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Titanic star was “told off” for calling cut on this “disastrous” scene

James Cameron was notorious for being hard on the cast and crew of Titanic while making the disaster movie, and one anecdote reveals the dangers involved.


Titanic celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022, and was re-released in theaters for the occasion. The tales that the cast and crew have told from the making of the romance movie are now the stuff of legend, not least the incident of the clam chowder being laced with PCP. James Cameron is known as a particularly hard taskmaster, who expected everyone to bring their A-game at all times.

Titanic star Bernard Hill, who plays the ill-fated Captain Smith, is one of many people who worked on the disaster movie who have several alarming anecdotes of near-death experiences. Many of which were almost at the hands of Cameron himself.

Hill explained to The Metro how the scene where Smith is at the captain’s wheel and the water starts to build up outside the windows before bursting through got quite hairy; “Instead of the water building up against the windows outside, the water was coming in because it had been dipped in water for quite a while during the week and the floorboards had warped.”

Hill continued; “There was a dais to stand on for the guy at the wheel, this big heavy piece of wood… the next thing I know, the water was almost up to our waist and this massive piece of wood just went ‘oof’ and came off its catches and broke its nails. And if that had hit either of us, it would have been disastrous, it would have been a serious injury.”

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“I was slashing across my throat to say, ‘We’ve got to cut’ and then Josh [McLaglen, assistant director] came in and said, ‘Don’t ever call cut!’ I called it early because I was getting worried, especially when that piece of wood came up. I got told off for saving my own life!”

Check out our guide to the best James Cameron movies, for more mayhem. You can also find out how to watch the Terminator movies in order and the Alien timeline. We also have a Titanic review and an Aliens review for you to catch up with.