Headscratchers: Titanic

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    Goodbye, priceless diamond I could have sold. 
  • The Heart of the Ocean. Why does Rose drop it in the ocean? WHY!?!?
    • She's incredibly old and the money won't do her much good. Either that or she's senile. And it's called the Heart of the Ocean. What did you expect?
    • She knew that if she gave it away, the meaning would be lost. It was her one connection to Jack since he touched it and drew her wearing it but it was also a gift from Cal so she probably was torn in terms of meaning. Give Cal's gift away or keep Jack's symbol? It was, in a way, a symbol of everything she loved and hated about Titanic.
    • That she give it to her granddaughter maybe?
    • Start an Art School in Jack's memory?
      • Either that, or give it to the Chippewa Falls School Corporation. Jack Dawson High School has a nice ring to it.
    • Even though it's worth a lot of money she probably didn't want to be reminded of her Jerkass of a fiance Cal who had given her the necklace in the first place. It was just her way of saying "Screw you, you bastard." Or perhaps it was because Cal had basically been treating her like a possession rather than a person, and had given her the necklace to mark her as such. By getting rid of the thing it was also her way of saying "I'm not some porcelain doll that you own."
      • She can get rid of it just fine by selling it.
    • She didn't want to earn money from the best/worst time of her life. This is why Bill Paxton's character has the discussion with her granddaughter. "But I never got it". Rose knew he and his crew were only interested in earning money from their expeditions rather than realising the loss of life behind the tragedy. It's made rather clear about a million times throughout the film that Rose doesn't give a toss about money, status or wealth.
    • The symbolism of "her heart goes on", I think. It shows that her heart truly belonged to Jack her whole life, and giving the Heart of the Ocean back symbolized this. Of course, if you think about it, it means that she spent her whole life in true love with a boy she knew for a week, rather than the man she married. Kinda sad, and it doesn't excuse her throwing away a priceless artifact like that.
      • Of course! She didn't have time to learn Jack's faults. She had plenty of time to learn her husband's and she was to much of an idiot to figure that out.
    • She shouldn't be expected to live alone her entire life because her soulmate died when she was 17. Really. People remarry all the time after losing their initial partner.
      • But once she marries she has to assume her husband is now her soulmate; she promised. At least she should have told him about Jack. And while no one can be expected to keep their feelings under control all the time, making the theme song about emotional adultery with a dead man is a little creepy. Besides her heart is obviously not really "going on".
      • When people get old and senility begins they're memories revert to earlier and earlier points in their lives. Both my grandmothers started thinking everyone in the room was their parents in the last days of their lives, so that could explain why she started thinking about Jack more. Also, I would assume it would be relatively easy for the salvage crew to find the diamond now that it's on top of the ship and not inside the ship.
      • I can vouch for the above story. When my grandfather died, a year after his wife died, he asked for a very specific photo album when he was on his deathbed. His sons all thought the photo album was full of pictures of his sisters (he WAS one of 12) or of his wife when she was younger. At the funeral, we showed the photo album to my grandfather's sister, asking her if any of them were here, if she knew who any of the women were. After a while, she recognized one of them as a friend's older sister. And then realized it was a photo album of all the women my grandfather dated/fell in love with/etc before he married my grandmother. So, yeah.
      • I'd assume otherwise, personally; it's a tiny dark blue jewel that can easily get caught up in a current and swept hundreds of miles away or, even if it does land near the ship, will be difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish from all the other dark, jagged things lying on the bottom of the ocean floor. At least when they thought it was inside the ship they had a roughly good idea of where it was likely to be — now, it could be almost anywhere.
      • I'm not sure what the headscratcher is here, though; that's life. All the time, people end up getting married to someone while secretly carrying a torch for someone else, whether a tragic lost love or not. Sad for the other person, I suppose, but hardly unheard of. As for emotional adultery, there's nothing to suggest that she didn't love the man she married at all or end up being happy with him regardless; just that she still loved Jack.
      • Not the OP, but "That's life"? It might just be the stuff I watch and read is different than you, but I've never heard of this in any work of fiction other than Titanic and possibly The Great Gatsby. Haven't heard of this in real life either. It seems to me that Rose is not very good at moving on. Why carry a torch for a dead man? It makes no sense.
      • There's innumerable Edgar Allan Poe short stories and poems on that very theme (the inability of the living to get over the dead). See also: Poe's life.
      • See also; Queen Victoria, Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, and hundreds of thousands of people who've ever tried to use a psychic to communicate with a dead loved one. Plus, you know, there's billions of other people on the planet, and not everyone is as capable of compartmentalising and moving on from grief as you claim to be. They might indeed not be good at moving on, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
      • It's also perfectly possible that she had well and truly put Jack behind her (as much as you can put a formative first love behind you), but was put into a nostalgic mood by the circumstances.
      • The other person doesn't even have to be dead; there's the whole idea of The One That Got Away which is endemic in romantic narratives and real life examples. How many people have had a failed romance they never quite got over? A boyfriend or girlfriend who they parted ways with that they still carry a torch about? A secret crush that was never consummated, a one-night-stand they can't quite stop thinking about, or something along the lines? Romance and relationships are complicated; it doesn't matter how marriage vows are worded, not everyone is capable of instantly throwing a switch and completely wiping away any and all feelings they may have had for their previous partners.
    • I always had the interpretation that Rose, before she passes away, throws the diamond into the ocean to return it to the Titanic (which is underneath the boat from which she does this); the place that she felt it truly belonged.
      • It might also have been her way of honouring the people who'd died on the ship, whose memory was arguably being insulted by the salvage team's profiteering quest for artifacts. In effect, by letting the diamond fall to rest with the wreckage, she was giving them back something precious to make up for all the other mementos that were being removed from what's essentially an underwater graveyard. And by dropping it in secret, she ensured that no one else would know to look for it again.
      • Possibly she thinks of it as a fitting replacement for the drawing, which was with Titanic for more than eighty years. A monetarily-priceless item being sent down to take the place of a sentimentally-priceless one, in effect.
    • She kept that enormous diamond hidden away someplace through the Great Depression WHY, exactly?
      • Well, she didn't see it as an object with monetary value. It was a precious memory of a major point in her life, and she probably treasured it more than any wealth. Besides, maybe times weren't quite as hard for her during the Great Depression as they were for others- perhaps she struggled, but not so much that she had to beg for food or anything. And (assuming she married her husband before the Great Depresssion) she said that she never mentioned Jack to her husband, so it's more than likely that she was hiding it from him as well (if he had known about it, he would have eventually asked what the story was behind it and how she came to own it, which would almost certainly include her mentioning Jack- and he didn't know about Jack). So he wouldn't have known of the diamond's existence and thus couldn't have taken it and sold it.
    • More to the point, how could she afford the upper class lifestyle shown in her photographs WITHOUT selling the diamond?
      • The guy with the beard mentions at the beginning that she used to be an actress (which was partially why he thought she was a liar). She probably struggled for a while before hitting a streak of luck and launching her career as an actress, then married her husband who was probably rich.
    • More the point, since she mentions Cal's father collected on the insurance, she can't sell it because it's STOLEN PROPERTY. Highly identifiable stolen property. The minute they paid out if it reappeared it belongs to the Hockley's insurance company. She'd have to find a diamond cutter/fence willing to cut it down into small diamonds (which is basically how what was the French Blue became the Hope Diamond. Cutting apparently doesn't cure curses.) Not to mention a diamond like that suddenly appearing on the open market would have been a great big honking signal to Cal and his father that either Rose or Jack had survived.
    • In the deleted ending, she explains that the reason she didn't sell it because it was from Cal, and she didn't want him to have "helped" her - she got to where she was on her own. And she always felt that it belonged with the Titanic. Still, that doesn't explain why she didn't give it to her granddaughter or something.
    • Possibly she was, in part, giving the diamond to the Titanic itself. For all that human carelessness might have made it a tragedy, it was the ship that brought her and Jack together, and seeing the scene of her happiest memories reduced to a ruin in the mud might've made her sorry for it, enough to offer up the diamond.
    • As for why she didn't give the diamond to her granddaughter, remember that Rose knew plenty of wealthy people in her early life, and virtually all of them were complete jerks. She wouldn't have wanted her family to become self-satisfied, superficial creeps like Cal.

     Little girl lost? 
  • Since someone put an all encompassing answer under What Happened to the Mouse? ("Read the script"), I wonder what happened to the little girl that Cal used to get on a lifeboat? Did he keep her, and raise her as his own daughter? Or did he drop her off at the first orphanage he could find?
    • Once in the lifeboat Cal hands the little girl to a black-haired woman and almost immediately loses any interest in her. If you pay attention to the boat when the deck sinks and the boat nearly capsizes, throwing many passengers into the water, both the woman and the girl manage to stay in it by grabbing the opposite side. The girl appears again in the original longer cut of the Carpathia scene accompanied by the same woman, but Cal doesn't accompany them. It's presumed the woman adopts her afterwards.
    • Pay close attention to the original longer cut of the Carpathia scene. You'll see an unidentified set of male hands gesture for the woman to give him the girl, possibly meaning that he is her father.
    • She most likely has other relatives who weren't on board the ship. Assuming she's old enough to know her own name, she'd presumably be sent to live with her grandparents or aunt and uncle.
    • Interestingly, another deleted scene shows her in a steerage hallway with her parents and a whole tribe of siblings. It's possible that she is meant to be part of the Goodwin family, all of whose members are though to have died in the sinking (though only the baby's body was found, and was identified by DNA years after the movie came out).

