Top 10... - February 20, 2015

10 Things You Didn't Know About... Titanic
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

10 Things You Didn't Know About... Titanic

Up until the third instalment in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, James Cameron's 1997 film about the world's first 'unsinkable' ship was the most nominated film of all time at the Academy Awards, and it can also be found as part of our Awards Season promotion in-store.

Almost everybody could quote at least one line from James Cameron's film, but did you know it cost more to make the film than the ship itself? Here are 10 things you may not know about Titanic...


1. Leonardo DiCaprio was the studio's third choice for the role of Jack Dawson

Although Cameron always wanted Leo to play the part of Jack, the studio wasn't so convinced and, depending on who you believe, wanted either Matthew McConuaghey or Tom Cruise for the role. Luckily for DiCaprio, Cameron stuck to his guns and the studio eventually relented.

 

2. 80 people on set were hospitalised when somebody spiked the food with PCP

On the last night of filming on location in Nova Scotia, a still-anonymous person or persons thought it would be funny to add a little 'angel dust' to the clam chowder that was being served to the cast and crew, causing 80-odd people to be sent to the hospital after suffering from some pretty severe hallucinations.

 

3. James Cameron wanted Enya to to write the film's score

The director had even put together a rough cut of the movie using some of her music as a placeholder, but when he showed the film to the Irish musician she told Cameron she wasn't interested, so he drafted in James Horner instead. His score for the film has since gone on to become the best-selling soundtrack album of all time.

 

4. The film cost over 25 times more to make than the actual Titanic

The ship cost around $6m to build in the early 20th century, compared to the whopping $220m afforded to the film's production budget. Even if you scaled that figure to account for inflation, the ship would still only cost between $150m and $170m to build in today's money.

 

5. James Cameron cast diminutive actors as the ship's engineers to make the set look bigger

The director apparently stipulated that actors working in the scenes that took place in the ship's engine room should be no taller than 5ft in order to make the set's machinery look even bigger than it already was.

 

6. Robert DeNiro turned down the part of Captain Smith

Cameron offered the veteran actor the role of the ship's captain, Edward Smith, but had to pass on the opportunity because he was suffering from a gastrointestinal infection at the time, so the role was instead handed to British actor Bernard Hill.

 

7. Kate Winslet flashed Leo DiCaprio the first time they met

The actress was aware of the nude scene in which Jack draws a sketch of Rose while she's in her birthday suit before the pair had actually met, so as an icebreaker Winslet thought it would be a good idea to get any awkwardness out of the way by showing him the goods upfront.

 

8. Those are James Cameron's hands doing the sketching, not Leo's

While we're on the subject of that nude sketch scene, the shots of the actual drawing were spliced into the scene, having been filmed separately with the director, not the actor, making the sketch of a nude Rose.

 

9. Everything in the scene at Southampton Pier was filmed in 'mirror image' reverse

This meant that all the writing on the side of vans and on the characters' clothing had to be written backwards so that it would appear the right way around when the image was reversed. The hats worn by the crew on the Titanic had the words 'ENIL RATS ETIHW' written on them, so they would read 'WHITE STAR LINE', the name of the company who ran the ship's route from England to America.

 

10. Titanic was the first film ever to be released on DVD while it was still showing in cinemas

That's not because they pulled the release dates any closer together, it's because the film was still packing in audiences after twelve months and the cinema chains didn't want to stop showing the film while it was still popular. Rumour has it that Paramount had to send replacement reels to many of the cinemas because they had literally worn out the film reels.

 

Titanic
Titanic James Cameron
Titanic - Official Trailer [1997]

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