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10 Things You Didn’t Know About “Titanic”

Photo courtesy of ISD 191 Performing Arts Programs/Flickr

When James Cameron’s “Titanic” hit theaters in 1997, it became an instant classic that people are still talking about and referencing today. (I don’t think there’s a single boat tour or scenic dinner cruise without at least one passenger who leans over the bow and screams, “I’m the king of the world!”) But here are some movie facts we dug up on IMDb that are probably new to even the most hardcore Leo DiCaprio fans.

1. The studio actually wanted Matthew McConaughey to play the role of Jack Dawson, but Cameron insisted on using DiCaprio for the part.

2. When Jack (DiCaprio) is preparing to sketch Rose (Kate Winslet), he says, “Lie on that bed — uh, I mean couch.” The line was scripted “Lie on that couch,” but DiCaprio made an honest mistake and Cameron liked it so much that he decided to keep it.

3. The name of the character Caledon Hockley is a combination of the names of two small towns (Caledon and Hockley) near Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, where Cameron’s aunt and uncle live.

4. The hands seen sketching Rose are not DiCaprio’s, but Cameron’s. In post-production, Cameron — who is left-handed — mirror-imaged the sketching shots so the artist would appear to be right-handed, like DiCaprio.

5. When Rose is afloat on the wood looking up at the sky, the stars form a vague outline of the film’s famous heart-shaped necklace.

6. For the departure scene, the extras were filmed on a green screen in a parking lot.

7. As is the case with many 20th Century Fox films, the film cans for the advance screening and show prints had a code name: “Baby’s Day Out 2.”

8. All the scenes where there is an exterior sunset shot were filmed at the Fox Studios set in Baja California, Mexico. The set was constructed specifically for the film, as no studio was large enough at the time to encompass the almost full-scale replication of the ship.

9. In the scene where the water comes crashing into the grand staircase room, the filmmakers only had one chance to capture it because the entire set and furnishings were going to be destroyed in the shot.

10. Reba McEntire was offered, and had accepted the role of Molly Brown, but later had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.

Want a chance to get even closer to “Titanic” than you did when you saw it on the big screen? Join us in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic by attending the Titanic Dinner Theatre on April 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Check out our event page for details and ticket information.

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