The Titanic: Creative masterpiece or real-life event?

Today marks the 110th year anniversary of the most famous ship-iceberg symbiosis with the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

A Post-humous inspiration for an almost intolerable number of things, arguably including the iceberg metaphor used by every psych major in the world, the most well-known thing to come out of the “Unsinkable Ship” alive has to be the pop culture phenomenon The Titanic.

The 3-hour romantic and disaster movie epic was released in 1997 and until this day remains one of the most well-known and referenced films of all time.

It is also responsible for My Heart Will Go On by the legendary Céline Dion.

Winning 11 Oscars while scoring a titanic $2 Billion+ at the box office, the film is billed as being a fictional – but faithful – adaptation of the tragic events that befell 1523 passengers and crew members when the luxury British passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic Ocean.

But how accurate is the iconic film? Did Rose’s heart really go on? Was Jack really too big for that plank? Find that out (not really) and more (I’m serious this time) about what did and didn’t happen in the James Cameron flick.

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Happened: The Behemoth Really Was Believed to be Unsinkable

The makers of the RSS had a lot of confidence in the durability of the ship. Like, a lot. The ship’s captain allegedly proclaimed that “God himself could not sink this ship.”

It seems that God had time that day.

Jokes aside, the braggadocious attitude of the men responsible for making the ship prevented them from seeing the potential flaws in the faith they had in their abilities, resulting in the ship sinking in 2 hours and 40 minutes – shorter than the Best Picture’s total runtime.

Didn’t Happen: Rose and Jack’s Romance

Though it should probably be common sense, the romance that happens between our protagonist that provides the human lifeline for the film and many of film’s best moments was completely made up.

However, not only was the romance a sham but the characters were not inspired by real passengers. Not even our resident survivor Rose who was inspired American artist Beatrice Wood. This one hurt.

Whose heart is meant to go on now, Cameron?

Happened: The Band Continued to Play

A moment quite literally meant to harp on your heartstrings and one of the most pivotal moments in the epic is when the band continued to play as the ship sank – though it is unclear if that final song when water fully broke was Alexander’s Ragtime Band, In The Shadows, Nearer, My God, To Thee, or Song d’Automne.

I guess when you're sinking, the audio can get a bit muffled. I'll be here all night.

Didn’t Happen: Flashlights

Hollywood is notorious embellishing moments for dramatic effect, but when making the most expensive film at the time they had the budget to embellish history.

During the chaotic crash, crew members can be seen using flashlights. Flashlights, however, were only recently invented and were not commonly used – and not at all by the real-life crew members.

Happened: Molly Brown

Though our two centrefolds where nothing but a fable, Kathy Bate’s Molly Brown provided the film with not only one of its most unforgettable characters but one of the few relevant characters inspired by real-life passengers.

Though not exactly entirely faithful to the real-life person, Hollywood trades Margaret for Molly in its portrayal of the wealthy American socialite and philanthropist.

Didn’t Happen: Jack was not, in fact, King of the World

Sorry to break it to you but the real king of United Kingdom and British Dominions in 1912 was George V.

Should’ve used that inflated ego to stay afloat, Jack.

Happened: The ship really did hit an iceberg

After the many things discovered in this extensive research, I was beginning to believe that maybe the ship never even hit that iceberg and all those psych majors were misinformed.

However, it is true that the ship did hit an iceberg when it collided with the unpredictable floating mass on April 14 1912 at 23:30 p.m. and sank completely by 02:20 a.m..

Rose might have harkened it the “ship of dreams” but this shipwreck was nothing but a nightmare on the Atlantic Ocean.

On a serious note, though this article poked some fun at some of the discrepancies in the film and real-life, what happened to the RSS Titanic was a true tragedy.

If my heart cannot go on for Jack, it most certainly goes on for all those lost.

Artmotion S.Africa

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