The famed and fictional “Heart of the Ocean” diamond necklace is no match for the one question that remains at the heart of James Cameron’s 1997 epic 3.5-hour film: could Jack Dawson have fit on the door with Rose DeWitt Bukater, ultimately saving his life?
The scene in question takes place after the RMS Titanic meets its fate and begins its descent to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Jack and Rose, the fictional ill-fated lovers who met aboard the ship, find themselves swirling through the icy waters, where they manage to find a thick door that had been ripped off its hinges aboard.
Rose went on first, but as Jack attempted, they both fell off, prompting Jack to allow Rose sole custody of the makeshift island. When help finally comes in lifeboats, Rose is alive while Jack has frozen to death.
Ever since that scene’s release, the question about whether the door had room for Jack as well has been a source of contention. It’s even prompted a dedicated episode of “Mythbusters” on the Discovery Channel, in which they found that if they had tied Rose’s lifejacket to the bottom of the door,.
But Cameron insisted after that 2012 finding that Jack “has to die.” And now, the famed director is weighing in once again – with proof.
“We have done a scientific study to put this whole thing to rest and drive a stake through its heart once and for all,” Cameron told Postmedia, according to The Toronto Sun. “We have since done a thorough forensic analysis with a hypothermia expert who reproduced the raft from the movie. …We took two stunt people who were the same body mass of Kate and Leo and we put sensors all over them and inside them and we put them in ice water and we tested to see whether they could have survived through a variety of methods.”
So, what’s the answer?
“There was no way they both could have survived,” Cameron said. “Only one could survive.”
The journey of that study will be revealed in a “little special” set to come out on National Geographic in February, he said, at the same time that “Titanic” is back in theaters to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
And now, two-and-a-half decades later with proof to back him up, Cameron says he has “no” regrets for the movie’s outcome.
“He needed to die. It’s like Romeo and Juliet,” he said. “It’s a movie about love and sacrifice and mortality. The love is measured by the sacrifice.”