The Top 5 Glaring Historical Errors in Titanic Movies


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Jeffrey Word

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Jamie, funny you should ask. I just got done reading Cameron's screenplay last night seeking answers to that same exact question.

There were actually no scenes scripted that ever involved either of the aforementioned areas on the ship, sadly enough. So no sets were ever built of the areas.
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Truly, it would have been great to see in the film and it would be great if those sets had been built and saved for us to tour now at the Baja studios. But unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

Jeff.
 
May 1, 2010
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what I meant was the REAL Renault that was shipped on the real ship... I don't think that it was in 1 piece, out of the crate. BTW, How could a passenger get access to ANY of the cargo holds??
 
May 3, 2005
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steven p greiner-

I see your point, Steven. I was thinking more along the lines of more modern ships. I have a copy of Bonanza Books "Ocean Liners of the Past", which is mainly a reprint of the June 1936 issue of the "Souvenir Number of The Shipbuilder and Marine Engine-Builder", which has a large cutaway drawing showing automobiles parked in the "garage" on "F" Deck on the Queen Mary . Am I correct in my assumption that Carter's Renault was the only automobile stowed aboard Titanic ?

In "Titanic-Adventure Out of Time" all you have to do to get into the cargo hold is to steal the keys to the Renault from the Purser's Office and show them to the guard at the entrance to the cargo hold and he'll let you in. :)

Incidentally, I found the tour of the Queen Mary at Long Beach very interesting and instructive. The First, Second and Third Class Cabins aren't all that much different from Titanic IMO. (Except for perhaps maybe a bit more modern plumbing.) The Third Class Lounge, for example, appeared to be very small on Queen Mary.
 

Jamie Dodds

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Jul 13, 2005
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I saw that there wasnt any scenes in the screenplay. Such a shame, as it stands S.O.S Titanic is the only film that show this room. They need to create a mammoth 12 hour miniseries as a minute by minute account of the ship with everything that happened
 
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Doni McLerran

Guest
I'm quite the movie-deprived lady... I've only seen Cameron's 1997 movie (although I'm trying to track down SOS Titanic and ANTR), so I'm going to be quite limited. But here are two:

1) I wasn't keen about the Murdoch suicide scene, for reasons I've gone into elsewhere on this discussion board.

2) And it was driving me batsy-bananas hearing everyone call Margaret Brown "Molly"!

Most minor inaccuracies didn't really bother me, since it was a movie. And I'm sure some other things sailed by me (no pun intended) because I wasn't up on the correct information myself. But, over time, I may have other things to add to this little list.
 
Feb 18, 2006
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Call me a heretic, but I can stomach both SOS Titanic and the 1996 series, even if the first was filmed on Queen Mary! To me, both stories held together rather well, and for me, the story is still the vital element in the telling. Jack and Rose have their place, but Titanic and her people should be the vital thing.
Just my two cents.
 
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Hallam Drury

Guest
One particular INTENTIONAL innacuracy was when the two boats were being lowered ontop of eachother (i forget the boat numbers) in Cameron's Titanic (my oppinion the best Titanic movie). In the special features, Don talks tells Cameron that the boats never did get that close together, although there was impending danger. Cameron however said it made the boats closer to add a dramatic effect, although in real life, the passengers could not touch the bottom of the other lifeboat.

In the 4 disc special edition of Cameron's Titanic, alot is explained for the innacuricies.

Another one I noticed, which must have been intentional is Isador and Ida Strauss, in their cabin as the ship sinks. Isador's body was found however, suggesting he probably was not in his cabin, but closer to the deck, otherwise his body most likely would never have been recovered. But it was probably just dramatic license on Cameron's part, and certainly made Nearer My God To Thee all the more heart-wrenching.
 
May 3, 2005
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....And speaking of errors, there's that WWII rubber and web life raft they were trying to launch in "Titanic (1953)"

>>On Titanic (1997), i understand we never see the Turkish Bath or the Swimming Pool, i wonder if any scenes were shot or scripted that show us the two locations ?<<

I read or saw something somewhere to the effect that scenes in and of the Turkish Bath were planned but were shelved due to time and/or cost limitations.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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One error that seems to surface in all the Titanic movies was of Capt Smith assembling a meeting of all the senior officers on the bridge, to brief them on the details that Titanic was sinking. I have yet to find any evidence in the Inquiry testimonies that suggest such as meeting took place.
 
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sharon rutman

Guest
Here are some of my additions to the Titanic flick hall of shame, all worthy nominees of the golden iceberg award:

In the musical Titanic, Isidor Straus breaks his champange glass with his foot at the climax of the song Still. This gesture was clearly aimed at the Jewish theater going audience because Jews recognize this familiar ritual ends all Jewish weddings--the groom breaks a wineglass or shotglass with his foot.It's very touching, but in all probability, it didn't happen.

Jack teaches Rose how to spit in Titanic '97. Gross!

Cal slaps Rose in Titanic 97. It still makes me cringe.

The infamous fishing scene in Raise the Titanic.

A twelve year old looking Madeline Astor in SOS Titanic going on and on about being pregnant. Nice girls never said "pregnant" in polite, mixed society.

Molly Brown wimping out as an out of control Quartermaster Hitchens screams abuse at her in Titanic '97.