    Waterproof Charcoal Sketch 
  • How the hell did that drawing hold up all those decades? Even if you disregard the fact that the paper itself should have disintegrated in that waterlogged safe, please consider that materials like charcoal and graphite can smudge very easily, and this was well before artists had spray fixative to keep this from happening. 85 years underwater should not have kept that drawing in near-pristine condition.
    • Except letters and such things HAVE been found at the wreck of the Titanic (found in similar places to the picture, like in a leather wallet or the like), and are still pretty legible and in decent condition. Sure, the picture was an exaggerated case, but it's not completely impossible.
      • Wouldn't those letters have been written in ink? Or at least a relatively hard pencil? Both are reasonably permanent. Jack appears to be drawing with either a piece of vine charcoal or a very soft graphite stick. Both of those smudge like crazy. Just blowing on a vine charcoal drawing can smudge it. I can buy that, safely inside a leather portfolio, the drawing could be preserved for decades... but then they show someone using something like a Water Pik to to wash the mud off of it... and it's not even slightly smudged.

    Cheated On In Heaven 
  • Putting speculation aside, let's say that Rose died and went to Titanic heaven at the end where she spends eternity with Jack. That's sweet and all, but what about Rose's husband? We assume she loves him, too, so do the two guys just share her? Or does she ditch her husband for Jack?
    • Jesus was actually asked that question in The Bible(about a hypothetical widow with the Cartwright Curse). He said that marriage(and presumably romance) was an earthly thing and presumably that love works a different way in heaven.
    • Just because they went to heaven doesn't mean her husband did. Maybe he's in the other place.
    • Ever heard of settling? Jack was her soulmate.
    • Who's to say that her husband didn't have memories of his own, from another shipwreck?
    • It wasn't really heaven, it was just a dream she had so she could die peacefully.
      • James Cameron said that he won't say whether the ending was her dying or dreaming since he prefers to leave it to the audience's interpretation, so it's still up for speculation.
    • There's no reason why her husband couldn't have been a fellow Titanic survivor. She just refuses to talk about it.
    • Do we even know for sure her husband is dead? For all we know, she robbed the cradle and her husband is a hale-and-hardy septuagenarian.
      • "Now Calvert's dead and from what I hear Cedar Rapids is dead." Her husband is dead.
    • Maybe time works differently in heaven. Her seventeen-year-old self is on the Titanic with Jack and her older self is off somewhere reuniting with her husband.
    • Maybe she got divorced sometime in last eighty years.
      • She does say to Lizzy 'I never even told your grandfather', saying 'your grandfather' and not 'my husband' which could be an extremely subtle indication of this.
      • How could that be? Secret necromantically adulterous obsession is such a ''great'' thing to have in a marriage.
      • 'Necromantically adulterous obsession'? Really? There's nothing (outside of the extremely subtle possible-hint mentioned above) to suggest Rose didn't love her husband or wasn't a perfectly faithful and loyal wife to him, or that she spent the years pining over Jack to the point where it destroyed her relationships; just that a secret part of her always loved Jack. Which, granted, maybe sucks for the other guy, but that's love — no one said it was simple.
      • I always assumed that the scene at the end was not so much about her returning to Jack as it was about her returning to Titanic itself. All the others who died on the ship are there, so obviously Jack would be there too.
    • Look, let's be real here; it wouldn't be a very romantic ending for the movie if Rose and Jack's climactic reunion in heaven or her dreams or whatever was interrupted by some gonk we'd never even seen or heard throughout the previous three hours interjecting himself between them and going "Hello Rose! I, your husband, am also here!" I think we gotta chalk this one up to the demands of the story here, people.

    Cedar Rapids Lives! 
  • What is "From what I hear, Cedar Rapids is dead" supposed to mean? The only thing about Cedar Rapids that could be considered "Dead" is Westdale Mall, and even that's geared for a major redevelopment.
    • He doesn't mean Cedar Rapids is literally dead. He means that the place is 'dead' in the sense that there's nothing fun or exciting to do there, not so much in the sense that it's a dying or failed city. Having never been to Cedar Rapids personally, I can't comment on whether this is true or not, but presumably the person whom Lewis spoke to about Cedar Rapids about had an incredibly boring time there.

    Hiding From Cal 
  • Why did Rose hide from Cal at the end of the movie, instead of giving him back his jacket and the priceless diamond that was his to begin with? If he'd had it, he could have sold it during the Great Depression and wouldn't have killed himself.
    • Why would she go back with an abusive, controlling, condescending man who treats her like a possession? Especially when she's free of her mother's control and can now make her own decisions. Also remember, she's only 17. Cal would be pretty terrifying to her.
    • She didn't remember she had the diamond then. Plus she didn't want to show herself 'cause she hates the guy.
    • Besides, even assuming he could find a buyer after the Crash, he couldn't possibly have regained his entire fortune just from selling one diamond. He'd still be ruined, just slightly less ruined than he might've been.
    • To be fair, he did in fact give it to her. Even the excavators comment it was bought as a gift to her. If you think about it, Cal killed Jack by framing him for stealing that diamond. If he hadn't been handcuffed below deck, he might have made it out alive. As such, why give it back to Cal? Why does he deserve it? She also risks him taking possession of her again and forcing marriage if she reveals her identity.
      • Wouldn't the right thing to do then be to at least return the diamond to Cal's family after his suicide? Also, if you dump your fiancee aren't you supposed to give back your expensive engagement ring/giant ass blue diamond?
      • Maybe, but that way they'd know she was still alive somewhere, she obviously doesn't want them to know that, and as far as they're concerned anyway it's at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere, so presumably she reasoned that as long as she's not actually profiting from possessing the Heart there's no harm, no foul.
      • She might also not have learnt that Cal committed suicide until well after it happened; broke and ruined investors killing themselves after losing everything in the Crash was an oft-heard story in those days.
    • Actually it seems like she doesn't know she has the necklace until several hours later. The scene where she hides from Cal is in the daytime, we then see her finding the necklace at night while the ship is passing the Statue of Liberty.
      • Try "days". The scene with Cal searching the deck of the Carpathia (and presumably everywhere else in their third-class section that survivors were housed) appears to be daytime on the 15th, they day they were rescued. Carpathia arrived in New York on the evening of April 18th, in the accurately-depicted rainstorm. (Now, why Rose STILL has the coat on at that point, and hasn't taken advantage of the fresh clothes given up by Carpathia's passengers and crew, who knows. Maybe she deliberately kept more or less hidden until they arrived, hence them having missed her for three days while getting names of survivors...)
      • Maybe she did change into clean, dry clothes as soon as possible, the better to make sure Cal wouldn't recognize either her or the coat itself. Once they arrived in New York and the upper-class passengers were lining up to be the first ones off, she was free to put on the coat she'd been keeping discreetly folded up, at which point she discovered the diamond.
      • Considering she was pretending to be one of the lower-class passengers, she probably would've removed the coat in any case, to avoid answering awkward questions of where she'd gotten it. It was obviously a man's coat, and a very expensive one, after all.

