James Cameron Says he Got The Sinking of the Titanic "Sort of Half Right" in the 1997 Blockbuster

James Cameron along with a professional team analyses the sinking of the Titanic 25 years later...

Getty | Kevin Winter

James Cameron is one of the biggest figures in the post-New Hollywood era and is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time...Films like Titanic and Avatar have defined new-age cinema like none other. In the recent National Geographic special Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron that aired on Sunday, the man said that he didn't nail the sinking ship and said he only got it "sort of half right."

"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 special, per EW.

Getty | Max Dannenbaum
Getty | Max Dannenbaum

"Over the past 20 years, I've been trying to figure out if we got that right," he added.

The film never claimed that whatever was shown was a replica of whatever happened. 

"I have no way of saying that is in fact what happened, but I'd like to be able to rule it in as a possibility 'cause then I don't have to remake the freaking film!" he joked, adding that the "dramatic image" of the ship's stern slowly sinking was "as accurate as I could make it at the time."

Cameron and the team went a notch up by crafting a model version of the Titanic that was able to split at the same spot as the original ship they did the whole activity in a controlled water tank.

Getty Images | Ralph White
Getty Images | Ralph White

After the experiment, they clarified, 

"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," he said. "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.

The Avatar director remains fascinated to date like many others... "You always have to kind of grab yourself by the scruff of your neck and remind yourself what happened there was a real tragedy," he said. "It happened to real people, and it still resonates down through time in this very powerful way," he said...


More than 1500 people died, the day the legendary ship that went by the name Titanic sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, USA. 

You can Watch the National Geographic documentary, Titanic: 25 Years Later With James Cameron on Hulu.