When James Cameron’s hit blockbuster Titanic came out in movie theaters in 1997, people were really hyped about it. The movie’s trailer promised an epic romantic film with a fairly accurate portrayal of the history of the real R.M.S. Titanic. And Cameron totally delivered. Moviegoers LOVED it, and the film even developed quite a cult following. Fast forward two decades later and people can still enjoy watching this film as if it were the very first time.
Cameron really paid attention to detail when he created Titanic, and it’s almost like walking back in time to board the legendary luxury liner. This is one movie that can be re-watched over and over without losing its majesty. We love Titanic and wanted to remind everyone of a few things that may have been forgotten since the first time it hit theaters.
16 That old couple who held each other as the ship went down
One of the most emotional scenes in the film don’t even feature the two leads, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. Instead, we were brought to tears when we watched that adorable old couple hold onto each other as the Titanic sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The water just rose higher and higher around their bed, and they had resigned themselves to death. What most of us didn’t know at the time was that this scene was based on an actual moment in the history of the real Titanic. The couple was reportedly Ida and Isidor Straus, owners of Macy’s in New York. They declined to get on the lifeboats because they wanted to save the women and children first. And they decided to die together instead of separate.
15 And that epic first kiss between Rose and Jack
We couldn’t help but fall in love right along with Rose and Jack the first time we watched Titanic, and we still haven’t been able to let go. Rose DeWitt-Bukater had been a rich girl who felt as if she had no control of her life when this drifter named Jack Dawson comes along and changes everything. He might be poor, but he does what he can to take control of his destiny. He rescues her from a suicide attempt and later the young couple walk on the ship’s decks and talk things out. Rose was glad that he hadn’t told anyone about what really happened. The two spend even more time together, and it leads to this epic kiss at the bow of the luxury liner.
14 Everybody wanted the 'Heart of the Ocean'
Everybody wanted that pretty diamond-and-sapphire necklace in the film Titanic. It was called the Heart of the Ocean and was worth a ton of money. In the movie, Brock Lovett takes a research team to find the Heart of the Ocean necklace among the shipwrecked ruins of the R.M.S. Titanic, and in the past, Rose’s fiancé tried to get the necklace back after giving it to her as the ship sank.
What isn’t so widely known is that the necklace is REAL! According to the Washington Times, a young woman named Kate Florence Phillips had received the necklace as a gift from her married lover Henry Samuel Morley. Kate, 20, survived the tragedy, but Henry, 40, did not. Kate gave the necklace to her daughter who eventually had to sell it when she needed money to survive. Some lady in Florida possesses it now.
13 Rose had some amazing dresses
While we are perfectly happy to wear T-shirts and jeans, we experienced some major envy when we saw Rose’s dresses throughout the movie. The dresses would have been so impractical, even in 1912, but they were truly beautiful. And we can thank costume designer Deborah Lynn Scott for the exquisitely gorgeous dresses featured in the film. Scott and her design team scoured historical records, visited museums and the Ellis Island archives to come up with a variety of ideas to costume every class level on the Titanic. The goal was to keep the costuming accurate while also ensuring that it looked good in all sorts of light and even in water. But we absolutely adore all of the designs that she came up with and even fantasized about dressing in such opulence ourselves.
12 That hot sketching scene between Rose and Jack in her cabin
Well, this might be the ONE scene no one would ever forget from this movie. It’s not based on anything factual but was meant to turn up the heat in the fictional Rose DeWitt-Bukater and Jack Dawson romance. Our teenage selves fell in love with this scene because we wished we could find our Jack and be his Rose. They were two teenagers from opposite social classes having this illicit love affair, and it was so exciting to us back then. And as adults, we still see how titillating it would have been for the two young lovers. The scene is very tasteful as well. She looks beautiful and nervous, and he looks just as handsome and unsure as would be expected. This was one of our most favorite scenes and became a rather iconic one for the film, too.
11 The rich man who decided to go down dressed to the nines
Benjamin Guggenheim was a wealthy industrialist from the United States of America. He was traveling aboard the Titanic with his valet, who would have been denied access to a lifeboat when the ship sank. According to several accounts, Mr. Guggenheim decided that he would not take a lifeboat to safety without his personal secretary, Victor Giglio.
Mr. Giglio had been biracial and a servant. So, the two men dressed in their best attire and ordered a brandy, just as it was depicted in the film, and went “down like gentlemen.” Talk about another powerful scene reenacted to emotional brilliance on the big screen. Director James Cameron captured that moment and burned it onto our hearts the first time we watched the movie. The small moments become amplified in tragedies like the sinking of the Titanic.
10 The runtime for the film is really long
To watch Titanic in the movie theater meant dedicating three hours and 14 minutes to the entire experience. Most movies don’t run that long, but the story was too complex that James Cameron wanted to make sure to get as much detail into the film as possible. In fact, Cameron got VERY detailed with the runtime. It took the real Titanic 160 minutes (two hours and 40 minutes) to sink, and Cameron timed the portion of the film from when the Titanic first sets sail to when it drops below the ocean’s surface at exactly 160 minutes. Details like those are easy not to notice the first time watching a movie. But watching it again and knowing some of the actual history of the Titanic can reveal some wonder Easter eggs within the popular film.
