Saturday, March 29, 2014

Titanic analysis - part 3: More inaccuracies; putting Titanic deaths in perspective


Rose prepares to break Jack free so that he can be saved from drowning.

From Warren Farrell's book, Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say:

"While we know [the movie] Titanic had a fictionalized story line, it developed a reputation for being meticulously researched with many characters based on reality. In some ways that was true. But one of the most fascinating stories behind the movie is the story revealed by what is and is not fiction. ...

Titanic Fiction: A woman saves a man at the repeated risk of her life.

Titanic Fact: There is no record of a woman risking her life to save an adult man, no less repeatedly.

Titanic Fiction: Men in charge decided to lock third class (steerage) passengers below the decks.

Titanic Fact: Public Record Office documents in London show that this never happened - in fact, a higher percentage of men from second class died than men from third class (92% vs. 88%) and 55% of the third class women lived, which would not have been possible had they been locked below.[a]

Titanic Fiction: Being poor made one even more disposable than being a man.

Titanic Fact: Being a man and being poor both increased disposability, but being a man increased it significantly more than being poor. First class men were 22 times more likely to die (66% vs. 3%) than first class women.[b] The richest men were significantly more likely to die than the poorest women. ...

Here is the breakdown by class and sex:[c]

              Class                   % of men dying       % of women dying
             1st              66%               3%
             2nd              92%              16%
             3rd              88%              45%

Finally, the multiple scenes of men as cowards...negates the reality, especially regarding First Officer William Murdoch, who was portrayed in the film as taking a bribe, shooting a third-class passenger, and then killing himself. In real life, 'Murdoch behaved heroically, sacrificing his life after laboring frantically to save others.'[d]"

We will soon find out why it is, that Cameron intentionally placed these historical inaccuracies in his movie.

a. AP & Nando Times, "New Fight Over Film Version of Titanic Tragedy", April 9, 1998, in Farrell, Warren, Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say, New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 1999, p. 289.
b. Ibid., p. 289.
c. Ibid., p. 289.
d. Joseph Sobran, "The Story of the Real Titanic", Universal Press Syndicate, April 1998, in Farrell, Women Can't Hear, p. 290.


Titanic analysis - part 2: Cameron has intentionally placed inaccuracies in the film


Above left: Two deep see diving vehicles explore the Titanic wreck, at the beginning of the movie. Above right: Brock Lovett uses a handheld video camera to record pictures of the Titanic's deck, from one of the diving vehicles. He is heard saying, "Dive six. Here we are again on the deck of the Titanic, two and one-half miles down, three thousand eight hundred twenty-one meters. The pressure outside is three and a half tons per square inch. These windows are nine inches thick and if they go, it's [goodbye] in two microseconds. Alright, enough of that bullshit."

There is a problem with Lovett's numbers. Since 1 meter = 3.281 feet, 3,821 meters is equivalent to about 12,537 feet. The pressure at this depth would be approximately 5,585 pounds per square inch (psi),[a] but Lovett says the pressure is 3.5 tons psi, and since 1 ton = 2000 pounds, the number given by Lovett equates to 7,000 psi; this is quite a bit higher than 5,585 psi.

Brock is also wrong about the thickness of the windows. He says they are 9 inches thick, but the Russian Mir, the actual Deep Submergence Vehicle that is carried by the Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, is capable of descending to a depth of 6,000 meters, and each of its three viewports is only 18 centimeters (7.1 inches) thick.[b]

Above left: The Russian spelling of the name on the side of the scientific research ship used in the movie (click image to enlarge), when 'translated' into English letters, reads "Akademik Mstislav Keldysh." Above right: The Deep Submergence Vehicle being retrieved from the water, after its crew is done exploring the Titanic wreckage.

James Cameron has intentionally placed inaccuracies in the film, with the hope that the audience will notice them. In upcoming posts in this analysis, we'll look at some more inaccuracies, and we'll see why Cameron wants us to notice them.

a. The 5,585 psi figure was obtained using the MyCalTool 'Pressure at depth' calculator, URL =
b. Wikipedia, Mir (submersible). Web, n.d. URL =


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