    All Aboard The RMS Door 
  • Jack's death never broke my heart, even as a kid, because neither he nor Rose made more than one measly attempt to get on the piece of driftwood. It was well big enough for both of them. It's a particularly maddening example of Artistic License - Physics when both of them pull on it from one side and tip it over. Derrr, there's no possible way it'd work if we both climbed on at the same time from opposite sides, pull each other up, and balance the weight by sitting indian-style in the middle. Or take turns if you absolutely must sit on it one at a time.
    • I think that Jack, after the initial attempt to get onto the driftwood, got scared of making another attempt. If he tries to get on it, even in a logically sound way, and it sinks or flips or whatever, someone else might grab it, it might break or sink, Rose could fall into the water and drown...he decided it wasn't worth the risk and only cared that Rose survived.
    • Yeah, in that situation they're not likely to be thinking clearly. They're in a lot of pain, their muscles are seizing up from the cold making it difficult to swim and they know that every second they spend in the water is less time for them to live. If they'd tried to plan it out like 'ok, you swim around that side, then on the count of three we both try to get on etc' it would have, as mentioned above, made it more likely that someone else would take the door or that Rose would die. Remember, she was a sheltered high society girl. She wasn't used to strenuous physical activity. And she was wearing heavier clothes. And being female, she's just physically weaker to begin with. She wouldn't have lasted nearly so long in the water as Jack did, so he wasn't going to take any chances with her safety. Also, it may not be so much that the door would flip, it could also be that their combined weight would make it sink. What bugs me, is that there is no argument about who gets the door. She doesn't even try to convince him to take it instead of her.
      • Probably because she knew he would not have it and order her onto the driftwood. Besides, like you said, every second in the freezing water equals a lesser chance of them surviving.
      • When Rose was on the piece of driftwood, the driftwood almost tipped over because it was so imbalanced. Jack had to hold onto that part of the driftwood to keep Rose's part from tipping over. It was a combination of a stupid sacrifice and a Heroic One.
      • Next time you're in the shower, put the water temperature to freezing and see how coherent and sensible your decision making is. Chances are the only thing you'll be thinking is "GETOUTGETOUTGETOUT" as you rush to turn the tap off. Times that by about a thousand, add in 1500 other people freezing to death around you and a decent amount of shock mixed with exhaustion, not to mention Rose's almost drowning just seconds before. I went to a Titanic exhibition and they had a real iceberg set up and was kept at the temperature it would've been back then. You could touch it and let me tell you, it hurt. Bad. I can only imagine swimming in it in a flimsy dress.
      • But, person above me, Rose was completely fine the LOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG time she was splashing around in the bowels of the ship in that same "freezing" water. Didn't faze her in the slightest. I mean from the evidence presented in those scenes, it's clear that the ocean water was only about the temperature of a lukewarm bathtub. When Jack says "it hits you like a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body. You can't breathe. You can't think. At least, not about anything but the pain," he's just exaggerating to keep her from jumping. All that agonizing screaming from the other passengers in the water was just people beings drama queens. Splish splash, I was taking a bath. Long about a Saturday night...
      • A) they were both running on adrenaline at which point you tend to not notice freezing cold water B) the water and air traveled through the whole ship thus was probably slightly warmer than the air and water outside C) the air drying the water on your body is what makes you colder thus after going outside they were in far worse shape than before D) they were moving a lot which causes your body to create heat as opposed to sitting on a board E) everyone in the water was drowning being drowned panicking or looking for people so of course they were shouting And F) the water that night was below FREEZING Jack wasn't over exaggerating even water that is just cold hurts to be submerged in not to mention the height she would have fallen
      • Also, Rose was very close to death just before the lifeboat came around. She was beginning to freeze over. If the boat hadn't come at that exact time (remember she had to wake herself up and her hearing was off, too) they both would've died even if they had managed to float on the door somehow. The air itself was freezing. They both essentially had no hope.
      • Which is a good theory, except it doesn't really take into account the 30 survivors who were retrieved from the overturned lifeboat Collapsible B and the 11 survivors pulled from the half-swamped Collapsible A. Almost no one was retrieved from the water itself which means Jack's situation was pretty dire but Rose's seems to have been exaggerated slightly for drama because if 41 people were able to survive several hours in the freezing air after being pulled from the water, she likely would have too
      • But they were given blankets after they got in the boats which treats for both shock and hypothermia something she didn't have till she was rescued and "pulled from the water" so until they were in the boats the other 41 people where probably only better off because they were in groups and could share body heat
      • A deleted scene shows that Jack did in fact try to get on to the piece of wood, only to have it nearly tip over. Jack decides not to make another attempt in order to keep Rose safe and in that moment, is seen realizing that he will likely die, staying in the frigid water.
      • Time and time again people make this assumption that it was the size of the wood that was important. The reason they couldn't both get on it is because the wood was simply not buoyant enough to support the weight of two adults, hence the tipping and sinking the way it did.
      • Interestingly, although the prevailing thought at the time was that women are weaker, it's a proven fact these days that women have a higher resistance to exposure to cold water than men do, because of their thicker layers of body fat. (The female divers of East Asia and Polynesia have exploited this advantage for centuries.) Rose very possibly would have outlasted Jack, although given the amount of time they were left unrescued, she would still have been doomed without the door.
      • I think the very fact that this thought was the "prevailing" thought at the time explains it even more.
      • It must be said though that Rose is built like a twig. A beefier woman may or may not outlast a man but I doubt that applies to her and Jack.
    • I assume Jack was already losing sensation in his legs and didn't want to live life as a cripple.
    • It's probably actually more likely that both would have survived if they both had gotten on the wood. Huddled together, their shared body heat, however little of it there was, would have been able to keep both of them warmer.
      • Not if their combined weight forced it down so that they'd both be kneeling in a few inches of ice water. Its edge is just shy of being submerged with Rose alone; double the weight would've probably dunked it entirely, even if they could keep it balanced.
    • MythBusters put this to the test in the Season 11 premiere - with James Cameron himself guest starring. They determined that the film had it right: the makeshift raft wouldn't have held both of them and Jack would've frozen in the water long before help came. But they did determine that if Rose had used her life jacket to give the raft more lift, they both could've ridden it to rescue. Though that solution would've required creativity and clarity of thought they might not have possessed at the best of times.
    • As for taking turns, that wouldn't have worked either—even if Jack had agreed to such a thing, by the time they deemed it time to switch he probably would have been too frozen/his limbs too weak for him to climb onto the door. Plus they both would have been worn out and numb from the cold so their movements would have been more sluggish, and repeatedly switching places would lead to repeated dunkings that would only make the cold and frozenness worse.

    Ismay Ain't Evil 
  • Why did they portray Bruce Ismay as some kind of selfish, greedy man who only cared about getting to NYC on time rather than the ship is potentially sinking?
    • Because that's the way the urban legend goes, and James Cameron wasn't interested in looking past his preconceived stereotypes.
      • In this case, Cameron did do the research. He based the scene where Ismay pressures Smith to go faster on the testimony of passenger Elizabeth Lines who overheard a conversation between Smith and Ismay to that affect while she was having tea in the parlor.
    • And because Ismay is, to be fair, a rather controversial figure. There are conflicting accounts about him, some more favourable, others less.

    The Iceberg Was a Sled All Along 
  • This is a BIG Headscratcher. How in the nine levels of hell did the Titanic sinking be a spoiler!? We saw the wreck in the ABSOLUTE BEGINNING OF THE FILM, had the guys say things like "...her long fall from the world above", hell, even had one give a blow by blow account to Old Rose as to how the ship sank (which I thought was a bit pointless as she would have known it sank...She was on it). All of this basically says "Ship sank." So WHY were folks going "I didn't know the ship sank!"
    • That always bugged the hell out of me too. When the film first came out not only were some common moviegoers actually surprised by the ship sinking; there was even one newspaper critic who stated in his review that having the opening scenes take place in the present "gave away the ending". The only explanation I can come up with is that people are stupid and don't pay attention to history.
      • Having not read the review, is it possible the critic meant it gave away the ending that Rose survives?
    • I thought the computer simulation at the beginning was sort of a theorization of how the ship sank (maybe to chart the debris or something), and they showed it to Rose so she could confirm whether their model of the sinking was correct.
    • It's highly likely that at least some of these comments were jokes. Although, to be perhaps a bit more generous to those who genuinely didn't know about it, the Titanic — although a famous shipwreck even before the movie — was a comparatively minor event in world history, so it's possible that these people simply didn't have a strong grasp of maritime history.
      • But still...context clues!!! You don't have to have a firm grasp on British maritime history to know that once upon a time there was a big ship that sank within the first few minutes of the movie. I mean, A) The movie is called Titanic and B) The movie opened up to a ship that's clearly underwater and rusting away. Case in point: I was eight when this movie came out, I knew nothing about Great Britain other then it was an island off the coast of France, yet my little mind was able to piece together that the big rusting ship was Titanic and scenes after the gloomy intro told me that it was from Great Britain circa 1912. It was this movie that got me into history.
      • To again be fair, it's a fairly long movie, and most of those scenes take place in the first ten minutes or so. It's possible it slipped their minds with everything else that was going on. Or they could just not have been paying attention, or could have taken their seats late having missed the opening or something.
    • You think that's bad? You should have seen the reactions to 300.
    • Of course most people don't know about the Titanic sinking. This happened in 1912. What happened two years after? World War One broke out. I guarantee that most of them will associate the 1910s to World War One, not the Titanic.
      • Maybe people born after 1985 who missed the unavoidable massive hoopla over the discovery of the wreck by Dr. Robert Ballard. And if the above Troper thinks that anyone in that post-1985 category could have accurately told you when World War One happened before Downton Abbey made it trendy, they have a great deal more faith in the average American viewer than me, or most movie executives, and clearly has never seen Jay Leno do his Jay Walking segments....
      • I actually take a lot of pride in being part of the post-1985 generation who knew about the Titanic prior to the movie. But I'm also from Maritime Canada which has an entire section of the Halifax Marine Museum dedicated to the sinking and Canada's involvement in it.
      • Me too! I was eight when the movie came out, and I was already something of a Titanic Buff. And no, middle U Se had nothing to do with the tragedy, so my peers don't have that as an excuse.
      • Not everyone is a history or movie buff. Many people born after 1985 saw the 3D re-release 'blind', without having knowledge of the movie or the history behind it. That doesn't make them stupid morons. No one needs an excuse for not knowing about Titanic. I certainly don't read much about shipwrecks and romance films, because I have other interests and priorities. It's great that you guys are so knowledgeable, but there's no reason to criticize people that aren't.

