Titanic Universe

  • Titanic Movie Summary

Andre Nolan

Beginning with treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) searching the Titanic wreck for the fabled necklace named the Heart of the Ocean, the Titanic movie features actual footage of the wreckage. After recovering a safe that was thought to belong to first-class passenger Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley, played by Billy Zane, Lovett hopes to find the Heart of the Ocean contained within. He finds nothing but soggy bank statements and a sketch of a naked woman wearing the necklace, and Lovett believes that he has hit a dead end.

A woman by the name of Rose Calvert (Gloria Stuart) sees Lovett on the news and contacts him. Lovett is uninterested in what she has to say at first but becomes intrigued when she tells him that she is the woman in the drawing. After being flown in to tell her story, we learn that Rose Calvert was once Rose DeWitt Bukater and was a first-class passenger on the Titanic. She begins telling her experience on the doomed vessel.

The movie begins with drifter Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) winning third-class tickets for the Titanic in a poker game. He and his friend Fabrizio catch the ship just as it is leaving. It also shows first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslett), her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher), and her fiance Cal Hockley. Rose is on the way to Philadelphia to marry Hockley, an arrangement made by her mother to protect her wealth status. Unhappy with this decision, Rose attempts to commit suicide by throwing herself from the Titanic.

She is confronted by Dawson, who convinces her to come up from the railing. Rose invites Jack to dinner as thanks, and after, Jack spirits her away to a third-class evening of dancing. Rose decides her future and asks Jack, an acclaimed artist to draw her nude wearing only the Heart of the Ocean.

The two then find their way to the cargo hold, and a rich man’s car is waiting for them. They make love in the back seat before the ship hits an iceberg.

As people begin boarding lifeboats, Jack is arrested and locked in the master at the arms office. Instead of boarding a lifeboat, Rose goes back to help Jack, and the two must fight for survival. Jack and Rose’s fiancé Cal finally convince her to board a lifeboat, and Cal assures her that he has arranged to get both men off the boat safely.

Cal double-crosses Jack, and Rose decides to return for him yet again despite her being urged to stay on the lifeboat. Rose finds Jack, and Cal chases them into the flooded first-class dining room with a pistol. Once they escape Cal, he returns the deck and boards a lifeboat after pretending to look after an abandoned child.

Rose and Jack go down with the ship, and Jack helps her onto a door that can support the weight of one person. While Jack is in the freezing water, they exchange loving words, and Jack dies of hypothermia. Once aboard the Carpathia, Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She sees Cal one more time frantically looking for her but hides her face in a blanket just as he looks in her direction. Rose then proceeds to do everything she and Jack promised to do together and lives her life.

Back on Lovett’s ship, Rose walks to the side, produces the Heart of the Ocean, and tosses it overboard. In the last scene, Rose is met by Jack on the grand staircase of the Titanic. They kiss and are applauded by those who were lost in the disaster. It isn’t known whether or not she is dreaming or if she dies (Jack told her she would die in her bed as an old woman), and James Cameron leaves this up to the viewer to decide.

Andre Nolan

Andre Nolan

Featured articles:.

  • Jack Dawson
  • Rose Dewitt Bukater
  • Titanic Movie Cast (1997)
  • Heart of the Ocean Necklace
  • Titanic Drawing Scene

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titanic summary of the movie

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Like a great iron Sphinx on the ocean floor, the Titanic faces still toward the West, interrupted forever on its only voyage. We see it in the opening shots of “Titanic,” encrusted with the silt of 85 years; a remote-controlled TV camera snakes its way inside, down corridors and through doorways, showing us staterooms built for millionaires and inherited by crustaceans.

These shots strike precisely the right note; the ship calls from its grave for its story to be told, and if the story is made of showbiz and hype, smoke and mirrors--well, so was the Titanic. She was “the largest moving work of man in all history,” a character boasts, neatly dismissing the Pyramids and the Great Wall. There is a shot of her, early in the film, sweeping majestically beneath the camera from bow to stern, nearly 900 feet long and “unsinkable,” it was claimed, until an iceberg made an irrefutable reply.

James Cameron's 194-minute, $200 million film of the tragic voyage is in the tradition of the great Hollywood epics. It is flawlessly crafted, intelligently constructed, strongly acted and spellbinding. If its story stays well within the traditional formulas for such pictures, well, you don't choose the most expensive film ever made as your opportunity to reinvent the wheel.

We know before the movie begins that certain things must happen. We must see the Titanic sail and sink, and be convinced we are looking at a real ship. There must be a human story--probably a romance--involving a few of the passengers. There must be vignettes involving some of the rest and a subplot involving the arrogance and pride of the ship's builders--and perhaps also their courage and dignity. And there must be a reenactment of the ship's terrible death throes; it took two and a half hours to sink, so that everyone aboard had time to know what was happening, and to consider their actions.

All of those elements are present in Cameron's “Titanic,” weighted and balanced like ballast, so that the film always seems in proportion. The ship was made out of models (large and small), visual effects and computer animation. You know intellectually that you're not looking at a real ocean liner--but the illusion is convincing and seamless. The special effects don't call inappropriate attention to themselves but get the job done.

The human story involves an 17-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater ( Kate Winslet ) who is sailing to what she sees as her own personal doom: She has been forced by her penniless mother to become engaged to marry a rich, supercilious snob named Cal Hockley ( Billy Zane ), and so bitterly does she hate this prospect that she tries to kill herself by jumping from the ship. She is saved by Jack Dawson ( Leonardo DiCaprio ), a brash kid from steerage, and of course they will fall in love during the brief time left to them.

The screenplay tells their story in a way that unobtrusively shows off the ship. Jack is invited to join Rose's party at dinner in the first class dining room, and later, fleeing from Cal's manservant, Lovejoy ( David Warner ), they find themselves first in the awesome engine room, with pistons as tall as churches, and then at a rousing Irish dance in the crowded steerage. (At one point Rose gives Lovejoy the finger; did young ladies do that in 1912?) Their exploration is intercut with scenes from the command deck, where the captain ( Bernard Hill ) consults with Andrews ( Victor Garber ), the ship's designer and Ismay ( Jonathan Hyde ), the White Star Line's managing director.

Ismay wants the ship to break the trans-Atlantic speed record. He is warned that icebergs may have floated into the hazardous northern crossing but is scornful of danger. The Titanic can easily break the speed record but is too massive to turn quickly at high speed; there is an agonizing sequence that almost seems to play in slow motion, as the ship strains and shudders to turn away from an iceberg in its path--and fails.

We understand exactly what is happening at that moment because of an ingenious story technique by Cameron, who frames and explains the entire voyage in a modern story. The opening shots of the real Titanic, we are told, are obtained during an expedition led by Brock Lovett ( Bill Paxton ), an undersea explorer. He seeks precious jewels but finds a nude drawing of a young girl. Meanwhile, an ancient woman sees the drawing on TV and recognizes herself. This is Rose (Gloria Stuart), still alive at 101. She visits Paxton and shares her memories (“I can still smell the fresh paint”). And he shows her video scenes from his explorations, including a computer simulation of the Titanic's last hours--which doubles as a briefing for the audience. By the time the ship sinks, we already know what is happening and why, and the story can focus on the characters while we effortlessly follow the stages of the Titanic's sinking.

Movies like this are not merely difficult to make at all, but almost impossible to make well. The technical difficulties are so daunting that it's a wonder when the filmmakers are also able to bring the drama and history into proportion. I found myself convinced by both the story and the saga. The setup of the love story is fairly routine, but the payoff--how everyone behaves as the ship is sinking--is wonderfully written, as passengers are forced to make impossible choices. Even the villain, played by Zane, reveals a human element at a crucial moment (despite everything, damn it all, he does love the girl).