9 Cal throws a temper tantrum and frightens Rose
Rose’s fiancé Caledon Hockley believes that she belongs to him. That means he can do what he wants to her, including demand that she keep up appearances and stop hanging out with that poor guy. Of course, Cal likely sees that Rose is beginning to fall in love with Jack and suffers from some amount of jealousy. But he takes things too far when he throws the table and makes us wonder what Rose ever saw in him in the first place. That scene made us jump the first we saw it. We knew he was supposed to be the “bad guy,” but we hadn’t realized just how abusive he was. And apparently, the table flip had not been written into the script. It was ad-libbed by Billy Zane, who played Cal.
8 Real footage of the wreckage is seen in the movie
One of the reasons the movie is so poignant is that the movie features real footage from the R.M.S. Titanic on the bottom of the ocean. It’s just so haunting to see how the ship has deteriorated over time and how the sea has reclaimed the ocean liner for its own. James Cameron went all out to make this movie as realistic as possible. He used a special deep-sea camera from inside of a submarine to film the portions he needed for his epic movie, and it certainly paid off. How haunting is it when he takes the wreckage and overlays the re-imagined opulence of that era to bring Titanic back to life for all of us? We have so many chills from that, we can barely contain ourselves.
7 Jack and Rose get steamy in someone else's car
Okay, we know that you probably did NOT forget this particular scene. Jack and Rose are running away from Cal’s minion and end up hanging out in someone’s car. They flirt a little before Rose basically tells him to bang her right then and there. But it’s young love and exciting, so who can blame them? Our teenage hearts just swooned at this scene. Awww! They’re so in love, and society wants to keep them apart! We know that you might have daydreamed about this scene more than once but replaced yourself as either Rose or Jack. It’s cool. We totally get it. The scene does a great job with suggestion and never even needs to show them getting it on to be hot. We might just watch it again.
6 Old Rose just throws that important necklace into the sea
Old Rose has shared her story with Brock’s crew but hasn’t revealed that she has the Heart of the Ocean on her person. No idea why she never sold it, just to spite that Cal. Old Rose walks to the back of the ship and just tosses that gorgeous and expensive necklace overboard. WAIT... WUT! That’s how we felt the first time we had seen this. Why would she do that? That necklace is worth so much money, and it’s one piece left of the Titanic that could be preserved for generations to come. But nooooo, Old Rose just has to throw it back into the sea in homage to her long-dead lover Jack. We still don’t agree with this at all. That necklace could have also been given to her granddaughter as well.
5 The song the violinists played as the ship sank
The violinists on the Titanic provided one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the movie. They were men and would not have been the first allowed to get on a lifeboat. And as we already know, there were not enough lifeboats aboard anyway. So, they gathered together to play one last haunting song: “Nearer My God To Thee.” The voices of people screaming to try to get to safety as the forlorn song travels across the deck would have been something. Many of the small scenes that show what other guests on the ship are doing to go peacefully into the night are shown with this song as the backdrop. No one can say for certain what song the actual violinists had played in those final moments, but this one seems fitting.
4 That the steerage passengers were caged in
The first time we saw this movie, we ended up yelling at the TV screen that it was cruel and unfair to keep the steerage passengers locked below deck. How could anyone do that to another person? But back in 1912, people were very strict about classes to the point that letting some poor people die was no biggie in their minds. We identified with those steerage passengers and felt the desperation. And the anger. Jack pulled up a bench to push down the fencing. Holding people back by not even giving them a chance to get to safety really riled us up when we saw this movie. In fact, we get riled up at the same injustice every time we see this movie. The Titanic will always end up sinking, but it doesn’t stop us from wishing things had been different.
3 When Jack kissed Rose's hand
We still swoon when we come to this particular scene. No, we’re not really into those old social graces, but that he kissed her hand and gave her that look just gets us going every time. He tells her that he “had seen that in a nickelodeon once and always wanted to try it.” Oh, that is such an adorable moment! They share a little laugh before she gives him the scoop on the gossip of her wealthy peers. This gesture is so romantic, yet so simple. He defers to her in many cases to not only show respect for her but to show visible respect according to the social requirements of the era. But he still breaks plenty of other rules in developing the budding friendship and love between them despite their different social standings.
2 How the ship looked as it broke in two
Special effects are amazing, even in 1997. James Cameron went to great lengths to make his Titanic sink as realistically as possible on film. The model ship for the movie had been large and was rigged to separate through a tilting mechanism. Computer special effects helped to make the scene even more detailed and realistic, and the final effect is jarring. Can you imagine having been on the real ship and watching it split in two, with the front end sinking into the icy-cold water beneath your lifeboat? The distant screams helped to add to the horror of that particular moment in history. Survivors would have felt so powerless and afraid. And many would have been suffering from shock. They went from having a good time on the ship to being stranded on the Atlantic Ocean.
1 Jack still dies at the end, dammit
Of course we have not forgotten that Jack Dawson ends up dying by the end of the film. Our hearts were broken the first time we saw the film and will break again every time we watch it. Yet, we will put ourselves through the pain because we love Titanic that much. Many people have already gone over how Jack could have totally fit on that door with Rose and perhaps survived with her, but that doesn’t change that the scene was not written that way. The director practically had to kill off Jack so that we would have this bittersweet love story to hang onto as the movie ended. A little bit of our hearts die each time we see Jack freeze to death. The world is such a cruel place.