TitanicThis is generally regarded as the lesser Titanic movie however it has some very creditable miniature effects work supervised by Ray Kellogg. The miniature iceberg shots at the beginning of the film are particularly effective. One odd aspect to the depiction of the event is that the iceberg is clearly shown passing to the starboard side of the ship but the underwater shot shows the iceberg penetrating the port side of the hull. There is one shot during this sequence that shows the water pouring into the interior as the hull is gashed. The interior is a miniature with the running extras combined into the scene with a traveling matte.
The model of the Titanic was re-used in three further films in the same year of Titanic's release. See details at the end of the post.
The model Titanic was 28 feet (8.5m) long and weighed about a ton. There are also miniature rowboats which were about 40 inches (1m) long packed with rubber survivor figures. The rowing figures were mechanised. The picture below shows one of the miniature lifeboats as it is today, when it came up for auction.
According to Jim's Titanic movies site after the Titanic film, the model was modified, having the four tall funnels replaced with three shorter fatter ones and used (along with the sets) in a further three movies, firstly Gentlemen prefer Blondes (the only time in colour), followed by Dangerous Crossing and finally Blueprint for Murder all released in 1953.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953
Dangerous Crossing 1953
Blueprint For Murder 1953
Visit this page on Jim's Titanic movie site and follow the navigation forward for more pics and info concerning the fate of the model which was sold in 1971, converted back into a Titanic and still exists. It can be seen on display at the Fall River Maritime Museum.
Thanks are due to reader Patrick Walsh who kindly submitted the following photographs he took of the model as it exists in the museum while on holiday in the USA in 2013.