    Soaking Wet Clothes 
  • Yes, Jack froze to death in the water at the end, but don't you think that going into and getting out of the water several times before the ship sank, and running around the freezing air in those soaking wet clothes should have hampered their movement a little?
    • You'll be surprised at how long adrenaline can keep you going.
    • For what it's worth, the fact they'd previously gotten wet while still on board might've helped diminish the shock of going into the water at the end. Those who died immediately upon submerging did so because of the sudden transition in temperature, whereas anyone who'd already been soaked would have already undergone the physiological changes necessary to endure.

    Bye Mum. Die of Guilt For Me 
  • So Rose survives the sinking, and then gives a fake name to one of the crew members of the Carpathia. She says she never sees Cal again, but what about her mother? I know they had a terse relationship, but Ruth went the rest of her life thinking her daughter died AND feeling guilty for not having a great relationship with her?
    • Or better yet: How the hell did Rose avoid eye contact with her mummy on the Carpathia? She calls herself "Rose Dawson" while her mother thinks her girl "Rose Whateverthehell" died. You'd think Mumsie wouldn't be just a tad suspicious that there's a Rose Dawson walking around after she just lost her girl named "Rose"? Oh, and that Cal had apparently decided to not chase her down anymore?
      • Survivors on the Carpathia were separated by class, and her mother had already demonstrated how reluctant she was to mingle with the lower classes. It also took several days to compile a complete list of the names of the survivors, which is why Rose didn't even give her name as "Rose Dawson" until they had already arrived in New York.
      • Additionally, you're attributing Agatha Christie sleuthing to a couple of high society idiots. Rose's mother is implied as presuming Rose was lost in the sinking of the ship. Cal looks for Rose amongst the survivors, but since he doesn't see her, he, too, presumes she was lost at sea.
      • In fairness to Cal that's a pretty fair assumption, given the last he saw the idiots were running DOWN into a sinking ship in freezing waters, and as he doesn't see her anywhere (he at least bothers to go look; charitable assumption is her mother's still in shock) even among the steerage passengers, his choices are 1. she's dead or 2. she's on another boat. Once they get back and it's clear there were no survivors picked up by other ships, the reasonable assumption is she died. No reason to keep reading survivor lists if he already looked on Carpathia and didn't find her. Really morbid question would be if Cal or her mother went to see the bodies brought to Canada by the search vessels to see if Rose was among them. There were many who were never found, and others who were identified but unclaimed and buried in the cemetery there.
      • Even if her mother did see the name on a list of survivors later on, and put two and two together, she'd surely also have realized that Rose must've been deliberately avoiding her on the Carpathia. If so, she probably wouldn't have chosen to make contact with her possible daughter, whether for reasons of anger or guilt. As for Cal, he'd already written off their relationship because she ran off with Jack, so would have no reason to look for Rose once she'd had a chance to sell the diamond (or so he'd assume she did).
      • "You'd think Mumsie wouldn't be just a tad suspicious that there's a Rose Dawson walking around after she just lost her girl named "Rose"?" There were over three-thousand people on the Titanic, and the name "Rose" was a fairly common one for ladies at the time. It's hardly entering the realm of the impossible that there be at least two women called 'Rose' on the ship.
      • Actually, there were about 2,200 people on board. The Titanic could have held more than 3,000, but it did not set sail full to capacity. I think the ship could have held about 3,500 people total.
      • Fair enough, you've got me dead to rights there, but the overall point still stands; give or take 800 people, that's still plenty of room for there to be more than one female passenger called 'Rose' on the ship.
      • For that matter, if Rose's mother saw "Rose Dawson" on the survivor list and did make the connection, she might well assume that Jack survived also and the pair had eloped or just shacked up together. In which case, she'd keep clear to avoid the scandal.
    • Pretty much, yeah. It's clear that Rose, for several reasons, wants to create a new life for herself and wants nothing more to do with her mother or that particular circle, and if ever there's an opportunity to fake your death and start again, it's the sinking of the Titanic. Harsh, maybe, but there you are.
    • Did she even know that her daughter was having an affair? All she likely knew was that her daughter was becoming irritable and childlike, then poof! She's gone. She would not have any need to conduct a search because she likely would've thought her daughter was still loyal enough to return to her. If she checked the survivor list, saw Rose Dawson, she would've thought just like anyone else would in her shoes: "Ah, must be another Rose. My daughter has died."
      • ...Yes? She specifically forbids Rose to see Jack during the corset-lacing scene, and I'm pretty sure she was there during the big confrontation where Jack is arrested with the diamond in his pocket.
      • For all we know, Rose's mother may not even have remembered Jack's full name. (She did refer to him merely as "that boy", after all.) In which case, "Rose Dawson" wouldn't have meant anything special to her.
      • She only ever addresses Jack as 'Mr. Dawson', so yes.

    Did I Fire Six Shots Or Only Five... 
  • Towards the end when Cal is shooting at Rose and Jack. Why do they keep going down after they stopped hearing shots? Jack, at least, should know how many bullets that gun could hold, and keep count of how many were shot. The two of them probably could have gotten past Cal by force to get back up on deck.
    • Um, how would Jack possibly know how many bullets that gun could hold? Also, I think he was too busy trying to get himself and Rose somewhere away from the gun-toting lunatic to count the shots. As to why they kept running down? Simple. They were scared and thought Cal was still chasing them, loading his gun up again. As for them being able to fight Cal? Somehow I doubt it because Cal still has the gun and could pistolwhip them if they charged him.
      • It should be noted that the Colt M1911 was still a new weapon at that time. And since Jack was more concerned with surviving one day to the next, he wasn't too keen on looking up new firearms. Also remember, that people tend to think that magazine-fed firearms can hold an enormous amount of ammunition. You have to know quite a bit about a firearm to know it's magazine capacity, and the signs of empty/jam. Besides, both Jacks, and Roses Fight/Flight response was in full flight mode, which meant that they were wanting to put as much distance between them, and that gun as they possibly could.
      • They tend to think that because of movies, though. The sinking and shootout took place well before action movies popularized Bottomless Magazines.
    • A deleted scene reveals that once Cal remembers Rose has the diamond with her he then tells Lovejoy he can keep the diamond for himself if he can get it back from Rose; Lovejoy follows them into the flooding dining room where he fights it out with Jack before Jack and Rose escape into the galley and run down the flight of stairs while they wait for Lovejoy to go up the adjacent flight of stairs. This is why Jack's hair is wet all of a sudden and why he signals for Rose to be quiet. (Lovejoy's fight with Jack also explains why his head is suddenly bloody in his death scene when the ship breaks apart.) They're certainly not going to follow Lovejoy up the stairs and they're not going to try to go back through the dining room because at this point it is now mostly flooded with the main entrance to the dining room underwater. In any event, they then hear the little boy screaming.
    • If you hear shots and then they stop, even if you somehow know for sure the gun is empty, you still don't know if it's truly spent or if the shooter's just reloading.
      • Or, for that matter, if they're carrying more than one gun. Lovejoy seemed like the type to keep a spare.

    Crew Casualties All Ignored 
  • There were three classes of passengers, Cameron. Four if you count the crew. Who were the single most likely group to have died (you had better odds, in percentage terms, of living if you were a third-class woman than a member of the crew or a second-class man.) Way to forget one group of victims entirely and nearly completely demonize the other (the crew, made more horrible by most of those stewards Rose and Jack were punching and verbally abusing having surely realized early on that they were almost certainly going to die.)
    • Hollywood drama over historical accuracy. Cameron thought it would be more dramatic if the stewards were holding the two back from salvation than actively trying to get them off the ship.
      • And to be fair, not ALL stewards were portrayed as obstructive. The one Rose meets when trying to free Jack from the Master-At-Arms' office is well-meaning but obviously panicking, and one near the end did stop and try to open the gate for them. He did eventually leave them but only because he'd lost the keys and thought it was helpless. You can't blame the guy for wanting to give himself a fighting chance over dying for a pair of total strangers who are beyond help anyway. Maybe it's not noble but it's human. I'm more upset with the character assassination against Murdoch.
    • This is also to a degree Truth in Television; it's documented that the stewards in many cases tried to prevent steerage passengers from getting to lifeboats on the top decks, usually under the misapprehension that they were supposed to do the top decks first or that the steerage section had it's own emergency procedures and lifeboats (or, less favourably simply out of good old-fashioned class snobbery). Granted, I don't believe they were actually locked down in steerage, and Cameron places more of a 'class-warfare' spin on it (where it was mainly due to the fact that safety procedures hadn't been adequately prepared for, but it's not made up out of whole cloth.
    • As for the 'second-class man' thing, that's simply not the story Cameron's interested in telling; he's telling a love-story that crosses class boundaries, and it's more dramatic if it crosses from the highest echelons of Edwardian society to it's lowest (where the crossover is in most people's eyes scandalous and near-insurmountable) than if it goes from the highest/lowest to somewhere around the middle (which is, but this logic at least, less of scandal or an insurmountable divide, and thus less of a drama). Plus, there were like two-thousand odd people on the ship at the time, he can't reasonably be expected to address everyone.
    • Probably because Second Class weren't rich enough to be interesting, exciting, escapist or aspirational, but not poor enough for the audience to relate to. Cameron is far from the only one to be guilty of not paying much attention to Second Class, it's quite common for their stories to be left untold in many items of both factual and fictional Titanic-related work. It's also the same reason why fairy tale romances are typically between the very rich and the very poor, princesses falling for commoners or vagabonds and so on. I'm not saying it's fair, it's just what human nature is like.