The image from the Titanic that has haunted me, ever since I first read the story of the great ship, involves the moments right after it sank. The night sea was quiet enough so that cries for help carried easily across the water to the lifeboats, which drew prudently away. Still dressed up in the latest fashions, hundreds froze and drowned. What an extraordinary position to find yourself in after spending all that money for a ticket on an unsinkable ship.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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Titanic movie poster

Titanic (1997)

Rated PG-13 For Shipwreck Scenes, Mild Language and Sexuality

194 minutes

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson

Kate Winslet as Rose Dewitt Bukater

Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett

Kathy Bates as Molly Brown

Billy Zane as Cal Hockley

Written and Directed by

  • James Cameron

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Gloria Stuart, and Frances Fisher in Titanic (1997)

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

  • James Cameron
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Kate Winslet
  • 3.3K User reviews
  • 271 Critic reviews
  • 75 Metascore
  • 126 wins & 83 nominations total

Official Trailer

  • Jack Dawson

Kate Winslet

  • Rose Dewitt Bukater

Billy Zane

  • Cal Hockley

Kathy Bates

  • Molly Brown

Frances Fisher

  • Ruth Dewitt Bukater

Gloria Stuart

  • Brock Lovett

Bernard Hill

  • Captain Smith

David Warner

  • Spicer Lovejoy

Victor Garber

  • Thomas Andrews

Jonathan Hyde

  • Bruce Ismay

Suzy Amis

  • Lizzy Calvert
  • Lewis Bodine
  • Bobby Buell
  • Anatoly Milkailavich
  • (as Dr. Anatoly M. Sagalevitch)

Danny Nucci

  • 1st Officer Murdoch
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Iconic On-Screen Romances

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Did you know

  • Trivia (at around 2h 30 mins) The elderly couple seen hugging on the bed while water floods their room were the owners of Macy's department store in New York, Rosalie Ida Straus and Isidor Straus , both of whom died on the Titanic. Ida was offered a seat on a lifeboat but refused so that she could stay with her husband, saying, "As we have lived together, so we shall die together." There was a scene filmed that depicted this moment but was cut from the final version. It was Mrs Straus who originally said "Where you go, I go" that inspired Rose's same line in the film.
  • Goofs (at around 34 mins) Rose mentions Sigmund Freud 's ideas on the male preoccupation with size to Bruce. Freud did not publish the work relating to this until 1920 in "The Pleasure Principle." Also, up until 1919, Freud relied solely on data from females.

Jack : [to Ruth and other guests dining at their table] Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.

Molly Brown : Well said, Jack.

  • Crazy credits In the final credits, the name of musician Ian Underwood is incorrectly reported as Ian Underworld.
  • Alternate versions When aired on TNT, the scene where Jack is drawing Rose is a different take. The board that he uses to write on is higher to cover up any of her nude body.
  • Connections Edited into Natural World: The Iceberg That Sank the Titanic (2006)
  • Soundtracks My Heart Will Go On Music by James Horner Lyrics by Will Jennings Performed by Céline Dion Produced by James Horner and Simon Franglen Celine Dion performs courtesy of 550 Music/Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.

User reviews 3.3K

  • Aug 9, 1998
  • How long is Titanic? Powered by Alexa
  • Did Titanic sink on April 14th or 15th?
  • Was the wreck in the movie the real Titanic?
  • Jack mentions he saw a kiss to the hand in a nickelodeon once and always wanted to do it. What does he mean by "nickelodeon"?
  • December 19, 1997 (United States)
  • United States
  • Titanic wreck, Titanic Canyon, North Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean (location)
  • Twentieth Century Fox
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Lightstorm Entertainment
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro
  • $200,000,000 (estimated)
  • $674,292,608
  • $28,638,131
  • Dec 21, 1997
  • $2,264,743,305

Technical specs

  • Runtime 3 hours 14 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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Critics Consensus

A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama. Read critic reviews

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James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era -- the "ship of dreams" -- which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Rating: PG-13 (Disaster Related Peril|Brief Language|Nudity|Sensuality|Violence)

Genre: History, Drama, Romance

Original Language: English

Director: James Cameron

Producer: James Cameron , Jon Landau

Writer: James Cameron

Release Date (Theaters): Dec 19, 1997  wide

Rerelease Date (Theaters): Dec 1, 2017

Release Date (Streaming): Jun 1, 2014

Box Office (Gross USA): $658.8M

Runtime: 3h 15m

Distributor: 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures

Production Co: 20th Century Fox, Lightstorm Entertainment, Paramount Pictures

Sound Mix: Dolby Stereo, Dolby SR, Surround, SDDS, DTS, Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1), 70mm

Cast & Crew

Leonardo DiCaprio

Jack Dawson

Kate Winslet

Rose DeWitt Bukater

Caledon 'Cal' Hockley

Kathy Bates

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Frances Fisher

Ruth DeWitt Bukater

Gloria Stuart

Rose Dawson Calvert

Bill Paxton

Brock Lovett

Bernard Hill

Captain Edward John Smith

Jonathan Hyde

J. Bruce Ismay

Victor Garber

Thomas Andrews

David Warner

Spicer Lovejoy

Danny Nucci

Fabrizio DeRossi

Lizzy Calvert

Bernard Fox

Colonel Archibald Gracie

Richard Fox

Emmett James

1st Class Steward

James Cameron


Rae Sanchini

Executive Producer

James Horner

Original Music

Russell Carpenter


Conrad Buff IV

Film Editing

Richard A. Harris

Gilly Poole

Peter Lamont

Production Design

Martin Laing

Art Director

Michael Ford

Set Decoration

Deborah Lynn Scott

Costume Design

News & Interviews for Titanic

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Know Your Critic: Nguyên Lê, Freelance Film Critic

“Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong” About… Titanic

Critic Reviews for Titanic

Audience reviews for titanic.

Unpopular to say now but I believe that the movie was deserving of the awards and acclaim. Near perfectly executed popular entertainment. Thrilling, romantic, often very silly, and ultimately quite emotionally satisfying.

titanic summary of the movie

Peak filmmaking on the grandest scale and THE most monumentally produced, impeccably designed, and harrowingly epic film I have ever seen. 'Titanic' will never not leave me utterly floored. It's been several months since I last watched this, so I'm trying to remain calm…but it just means so damn much when you cherish the commitment and physical craft a production like this takes and how miraculous it is, not only that Cameron's film turned out this spectacularly, but that we will likely never see an undertaking of this caliber ever again. That deafening mechanical roar when the all the lights go out, like a groaning beast from the deep....chills every time.

"Titanic" is an amazing drama/romantic movie of 1997. The plot to "Titanic" is that a group of scientists discover the sunken ship named "Titanic". A woman hears about this and calls up the scientists and claims to have been a first class passenger on the almighty ship "Titanic", she tells them about her survival and love affair she had on the ship. The movie's opening scene is showing footage of the "Titanic" leaving its dock. The last hour of the movie is just pretty much just "Jack" portrayed by "Leonard Dicaprio" and "Rose" portrayed by "Kate Winslet" trying to find a way off of "Titanic", which is suspenseful but can drag on from time to time. "Titanic's" climax is exciting, suspenseful and thrilling at the same time. The plot to the movie is excellent, but there are some issues and unanswered questions at the end of the movie. The acting in this movie is superb; "Leonardo Dicaprio" and "Kate Winslet" are two incredible actors and are stunning in this movie. "James Horner" does a great job at capturing the romance between "Jack" and "Rose". He also does a perfect job at making suspenseful and thrilling music. "James Cameron" is definitely one of cinema's greatest movie directors, he shoots movies beautifully and "Titanic" is no exception. He doesn't shake the camera or use close ups, no he captures a scene perfectly. If you are a person who either enjoys "Cameron's" movies or are a fan of the "Unsinkable Ship" then I highly recommend do you watch "Titanic" as it is an amazing drama/romantic with amazing acting, superb music and a beautifully shot movie of 1997. Although the movie does have some issues, these issues being some unanswered questions and the last hour dragging on and on. I give 1997's "Titanic" a 9/10.

