Factual error: The lake that Jack told Rose he went ice fishing on when she was threatening to jump is Lake Wissota, a man-made lake in Wisconsin near Chippewa Falls (where Jack grew up). The lake was only filled with water in 1918 when a power company built a dam on the Chippewa River, six years after the Titanic sank.
Factual error: Rose mentions Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's ideas on the male preoccupation with size to Bruce. However this is 1912, and Freud did not publish the work relating to this until 1920 in "Beyond The Pleasure Principle." Also, up until 1919, Freud relied solely on data from females.
Factual error: When the men are checking the store room for Rose and Jack, the men are using huge battery powered bright white flash lights that look like they're from Jurassic Park. Back then they would have produced yellow light. The light used in the movie was a Short-Arc Xenon bulb, you can tell this by both the very high color temperature of the light and the center of the light has a "hole" in it where the actual tube is blocking the beam. Such technology was not around at that time.
Factual error: The hymn that they sing at the church service about "those in peril on the sea" has four verses. "Peril on the sea" was written in 1860 but the verses that have "protect them by Thy guarding hand" and "O Spirit whom the Father sent" were not written until 1937, and thus could not have been sung at the service.
Factual error: When Jack, and Rose were trying to escape the rising water they were trapped by a locked gate. Jack and the crowd pulled up a bolted down bench to use as a battering ram. When they pulled the bench loose they showed a close up of the wooden floor shattering. The wood was pressed fiber board which would never be used as ship decking, not to mention, pressed fiber board wasn't invented until decades later.
Factual error: When Rose, Jack and his friends come up to the boat deck while the ship is sinking, they ascend using the second class staircase and its exit on the deck. When Jack lets go of the door it is able to hit the side of the deckhouse. On the actual Titanic there were walls on the bow side of each door, which supported an overhang above the entrance. This is not included in many scenes in the movie.
Factual error: When Jack and Rose are being chased by the bodyguard, they run through the ship's boiler room, prior to winding up in the car. Titanic was fueled by coal, and the boiler workers were called the "black gang" due to what happened as a result of working there. Yet Rose was wearing a pale dress which stayed pristine after going through the area, as did her shoes. She should have picked up at least a little soot along the way, at least on her shoes and the hem of her dress.
Factual error: A small one & probably only noticed by dog trainers like me. When the dogs are being brought on board, they are on leather leashes made by J&J Dog Supplies, invented in the 1970s. It is the type of leash preferred by professional trainers, who probably supplied the dogs for the movie, and is distinguished by the "braid" near the snap, rather than by a sewn or riveted section. J&J's website is: www.jandjdog.com. You can see the leashes there.
Factual error: It is fairly well known that James Cameron built a virtual full-size replica of the ship for shooting the exterior scenes. However only the starboard side of the ship was constructed in full, facing land (port side only down to B deck); when scenes were required that need to show port side Cameron generally employed a method known as 'flipping.' For example, in the early scenes of the film we see Titanic at 'Southampton' and passengers boarding the port side. This was achieved by reversing the camera angles. All the signs on passing carriages/vans and White Star logos were printed back-to-front so that when the scene was printed it could be reversed, thus showing both sides of the ship. The problem is that in reality the starboard side of Titanic was not a mirror image of the port side. On one side of the forward boat deck there were entrances to the First Class Gymnasium and forward Grand Staircase, while on the other side there were the windows of the Officers' Quarters and the entrance to the Wireless Room. On Cameron's Titanic you get to see the gym etc. on both sides of the ship.
Factual error: Rose and Jack retreat aft of the 3rd funnel while D deck (1st class dining salon between funnel 2 & 3) is being flooded. They go down to E deck, which floods then they come back up to D to the locked gate, then escape to C deck just as D floods to the top. The 1st class dining salon extended across the entire width of the ship, so D deck was flooded to ceiling aft of 3rd funnel at the time they escaped below decks. In reality, if the ship were flooded that high, only the stern would be sticking above water. The 'split' did not even show the water that high and far back in the ship.