    The Ship "Froze". 
  • This is something that's bugged me for a while, and I know there must be a logical reason but: Why didn't they keep moving? The ship was stopped and had to wait 4 hours for another ship to catch them, wouldn't that time have been cut down if they'd kept moving? Water was leaking in anyway so why stop? did the stopping stop more water from getting in?
    • Um...yeah, to keep more water from getting in. Also, the procedure was, once they realized they'd hit something, to stop and figure out what was damaged and where. By the time they'd established how extensive the damage was, which took maybe fifteen minutes, water was already flooding the forward compartments. Plus, even if they'd been able to move at all (and the nearest potential help was, even at the most charitable estimate, only 17 miles away, if only Californian's captain had reacted to Titanic's rockets with something other than "Huh. Well, let me know if anything happens") they were still in the middle of an ice field and would have to be able to navigate. The movie ignores the Californian completely, necessary because of the POV, and doesn't make clear that this wasn't a random rogue iceberg in the middle of an empty ocean.
      • thank you magical tvtroper! Years of what I thought was a huge plot hole now I can watch it once again without irritation!
      • TV Tropes will improve your life? Who knew?
    • There's also the issue that you can't safely evacuate a ship when it's still moving. When Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915, she lost all steam pressure almost immediately so she lost her ability to stop herself by reversing her now dead engines, and she spend most of the rest of her life coasting to a gradual stop. Given how rapidly she was sunk, the crew couldn't wait for the ship to stop moving before launching lifeboats and were forced to do so while she still had significant headway. Many lifeboats were overturned, flooded or smashed to matchwood as they hit the water. In 1917, Britannic (The larger sister ship to Titanic, converted to a hospital ship) hit a mine and started flooding. The captain thought they were close enough to shore to beach the ship and attempted to do so, but when they tried launching lifeboats with the engines still turning, one was sucked into the propellers (which were starting to rise out of the water) and smashed to pieces, killing its occupants. You can't safely launch lifeboats from a moving ship.

    Jack Was Unpersoned 
  • Bearded Guy says at the end of Old Rose's story "We never found anything on Jack. It's like he never existed at all." Um...found anything when? Jack pretty clearly signed the drawing with his initials, and until however long ago Old Rose started telling this story, they had no idea Jack Dawson existed. They flat-out say that, and until they heard Old Rose's story they had no reason to look for him. And this is 1997—what, did they make an expensive satellite phone call to the mainland while Old Rose was talking and dispatch researchers to (mostly non-digitalized) archives, and have them jump on Alta Vista and Yahoo to run a search?
    • Rose didn't tell the story in a single sitting. This is not too clear in the final film but the uncut version has at least one scene where she stops to be taken to sleep and continue the next day (it's easy to see why it was cut). It's not that far-fetched that they would try to check her story in the meantime, or at least had some book aboard with a list of Titanic passengers (they were investigating the Titanic - obviously they would have done some research on the ship before).
    • Actually, Jack and Fabrizio were travelling with Sven and Olaf's tickets, therefore travelling under their names. That's how they would have shown up on both the passenger list.

    "You're so stupid, Rose!" 
  • Why didn't Rose just stay on the lifeboat once she'd been forced onto it? I know, the whole 'true love' thing, but Jack told her he's a survivor. We see from the following scenes that he has a pretty good instinct for what to do. If she'd just stayed on the lifeboat, he wouldn't have had to look after her, and there's a better chance that he would have been able to survive. Plus, when he found the door floating in the water, he wouldn't have had to put her on it and stay in the water. And even if he didn't survive, the end result would still be the same, except with less hypothermia.
    • Rule of Drama. She wanted to be with the one she loved and ride it out with him. There is some reported Truth in Television to this if you listen to the Historian's commentaries of the film where they cite studies of women who would do the same thing.
    • There is actually cited source where an elderly couple, Ida and Isidor Straus (Mrs. Straus gave her fur coat to her maid and saw her off on lifeboat 8, but refused to board herself), said that they'd rather die on board the ship together, rather than spend a lifetime apart. They perished that night.
      • A lot of the women in the lifeboats who survived said that if they had known their husbands were going to die, they would have opted to stay with them.
    • That particular scene was filmed, but cut by Cameron, however the Strauses appear later in the film as the old couple huddling in bed together as the water rushes in.
    • A deleted scene showed that there was competition for the door. One of the nearby men wanted to get on the door instead, and Jack had to threaten him with immediate death to keep him from pushing Rose off. If Rose hadn't been there, Jack probably would have died fighting for it, or else given it to a woman or child. No matter what Rose did Jack was going to die that night.
    • This still doesn't make sense in light of several other scenes. Rose did not love Jack. The two may have had lust for each other but there were several scenes where Rose treated Jack more like her toy than like someone she loved. Rose was a spoiled brat throughout the whole movie including casually letting go of Jack after vowing to stay with him. She pushes him off the door with a casual "oops" and not the slightest bit of remorse. So to say that she wanted to be with her love does not fit who she was. It makes more sense that she did it because she was a selfish brat who treated the whole Titanic scenario like a game.
      • My, someone is reading quite the Alternate Character Interpretation into things. While it could be argued that their emotions weren't as deep as to be true love, and there were a few scenes where Rose looked down on Jack or treated him like just a dalliance, all of those were early on in their relationship. By the time she leaves the lifeboat and the scene with the floating door, Rose is no longer mistreating or misjudging Jack, and she's clearly gone beyond anything casual—even if her emotions are running high and she's only acting on desperation to escape Cal and her mother, to her at the time it felt genuine, and she would truly be panicking over losing him and yearn to be with him, as well as do all she could to save him. How she speaks to Mr. Andrews and everything up to where they hang off the stern can hardly be construed as "treating it like a game", and as for the scene on the door—it's very obvious that Jack has frozen to death. Once she has accepted this, why would she vainly try to keep him there, however she felt about him? Not to mention at that point she had to move, to be able to get the whistle and get attention, but she and Jack were stuck together by ice—so the minute she broke free, he started slipping/sinking off anyway. The timing of it may have sucked, but I actually saw it as more of a bitter irony...that even as she tells him she'll never let go of him emotionally, she's forced to let go of him physically. There was no "oops", let alone the casual disregard and selfishness you're suggesting. I get the movie gets a lot of flack and haters, but this is taking cynicism just a bit too far.
  • The actually parodied this in How It Should Have Ended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkiaJxa0UCg

