Factual error: In the shots taken in the grand staircase, the lights on the ceiling are flush with the ceiling itself. The lights in the actual Titanic's grand staircase were mounted via a small pedestal. Earlier in the film when the submarine is exploring the grand staircase, there is a shot of one of these same lights except this light actually has the original pedestal. (01:57:05)1123581321
Factual error: Professional Radio Operators hold the key used for Morse code between their thumb and two fingers - they don't tap it, as was shown. Tapping would produce a harsh voice in Morse code. (01:45:25)
Factual error: Both times the fireplace in the first class lounge is seen there is nothing on the mantlepiece. But in photos of the actual lounge there is a statue on the mantle called "Artemis of Versailles" which was a small copy of the original in the Louvre, Paris. The statue was even photographed on the ocean floor when the Titanic was found, but there is no statue in James Cameron's movie. (02:20:40)
Factual error: Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) was handcuffed with old English Hiatt's Darby Handcuffs (type 104). This is historically correct. But the key for these handcuffs identifies them as modern reproductions, because it had a flat top and was "checkered". The old keys had an oval and smooth (only marked with "Hiatt" and a number) top. The handcuffs used in the film were not from 1912. (01:47:50)
Factual error: All deep sea submersibles that travel to depths of two or three miles fall to the ocean floor with no power on. At the start of the film, you see MIR1 and MIR2 pan past the camera with all their lights on. The lights should be off to conserve electrical power. The journey to the sea bed takes two and a half hours. (00:02:00)
Factual error: On the real Titanic the first set of davits were cranked back in to lower the lifeboat Cal is in, not the second set. One of the davits that should have been cranked back in is still on the real Titanic in the position ready for picking up the lifeboat to lower it. (02:25:40 - 02:34:45)
Factual error: The radio system in use at that time was based on spark transmission and we should never have heard a nice clean transmission of Morse code SOS or CQD beeps. (01:45:25)
Factual error: In the film the water tight doors are shown to lower mechanically all the way down, however in reality the last 20 inches or so they would suddenly drop by their own weight to effectively "dent" into the floor creating the water tight seal. A few of the crew in the film getting through "at the last moment" would have actually had their lower legs shattered by several tonnes of iron.
Factual error: At the end of the movie, the Straus' are seen lying in each other's arms on their bed with water coming into the cabin under the closed door as the ship is sinking. This is not true, their cabin was on C deck, but his body was found in the following days of the sinking. For his body to get into the open water it would have had to float through a closed door, and up several flights of stairs. Historically, they refused to leave the ship, and were last seen sitting in deck chairs. They were there when the ship sank on the boat deck. Her body was never recovered.
Factual error: When the captain declares to Bruce Ismay that the last boilers have been lighted, it's only half true. Sunday morning, the last "regular" boilers were lighted to reach a total of 24 out of 29. The five boilers of the auxiliary boiler room number one are not in operation yet. The day after, weather permitting, it was planned to light them on for a few hours to see if the Titanic had something in the ball. (01:13:00)
Factual error: When the ship hits the iceberg and the plates of the hull start to buckle and break apart, it shows a scene on the inside of the ship showing the walls buckling in, along those walls you can see vertical pipes that appear to made of PVC, similar to the pipes used for sewage drains in modern building structure. I don't think PVC was around in 1912, the pipes would have been made of cast iron or lead and they would not have been white. (01:37:00)
Factual error: When Titanic is leaving Southampton she accelerates in few seconds to a incredible fast speed. That was impossible then, when large steamers were helped off by tiny tugboats. In the long shot in fact, you can see the tugboats - no way she could accelerate that fast if being towed. (00:26:40)
Factual error: The Strauses (the old couple on the bed as "Nearer My God to Thee" is playing) had stateroom C55-7 on C-Deck, right off the grand staircase. When the ship is sinking there is water coming in from the door in their cabin. But Rose's artwork is seen floating on top of the water a few seconds later. Her cabin was B52-56 (also just aft of the grand staircase) on B-Deck which was above C-Deck. So the Straus' cabin would have been completely flooded. (02:31:20)