staircase between the RE casing and E-79. Please let me know if you know what it is. Thanks.

In any case, Ben asked, and this and the Steward's Staircase (right behind the third funnel casing?) are the closest in proximity to the area depicted in the scene to which he was referring.
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
deckplan_e.gif


I realized that this isn't Chirnside's, but it will show the staircase to which I am referring. Look at E-79. The staircase in question is just forward of that.
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
1
71
Ok, so now I have a new question, Mark. Right where the staircase meets the bottom near E-79, what does that line mean? Does it mean there is a wall there or does it just mean a barrier. I ask this because you said that the passage goes both ways for quite a distance.
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,480
3
221
Ben, There is a wall opposite E-75, otherwise you would fall 8.5 ft to the base of the steps, which descent port to Starboard from E-deck to F-deck.

Mark seems to believe the steps come from above and "This staircase opens on the main hallway running lengthwise down starboard" It does not. As I posted above: The stairway descends from a passageway that leads from Scotland Rd and goes down to the Engineer's quarters on the starboard side of F-deck.

I am not aware of any plans on Mark's web-site,
Lester
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
Ben,

I think it's a door. Considering that the cabins just aft of that point can be used as 1C, I don't see any reason why a wall would be there, as opposed to an accommodating doorway. Maybe it is a wall. It looks looks a door to me. Sorry about that.

If it is a wall, then the Stewards stairway would likely be your depiction. I think it is anyway, considering that the stairway in the movie accessed the kitchen. The details of the surroundings are different, but the location is about right.
 
Jun 12, 2004
2,131
11
161
Lester,

Thank you for the clarification. The one step of that staircase seems to overlap the wall and rest on the E Deck corridor, so I thought they were connected.

As for the wall issue, Ben was referring to the line over the corridor just before E-79, not the wall opposite to E-75. He was wondering if the corridor on starboard side continues on or ends right there. It appeared like a possible door to me. Sorry again.
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
1
71
Looking at my plans in "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy," I would have to say that it's a door. The only reason I said that is because the plans in TT&T show every door way like a mathematical angle symbol. The area in question simply shows a line. I think that Cameron may have done research, but not as much as he has claimed. The film itself shows this off.

I have two side questions. How do you make your writing have character styles and more emoticons? The other question, did the film version of ANTR have gates like the ones in the 1997 "Titanic?"
 
Dec 6, 2000
1,480
3
221
Ben, Mark,

The plans in TT&T do not show all of the doorways. That one should show as WTD the same as it does aft of the 2nd Class Barber's Shop and also at the forward starboard corner of the Engine Casing. The matching WTD on the port-side is also shown as if it is a solid wall. Also near room 103 [post-side] and the 2nd Class Purser [starboard-side] those solid walls are also WTDs.

There was also a WTD at the end of the passageway immediately aft of the Reciprocating Engine Casing. The one that led to the Engineer's stairs going down to F-deck.

Many other doorways are not shown. You would need to do a detailed comparison with Bruce's plans. The ones on the Discovery Channel link I gave you.

>>did the film version of ANTR have gates like the ones in the 1997 "Titanic?"<< From memory yes.
 

Ben Lemmon

Member
Oct 9, 2009
525
1
71
Water-tight doors are going to be considered as walls to me, at least during the time I need them. They'll be closed, and thus are no better than walls at the time. All I need are areas where my MC can travel at the time. Besides, if I need any extra plans, I already have the "Titanic" deckplans bookmarked. I can simply transfer there when I need to. Thanks for the interest, though.
 
May 3, 2005
2,586
261
278
BTW- How accurate (or not) would you (Mark, Michael,Jason, et.al) consider the deck plans and the graphics for "Titanic-Adventure Out Of Time" CD-ROM game ?
 
May 3, 2005
2,586
261
278
>>Everyone remembers the sight of that poor, abandoned little boy on E-deck in the '97 version of "Titanic." What were those doors that were about to burst open?>>

Just an observation...maybe another "copy" from another film in "Titanic" (1997)

Titanic (1953)- Richard Sturges picks up girl in steerage class family...only in this version they are safely deposited in a life boat.

ANTR- Steward picks up abandoned boy and takes to upper deck...last seen awaiting final plunge.

Titanic (1997) - Jack and Rose start to pick up abandoned boy...who is picked up, apparently by his father as the doors burst open.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
8,248
20
308
Niagara Falls, Ontario
quote:

How accurate (or not) would you (Mark, Michael,Jason, et.al) consider the deck plans and the graphics for "Titanic-Adventure Out Of Time" CD-ROM game ?
The deck plans in Titanic: Adventure Out of Time are not great, as they are not entirely accurate. But they aren't the worst either. For instance, they have the Squash Court on F-deck, when it was clearly on G-deck, as Lester corrected me several years ago on here. Although, I give them credit for trying. I'm sure there are other errors in terms of location, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. Lester, have you got any?

As far as the graphics go, I found them to be quite good and still do. In fact, I was very impressed when I first played it.​
 

Similar threads

Similar threads