    Giving Her All She's Got, Captain! 
  • Why did the ship's crew (including Thomas Andrews) make such a big deal of the fact that five watertight compartments are flooded, instead of only four? The explanation given is that with five compartments flooded, Titanic's bow would be pulled downwards, allowing water to pour into the rest of the ship. But if water could flood the rest of the ship, that means that the bulkheads weren't watertight. And if they weren't watertight, then the ship would have sunk no matter how few compartments were flooded. Any thoughts?
    • The watertight bulkheads only extended up to a certain point. If the first four flooded, it would weigh the front of the ship down, but not to the point that the water could get over the watertight bulkheads. Flooding the first five compartments dragged the front of the ship down far enough that the water could leak over the tops of the watertight compartments, dooming the ship.
      • That was the problem with the bulkheads. If the bulkheads had reached all the way up then water would have been unable to keep pouring in, because of that design oversight water kept on rushing in
      • Thanks, but that doesn't answer my question. Since the ship's watertight compartments weren't sealed at the top, they were essentially useless. So why did Thomas Andrews think that the ship would have survived if only four compartments had been breached?
      • It does answer the question. With any four compartments flooded, the water level could not rise above the level of the watertight doors (that is, the top of the watertight doors would still be above the waterline). Five compartments, especially the five forward compartments, flooded with water would drag the bow down far enough for the tops of the watertight doors to dip below the waterline allowing water to spill over causing a chain reaction (the more water spills over the more the ship goes down by the bow, the more watertight doors end up below the waterline, and so on). Ironically, this means the Titanic would have likely survived a head-on collision with the iceberg; she sank because the crew tried to avoid it.
      • No, it doesn't. The sheer force of an object the mass of the Titanic at the speed the ship was going plowing into an object with the mass of the iceberg would have caused such catastrophic damage that it would have been an even worse scenario.
      • But you said it yourself: the watertight compartments were not sealed at the top. They were like an ice-cube tray. Therefore, it doesn't matter how many bulkheads were breached-water would have filled them up and spilled over to the next compartment in any case.
      • Not the case, because the weight of water in the first 4 compartments wouldn't pull the ship down deep enough for the water to spill over to the next compartments. It would have just stopped there.
      • Actually, the bulkhead problem was not as big as you are making it out to be. The ship could handle having any two compartments flooded or the first four, which were smaller than the other compartments. Standard operating procedure was to try to pump water out of flooded compartments, which was done surprisingly well on Titanic. At least one boiler room was pumped dry before the wall holding back water in the adjoining room gave out. I'm not quite sure how the whole 'not sealed at the top' thing worked, but I imagine that, assuming sealing off the area with the watertight doors was not enough, the pumps could keep up with the flooding if the damage was not rated as catastrophic. Unfortunately for the Titanic, it was.
    • Titanic was a real ship, with two sister ships, Olympic and Britannic. The specification of the watertight compartments in the movie is accurate to the blueprints the first two of these ships was built to (Britannic's watertight compartments were modified during construction in light of what happened to Titanic). They were built to specific specifications that protected the ship against the accidents that her builders were able to imagine. More precisely, the floodability specifications for Titanic were that she was able to remain afloat with any two compartments flooded (which protected the ship against being T-boned by another ship at the junction between compartments), or all of her first four compartments flooded (protecting the ship against a head-on collision). A glancing blow against an object that scraped against the hull for a third of its length was not an eventuality that the builders considered, because it seemed so far-fetched as to not require protecting against. And honestly? They were right. No ship prior or since Titanic has been sunk by a glancing blow from an iceberg, and floodability specifications for modern ships are in fact still pretty similar to the ones Titanic was built to. Why didn't the watertight bulkheads extend higher and why weren't they topped off with watertight decks? Money, Dear Boy. A highly compartmentalized hull has no room for grand staircases or extensive dining saloons or Turkish baths or squash courts, and the crew would be kept from moving easily from one compartment to the next, making shift changes a long, drawn-out procedure. There was a ship that was built with far more compartmentalization than Titanic, the SS Great Eastern. This ship was extremely robust, but the compartments heavily compromised the amount of usable space below decks and made it difficult to move around inside the hull. She ended up being a financial disaster for her builders. The bulkheads were intended to prevent a single hole from allowing water into the entire length of the hull, and in that goal they were watertight. The layout of watertight compartments was demonstrated as effective in 1911, when Olympic was T-boned by the HMS Hawke, puncturing her hull at the junction of two watertight compartments, resulting in two compartments flooding. She didn't sink, and was able to make it back to port for repairs. Olympic survived several more collisions during her career (the deliberate ramming and sinking of a U-boat during World War 1 and the unintentional ramming and sinking of the Nantucket lightship in the 30s).
      • Another ship from the 1950s also proves that bulkheads aren't everything. The ship, light on ballast (meaning she was sitting high in the water and thus was not at optimum stability) got t-boned by another ship, rolled onto its side, and sank. Despite extra precautions, such as bulkheads up to B deck, she tipped over with only one of her compartments was partially flooded. Apparently you really can't plan for everything.
      • It sounds like you're talking about SS Andrea Doria. The situation with that ship was its fuel tanks (which were on either side of the hull) were nearly empty due to the ship being at the end of its voyage. Officially, the crew were meant to ballast the empty tanks with seawater, but in practice this wasn't done because the tanks would need to be very carefully flushed and washed clean of salt water before they could be used again, increasing operating costs and increasing turnaround time. When Andrea Doria was hit, the tank on her starboard side was breached and filled with water. The tank on the port side was full of air. This caused the ship to take on an unmanageable list within a matter of minutes that couldn't be corrected, as the seacocks for the empty air-filled tank were lifted out of the water by the list. Had the ship been operated according to the shipbuilder's specifications, she wouldn't have listed and might not have even sunk. To be fair to Andrea Doria, it did take a lot longer for her to actually sink than Titanic did (more than a day), and aside from those killed in the collision everybody escaped alive.
      • and of course we now have the Costa Concordia as another demonstration of a sinking. In that case, 3 watertight compartments were breached, and she was designed, like Titanic, to float with two breached. In that particular case though, it was actually capsizing rather than sinking that did for Costa Concordia.
    • And as for why the Titanic didn't just ram the iceberg headon? Two reasons:
    • Newton's Second Law of Motions. If she had struck the iceberg, the iceberg would be striking her with the same impact. "Any object that exerts force on another object; the object exerts the same force as the initial object". Paraphraed, but that's how it goes. It's like ramming your car into a tree at 50 MPH. That tree will hit you back at 50 MPH on point of collision.
    • The officers were all trained specifically to not aim at large objects in their way. We can't fault them for not doing what they were taught was the correct course of action.
      • The theory is that it's better to miss the object entirely-but, being a pioneer in its size class AND speed class (therefore providing unprecedented amounts of mass and velocity, and what's the FIRST law of motion?) and built for cruising around with luxury passengers (the ship designers built it for maximum cruising speed in a straight line-but not the ability to pull a turn that would throw everybody aboard onto the nearest bulkhead. While the ability to pull hairpin turns may be desirable in a warship, we're rather expecting that the crew of a luxury liner would put a higher priority on being where obstacles are not, rather than depending on agile dodging. Enter rogue iceberg.) it couldn't turn nearly as well as the helmsman was hoping for.
    • I'd just like to point out that the 300-foot (91m) long gash was mentioned. The damage was actually six holes that in total were 12 to 13 square feet (1.1 to 1.2 m) large but spaced out along a 300-foot line. The ship could stay afloat if water was just entering either any 2 compartments, certain combinations of 3, or specifically the first 4 compartments (i.e. if all 4 of the ones filling up weren't the first four, the ship would sink). However, not only was the water coming in several times faster than it could be pumped out (which means the bulkheads would've probably filled up and then started the icecube tray effect, sinking the ship anyway), but water was entering 5 compartments at once, so really all that could be done was to slow the inevitable sinking as much as possible.

    Pollinating Rose 
  • Wasn't Rose - a young, fertile, healthy woman extremely lucky not to get pregnant after having sex with young, fertile, healthy Jack in the back of that car in an age before contraception and abortion? You know; unwanted pregnancy was the main reason besides religion women tried not to have casual sex back then and considering she was fully aware that her husband-to-be was a violent dick and her mother would probably disown her she would have realized the risk of an illegitimate child would have probably been a bad move. It's blatant that this scene, and the infamous art scene beforehand, exist solely to feature the two most desirable Hollywood stars of the age having a Fanservice scene together rather than anything realistic or intelligent.
    • I'm curious as to how you know Jack was fertile, since he never had children, and I don't recall a portion of the film where he gets a sperm motility test done. It's hardly unlikely when a single instance of sexual intercourse fails to result in pregnancy. I mean, planned pregnancies rarely come that easy! 1912 was not "before the age of contraception"; in fact, condoms were a commercial product in the 19th century, and contraception of one kind or another has existed all through human history. And "before the age of . . . abortion"? I think you mean legal abortion. Is the characters' behavior irresponsible? A touch so, perhaps, but unbelievable? Unrealistic? Hardly. Not for a dashing bohemian wanderer who has clearly been around the block a few times and a repressed society girl struggling against the confines of her station and in the passionate blush of first love. It would be unrealistic if they said let's wait! the way the good children of abstinence-only education pamphlets might.
    • Truth in Television: Whilst it's certainly possible to become pregnant from a single act of intercourse, it's not as common as most people think. I seem to recall reading once that the probably of becoming pregnant from a single sexual encounter was around 30-50%, so instant pregnancy from anything you do without protection is far from certain. They certainly took a risk, and there certainly was an element of luck at play there, but not as much as you might think. Besides, they were young, in love and caught up in the moment, they probably weren't giving much thought to the long-term consequences of what they were doing.
      • A woman typically ovulates only once per cycle, and if she isn't in that fertile period, then pregnancy cannot take place. Whether intercourse happens once or a dozen times, if there's no egg for the sperm to meet, then pregnancy will not occur.
    • One might further suggest that being doused with freezing North Atlantic water may not be conducive to conception.
      • Congrats, that entry is Made of Win.
      • Occuring only a few hours after their sexual encounter, it's incredibly unlikely that Rose's exposure to the cold North Atlantic water would have done anything to decrease her odds of fertilisation. A woman's internal sex organs cannot be reliably "washed clean" of sperm by any non-surgical means. Had she been a few weeks into a potential pregnancy, the shock may have caused a spontaneous abortion, but even intense physical shock will do nothing to decrease the odds of fertilisation within the first few hours. The cold would also have no effect, as by the time her own core body heat had dropped to that point she'd have died long before.
      • I am no physician but I am given to wonder: given that fertilization can take days after intercourse, and implantation some time even after that, does the overall state of the mother's body have no bearing on whether or not pregnancy occurs? I've heard it suggested (rightly or wrongly) that drinking to drunkenness in the aftermath of intercourse can reduce the odds of pregnancy (not that this is a recommended birth control technique, I'm not saying that!); does it stand to reason the kind of overall systemic shock that would result from the hypothermia Rose was certainly going through not even diminish the chances of this hypothetical pregnancy going forward?
    • This whole section is a testament to the importance of proper science-based sexual education in schools...:
      • Two perfectly healthy people having normal coital sexual intercourse without contraception will only result in conception if a number of biological factors line up along with a healthy dose of luck. Typically, 2.5% of sexual acts without any contraception lead to pregnancy. Assuming perfectly optimal conditions, it's at best in the 60% range.
      • Jack's age and appearance of physical health are completely unrelated to his fertility.
      • As already stated, condoms had been readily available since the 19th century. It's not impossible that Jack had one, being the strapping young bohemian he was.
      • Debatable, since it was implied he was a virgin.
      • When?
      • Rose points out that he's trembling just after his hand went splat on the window, and he has the look of someone whose head is going "omigoshicantbelieveitthisisreal". If this wasn't his first time, he'd probably be less overwhelmed at the moment. Thrilled and happy, yes, but not in awe.
      • I thought that's because he was meeting his soulmate or maybe it was his first time having sex that wasn't in a brothel, and that was clearly her hand on the window
      • As someone who had the habit of trembling well after my first sexual encounter (though, thankfully, not any longer), I find it vaguely charming that you believe you can proclaim this with such certainty.
      • Eh, was just going off what Wikipedia used to have on a since-deleted "Titanic (Characters)" page. I suppose I couldn't rely on that editor's theory, thus.

