James Cameron Made a Mistake in 'Titanic'

And it's in the most iconic scene in the film!

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

James Cameron's Titanic was released 26 years ago. It's an iconic film—truly one of the greatest of all time—but it's also sort of wild that we still have anything new to talk about in regards to its creation, reception, and impact on the culture. (The same could probably be said about the actual ship itself, too.) And yet, here we are, in 2023, learning information we didn't know before...like how 4 seconds of the most memorable shot in the film that are out of focus. (Cue up an underwhelmed person feigning shock here.)

I mean, sure, yeah, okay! That's a thing to know! So now I do and so do you, thanks to EW's coverage of the new Titanic 4K Ultra HD Collector's Edition Blu-ray Set. In a clip from a new featurette (which you can only watch on their site), both Cameron and Winslet recount what it was like to shoot the "I'm flying!" scene on the front of the ship, and it is here where Cameron drops the detail.

"We shot two takes before we lost the light," Cameron explains. "The first one—completely out of focus. The second one is out of focus for about four seconds, and then it pops in. And that's the one that's in the movie."

Now, ever the dutiful culture vulture (and occasional director of things), I of course went over to the scene in question to catch the moment:

Now, listen: I know the ol' eye globes ain't what they used to be, and maybe it's more noticeable on the big screen...but...I can't really see it? I mean, maybe I can? Can I? I can't tell. Can you? I'm not saying it's not fun to know this fact if you're a cinephile obsessive—I am no fan of yucking anyone's yums—and I'm not calling James Cameron a liar, either! I just feel like we're stretching for Titanic talking points. And maybe we need to take a break, let our cultural obsession with this morbid tragedy (and its cultural artifacts) a rest. At least until the next billionaire submersible heads down for a gander.

Oh who am I kidding? I'll see you all here at the Titanic water cooler again next week.

Alicia Lutes
Freelance Writer

Alicia Lutes is a freelance writer, essayist, journalist, humorist, and screenwriter based in Los Angeles. She has written extensively on culture, entertainment, the craft of comedy, and mental health. Her work has been featured in places such as Vulture, Playboy, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, MTV, Cosmopolitan, Rotten Tomatoes, Bustle, Longreads, and more. She was also the creator/former host of the web series Fangirling, and currently fosters every single dog she can.