Harry Howard, historical correspondent
11:55 18 Oct 2023, updated 12:58 18 Oct 2023
Incredible behind-the-scenes photos from the filming of Titanic have emerged 27 years later.
The never-before-seen candid photos were taken by an unknown actor from James Cameron’s blockbuster while filming in Mexico in 1996.
Amateur images show a fresh-faced Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet relaxing during a break with their famous characters Jack and Rose.
Winslet, just 21 at the time, wears the white life jacket her character donned before plunging into the icy Atlantic at the end of the film.
The film, which was released to great success in late 1997, told the story of the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912.
The newly built passenger liner set sail from Southampton to New York but sank after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people.
Another photo shows the then 22-year-old DiCaprio talking to Cameron, wearing modern wraparound sunglasses that contrast with his Edwardian-era outfit.
Cameron also directs DiCaprio and co-star Danny Nucci, who plays his character’s friend Fabrizio, in a scene where the pair run down the ramp to board the doomed liner.
Billy Zane, who plays villain Cal Hockley, relaxes in a vintage car and talks with Winslet.
Kathy Bates, who plays the incredible Molly Brown, poses for the camera with the female actress.
The photographs were taken in the Mexican border city of Rosarito, where a full-scale version of the Titanic was built for filming.
The landing scenes at the beginning of the film were filmed there.
Several images show Winslet’s character immaculately dressed in a white suit and large hat, with the camera positioned just a few feet away from her.
There are also photographs showing that the stern of the liner, not visible to the cameras, is supported by scaffolding.
Other images show some of the extras sleeping on set during breaks, while others donning costumes in the huge dressing room.
There are a total of 44 photographs in the archive.
They were acquired by a British collector a few years ago and are now being offered for sale at Henry Aldridge and Son Devizes, Wiltshire.
They have a pre-sale estimate of £1,500.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “These are stunning photographs. They provide a unique look behind the scenes of the production of the highest-grossing film of the 20th century.
“What’s great about these photos is that they were clearly taken by a crew member with their own camera. These are not professional PR shots, these are candid, amateur photographs.
“It looks like the actors took every opportunity to take some candid shots of some of the film’s stars.
“A very young Leonardo DiCaprio appears in many films. He had already starred in Romeo and Juliet, but it was Titanic that propelled him forward and made him a star of the first magnitude.
“It’s amazing how much a photograph of a model of the Titanic with scaffolding beneath it resembles the real liner at Belfast Dockyard in 1911.”
Photos will go on sale November 11th.