    I Pay You To Not Recognize Me! 
  • Okay, so Cal failed to barter passage into a lifeboat, so what does he do? Grab a random child and go to the same officer who just rejected him seconds ago, says, "I'm all she has left in the world..." and he gets in. Um, pardon me, Mr. Officer, but I think you just grabbed a Titanic-sized Idiot Ball. The officer never stopped to think, "Now since when were you a father? Just now? Yeah right! Get lost! Let me put the kid in the lifeboat, but you're not getting in!" He can't be corrupted, or else he'd have accepted Cal's offer of money to get in the lifeboat.
    • It was pretty chaotic at that point.
    • It wasnt even the same officer: Cal tried and failed to bribe Murdoch, who committed suicide long before the Cal-and-kid scene.
    • The 'all she has left in the world' comment doesn't necessarily have to mean she's his daughter, could be her impromptu guardian. Let's face it, there's a lone child wandering around, what are the chances you'll find her parents in time? As for putting her on the boat and leaving him, is it really the best idea to put a small child with nobody to accompany her on a boat in the hopes someone will cling to her?

    Cool! Found This Awesome Diamond! 
  • Rose hid the diamond from Brock by throwing it overboard, but, presuming it landed on or near the wreckage, what if a future expedition finds it accidentally?
    • By that time, she'll be long dead, and hopefully Brock will have understood it and not gone after it again once found.
      • I highly doubt Brock would change his commercial instincts or scrap his massive investment in time or money because he was moved by some old lady's story. She just made him work for it.
    • By a future expedition, I meant one led by someone else. We know from real life that there have been plenty of other dives to the Titanic wreckage since 1997.
    • Lucky for them, I suppose. Likely Rose would be dead by then, though, and future expeditions have been more scientific than treasure hunting orientated, partly thanks to this movie.
    • Assuming it doesn't get caught up in a current and swept hundreds of miles away and falls right back down into the wreckage (which, given how it could easily be caught and swept away on a current, is a fairly unlikely event to begin with), it's a fairly small blue jewel in pitch darkness surrounded by rocks and jagged, rusting metal. Given how finding the ship itself — a massive hunk of metal — was for a long time considered near-impossible and was apparently almost as much down to good luck as skill, the chances of someone actually managing to see and find a tiny tricket on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean must be literally astronomical.
      • It was near-impossible to find the Titanic but once they found the Titanic, the savage trips to the Titanic haven't stopped since
      • Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a still tiny dark blue jewel on the vast darkness of the ocean floor. It's very difficult to spot, is the essential point.
      • And that would be even without it being covered by sand, drifting under something, or being obscured any other number of ways.

    Jack Is Bohemianese 
  • What nationality was Jack in the movie? Apparently he went ice fishing in Seattle once, but I'm not sure if it was ever stated what country he is. An above troper stated he was from Bohemia ('...bohemian traveler' they said)
    • This sense of bohemian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohemianism
    • OH! Now I get it. For his nationality...is it safe to say he's American as his actor, Leonardo Di Caprio is American?
      • He is avowedly from Chippewa Falls, WA.
      • I disagree that he is American. His second name, Dawson, is an English name and he boards the ship in Ireland. This would point towards him being British or Irish. There is also the fact that, back then, only the rich and members of the navy could travel the Atlantic due to the cost. Where did Jack get the money to travel there from America?
      • No, he boards the ship in Southampton. Also, America was founded by immigrants. There's no reason why there couldn't be an American named Dawson in 1912.
      • I'm sorry, what? Does your copy of the film omit the scene where he talks about being from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin? And no, lower-class people crossed the Atlantic all the time — Ellis Island processed hundreds of thousands of new immigrants to the United States each year up till World War I. Those passenger ships were not going back to Europe empty, either; as you can see here, even second class accommodations in some cases adjust to only just over a thousand dollars today, something you'd have to save for but within the buying power of all but the most destitute, especially if they were willing to sell all they own: http://www.gjenvick.com/HistoricalBrochures/Steamships-OceanLiners/1910-TravelGuide/LowestTransatlanticOceanRates.html#axzz2GIGjP2mY
      • Jack won his ticket on the Titanic in a card game. It's hardly impossible that previously he might have similarly managed to wrangle a ticket on a ship leaving America in a similar fashion.
      • Not to mention the fact that Jack could have easily worked a menial job at some point in the past(bartender; coal miner; heck, even a shipboard stoker)and might have saved enough money to buy a third class ticket to Europe. Heck, maybe he even worked as a stoker or even a sailor on an earlier ocean liner and made his way from America to Europe that way.
      • He didn't even buy it himself; the film explicitly shows him winning it in a card game. He might've lost a bit of money during the game before those tickets were wagered, but still.
      • A card game at which, having won the tickets, he excitedly shouts "I'm going home!". He's American.
      • Titanic's own second officer had once given up the sea to hunt gold in the Klondike and when that didn't pan out he worked his way east across Canada as a cowboy and earned a crossing home on a cattle ship. If a sailor from the Lancastershire mill country can manage to scrounge up passage as a cowhand in rural Canada, Jack could have figured out how to earn money to get to Europe.

    Cal's Guard Disappears 
  • What happened to Cal's bodyguard? he just kind of disappears after the whole trying to shoot Jack and Rose scene. he obviously dies but a scene showing his demise would have been nice - the man is a Karma Houdini.
    • He's practically standing at the breakup point when the ship, well, breaks apart. What more do you want done? He's abandoned by his employer and gets to die unpleasantly. There's not much more you can do to the man.
    • Even if we hadn't seen it, over 1300 men died on the Titanic. Men formed about 89% of the casualties. It's hardly a stretch to imagine that he might have been one of them even if the filmmakers hadn't made it abundantly clear.
    • The clue is surely in the question - he's a speaking-part bodyguard to the antagonist. No chance he will survive!

    Planning the Hockley Trip 
  • The Hockleys were on a shopping spree in Paris (Rose has acquired several paintings and the latest French fashions, and Cal bought a diamond with a French name, "La coeur de la mer") before boarding Titanic in Southampton. Why did they cross the Channel to go to Southampton when Titanic was going to make a stop in Cherbourg anyway? Surely it would have been a lot easier to board there, instead of hauling that vast amount of baggage they were travelling with across the Channel, only to go across it again.
    • They're kind of snobby, proud and arrogant; they might have simply wanted the prestige of being part of the maiden voyage of the biggest ship in the world all of the way across rather than jumping on part of the way.
    • They were American tourists in Europe. If you have the chance between seeing Paris only and seeing Paris and London before sailing back home, what would you take?
      • Expanding on the above, trips across the Atlantic were, due to the logistics and expense involved, quite long. Today, people would consider spending a week taking a trip to be quite a long time. In 1912 Rose and company would have spent a month or so on a trip, especially since repeating the experience in the near future would be quite unlikely.
      • Fair enough, if you're in the neighbourhood you'd want to see both if possible. So why not do London first, then Paris? The big shopping spree mentioned in the movie was in Paris, and while the money involved in shipping all their purchases to the UK before putting them on a ship that's going past France again anyway is obviously not going to be an issue (including insurance for the trip, etc), it's still a big hassle from a logistics standpoint. A little planning ahead to minimise the distance you have to travel with all your paintings and diamonds and other stuff wouldn't have gone amiss. I know it's a minor point, but still.
      • They probably wanted to show off all their fancy Paris stuff to any friends they might have visited or been staying with in London.