I saw this on DVD for the first time in 2014 as part of a DVD binge weekend during 4 days of snow. I liked it because it has a real story--although in retrospect the poor rich girl who was going to kill herself because her fiance was too rich or too controlling was a little over the top, but this is from the perspective of a woman (me) who has lived all that drama decades ago. The sets were outstanding. Really captured the sense of what it was like to be trapped on a sinking ship --talk about being trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. The class warfare was interesting. Still fighting that. Nit pick: why did Rose keep the multi-million dollar necklace? It was given to her by someone she hated and it was more like a handcuff. And then why did she dump it into the ocean--I got that it was supposed to close a chapter on her life, but it was the wrong symbol. And she has this granddaughter--did she ever think maybe the granddaughter could use a little help paying off her student loans? As I say, those are nit picks, It was a good movie.

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Titanic (1997 film)

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Titanic is a 1997 romance-disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron , starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in the lead roles . Titanic tells the story of the RMS  Titanic 's ill-fated Maiden Voyage from the perspective of fictional characters, Jack Dawson , a poor, Third Class artist, and Rose DeWitt Bukater , a First Class teenager who is to be married to a wealthy but abusive man , and shows the two passengers from different social classes meeting and falling in love on the RMS Titanic before it sinks after colliding with an iceberg.

At the time, Titanic was the most expensive film ever made (costing approximately US $200 million), partially funded by Paramount Pictures in the United States and Canada and 20 th Century Fox internationally. It was the highest-grossing film of 1997, beating The Lost World: Jurassic Park , Men in Black , Batman & Robin , Hercules , Tomorrow Never Dies , The Fifth Element , Anastasia , Flubber and Alien Resurrection . Titanic achieved critical and commercial success on its release. Critics also praised the performances of DiCaprio, Winslet, & Stuart. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time for 12 years before being dethroned by 2009's Avatar , also directed by James Cameron.

A 3D version of Titanic was released in theaters on April 4 th , 2012 to commemorate the 100 th anniversary of the sinking disaster event. 11 years later, the film would return to theaters on February 10 th , 2023 in honor of the 25th anniversary of it's original theatrical release.

  • 1.1 After the iceberg collision
  • 1.2 After the rescue
  • 2 Characters
  • 3 Televised Edits
  • 5.1 Factual errors
  • 5.2 Set inaccuracies
  • 5.3 Character errors
  • 6.1 Trailers
  • 7.1 Posters
  • 7.2 Screenshots
  • 7.3 Behind the scenes
  • 8 External Links

The film begins in 1996, where a treasure hunting team, led by Brock Lovett , dives to the wreck of the Titanic aboard one of the submersibles of Akademik Mstislav Keldysh in their search for a necklace with a rare diamond, known as the Heart of the Ocean . They discover a safe and upon opening it, fail to find the diamond except a nude drawing of a woman wearing the said jewelry. The sketch is dated April 14 th , 1912, the same day the Titanic struck the iceberg that caused it to sink . The discovery gains the attention of an elderly pottery businesswoman named Rose Dawson-Calvert and her granddaughter, Lizzy . After contacting the team and revealing her identity as the woman in the drawing, Rose and Lizzy are flown to the Keldysh where they meet the team and take up residence there. After the team exhibits the artifacts recovered from the wreck and gives forensic detail on the sinking, Rose reveals her story about her experiences onboard the doomed luxury liner 84 years ago.

The film flashes back to April 10 th , 1912, where a 17-year old Rose, then known as Rose DeWitt Bukater is returning to America on Titanic with her fiancée Caledon Nathan "Cal" Hockley and mother Ruth DeWitt Bukater . Despite being from a very wealthy background, Rose finds herself trapped in this marriage so that Cal can have his trophy wife and Ruth can get the money from Cal's family to pay off the debts from her late husband. Not long into the journey after departing from Queenstown , Rose decides that suicide is the only way out.

Jack Dawson is a traveler who never stays in one place for long. He finds himself in a bar at a poker game with two Swedish men who are about to board Titanic . One of the Swedish men bets their Titanic tickets and Jack wins the game, and thus the tickets, with a full house. So Jack and his Italian friend, Fabrizio De Rossi take their winnings and board the Titanic . They befriend the proud Irishman Thomas "Tommy" Ryan and whilst hanging out on the Poop Deck , Jack catches the eye of a beautiful woman on A-Deck , and he's completely fixated on her.

That night, Jack is relaxing on a bench with a cigarette when a woman, no less the same woman he saw during the day, runs past him. Jack investigates and sees that the woman about to commit suicide by jumping off the stern of the ship. Jack intervenes and convinces her to reconsider this idea but as she climbs back over, Rose slips but is saved by Jack. Because she's hanging on one arm, she screams in panic, which draws the attention of some seamen. When they arrive and find Rose on her back with Jack besides her with his shoes off, Quartermaster George Rowe assumes that Jack tried to assault the young woman and summons for the Master-at-Arms . Later, Cal and Spicer Lovejoy arrive at the scene. Caledon is angry and shakes Jack, asking him what he was thinking. Rose makes up a story about her attempting to see the propellers, to cover Jack and hide the fact that she was attempting to kill herself. Jack plays along and with this revelation, Jack is recognized as a hero by Colonel Archibald Gracie and invited to dine at First Class as a reward. However, Cal's right hand man Lovejoy was a smart detective once, and deducts that the story of him saving Rose is fishy based on Dawson's untied shoes.

The next day, Jack and Rose take a stroll around the Boat Deck and they have a bit of an argument after Jack asks straightforward questions about her relationship with Caledon, which upsets Rose who feels he's being rude. Rose discovers that Jack is a great drawer and Jack tells her the story behind the drawings he's kept in a bundle. After a brief encounter with Ruth, Jack prepares himself for dining in First Class , with help from Margaret "Molly" Brown . The dinner goes well as the First Class passengers take a liking to Jack. Much later, the party breaks apart and the men retreat to the Smoking Room , of which Jack refuses the offer to join in on. Before leaving, Jack passes a note to Rose, requesting to meet him at the clock of the Grand Staircase .

When doing so, Rose is invited to a "real party" in Third Class where there is Irish dancing. Jack, Rose, Fabrizio, and Tommy dance with many others to happy music. Jack and Rose at one point own the dance floor before the entire party begins a daisy chain. Unknown to anyone, Lovejoy is watching and reports Rose's actions to Cal. Rose returns to her stateroom for lunch with Cal, where he reveals his anger at what Rose did and instructs her to stay away from Jack. Soon after, Ruth reminds Rose why it is so important for the family that she marries Cal, telling her also that she is forbidden to see 'that boy' again.

The next day, Jack attempts to see Rose again during a church service but is led away by Lovejoy. He sneaks up to the Boat Deck by stealing a First Class passenger's hat and jacket. Rose and Cal at the time are being taken on a tour by Thomas Andrews , where it is revealed there are not enough lifeboats for everyone on board. During the tour, Rose is stolen away by Jack who informs her that her family has got her trapped and that her soul is gonna die if she doesn't break free and Rose reluctantly turns Jack down and instructs him to never approach her again, as she states she has already chosen Cal. After sitting at tea with some women, watching a little girl being corrected by her mother in the lounge, whilst her own mother humiliates Rose for choosing a lavender color for her bridesmaid's gowns, she changes her mind after she realizes that her heart truly belongs with Jack.

As the sun sets, Jack is staring in the distance in sadness and stands at the bow, thinking he has lost the woman he loved, but Rose appears behind him, revealing that she changed her mind. Without saying another word, he tells her to close her eyes and guides her up on the railings at the front. When she opens her eyes, Rose feels as if she is flying and the two kiss for the first time. Back in 1996, old Rose reveals that this is the last time Titanic ever saw daylight.

Jack and Rose return to Rose's stateroom where Rose requests that Jack draw her wearing the Heart of the Ocean and nothing else. Jack remains a professional and carries out the duties requested by him from a paying customer. But as they admire his work, Jack and Rose are forced to make their escape from the stateroom as Lovejoy returns because Caledon was getting anxious that she still was not around. The duo run away and hurry down the ship as Lovejoy gives chase after Jack and Rose. The duo manages to evade the bodyguard when they escape into the belly of the ship and enter a decompressing chamber to slide down a ladder to the Boiler Rooms.

