Why is the Titanic's bridge inaccurate on the poster?


Dan Kappes

Member
Sep 26, 2018
406
77
63
27
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
Here is the poster. The bridge looks like the Queen Mary's.
titanic 53 poster.jpg

Here is the a pic of the Queen Mary.
queen mary.jpg

Here is a pic of the Titanic.
titanic.jpg

Note the two different bridges.

Did the poster artist not do proper research, or did he grab the closest picture of a ship that he could find and it turned out to be the Queen Mary and he added an extra funnel to it?
 
May 3, 2005
2,459
206
258
Your answer seems logical.

Also note that the TITANIC printing on the poster seems to be covering up the other two funnels.
And the coloring of the funnels seem to be of the Cunard type.
It looks as if that picture on the poster could have just as easily have been of a "2 funnel" ship, too.
Since the poster seems to have a rather sketchy and rather small drawing of Titanic , probably anyone who was not a Titanic fan, and especially anyone who isn't a contributor to this website, would have never noticed that. I never looked at the poster closely myself.

And there were always those lobby posters of those black and white movies , fully colorized".....of course ! Richard, Julia and Annette all seem to be red-heads. Also ex-Rev. Healey. The Captain has a white beard...Right ? Maude and Gifford seem to have dark black hair.
If you'll pardon the nit-picking. LOL.

Thanks !

Apologies to the moderator , but I ask a lot of questions quite innocently and purely quite out of curiosity.:
I have a DVD of the movie, but I wonder if there are any other members or visitors to this website who saw the movie on the big screen on its first run in 1953 ?
And thanks again !...."Thanks for the memories"
 
Last edited:

Harland Duzen

Member
Jan 14, 2017
1,576
624
188
The simple answer is whoever painted it had no idea what the Titanic looked like exactly (design, funnel livery etc) and just painted a stereotypical ship with 4 funnels.

Also I don't know if this poster was mass printed, but it was common for small theatres to have someone paint unique posters and perhaps the artist who painted that one had never seen the Titanic and just painted any 4 funnel ship he could find (like the SS France which looks quite similar to the poster version).
 

Dan Kappes

Member
Sep 26, 2018
406
77
63
27
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
You're right, Harland! The ship in the poster does look like the SS France, with a similar bridge design. Here is a lobby card for the film showing that:
titanic 53 lobby card.jpg

And here is a postcard of the SS France:
ss france.jpg

The France was fairly new in 1912, and here's a French magazine cover showing her laying a floral tribute over the spot where the Titanic sank.
france titanic tribute.jpg
 
May 3, 2005
2,459
206
258
Your second poster does show the ship larger...all four funnels, correct color, etc.

Were France's funnels red ? They seem to be sort of a buff yellow in the magazine journal print ?

I always thought these posters were all just mass produced printings..not hand painted ?
 

Harland Duzen

Member
Jan 14, 2017
1,576
624
188
I always thought these posters were all just mass produced printings..not hand painted ?
They probably were mass produced for the most part and just sent with the film reel to the cinema.

However at some point probably prior to 1953 (at least for smaller cinemas) it was common for someone of the cinema to paint them separately.

(This actually used to be and sometimes still is done in Africa with some comedic and terrifying results!

Hand Painted Movie Posters From Africa )


Back to Topic!

Also to add, the SS France's funnels were red (similar to Cunard's colour) and the news article probably also had no idea what the actual ship looked like or ran out of space which is also plausible!
 
Last edited:

robert warren

Member
Feb 19, 2016
184
60
73
I think part of the reason for this inaccuracy is the fact that this was the Atomic Age, and things were supposed to be sleek and modern. There was not whole lot of concerted effort to accurately portray anything historically correct. Poster and movie art was especially part of this trend.Movie posters back then were very melodramatic ,bright,colorful and designed to attract and get people into the theaters. Being historically correct was not a priority.
 
May 3, 2005
2,459
206
258
Just going back for a comment on the second "Titanic" poster.
There may be four funnels of the correct color, but they are the wrong size and shape.
The ship in the poster looks a lot more modern in appearance than the Titanic, too.
It would seem it would have been easy to have a more accurate portrayal in the poster.
All one would have to have done would have been to have gone back to old newspaper files.
And the model of the Titanic in the movie was reasonably accurate....Regardless of the picture on the poster.
Somebody just goofed. :-(
 
Last edited:

Dan Kappes

Member
Sep 26, 2018
406
77
63
27
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
I just remembered that the Titanic's funnels are the wrong color on the poster for the 1943 German film.
titanic 43 poster.jpg

They are shown to have black tops and bottoms with a red center.

This poster was later used on the cover of the film's 2017 Blu-Ray by Kino Lorber and as a background image on the disc's main menu.
titanic 43 blu ray.jpg
 

Dan Kappes

Member
Sep 26, 2018
406
77
63
27
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
The Titanic's funnels are even black and blue in the brief Titanic sequence in Time Bandits as seen in this clip! It can be seen at the 0:15 mark.

Maybe stock footage was used, perhaps of a ship from the 1950s. Also, the Titanic didn't have a tennis court, an error that was also made in the 1943 film.

 

Harland Duzen

Member
Jan 14, 2017
1,576
624
188
What is going on in that shot at 0:15? It looks like two ships of the same line were berthed next to each other and they postponed the camera between the funnels to give the illusion of it being one and the same. The funnels are angled sideways! :confused:

Back to Topic!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
May 3, 2005
2,459
206
258
Back to the old answer. They just goofed.
Even the 1958 ANTR goofed in places. For a start, the opening scene which show christening of Titanic.
Titanic didn't have a tailor shop as shown in the 1953 movie.
If there is one thing I have learned.....Movies are not always not the most accurate things.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Harland Duzen

Member
Jan 14, 2017
1,576
624
188
A weird part of the 1958 film showing the christening was that Bill MacQuitty (one of the film's producers) was actually at the launch in May 1911 and yet the film still showed Titanic being christening.

As Robert states above, Movies are never 100% accurate (due to writers knowledge, budget constraints, lack of known info, etc) and the writers in 1958 still barely knew as much about the Titanic as we do today such as intricate details on the launch or departure. They likely assumed she would have been christening since's it's a bit of a nautical stereotype.

Back to topic on the posters, most people today will only recognise Titanic by her 4 yellow funnels (if that) and would struggle to recognise any other distinctive features. We can because we have analysed every photo and deckplan known in existence but everyone else would mostly except any 4 funnelled ship as Titanic without question, hence the posters above.
 

Dan Kappes

Member
Sep 26, 2018
406
77
63
27
Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States
Maybe the 1958 film wanted to show the Titanic being christened even though it wasn't true because it made a great opening sequence.

And when James Cameron was writing the screenplay for the 1997 film, he also thought that Jack would get his tux at a shop on board, until historian Don Lynch told Cameron that the Titanic didn't have one and that Jack should borrow his tux from Molly Brown, who was carrying clothes from Europe back to America for her son.

Kinda funny how in the movie Jack and Molly Brown's son are almost exactly the same size and the tux fits perfectly on him! :D
 

Similar threads