02:20:25 - 02:25:30
Factual error: When the camera pulls back through the pub window to reveal the card players, if you look carefully in the background you will see a steam engine on the dock. Unfortunately the computer generated loco more closely resembles a German tank locomotive rather than a British one, having two domes and several appliances on top of the boiler. British railway engines usually had a single dome, if any, as well as a whistle and safety valve on the boiler, thus having cleaner, uncluttered appearances. There were extremely few locomotives in Britain that had two or more domes, particularly prior to World War I, and the ones that did (which were mostly American imports) were not even remotely similar to the one in the film. It also is shunting what looks like a carriage - again, more closely resembling those of continental Europe. Carriages were rarely seen at docks, except if a train was connecting to a ship, and this was not common until the 1920s.
Factual error: When DiCaprio is showing off his sketchbook, there is one with a man's hands around a young girl's torso with his hands on hers. This drawing is an exact replica of a photograph by celebrated photographer Sally Mann called "Rodney Plogger at 6:01, 1989." Most likely a tribute of some sort by the director to a fellow artist, but obviously this drawing is out of place in 1912. [From the New York Times Arts and Leisure section, Sunday, November 19, 2000: "The film director James Cameron copied an image from "Immediate Family" and displayed it prominently in "Titanic" without Ms. Mann's permission. The resulting grievance was settled out of court for a substantial sum just weeks before the Academy Awards."]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Factual error: A point is made in the movie, and it is well known, that the water temperature of the ocean where the Titanic sank is near freezing, and at the end after it sinks, the people in the water only last a few minutes before going into an unconscious stupor and then dying. but on the boat, as it is taking on water while it is sinking, Jack and Rose are running around in this freezing water for what seems about 30 minutes with no apparent ill effects. The water could not have been heated substantially, and they simply could not have lasted nearly as long as they did running around in this water as the movie showed without slipping into unconsciousness.
Factual error: When Jack and Fabrizio are searching for their cabin, Jack can be heard muttering the cabin number - G60. Not only did G60 not exist, it would have been in Second Class, as third class cabins weren't prefixed with their deck letter. Cabin 60 itself was on F deck and bunked 8 people rather than the small 4-bunk cabin in the movie.
Factual error: When Jack and Rose begin to evacuate to the Titanic's stern, there should be only two lifeboats left on the ship: Collapsible A (which Cal was on) and Collapsible B (the overturned one with all men on it). However, if you pay attention you'll notice two other boats still there. One is still loading and another is in the water but still attached to the falls.
Factual error: Rose turned left after exiting the elevator during the search for Jack during the sinking. In the real Titanic, there was a wall to the left of the elevator in E Deck. In addition, going left from the elevators would take her to the port side of the ship, but the corridor outside the cabin where Jack is is on the starboard side.
Factual error: When Jack goes up to first class on a Sunday morning, the group is singing the Navy Hymn "Eternal Father." What is impossible is that they are singing the verse written for Aviators. The verse starts "O Spirit, whom the Father sent." They are singing the whole stanza continuing with "to spread abroad the firmament; O Wind of heaven, by thy might; Save all who dare the eagle's flight, And keep them by thy watchful care." The last line "From every peril in the air" can only be heard in the background as Jack is arriving on the scene. The Wright Brothers flew about 8 years before, and this verse was not added until the late 1930s.
Factual error: It's impossible that Rose would've been able to survive for as long as she did whilst wearing that thin, delicate lounging dress she changed into after Jack drew her portrait. She was in and out of the water constantly before finally climbing on top of the door frame in the water, and while the coat Cal put on her could've kept her torso warm, her legs were exposed throughout much of the ordeal. The human body can barely function in freezing temperatures, but she moves around with considerable agility until shortly before she's rescued from the water.
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