    Why did Rose go out in the first place? 
  • Would they really go through all the trouble of bringing the elderly Rose out to the ship if they didn't even believe her yet? Especially given that's she's a centenarian and the stress might kill her at that age? Why would the granddaughter risk her grandmother's life and waste a bunch of time taking her out to the middle of the ocean if she's skeptical of her claims? ("You actually believe this is you, grandma?") Why is she skeptical if she's seen all those pictures Rose carries around of herself as a young woman? Why doesn't Rose show Bill Paxton any of those pictures as proof?
    • He says in the movie, "Everyone who knew about the diamond is either dead or on this boat, but she knows!" Remember, the thing that gets him interested in the first place was her mentioning the Heart of the Ocean by name.
    • I'm not sure why Brock would take the financial risk of chartering a helicopter to pick 100-year-old Rose up if he didn't believe her, but there's nothing inherently dangerous or unhealthy about being in a plane whether you're 1 or 100. Older people and their family are generally hesitant about flying but that's generally out of inconvenience. You have a good point that Rose's granddaughter should know what her grandmother looks like, but it's a drawing which could be stylized and look different than pictures. Also, pictures from that era are likely very very grainy and don't look very good.
    • Brock does believe her, or at least is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt; that's why he flies her out. It's the other guy who's skeptical, but since Brock's running the show he doesn't have a lot of say in whether she gets flown out or not. As for why Rose's granddaughter is a bit skeptical that it's her grandma in the picture, it's a fairly generic drawing of a naked woman with few instantly distinguishing features. It could have been Rose as a younger woman — but then, it could also have been hundreds of thousands of other attractive young brunette women of the time as well.

    Who cares about the stars in the sky? 
  • Sort of an anti-headscratcher, but why was it a big deal that the stars in the sky were wrong and James Cameron was convinced by Neil De Grasse Tyson to correct them? The night probably had the same degree of brightness which is all that mattered. I'm sure Tyson could nitpick on the night sky of any historical movie and find that the director didn't do his homework there, but who would really care?
    • It wasn't merely that the stars were wrong, it was that the sky was mirrored. Inaccuracies of any movie aside, that's pretty lazy.
    • Also because James Cameron went out of his way to advertise how much research and effort was put into making the ship and events as historically accurate as possible (apart from the main characters, of course), but didn't apparently bother even a cursory effort with the sky.

     The Safe. 
  • Does abusive, jealous, misogynistic Cal seem like the kind of guy who gives his fiancee, that he doesn't trust and has his valet following, the combination to his safe?
    • He seemed like the sort of materialistic jerk whose idea of a "romantic" gesture would be having a safe's combination set to his fiancee's birthday, then boasting about it to charm her.

  • When Jack first saved Rose's life and got mistakenly arrested for raping her, wouldn't there be lookouts who could confirm his side of the story?
    • They probably did not bother to station lookouts at the stern in such a clear part of the ocean. No rocks, no icebergs, no other ships in visual range, nothing to worry about.
    • Or they would've been too busy while the ship was sinking to deal with some young couple.
    • The crow's nest, where lookouts are stationed is at the bow. Rose tried to jump off at the stern. There's little need to put lookouts at the stern because they'd just be looking at stuff the ship's already passed.
    • I don't know if the civilian ships of the day had aft watches or not, but on a ship with a lot of people, I don't think it would be unheard of to have an aft watch to be on the lookout for someone falling off the ship. I know that's the case with military (Navy) ships, but someone else who has worked on civilian ships might know.
    • If the diagrams and plans I've just checked are to be believed, the Titanic didn't have a lookout post facing the stern — hence, no lookouts.

  • How did Officer Lowe know who was dead and who was alive when he brought the lifeboat back to look for survivors? Most people at that point were unconscious or near unconscious. Yelling "Is anyone out there?" is not an effective way of determining who's still alive
    • Actually, its a very effective method. It is one extra chance that someone might answer his calls and lets any survivors know that there is a boat nearby. In real life they didn't even have those lights with them. Poking everyone with an oar would have taken far too long.
      • Far too long? The boat had already sank and the Carpathia hadn't yet arrived. It's not like they had anything better to do than look for survivors for the time being.
      • Far too long for any potential survivors. They can try poking those nearby if they like, but within thirty minutes or so nothing they do will matter. If they're in the water, they're dead at that point. Anyone relatively out of the water (i.e. Rose) would hopefully still be conscious and able to answer Lowe's calls. The clock was ticking so they had to keep moving in hopes of finding anyone in time.
      • The water temperature was about 28F or −2C. Some drowned or died almost instantly from heart attacks (from the shock of falling into freezing cold water). If you weren't young, healthy, and uninjured because of debris or whatever from the sinking, you would've been lucky to survive more than 30 minutes. The few lifeboats that went back waited until most of the people in the water stopped crying out, i.e. died, presumably to prevent their lifeboats being swarmed and capsized. If you didn't have the energy to get their attention (calling out, waving your arms, etc.) when they came back, you were a goner even if they did pull you out; few people were pulled from the water, and very few of them survived.

  • Wasn't there plenty of gold and valuables on the Titanic that was salvaged and sold for millions? Why would Brock be singularly focused on that Heart of the Ocean?
    • I don't think there was really that much super-valuable stuff on Titanic that would still be valuable if it had not been on Titanic. Brock's obsession with the diamond has more to do with the fact that it is a famous item, even more so since it is rumored to have sunk with the Titanic. It would be the ultimate salvage find. The fact that it would be worth a huge sum of money, even if sold to a museum, was just a really nice bonus.

  • Cal was first-class passenger. The captain's infamous 'Women and children' order didn't apply to men from first class. Shouldn't he have been able to get to the lifeboat without even needing to bribe the crew member?
    • Where is it said that the order didn't apply to men from first class? Smith's orders were "women and children first", not "women and children and first-class men first". In any case, this was spottily applied — some of the crew took it to mean "Women and children only", others interpreted it as "woman and children first, then men once all the women and children are safely aboard".
      • A detail: Charles Lightoller is a controversial figure due to being part of the first category, even once preferring to launch a half-empty boat rather than allow any man in.
    • Also, "infamous"? "Women and children first!" is pretty much a standard for evacuating, well, just about anything.
    • Only because it wasn't clarified, which led to a lot of confusion and deaths. As noted above, crewmembers didn't really know what exactly the order meant. Some thought it meant no man could escape the ship period, others thought it meant the men could get on after their wives and children were secured. Had they put it on record that the order meant "Women and children go first, then the men after them" then maybe there would have been more survivors of the sinking. There was a severe lack of communication between the officers and their captain; they pretty much were running on assumptions on what they thought the correct thing to do was, and...well...we all know how that turned out.
    • John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man on board, was forbidden from entering a lifeboat even after he argued that his young pregnant wife might need his help. As mentioned above, Isidor Strauss couldn't get in a lifeboat either, the only reason why people were willing to disregard the rule in his case was because his wife wouldn't leave without him (and he wouldn't leave as long as there were over women and children left on board). Benjamin Guggenheim decided not to even try boarding ("We're ready to go down like gentlemen!") because he knew he couldn't. Jack Thayer, aged 17, was refused entry in a boat because he was a man, and only survived because he managed to climb aboard the overturned collapsible boat B after he jumped into the water. Yeah, the rule definitely applied to First Class male passengers.
    • It also depended on which side of the ship you were on. I forget which side because I'm dyslexic but on one side, the rule was not enforced but it was enforced on the other side of the ship.
      • Sorry, that is factually incorrect. The rule, or more accurately the order, "women and children first" was enforced on both sides of the ship. The only difference, as mentioned above, was in how the rule was interpreted. On the port (left) side, the rule was interpreted as "women and children ONLY", with the exception of assigned crewmen to man the oars and tiller. On the starboard (right) side male passengers were allowed on board if there were no more women and children nearby to be loaded. Being male and an adult on the Titanic drastically reduced your chances to survive.
  • Thomas Andrews gives a tour of the ship to Rose, Ruth, and Cal the day of the sinking. Right before Jack shows up and brings Rose into the gymnasium, Andrews says their next stop is the engine room. Would they really have been able to go down there, since I've read passengers weren't allowed in the engineering sections?
    • I imagine that being with the guy who designed the ship (Andrews) gives you free-reign of most places you're not allowed to be.
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