Jack and Rose reach the cargo hold at the front of the ship and make love in the backseat of a car. Afterward, the lovers make their way up to C Deck where Rose reveals that when the ship docks in New York , she wants to leave with Jack. Their love is true and they are together. Above them in the crow’s nest, Frederick Fleet watches the lovebirds but as he returns to looking ahead with Reginald Lee , an iceberg at that moment appears out of the darkness, directly in the path of Titanic . Fleet sounds the bell and phones the bridge. James Paul Moody responds and is informed by Fleet that there is an iceberg right ahead. Moody informs William Murdoch , who orders Robert Hichens to turn the ship "Hard to Starboard" and the Titanic begins to evade the oncoming iceberg. Murdoch also switches the engine telegraph to "Full Astern" to slow down the ship. In the engine room and boiler rooms, the engine to the center propeller is stopped, and the port and starboard propellers reverse directions at full speed, slowing down the ship. The crew manages to avoid a head-on, but it is not enough, and Titanic collides with the iceberg on the starboard side, punching holes into the hull through five watertight compartments, allowing thousands of gallons of seawater to surge into the ship. Jack and Rose to watch as the iceberg grazes alongside the ship, sending small chunks of ice falling onto the decks. Murdoch closes the watertight doors as the ship clears the iceberg, though the catastrophe has just begun...

After the iceberg collision [ ]

Aware of the collision, Jack and Rose return to the latter's stateroom to inform Cal and Ruth. In the corridor, they meet up with Lovejoy and they arrive to find the Master-of-Arms there, as well. Security officers search Jack and find the missing Heart of the Ocean in his coat. A confused Rose watches as Jack is taken away by security as she is led up to the boat deck with Cal and Ruth. Meanwhile, In the crew quarters, important figures gather, including Captain Edward John Smith , Joseph Bruce Ismay , and Thomas Andrews . The crew had inspected the damage and Andrews had a final verdict. Here, Andrews reveals that Titanic has taken too much water and that within an hour, or two at most, she will sink. Crew members begin to gather passengers to be put into lifeboats. The atmosphere on the ship is calm as many passengers are unaware of the danger that they are in.

As women and children are to take the lifeboats above men, Ruth and Molly board one and Rose is invited too but her heart still remains with Jack and flees. Ruth's lifeboat is then lowered into the water despite her protest. Rose climbs down the decks and runs into Thomas Andrews, who reveals the location of Jack. Rose rides the elevator down to E-Deck and makes her to way to the room where Jack is handcuffed to a thick white pipe. After a lover’s reunion, Rose goes off to find help to free Jack. But after finding help from bystanders to no avail, she uses a fire ax to break Jack free, and they begin their escape to the Boat Deck.

As they reach the Boat Deck, Jack and Rose find most of the lifeboats gone, but as they run to one of the remaining lifeboats they run into Cal. Cal gives Rose his coat to keep her warm and says there is a lifeboat waiting for Rose, to which she boards. Cal promises there is a boat on the other side that he and Jack can board. Rose's boat begins to lower into the water but as the boat reaches A-Deck , Rose jumps back to the Titanic . Jack races to meet her at the Grand Staircase and she says she will not leave without him. Above on the Boat Deck, Cal watches in anger when he finally realizes he has lost his trophy wife to a Third Class gutter rat. Cal steals Lovejoy's gun and attempts to kill Jack and Rose, who run for their lives down the Grand Staircase to the flooding middle part of E-Deck. Cal meanwhile has given up the pursuit after his bullets were gone. Cal also realizes he left the Heart of the Ocean in his coat pocket which he gave to Rose and laughs, which Lovejoy does not appreciate.

Jack and Rose run through the Pantry down a staircase and find a young, barefoot 3 year old Slovakian boy standing in the water of the rapidly flooding hallway. They attempt to rescue him but his father has come back for him and he pushes Jack away. Jack, Rose, the boy, and his dad are caught in fast-flowing water as the doors to the next hallway give way from the pressure. As they attempt to escape to the higher decks, they find themselves trapped by a locked gate. A steward passes by and after pleas from Jack and Rose he tries to free them by unlocking the gate but accidentally drops his keys, gives up, and moves on. After picking up the keys and coming close to drowning in the rising water, Jack unlocks the gate and they escape back up to the Boat Deck, but not before making a stop in the First Class Smoking Room where they find Thomas Andrews looking stunned to the painting above of the fireplace. He sees them and gives up his lifejacket to Rose. He apologises for not building a stronger vessel and they say goodbye.

At the forward Boat Deck, the last two Collapsibles are prepared, but with no luck, as they are tied to the Officer's Quarters and getting them off is difficult. Boat B falls upside down on deck and Boat A was attached to the davits and crashes down a provisional slide, made with oars, the right way up. First Officer Murdoch then starts to control the big crowd that is gathered. Cal reminds him of their deal, but he throws Cal's money back at him and pushes him back, looking at all the men, at gunpoint. Some are being pushed, and Tommy gets shot. In shock and loaded with guilt, Murdoch shoots himself through the head and falls in the water which is now only 5 feet below.

Cal then made a plan and he managed to take a seat by carrying a lost, crying, Third Class child he spotted earlier. Hockley gets onboard but there is no time and the water is coming on up the bridge. The musicians play for the last time, the song 'Nearer My God to Thee' and we see various people preparing to meet their end, a Third Class mother and her children in their cabin, Thomas Andrews in the Smoking Room, the Captain on the bridge and the Strauss couple, also in their cabin which is flooding.

With the music ending, and all the lifeboats gone, all the passengers panic and most head of in the direction of the stern, or jump off the ship. Titanic's propellors are now visible and they start to rise from the water. Jack grabs Rose to run aft and say that they must stay on board as long as possible. As Titanic sinks further and the stern gets higher, Jack and Rose fight their way to the very back of the ship. As they grab the railing to secure themselves on the steep angle, Rose reminds Jack that this is the place where they first met. At the same this time, the forward funnel collapses, killing Fabrizio and several others, the dome of the Grand Staircase implodes, flooding the staircase rapidly, and the electric lights pop. Water also crashes through the windows.

Around 2:18 A.M, Titanic reaches an angle of over 45 degrees and it's still increasing. All sorts of furniture, plates and other loose objects can be seen and heard falling and crashing through the ship. Many passengers cling on while others fall and slide of the decks. Rose's mother and Molly Brown look in horror at the scene from a distance in lifeboat 6, and Bruce Ismay in Collapsible C cannot bear watching it. The Engineer's in the Electric Rooms are still hanging on, desperately trying to keep the lights on but one gets a massive electric shots and Titanic's lights instantly go out, plunging the ship in darkness. When her structure can no longer hold the weight, the keel starts to crack, and she splits between the third and fourth funnels. As the ship splits, Lovejoy is caught and killed within the gap and the stern falls back into the ocean. The forward section sinks completely, but the keel is still attached to the stern which begins to rise again. With no one knowing what is going to happen, the stern quickly rises into a vertical position as Jack and Rose climb over the railing. The stern reaches 90 degrees, standing vertical above the ocean surface. For a moment it stays like that, but then, Titanic , broken in half and facing the dark ocean floor, begins her final descent into the darkness. Jack tells Rose to hold her breath as the ship of dreams disappears below the water, never to be seen again for 73 years.

Jack is caught in the suction of the Titanic but he makes his way to the surface and reunites with Rose. They manage to swim to a floating panel of the one of the ship's Grand Staircases, which seems to only be able to support one person's weight, so Rose climbs on top. Jack assures Rose that lifeboats will be returning soon to rescue them. But as time passes many people die from the freezing water. Jack makes Rose promise him that she will never give up. As a lifeboat returns to the crowd of the dead, Rose sings 'Oh Josephine in my Flying Machine ' , remembering when she was at the bow with Jack. As she spots a flashing light from the incoming lifeboat, Rose attempts to wake up Jack but after a few moments, realizes he has died from the cold . Rose almost decides to give up, but then remembers that she promised Jack that she would never give up. Rose uses the last of her energy to swim to a nearby officer and blows the whistle that he had used which alerts the lifeboat and she is rescued.

