James Cameron still testing whether he got ‘Titanic’ sinking right
After two decades of question marks, Cameron is still putting theories to the test.
Although the hit movie ‘Titanic’ came out in 1997, James Cameron is still wondering whether he accurately showed the sinking of the RMS Titanic in his film.
With help from the U.S. Navy, Cameron and his team ran simulations based on data from the original sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, and he noted that his depiction of how the ship sank may differ from what actually took place.
“The film Titanic depicts what we believed was an accurate portrayal of the ship’s last hours. We showed it sinking bow-first, lifting the stern high in the air, before its massive weight broke the vessel in two,” Cameron said in the National Geographic special, ‘Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron’ which aired on Sunday.
“We found out you can have the stern sink vertically and you can have the stern fall back with a big splash, but you can’t have both.
“So the film is wrong on one point or the other — I tend to think it’s wrong on the ‘fall back of the stern’ because of what we see at the bow of the wreck.
“I think we can rule in the possibility of a vertical stern sinking, and I think we can rule out the possibility of it both falling back and then going vertical. We were sort of half right in the movie.”
Jack, Rose and the door
Another question surrounding the movie is whether Jack (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) could have survived the sinking of the ship if he had gotten on the floating door with Rose (Kate Winslet).
For that, Cameron and his team recreated the scene and four different scenarios.
In the first test conducted, while there was room for both Jack and Rose on the door frame, the stunt people, with the same height and weight as DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in 1997, both began sinking.
The second test revealed that when both stunt actors had only their upper bodies on the door frame, they lasted longer floating on the water.
By the third test, Cameron had the stunt actors conduct the exhausting running around that Jack and Rose did by the time they found themselves in freezing water. In this test, Cameron also had the Rose stunt double give Jack her life jacket, giving them a better chance of survival while waiting for the lifeboats.
“Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables. I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not going to do one thing that jeopardized her,’ and that’s 100 percent in character,” Cameron said on the final test.
The sinking of the Titanic remains one of the deadliest shipwrecks in recorded history
The real-life sinking of the RMS Titanic resulted in the loss of more than 1,500 people out of the 2,240 passengers counted in total. The ship was en route to New York from Southampton’s White Star Dock in England before it collided with an ice burg in the North Atlantic Ocean.
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