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Why Rose didn’t make room for Jack on the door in Titanic: James Cameron reveals the truth

Did Kate Winslet’s Rose let Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack die in Titanic when she could have saved him? The answer is yes and director James Cameron reveals who is to be blamed.

hollywood Updated: Nov 27, 2017 20:20 IST
Titanic,Leonardo DiCaprio,Kate Winslet
Did Kate Winslet’s Rose let Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack die in Titanic?

This is a question the world has debated and debated some more over the years. In the climax of James Cameron’s Titanic, Rose (Kate Winslet) could have saved Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) by making some space for him on the door. But she didn’t and Jack died while Rose lived to ripe old age to tell us the story. So, could Rose have indeed saved Jack? And if yes, why didn’t she do so?

In the 1997 movie, Jack sacrifices his position on a floating piece of debris -- and chance to live -- so that Rose could survive Titanic’s sinking. But many viewers have suggested that both could’ve stayed on the makeshift raft and survived. Mythbusters even did an experiment to prove that Jack could have lived.

But when Vanity Fair posed the question to the film’s director and he blamed it on art and the script. Talking to the magazine, James Cameron said, “And the answer is very simple because it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple. . . . Obviously it was an artistic choice, the thing was just big enough to hold her, and not big enough to hold him.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet with James Cameron while shooting for Titanic.

He finds answering the same question ‘silly’ but Cameron humoured the fans anyway, “…it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless. . . . The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down. It’s called art, things happen for artistic reasons, not for physics reasons.”

However, there was some science involved too as he explained, “I was in the water with the piece of wood putting people on it for about two days getting it exactly buoyant enough so that it would support one person with full free-board, meaning that she wasn’t immersed at all in the 28 degree water so that she could survive the three hours it took until the rescue ship got there. [Jack] didn’t know that she was gonna get picked up by a lifeboat an hour later; he was dead anyway. And we very, very finely tuned it to be exactly what you see in the movie because I believed at the time, and still do, that that’s what it would have taken for one person to survive.”

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 13:10 IST