After the rescue [ ]

The film returns to 1996, with Old Rose revealing that only 6 of 1500 were rescued from the water. Back in 1912, Rose sees the RMS Carpathia . Aboard the rescuing vessel, Rose spots Cal looking for her but she hides under a hood. Rose reveals to the crew of the Keldysh that Cal eventually remarried, but on October 29 th , 1929, he committed suicide by gunshot in a fit of grief after he lost all of his money in the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Carpathia arrives in New York and passes the Statue of Liberty in the rain. When a crew member asks for her name, Rose tells him that it's Rose Dawson.

Rose walks over to the stern of the Keldysh and concludes by revealing that she had actually been in possession of the Heart of the Ocean all these years after finding it in the coat that Cal gave to her. Having finally returned to where it all happened, Rose drops the diamond into the ocean so it will rest where it belongs. As Rose slept that night, photos reveal she lived the life that she planned with Jack, such as learning to ride a horse. In Heaven (or a dream) , the wreck is shown becoming what she had been before the sinking. Rose enters the Grand Staircase once more, and is reunited with Jack at the top of the stairs at the clock in the Grand Staircase, surrounded by passengers that perished in the sinking. The movie ends with the young couple embracing and sharing a kiss as the passengers applaud, followed by the bright light shining through the window covering the entire screen which concludes the movie.

Characters [ ]

  • Rose DeWitt Bukater played by Kate Winslet (young) and Gloria Stuart (old)
  • Jack Dawson played by Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Caledon Hockley played by Billy Zane
  • Margaret Brown played by Kathy Bates
  • Ruth DeWitt Bukater played by Frances Fisher
  • Brock Lovett played by Bill Paxton
  • Captain Smith played by Bernard Hill
  • Spicer Lovejoy played by David Warner
  • Thomas Andrews played by Victor Garber

Televised Edits [ ]

  • Rose browsing through Jack's sketches is shortened so as to not show any nudity.
  • When Jack draws Rose in the nude, he draws in a pad to cover some of her breasts.
  • The camera angle is raised so as to askew Rose's breasts and the top of her buttocks.
  • When they are nude in the car while having sex with each other, Jack would then kiss Rose which cuts to commercials.
  • The original NBC broadcast removes the scene where Jack draws Rose.
  • In the TBS, TNT and AMC airings Jack's canvas is digitally raised so Rose's nudity can not be seen. TBS and TNT also have the see through robe Rose wears digitally colored black.
  • This is the second film version to show Lifeboat 7 as the first to leave the Titanic .
  • This is one of the only movies to show actual footage of the real Titanic wreck, as shown in the dream scene/Heaven.
  • The movie's 3D reissue has certain alterations to it the most notable exception is an editing of the sky as Rose is looking up prior to being rescued. With the help of an astronomer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, James Cameron was able to correctly depict the morning sky.

Historical inaccuracies [ ]

Factual errors [ ].

  • When lifeboat 14 is seeing the lights of their rescue ship, Lowe waves with Green Roman candle bonfire. Lowe did not actually do this. Fourth Officer Boxhall , who has very little screen time in this movie, actually lit the Green Roman candles from lifeboat 2 to attract Carpathia's attention.
  • When the ship breaks, its breakup is between the third and fourth funnels, which is inaccurate, as the bow wreck doesn't have the area of the third funnel.
  • Lifeboat 10 was not the third boat to be lowered from the port side. It was lifeboat 16 . Lifeboat 10 was the last of the aft port boats, launched at 1:45 A.M.
  • Emergency lifeboat 2 was not launched until 1:50.
  • When we see that they are releasing Collapsible A and B, they hang on the davits where lifeboats 3 and 4 were launched, Collapsible A was placed on the davits where emergency lifeboat 1 and Collapsible C were launched. Collapsible B was not placed on the davits because it was overturned.
  • The cabin occupied by Rose is the same cabin that Bruce Ismay occupied.
  • In the film, the myth that Third Class passengers were locked in the lower decks is depicted. In reality this did not happen: the gates were closed in the days prior to the sinking so that Third Class passengers did not transmit diseases to the second and first class passengers. During the sinking, the doors were opened and the passengers were allowed to escape. The death toll was more likely to be due to the low number of lifeboats.
  • While Lifeboat 7 is correctly depicted as the first lifeboat launched, it is incorrectly depicted as nearly spilling its passengers into the Atlantic, an event that actually occurred in Lifeboat 5 .
  • While the Santa Monica pier was opened September 9 th , 1909, attractions weren't added to the pier till 1916.
  • Titanic did not reach 45 degrees but 25-30 degrees duing the sinking

Set inaccuracies [ ]

  • When Rose is on E-Deck, there is a corridor that leads to the crew area on the right side of the elevators . In reality this corridor did not exist on the Titanic .
  • Areas such as the Crew zones, The Scotland Road or Third Class Corridors look different to their real life counterparts.
  • The cut-outs for the first class promenade and B-Beck near the bridge seemed to be spaced apart than the real life counterparts

Character errors [ ]

  • Jack Dawson's hairstyle did not become popular until 1930.
  • The bags that Jack and Fabrizio carry were not created until 1939 during World War II.
  • Murdoch never committed suicide. However, his suicide in the film was based on several witness accounts of an officer shooting himself and two other officers shooting two men during a rush for the lifeboats, the firing of the guns done to enforce a women and children first policy. It is rumored that Murdoch either shot a passenger or was the suicide victim, while others contradicting this, stating that an unnamed officer had done the act, while Murdoch was lowering the lifeboats.
  • Margaret Brown threatened Robert Hichens with throwing him out of the boat in real life, but in the movie the event was exchanged. She is also nicknamed Molly Brown although her nickname was actually Maggie. Margaret Brown did not receive that nickname until later in her life.
  • There is a suggestion that more First Class women lost their lives since in Rose's dream you see women who appear to be First Class.
  • Fifth Officer Lowe is seen firing three warning shots with a Webley revolver that belongs to the ship. The real Lowe actually carried his personal sidearm, a FN Model 1900.

Trailers [ ]

Titanic - -TBT Trailer - 20th Century FOX

Gallery [ ]

Posters [ ].


Screenshots [ ]

Grand Staircase in Titanic (1997)

Behind the scenes [ ]

20200713 075559

External Links [ ]

  • Titanic on the Internet Movie Database
  • Titanic on Wikipedia
  • For an original James Cameron script .
  • The original treatment
  • 1 Heart of the Ocean
  • 2 Rose DeWitt Bukater
  • 3 Caledon Hockley

by James Cameron

Titanic summary and analysis of part 1.

The film opens with sepia-toned images of the RMS Titanic embarking from Southampton, England, then shifts to the present day, where an array of deep-sea submersibles are descending upon the wreckage of the Titanic . Inside one of the vessels, team leader Brock Lovett records video footage and muses over the grandeur of the ruins. Brock's partner, Lewis, remotely pilots a drone into the shipwreck and finds a safe, which the men excitedly recover and bring to the surface. The jubilant team expects to find priceless treasure, but Brock is disappointed to find nothing but muddy papers inside the safe. Preservation archivists aboard the ship clean the papers and find an intriguing portrait of a nude woman wearing an enormous diamond necklace.

Elsewhere in America, a 101-year old woman named Rose Calvert catches a glimpse of Brock on television explaining how he recovered the drawing. She calls Brock and asks him whether he has found, "the heart of the ocean," and tells him that she is the subject of the portrait. Brock swiftly flies her out to the research vessel, though Lewis remains skeptical. After Rose settles into her new abode at sea, Brock shows her the portrait and explains that his team is primarily after a massive jewel known as "the heart of the ocean," believed to have been lost at sea.

Rose examines other recovered artifacts, like a silver mirror and a butterfly brooch, then listens as Lewis talks her through a CGI model of how forensic experts believe the Titanic sank: first by plunging into the water by the bow, then cracking in half down the middle, and finally vanishing underwater. Rose is at first overcome with emotion but remains determined to provide her testimony to Brock, Lewis, and the others. As Rose launches into her tale, the film flashes back to April 15th, 1912, the day the Titanic set sail from Southampton.

