Goofs in Titanic.

I Find Karma (
Tue, 24 Feb 1998 17:59:03 -0800

For those of you who have never been to a movie with Rohit, he likes to
point out all of the "geek flaws" in a movie that demonstrate that the
moviemakers had not consulted a decent engineer/physicist before

I sat next to Rohit for three and a half hours watching Titanic, and he
didn't come up with even 3% of the flaws pointed to by

[Thanks to Megan for finding this; included below because it's a nicer
thing to do than just provide an URL.]

Crew or equipment visible
Reflected in Rose's TV.

Revealing mistakes
A desert is visible between the dock and the Titanic when docked
at Southampton.

Jack claims to have gone ice fishing on Lake Wissota, which wasn't
created until five years after the Titanic sank.

When Captain Smith orders, ``Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch -- let's
stretch her legs'', they are standing to the right of the
wheelhouse looking forward with the sun coming from their
left. When Murdoch walks into the wheelhouse to carry out the
order, the sun is behind him.

The pipe frames supporting the third class berths had set-screw
speed rail fittings, not developed until 1946.

In the scene where Jack is teaching Rose to spit, there is no spit
on his chin as he starts to turn around to face the ladies, but by
the time he has completed his turn he has some on his chin.

Factual errors
The painting over the fireplace in the Titanic's first class
smoking lounge in the film depicts New York harbour, which was
actually the painting on the Titanic's sister ship,
``Olympic''. The painter, Norman Wilkinson, had provided a scene
of Plymouth harbor for Titanic, but no pictures of this work

The main characters have lunch in the Palm Court/Verandah on A
Deck. These were not used for dining, although passengers could
order tea or a small snack.

Cal orders lamb with mint sauce for himself and Rose. Lamb was
only available for dinner on the ship, while mutton was reserved
for lunch. The lamb was prepared in the D-Deck galley and would
not have been served in the Palm Court.

Crew or equipment visible
While Jack and Rose are walking on the promenade the day after he
rescued her, a small hill with a building on it is visible over
Jack's shoulder and above the ship.

Jack takes Rose and Molly's arms to go into dinner. They start
walking, but in the next shot they are still standing apart.

Crew or equipment visible
Reflected in the glass door opened for Jack as he enters the
dining room.

Factual errors
The worship services held at 10:30 on Sunday April 14th, 1912, in
the First Class Dining Room were open to all passengers of the

``Eternal Father Strong To Save'' is sung during the worship
service; the verse that begins ``Lord, guard and guide the men who
fly/ Through the great spaces in the sky'' was written by Mary
C. D. Hamilton in 1915.

Factual errors
During the scene when Rose ``flies'' from the ship's bow, the
sunlight is clearly falling almost exactly straight across the
ship from left to right. Early in the voyage on a great circle
course, the ship should have been sailing slightly north of due
west, or, since it was April, directly into the sunset.

The hands sketching Rose are clearly too old to belong to
Jack. (They actually belong to director James Cameron.)

After the first few lines of the sketch are drawn, a blood blister
appears below his thumbnail.

Factual errors
Workers in the Titanic's engine room had to wear thick protective
clothing to shield them from the heat generated by the engines.

The gauges in the engine room are fitted with sweated tubing
fittings, a plumbing technique not available when the ship was
constructed. The fittings should have been threaded brass.

Factual errors
There was no door between boiler room 6 and the cargo area (and no
access to any but authorized crew). If there had been a door, it
would have entered the third cargo area aft, not the one where the
Renault was stored.

Crew or equipment visible
Reflected in a brass panel on the front of the Renault that Jack
and Rose find in the cargo hold.

Factual errors
When Titanic strikes the iceberg, First Officer Murdoch runs into
the bridge, jarring Second Officer Lightoller, who spills his
tea. In fact, Lightoller was in his quarters at the time, and did
not come to the bridge until roused by Fourth Officer Boxhall, 25
minutes later.

The ``CQD'' disaster message that the radio operator started
clicking out on the telegraph key was not intelligible Morse code.

Cal is shown escaping on a boat that wasn't lowered on ropes, but
rather floated away as the deck became submerged. It is true that
some of the lifeboats did become waterborne this way, but these
were all collapsible boats with canvas sides and not

When Captain Smith enters the wheelhouse, the ship's telegraph is
set to ``Full Reverse''. In fact, after the ship had struck the
iceberg Smith ordered ``All Stop'', and as such the telegraph
should have pointed straight up.