Oh well, it's just a movie, right?
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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The break up scene in Titanic (1997) drives me nuts. It just looks wrong, like one of the film crew has pressed down on a big plunger to create the explosion which rips the ship in two. What an anticlimax, and then funnels falling left, right and centre.

Wasn't there a documentary which showed that the pressure of the stern pushing on to the bow section caused the fracture - much more realistic graphics at a fraction of the price!
 
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sharon rutman

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Oh before I forget--here's another ghastly Titanic moment--it's the over the top Titanic themed bar mitzvah scene in Keeping Up With The Steins. It's a worthy recipient of the golden iceberg award for sheer chutzpah alone.

As far as the brief appearance of Sylvia Lightoller with an English accent goes, well, it was very unlikely William MacQuitty was going to search for an Australian actress for a role that lasted less than five minutes at best.

And I absolutely hated the neurotic, control freak portrayal of Lightoller in Cameron's Titanic. Give me Kenneth More's Lightoller as Superman in ANTR any day of the week!
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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If you think Sylvia Lightoller's accent is bad, Thomas Andrews' in ANTR is hilarious - I talk to people from Comber every day and I've yet to meet one who speaks standard English (still, the acting was great).

In ANTR, anyone with any sort of importance or responsibility was given a clipped, aristocratic standard English brogue - the rest were cockneys!

I liked Cameron's portrayal of Lightoller.

There is a possibility that even the senior officers were unsure of just how bad things were going to get, and the actors reaction to Andrews' admonition was brilliantly done,IMHO.

The initial commanding presence, followed by a bureaucratic response to Andrews, before Andrews desperation literally shocked Lightoller is one of my favourite scenes in Titanic.

I think it's quite brave too, as before this film Kenneth More's superb "Walter Lord" depiction was Lightoller to many people, including myself.
 
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sharon rutman

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Well I confess I'm no expert on accents, but all things considered, Sylvia's brief appearance in ANTR is really very sweet and nice. It shows how devoted the Lightollers were to each other. Cameron's Lightoller, on the other hand, was just plain neurotic and made me cringe.
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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"Cameron's Lightoller, on the other hand, was just plain neurotic and made me cringe."

Just plain human, IMHO.
 
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sharon rutman

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I dispute that. Cameron's Lightoller was too tall, too thin, too nervous was he was clearly off his meds. The way he waggled his pistol at the passengers while saying "Keep order here or I'll shoot you all like dogs" historically inaccurate and totally inappropriate.
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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I think it's fair to say that the portrayal of Lightoller by Walter Lord was influenced heavily by Lightoller's own memoirs.

For instance, Lightoller writes about how he waited in his bed to be called, even though he knew something was up with the ship. This was perfectly justifiable and correct - the other officers would know where to find him.

Walter Lord recounted this in ANTR and added a slightly heroic coda to the story, ending with "He was the perfect second officer" (even though Lightoller should have been First Officer).

Please don't get me wrong. Lightoller to me was heroic and one of the pivotal figures on the night, but over the years various researchers have painted a less glossy portrait of him than Walter Lord did.

There are all sorts of interesting pieces of evidence about his character, such as his early experiences in Australia and America and I go along with those who felt his policy for loading the boats was too intransigent (certainly when compared to Murdoch), and followed the letter of the law regarding women and children too closely.

This must have cost lives, and to a small degree Cameron expressed my frustration at Lightoller via the character of Thomas Andrews.

Who's to say he didn't say "Keep order here or I'll shoot you all like dogs". With so much we do not know about the night I think it's impossible to get inside any individuals mind.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
Sam,

I do not entirely agree that Thomas Andrews’ accent in A Night to Remember was “hilarious”, but I would certainly have agreed if you had made this claim about his ridiculous “stage Oirish” accent in Cameron’s Titanic (“Oi wish oi’d made ye a stronger ship Rosie”, or some such rubbish). Although this subject has been covered before, I would imagine that the real life Thomas Andrews would have had a slight northern Irish accent.

I have read that, as many middle class Irish men were educated in English boarding schools, they lost their regional accents, whereas the upper and middle class women, who remained in Ireland, tended to have Irish accents — for example, The Duke of Wellington spoke “properly” but his wife Kitty is said to have spoken with a distinct southern Irish accent. As Thomas Andrews was educated in an Ulster school he presumably never acquired an English style accent.
 

Sam Brannigan

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Feb 24, 2007
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Hi Stanley,

"Hilarious" was perhaps the wrong term - the accent was fine, but as far removed as you could possibly get from the real Thomas Andrews.

Granted, Victor Garber's accent in Titanic had its faults but at least it had a vague Northern Irish twang (The Northern Irish accent is notoriously difficult to mimic. The only solid versions I have heard on film are those by Pete Postlethwaite and Daniel Day Lewis in "In the name of the father").

Thomas Andrews' accent would have been fully fledged Northern Irish, nothing slight about it.

As a pupil at Inst. in Belfast before taking up his apprenticeship at the shipyard, he would have had no exposure to the English boarding school system, so unless Inst. provided elocution lessons his accent would have been pretty much the same as everyone around him (I say "pretty much" because even today there is a very slight but noticeable difference in the accent of grammar school educated people here).

His famed relationship with the ordinary workers at H&W would also be difficult to imagine if he had an accent that was completely different from theirs.
 

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