Almost everyone has seen Titanic at one point. Whether it’s the music or the iconic romance, Titanic pulls us all in and illuminates a part of history that only our great-grandparents would remember. While the team behind the movie took a few artistic liberties-most notably Jack and Rose’s famous whirlwind relationship- many aspects of the film are accurate representations of what actually happened in the middle of the Atlantic, April 15, 1912.
Even though Jack and Rose weren’t real people, many of their shipmates were. For example, Margaret Brown, otherwise known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, was just as spirited in 1912 as she was portrayed in the film. Molly, a first class passenger, was the only person aboard one of the 20, half empty, lifeboats who suggested they go back to save the people in the water. One of 702 survivors, Molly was instrumental in rescuing several abandoned passengers.
Additionally, the notorious ‘sinking scene’ is reportedly one of the most expensive scenes ever filmed in Hollywood. For good reason though! This scene is almost completely accurate. The ship did indeed break in two, the lights still burned and both Captain E.J. Smith and engineer Thomas Andrews both went down with their ship. One of the most iconic aspects of the infamous sinking though, the violin, recently began to be disputed until new findings shut the controversy down. The famed violin played by Henry Hartely and his eight-man band as the ship sunk was discovered in early March, silencing everyone who claimed it was a myth invented by survivors. Hartley’s band, who went down with the ship along with Smith and Andrews played waltzes and ragtime to sooth the passengers that scrambled for a spot on a lifeboat.
Though you can’t take everything in Titanic at face value, watch it again through a new lens and you never know what you might learn!