The porthole in the room where Jack is held prisoner is shown to
be several feet below water, yet in a shot from inside the room,
the surface of the water is visible inches above the porthole.

Factual errors
Eyewitness testimony to the sinking conflicted, and until the
discovery of the wreck in 1985 the generally accepted description
was that the ship had sunk intact. Of those who claimed the ship
had broken up prior to sinking, some claimed that after breaking
away from the bow, the stern rolled to port, almostly completely
turning over..

Make-up artists on the film used pictures of corpses from the
disaster, but the amount of ice in the hair of victims in the
movie seems to be excessive. It was not nearby cold enough to
freeze seawater, and the only immediate source of fresh water in
the hair would be breath, which would not contain nearly as much
as depicted in the short time people survived in the water.

It is impossible for voices to echo in the middle of the North
Atlantic unless there is a large, flat object like a ship nearby.

When the rescue ship enters New York Harbor and the Statue of
Liberty is seen, the torch visible is the new, restored torch
(post 1986), which is gold-leaf covered and illuminated from the
exterior, unlike the original torch, which was illuminated from
within and had an amber stained-glass look.


Incorrectly regarded as goofs
Although the Titanic's fourth smokestack was not an exhaust avenue
for the ship's engines, it was used as an outlet for the Titanic's
massive kitchen. Since the Titanic used coal stoves, some smoke
would have been coming out of the fourth smokestack. In one of the
flyovers of the ship, it is possible to see that most of the top
of the fourth smokestack is sealed.

It has been stated that the paintings in Rose's room are famous
works that did not go down with Titanic. The paintings were by
artists noted for creating many similar paintings.

Although her fingers partially obscure it, the coin that Rose
gives to Jack is generally agreed to be a Barber dime, minted
1892-1916. The Barber dime is distinctive because the portrait of
Liberty on the head of the coin faces the right, not the left.

After the iceberg is spotted, First Officer Murdoch bellows a helm
order: ``Hard-a-starboard!'' But Quartermaster Hichens, manning
the wheel, turns the wheel counter-clockwise, or to port. At first
glance this would seem to be a mistake. The order itself,
``Hard-a-starboard,'' was a holdover from earlier days when the
tiller of a ship would be used to control the rudder. Pushing the
tiller to the right (starboard) would cause the ship to turn to
the left (port). So a turn to port was ordered by calling
``hard-a-starboard.'' Sources differ on which way the wheel had to
be turned to actually carry out this order. Director James Cameron
is on the record as being aware of the possible confusion that
turning the wheel in the ``wrong'' direction might create, but
decided to include it to be as accurate as possible.

The ``middle finger'' gesture was used as early as the late 19th

Young Rose's eyes appear green in some scenes due to colored
lighting from flares, etc.

The gun that Cal uses to go after Rose and Jack was a Colt
45M1911, created in 1910. The gun holds 7 bullets in the clip with
an eighth in the chamber. Cal did not pull back the slide (which
would have ejected a bullet) before shooting and fired exactly
eight shots.

There is much disagreement over the last song played by the band
before the ship sank. Wallace Hartley's family firmly believe that
it was ``Nearer My God to Thee'' as shown in the film, and indeed
had this inscription placed on his tombstone, as do the majority
of witnesses. According to Junior Wireless Operator Harold Bride,
the band played the song ``Songe d'Automne'', which has some
similar sections.

The lifeboats for RMS Titanic were in fact labeled ``SS Titanic''.
This is verified by a photograph which appears on page 718 of
National Geographic Magazine Vol. 168 no. 6 (December 1985).

The credits explain that some dramatic license has been taken;
this is apparent with several minor characters. Benjamin
Guggenheim's mistress, Madame Aubert, never dined in the
First-Class Dining Saloon. She took all of her meals in the A la
Carte restaurant on B-Deck. JJ Astor is last seen in the First
Class main staircase as the glass dome implodes. In fact, his body
was recovered from the North Atlantic a few weeks after the
sinking. The body was crushed and coversed with soot, indicating
that he had been crushed by the collapsing #1 funnel.

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