A young Rose steps out of a coach, accompanied by her fiancé Cal Hockley , and her mother Ruth. The trio board the Titanic , which Rose remembers as a "slave" ship consigning her to a miserable marriage in America. At a bar nearby, a penniless artist named Jack Dawson is immersed in a high-stakes poker match where two tickets for the Titanic have been wagered. Jack wins the bet five minutes before Titanic is due to depart, and sprints off to the ship with his friend Fabrizio, and they barely make it aboard. Jack and Fabrizio wave goodbye as the ship departs, and settle into their third class cabin as Rose and Cal unload artwork in their ostentatious suite in first class. Cal expresses distaste for the works of Pablo Picasso, whom Rose admires.

In voice-over, Rose recounts other notable passengers aboard the Titanic such as "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown , heir to a recent gold fortune. Jack and Fabrizio rush to the ship's bow and peer over the edge, spotting dolphins, and Jack ecstatically spreads his arms and shouts, "I'm the king of the world!" In first class, Rose, her mother, and Cal dine with Molly, along with Thomas Andrews, the architect of the Titanic , and J. Bruce Ismay, the director of the White Star Line. After provoking Cal's ire by smoking at the table, and offending her mother with an off-color remark about Freud, Rose excuses herself from the table and goes on deck. While talking to a fellow third-class passenger named Tommy Ryan, Jack spots Rose from afar, and Fabrizio and Tommy tease Jack about his starstruck expression.

Desperately unhappy as Cal's fiancee, Rose remembers running to the back of the ship on the first night, intending to throw herself off. She steps entirely over the railing before Jack, smoking a cigarette nearby, approaches her and tries to coax her back. Taking off his shoes, Jack tells her that if she jumps, he will have to jump in after her, even though icy water feels like, "a thousand knives." Rose finally relents and grabs Jack's hand, but slips on her dress and hangs precariously over the edge of the ship before Jack pulls her back over, collapsing to the ground.

Hearing Rose's screams, White Star Line officials descend on the scene, assuming she has been attacked. After Cal arrives, Rose improvises a lie about wanting to see the ship's propellers and slipping, before being saved. In return for saving Rose's life, Cal gives Jack twenty dollars, and at Rose's behest, invites him to dinner the following evening. Cal's valet, Spicer Lovejoy, makes a comment to Jack that suggests he remains skeptical of Rose's account. Later that night in their cabin, Cal gives Rose "the Heart of the Ocean," a diamond necklace, as a gift.

James Cameron 's Titanic aspires throughout to blend historical fact with fictional narrative, incorporating real-life historical figures, diligently researched settings, and reported testimony into its dramatization of the British passenger liner's doomed voyage across the North Atlantic. The decision to open the film with sepia-toned moving images of the ship's departure, which resemble stock footage but are actually a carefully staged recreation, reflects Cameron's desire to use the medium of cinema to magically transport audiences back to one of the most well known historical tragedies of the twentieth century.

Cameron uses the character Brock Lovett, and his mission to recover the "Heart of the Ocean," as a frame narrative for the film's major plot arc: the sweeping love story between penniless artist Jack Dawson and heiress-to-be Rose Dewitt Bukater. Cameron successfully convinced studio executives to allow him to descend into the North Atlantic via the Russian vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh to obtain firsthand footage of the RMS Titanic , the wreckage of which was only discovered in 1985. Brock's character develops from a cynical treasure hunter to a compassionate observer of history after hearing the full extent of Rose's tale.

The "Heart of the Ocean," a massive jewel valued at more than the Hope Diamond, is one of the film's key symbols, at once capturing the mystery of love, the power of memory, and the folly of greed, pride, and excess. Brock's dogged pursuit of the diamond is the plot device that leads to Rose's testimony, but ironically, by the end of the film, the power of her recollections has bewitched Brock and the others so entirely that his hunt for the jewel falls by the wayside. Rose's insistence on setting up picture frames in her bedroom aboard the research vessel reflects the premium she places on her memories. Other recovered artifacts, like Rose's butterfly brooch and silver mirror, also spur her memory, becoming symbols of loss and the passage of time.

The film stages a show-stopping, opulently-produced sequence to represent the grandeur of the Titanic 's departure from Southampton. Cameron exploits the fact that audiences knew the fate of the Titanic by making liberal use of foreshadowing in the film's script, such as when Cal Hockley declares, "God himself could not sink this ship!" or when Jack tells Fabrizio, "We're the luckiest sons-of-bitches in the world!" Class is also a key theme in Titanic: Cameron joked that the film's vilification of the super-rich approached "Marxist dogma," and originally pitched Titanic as " Romeo and Juliet on a boat," given the seemingly-insurmountable obstacles that continually keep Jack and Rose apart.

As a vessel containing a vibrant cross-section of society, the ship is a fantasy space that creates possibilities between people who would typically never meet. Jack, although a destitute artist, imagines himself to be a "king" on the ship. On the other hand, Rose, soon destined to be a queenlike figure in Philadelphia society, longs to be liberated, calling the Titanic a "slave ship." Whereas the bow of the ship is a space of power and limitless potential, the stern of the ship (where Jack and Rose meet as she is about to commit suicide) represents grief and loss. From the very beginning, Jack is fully prepared to sacrifice his life for Rose, reflecting the classic theme of "love at first sight" that also invites comparison to Romeo and Juliet.

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Titanic Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Titanic is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

how does the main character solve the problem?

Are you referring to Titanic? The problem isn't solved. The ship sinks: main characters die.

How do I submit a new Community Note?

I suggest you use the "Contact Us" button located on the bottom, left-hand side of the page.

What is the central idea of Below Deck: A Titanic Story?

Author please?

Study Guide for Titanic

Titanic study guide contains a biography of James Cameron, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Titanic
  • Titanic Summary
  • Character List
  • Director's Influence

Wikipedia Entries for Titanic

  • Introduction
  • Pre-production

titanic summary of the movie

Titanic Ending Explained: What Happens To Jack, Rose, And The Heart Of The Ocean

Let's revisit this 25-year-old classic.

Jack and Rose in Titanic

Despite losing its place on the list of highest grossing movies of all time more than a decade ago, James Cameron ’s 1997 epic romance disaster film remains one of the most important theatrical releases of all time. This is proven by the multiple re-releases that have been given to the Academy Award winner over the years, with the most recent having just debuted in honor of its 25th anniversary .

With the brief theatrical engagement, there are probably a lot of people who are planning to watch the timeless love story of Rose DeWitt Bukater ( Kate Winslet ) and Jack Dawson ( Leonardo DiCaprio ) on the doomed “unsinkable” ship for the first time in more than two decades or for the first time altogether , as shocking as that may sound. 

That being said, we have put together a breakdown of the Titanic ending that answers some of the lingering questions about the movie and the fateful voyage on which it was based. Take her to steam, Mr. Murdoch…

(Obviously, major Titanic spoilers ahead!)

What Happens To Jack At The End Of Titanic

Though he thinks winning a poker game would be his ticket to a new life, Jack Dawson’s lucky hand is nothing more than a quick trip to an early grave. After securing a ticket for the maiden voyage of the “unsinkable” ship in James Cameron’s Titanic , the artist and third-class passenger has a chance encounter with Rose DeWitt Bukater, which ultimately leads to the two young passengers falling madly in love, taking part in activities like dancing in a third-class dance hall, drawing perhaps the most iconic portrait in movie history , and seemingly distracting the night watch from seeing the deadly iceberg until it’s too late.

The epic love affair is short-lived, however, as only days after first meeting on the stern of the ship, the unlikely pair are torn apart by fate in the sinking of the Titanic. Though both survive the actual sinking of the ship, Jack freezes to death in the icy waters of the North Atlantic while awaiting rescue, leaving Rose floating alone on a door from the wreckage.

The Door Situation

This brings up perhaps the biggest debate of any ‘90s movies – was there enough room for Jack on the broken door? Over the years, Kate Winslet has called the situation “one of those unanswerable questions,” while Leonardo DiCaprio has refused to comment . However, Cameron has gone on to perform experiments that have proven that only one person could have survived on the door. 

