Having miraculously escaped the sinking Titanic, Rose and Jack huddle in the water with a plank: she’s on it and he’s holding on for dear life. Eventually, the frigid water takes its toll, and Jack ― lifeless ― slips away from his beloved.
But in the two decades since the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic” hit theaters, fans still disagree on whether Leonardo DiCaprio’s character could have survived if Kate Winslet had just scooched over a smidge. One viral image a few years back showed that, given the improvised raft’s dimensions, two people could have fit without a doubt.
In the past, director James Cameron has stuck by his film, stating that the problem wasn’t surface area but “buoyancy.” That is, the scrap of wood that floated Rose to safety couldn’t have held two bodies in the open ocean.
Still, unlike poor Jack, the debate will not die.
While recently chatting to the director about the Trump administration, a reporter for The Daily Beast brought up the door theory once again.
“We’re gonna go there?” the director began. “Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.’ It’s that simple.”
Then he brought up the “Mythbusters” episode where hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage attempt to prove the director right. Although buoyancy is an issue, in the segment, the hosts realize they can tie their life jackets to the underside of the raft and fix the problem so two bodies can fit.
Cameron didn’t buy that solution, though. He explained:
OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later—which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead. So that wouldn’t work. His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died.
On the subject of Hyneman and Savage, the director added: “They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of shit.” As a man who’s explored the deepest depths of the cold ocean floor, we’d say Cameron might know what he’s talking about.
Catch the “Mythbusters” segment in question below: