Dirk Pitt (Richard Jordan) discussing the Titanic with John Bigalow (Alec Guinness.

Plot Summary

A group of Americans are interested in raising the ill-fated Ocean liner Titanic. One of the team members finds out the Russians also have plans to raise the ship from its watery grave. Why all the interest ? A rare mineral on board could be used to power a sound beam that will knock any missile out of the air when entering US airspace. Written by Colin Tinto <>

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database


  1. When Dana Archibald runs into Pitt on the street, the traffic behind her alternates between flowing and stopped. The changes in traffic flow are possibly due to traffic lights.
  2. Pitt has just come from a meeting where the secrecy of the mission has been stressed, and the decision is clearly stated that no outsiders should learn about the project. But John Bigalow seems to already know before the news is leaked, and asks Pitt to put back the Titanic's pennant when the ship is raised. Bigalow is smart enough to work out the real reason for Pitt’s interest, and his motivations.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers)

  1. In an interview, John Bigalow says "She was one of a kind," which is emotionally true, but technically incorrect. The Titanic was the second in a series of 3 ships. The Olympic, launched before the Titanic, was identical to it, aside from some interior configurations and fittings. The Britannic, launched afterward, was slightly larger, with a modified design. How can Olympic be identical if it had different interior configurations and fittings?

Factual errors

  1. Sandecker tells Pitt that they "got all the stuff from the White Star Line; engineering drawings and a complete structural design for the Titanic." White Star Line merged with Cunard Line in 1934, becoming Cunard White Star, Ltd. By the end of 1949, Cunard acquired the rest of White Star's assets, and changed its name back to Cunard. No ship has flown the White Star flag since 1968. Also, in 1980 the blueprints and drawings for the Olympic and Titanic were believed destroyed when the Luftwaffe bombed the Belfast shipyards during WWII. A surviving set of structural blueprints for the Olympic class was discovered in the late 1990s. It’s possible that, as the blueprints and drawings were only believed destroyed, there might have been some records stored elsewhere, possibly on microfilm.
  2. SPOILER: When the Starfish accidentally exceeds the 12,000-foot depth limit, it takes several minutes to leak, flood, and implode. A submersible that sprung a leak at that depth and pressure (>600psi) would implode in seconds. It could have been a very slow leak. Also, such a blast, having the effect of a depth charge, would have destroyed or at least severely damaged the other submersible, which would have to be very close (less that 6 feet) to get a visual contact at that depth. Yet, her occupants do not feel anything. Maybe they were lucky enough to have visual contact from outside the blast zone.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. The Titanic broke in two as it sank, and the stern section suffered major structural damage, perhaps due to implosion from water pressure. Those facts were only discovered when the ship's remains were found in 1985. Eyewitness testimony soon after the sinking was conflicting. In 1980, it was generally accepted that the Titanic sank intact.
  2. When the Titanic sank, its masts and funnels were ripped off and the Grand Staircase's dome imploded. The damage was discovered in 1985, when the wreck was found. It was unknown when the film was released in 1980, and when the novel was published in 1976.

Movie Mistakes

Factual error

  1. When the Titanic has been raised and the scientist hoists the White Star company flag, he hoists it from completely the wrong place. That flag wasn't flown from the flagstaff at the stern – it belonged at the top of the mainmast. As someone who has studied the Titanic, this scientist would surely have known this. The stern flagstaff is easier to reach. Besides, the Main mast could havd been declared off limitd for safety reasons, due to possible corrosion after decades under the Atlantic.


  1. When the real Titanic sank, the first funnel broke off and fell into the water. This was reported by many eyewitnesses, including passengers and officers. In the movie, the first funnel is intact and it is the second funnel that is broken off. I read somewhere that the movie makers did this for aesthetic reasons. Still, it is a factual error. Many of the 'eyewitnesses' also said that the Titanic didn't break apart when clearly she did. Raise the Titanic never was nor ever claimed to be a historically accurate depiction of the Titanic. Corrected by GalahadFairlight
  2. The Soviets are trying to claim the Titanic, and they land a Soviet helicopter on the deck of the Titanic. The problem is that this Helicopter is really a U.S made Huey (like the ones flown in Vietnam) with a red star painted on the side. (Quite obviously it would be hard to acquire a real Soviet helicopter, however, this is still a mistake.) There are, and were in the past, American aircraft in Russia, including many Cessnas at an airport near Moscow. There are also Russian planes in the States. By their very nature, aircraft are all over the world, and have been for decades. In addition, given the timescale, this could have been a US helicopter captured during the Vietnam War, and then passed to the Soviet Union for use in clandestine missions such as this. NB This is listed as a Factual error on the goofs page of this film’s IMDB entry.


IMDB entry

Movie Mistakes entry

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