What Happens To Rose At The End Of Titanic

While Jack Dawson’s story ends at the bottom of the ocean , Rose Dewitt Bukater is able to live a long, fulfilling life, eventually returning to the Titanic’s final resting place as an elderly woman (Gloria Stuart) to help Brock Lovett ( Bill Paxton ) in his search for the “Heart of the Ocean.” After letting go of Jack’s hands, but not his memory, Rose musters the strength to whistle for a lifeboat that has returned to search for survivors, eventually takes refuge on the Carpathia, and starts a new life in the United States as Rose Dawson.

Judging by the multiple photos in her home and state room aboard Brock’s ship, the Keldysh, Rose lived a long and fulfilling life. In the end, we see the young Rose returning to the Titanic once more, where she is greeted by Jack and the other passengers who lost their lives with the sinking of the ship, suggesting that either she passed away and has returned to him in spirit, or that she's dreaming of seeing him again. 

What If Rose Hadn’t Gotten Off The Lifeboat?

Rose went on to have a great and adventurous life after the Titanic disaster, but one must wonder what would have happened to the young woman if she hadn’t gotten off the lifeboat with her mother (Frances Fisher) and not gone back to rescue Jack, who was handcuffed to a pipe in the master-at-arms’ office. There’s a chance her upcoming wedding to Cal Hockley would have gone on as planned, though it is entirely possible Jack would have had enough of an impact on her that she would eventually break out on her own. 

We will never know, however, as the older Rose never mentions what happened to her mother after the sinking of the ship, though we do know that Cal didn’t survive the 1929 Stock Market Crash.

What Happens To The Heart Of The Ocean At The End Of Titanic

The Heart of the Ocean, the majestic and incredibly expensive necklace that Cal gave to Rose as an engagement gift, is, for a lack of a better term, the heart of Titanic , as much of the movie’s plot revolves around the diamond said to have been owned by Louis XVI before he lost his head in the late 18th century. The blue diamond and connected chain is at the center of some of the movie’s biggest moments – the reveal of the drawing early on, the actual drawing scene, and then a couple of major scenes in the final act – and so some explaining could be in order.

Throughout the movie, the older Rose acts as if she no longer has the Heart of the Ocean -- or at the very least, doesn't mention having it -- implying that it could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean with the ship. But in the final moments of the movie, we are treated to a flashback showing a younger Rose on the Carpathia when she realizes that the necklace is in the pocket of the coat Cal put her in while escaping the sinking ship. The action then cuts back to the 1990s, showing the older Rose climbing on the railing of the ship and dropping the stone back into the sea.

Addressing The Alternate Ending

There is also an alternate Titanic ending that was luckily never used in the final release. In this ending, Rose still drops the Heart of the Ocean into the sea, but instead of a quiet and somber moment with no dialogue, the scene unfolds with Brock, Rose’s granddaughter LIzzy Calvert (Suzy Amis), and others trying to stop her. Not using this ending, which was called “unnecessary” by the late Bill Paxton , was probably one of the best decisions James Cameron could have made with Titanic .  

How Many People Survived The Real-Life Sinking Of Titanic 

When the Titanic departed Southampton on April 10, 1912, it carried with it 2,240 passengers and crew, and more than 1,500 would never make it to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. According to History.com , a total of 706 people survived the ordeal, with only a small number reportedly being pulled from the frigid waters before the North Atlantic became their final resting place. 

One of those who were pulled to safety after the sinking of the ship was head baker Charles Joughin, who, according to McGill University , was reportedly the final survivor to leave the ship, spending time in the water for a total of two hours before being saved by a lifeboat and eventually brought to safety. Joughin was the basis for the character (played by Liam Tuohy) seen next to Rose and Jack on the stern of the ship in Titanic , though the fate of his onscreen counterpart is never revealed. 

Hopefully, that makes sense of the Titanic ending. If you want to read even more about the 1997 megahit, now would be a good time to read about the movie’s historical accuracy (or lack thereof).


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Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.

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Titanic Movie Poster

An epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the "unsinkable" Titanic, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era—the "ship of dreams"—which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

Rose DeWitt Bukater ( Kate Winslet ) is a 17-year-old, upper-class American suffocating under the rigid confines and expectations of Edwardian society who falls for a free-spirited young steerage passenger named Jack Dawson ( Leonardo DiCaprio ). Once he opens her eyes to the world that lies outside her gilded cage, Rose and Jack's forbidden love begins a powerful mystery that ultimately echoes across the years into the present. Nothing on earth is going to come between them—not even something as unimaginable as the sinking of Titanic.

titanic summary of the movie

Rewatching Titanic 25 years on reveals that the film's plot, like the ship, is full of holes

Analysis Rewatching Titanic 25 years on reveals that the film's plot, like the ship, is full of holes

Jack clings to the edge of a floating door in the freezing ocean, while Rose rides atop the wood in relative safety.

When it was released 25 years ago, James Cameron's Titanic was enormous. It made stars of its two leads, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Reviews overwhelmingly heaped praise not only on the technical aspects of the film but also the acting and storyline.

In 1997, Titanic was, in the oft-quoted line from the film, "king of the world".

At the time we were all swept up in the romantic tale of Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater, the star-crossed lovers whose infatuation on the doomed ship ended when Jack made the ultimate sacrifice, freezing in the icy Atlantic to save his truly beloved.

But over the years, critics and audiences alike have re-examined the film and found, like the ship itself, it is a bit of a wreck.

Titanic movie still image

When it was originally released, a  small   number  of  critics  deeply disliked Titanic.

Today,  more and more  people are re-evaluating their originally positive response to the film and are changing their opinions. From the characters, to the story, to the ending, there are a number of issues with Titanic that appear questionable at best, and deeply unsettling at worst.

It's even gone far enough that  some critics  are calling it the worst film ever made — but that may be taking it too far.

An unhealthy obsession

At the beginning of the film, we find upper-class Rose being forced into marriage with "Cal" Hockley by her widowed mother, Ruth, to save the family fortune and keep their status in society. So unhappy with her situation, Rose decides to jump from the ship. She is rescued by the penniless drifter, Jack.

So begins the plot of the film as the pair constantly run and hide from the authorities to be together.

Jack's relentless pursuit of Rose around the ship is obsessive. We learn virtually nothing about the character of Jack Dawson apart from him being a poor orphaned artist, he wants Rose, and he will do anything to have her — even though they've only known each other for a few days.

Is this a healthy relationship?

Rose is only 17 years old and possibly too inexperienced to identify a stalker or manipulator. Influenced by Jack's charm, Rose turns against her mother, fiancé and pretty much everyone else in her life.

And how could she not? On board the Titanic, almost every wealthy and upper-class person is portrayed as a villain while the people in third class, or steerage, are shown as a salt-of-the-earth, decent and virtuous. Rose's fiancé is at every turn just a mean, callous man who cares nothing for Rose or for anyone but himself.

Even when the ship is sinking, the officers on board discriminate against the steerage passengers, ensuring only the well-to-do board the lifeboats — just one of the many  historical inaccuracies .

All of the upper-class characters we meet on Titanic get little screen time, apart from when they are being desultory, cruel or malicious. They appear two-dimensional, lacking meaningful emotions.

One of the main themes of the film — that true love goes on beyond death — also appears overly sentimental and simplistic in modern times. We understand young teens often lack maturity in relationships and often  mistake  lust or infatuation for love.

Would Jack and Rose's relationship have lasted if Jack had survived? He was broke with no visible means of support. She was 17. Their love affair is a fantasy of no responsibility while on board the ship. Where would it have gone in the real world?

This directs us to another issue. Rose survives the sinking and goes on to marry another man and have a family with children and grandchildren. However, when Rose dies at the end of the film her "spirit" descends to the wreck of the ship where she is reunited with the "love of her life" Jack.

Surely this is a slap in the face to her deceased husband and family. She lived her entire life with these people, yet the film ends up with Rose in the afterlife with someone she knew for a few days.

