OK fellow '80s and '90s kids, I have a confession to make. I actually didn't first watch Titanic until almost ten years after it was first released in 1997. My first experience with the epic film was that iconic two VHS set. Now, 20 years later, I've seen it a few times — and I'm glad I did, because this film is so long and rich, and there's one Titanic detail you missed that's worth checking out. Played by actor Liam Tuohy, Chief Baker Joughlin was based on a real survivor of the R.M.S. Titanic with a fascinating story.
In the film, this man can be seen drinking from a flask and downing a glass of wine. He and Rose also share a moment as they approach the water, and he throws chairs and various items in the water to be used as floatation devices. In real life, Charles Joughlin survived by resting in the water on Collapsible Lifeboat B. He claimed to have not felt the icy water as much as the others, partially due to the fact that he was heavily intoxicated at the time. Did a booze blanket save his life? That's a bit of a stretch, but it certainly must have helped. Nevertheless, his survival was somewhat effortless, and therefore incredibly lucky. I think I might try to learn from his example if I ever find myself on a sinking ship. He lived to be 78 and even assisted Walter Lord, who wrote A Night To Remember. It's cool to remember that the various people Jack and Rose interacted with were real people, even if they themselves are fictional characters.
So that's a fun fact, and a detail that you might have missed the first time watching Titanic unless you came into the 1997 film with advanced knowledge of the survivors and their stories. That said, there's so much that I didn't notice the first time I saw it that has nothing to do with the true story of the tragedy. As a movie, Titanic is a lot to take in, no wordplay intended. The sheer number of times that Jack and Rose say each others' names is insane.
This time, when I watched it, I noticed that it was James Cameron's hands drawing Rose, which is (for lack of a better word) kind of sketch. Also, does the ship sink because the men were watching Jack and Rose make out and relying on their sense of smell to save them from icebergs?
Can we talk about all the '90s references in the movie's framing device with Bill Pullman? The probe's name is Snoop Dogg. Louis says "oh baby baby" when they find the safe. The smiley face shirt? Bill Pullman's earring? We don't spend a ton of time with that crew, but it packs a punch. How about when someone suggests that Rose is an attention-seeking liar like "that Russian babe, Anesthesia."
This movie is a treasure trove of detail. It's always worth revisiting. One should always be ready to return to Titanic. But that baker's story is something special, and if you missed him the first time around you should definitely watch for him now.