Filled with holes

Often, critiquing films with modern sensibilities can be unfair. However, Titanic includes a fair number of issues that, even considered with the social mores of the time in which it was made, appear problematic.

This does not take away from the enjoyment many people have gained from the film over the years, and its technical brilliance. But it does give increased weight to the critics who spoke against the film in 1997.

Like the ship itself, the film Titanic is a relic of a different time. Revisiting it can make you wonder why you never noticed the holes in it in the first place.

Daryl Sparkes is a Senior Lecturer (Media Studies and Production) at the University of Southern Queensland. This piece first appeared on The Conversation .

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Did Titanic get the wrong ending?

Polygon Court hears the case for James Cameron’s alternate ending

Jack and Rose stare into each others’ eyes as the other Titanic passengers look on at the end of James Cameron’s Titanic

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While James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water has passed Titanic on the list of all-time top-grossing movies , his 1997 Oscar-winner recently got a boost from a 25th-anniversary theatrical rerelease that played to sold-out theaters and earned the film another $50 million worldwide. It’s a testimony to the power of Titanic ’s central love story and disaster movie thrills that even with the movie readily available for home viewing, fans are still willing to go see it again in theaters.

But one thing they won’t get in theaters is a chance to see the alternate ending of Titanic , a longer and more detailed cut that Cameron ultimately trimmed down to the minimalist version in the theatrical edit. Many argue Cameron made the right choice, and avoided sinking the movie’s final emotional beat. But are the audiences lining up to see Titanic again actually missing out?

At Polygon, we’re split. So we’re here to present our evidence and decide: Is the alternate ending of Titanic better than the original?

Polygon Court is now in session.

[ Ed. note: End spoilers ahead for two versions of Titanic .]

Opening statements: Titanic’s ending, momentarily explained

Tasha: Let’s start with a quick rundown on the two versions we’re debating here. James Cameron frames Titanic as a treasure hunt, where in 1996, salvager Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his crew are searching for “the Heart of the Ocean,” a massive blue diamond built into a necklace that supposedly went down with the Titanic. After finding a drawing of a nude woman wearing the Heart of the Ocean in the Titanic safe where they expected to find the diamond, they track down the subject of the painting, elderly socialite Rose (Gloria Stuart), to fill them in on her time on the Titanic in 1912 (when she was played by Kate Winslet).

In the theatrical ending, 1996 Rose slips out of bed after the story is over and quietly pulls the Heart of the Ocean out of her pocket and throws it into the sea. She had it all along as a keepsake of her doomed romance with young pauper Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), and didn’t tell Brock, his crew, or her adult granddaughter Lizzy (Suzy Amis), who’s also on the salvage boat. Then she goes back to bed and dreams of 1912. (Or maybe dies, and reunites with Jack? That’s my interpretation for sure, but some people definitely see it differently.)

In the longer original ending, Brock and Lizzy see her on deck and think she’s about to kill herself by jumping overboard. They confront her and see she has the necklace, and she lets Brock touch it and understand he’s never going to own it before she tosses it into the water. Otherwise, the ending is much the same. Does that sum up everything we need to know?

Patches: Let me stress the tonal difference of these two scenes: Backed by James Horner’s ethereal score, then a reprise of the classic theme, the official ending to Titanic plays out as a moment of quiet closure. The alternate ending is kind of like a Super Bowl commercial parody of the actual ending, where Old Rose is suddenly played by the rapping grandma from The Wedding Singer .

Presentation of evidence: Which Titanic is better?

Rose (Gloria Stuart), in close up, stands on the dock on the Titanic dive boat and stares at the stars

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: I get why Cameron went with the simpler version: It puts the emphasis on Rose and her emotions, and on the 1912 love story that makes this movie what it is. You don’t have to worry about anybody else’s feelings about chucking that diamond, and what it costs everyone else on that boat. But that leaves everybody else’s story unresolved! Poor Brock might just spend the rest of his life looking for a necklace he’s never going to find, while Rose just silently smirks about it! (Or, y’know, dies on his boat.) Do you just not care about anyone else’s feelings here?

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: If Brock spent three hours listening to Rose tell her story only to go back on the hunt for the Heart of the Ocean, then the man deserves the cloud of failure that comes with a Sisyphean task. Brock sucks! He’s charming enough in the movie, because Bill Paxton was a god among men.

But on some level, he’s the anti-Cameron. Devout Cameron-watchers know he’s spent unimaginable amounts of money and time building deep-sea submersibles just for the thrill of going where no man has gone before — or in the case of his actual Titanic wreckage dives, to feel the ghosts of the past. Brock just wants money. Cameron describes him in Titanic ’s screenplay as “a wiley [ sic ], fast-talking treasure hunter, a salvage superstar who is part historian, part adventurer and part vacuum cleaner salesman.” Emphasis on vacuum cleaner salesman — the guy is all hot air. I do not care about his feelings, and Rose is right to keep him in the dark about the Heart of the Ocean.

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: Brutal, Matt. Vacuum cleaner salesmen are people too! OK, if you don’t care about the emotions of the alt ending, how about the humor? Brock’s tech assistant Lewis (played by Lewis Abernathy) speaks for all of us when Rose hucks the diamond and he yells, “That really sucks, lady!” He’s right! And it’s cathartic! Brock and his team are running out of money, and they’ve spent three years of their lives on this thing Rose just whoopsies into the sea in front of them. She has the right — it’s hers, after all — but don’t Brock and Lewis also have the right to know their quest is over, and that this woman deliberately lied to them, stymied them, and cut them off at the knees? Isn’t glossing over all of that a little cheap?

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: Rose knows wealth does not buy happiness — see the prior two hours and 45 minutes! — and she’s actually helping Brock by making that priceless diamond disappear. In the alternate cut, he would know where to dive next. And to your point, Rose looks downright sinister in the alternate cut. She has a real Drag Me to Hell evil smile on her face as she dangles the Heart of the Ocean over the back of the ship, taunting Brock for his greed. It’s real first-draft stuff from Cameron, who, while no stranger to on-the-nose dialogue, knew this scene was everything he wanted to say, but shouldn’t say out loud. We know why it would be bad for Brock to have the Heart of the Ocean, and why Rose needs to unload its weight into the waters in order to move on — from her past and the mortal coil.

titanic summary of the movie

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: Hoo boy, you’re not selling me on the “It’s for your own good” angle. It takes a real sadist to say, “I’m financially ruining you and making the last three years of your life pointless, without even telling you about it… For your own good! You should be less materialistic!” But I’ll cede you the point on Rose’s “ain’t I a stinker” facial expression in the alt ending. That was a weird look.

One thing I don’t love about the alternate ending is the little moment of fake drama where everyone thinks Rose is about to jump into the sea and kill herself. It seems a cheap as a way to goose up the threat of the moment. But it does make for an interesting callback to young Rose contemplating suicide by similarly hanging off the railing of the Titanic when she’s in despair over the marriage she’s being forced into. I’m all for a visual and narrative callback between different eras in a story like this that spans so much time.

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: I am also all for visual and narrative callbacks between different eras in a story, but only when they’re not directed like scenes from Crash .

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: OK, c’mon, you don’t get anything out of the moment where Rose lets Brock hold the diamond he’s been looking for all this time, just for a moment, and he consciously makes the decision to let it go and not try to stop her? And then he laughs like a loon at the treasure he’s just let go?

Paxton himself said he was fine with the cuts and that his own story didn’t need resolution , but that’s the kind of thing actors say all the time when they’re trying to be good sports and promo their projects without complaining about their scenes getting cut. But I think he does strong work in this scene, and I really enjoy the way that he communicates Brock’s conflicted emotions in this moment. He knows he doesn’t have any right to the Heart of the Ocean if it isn’t salvage, he knows he can’t snatch it off this old lady and expect to keep it, but he’s also consciously choosing to let go of years of his life and who knows how much money, all for the sake of a stranger’s big symbolic moment. It’s meaningful!

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: I don’t think Paxton’s blowing smoke or remaining allegiant to his director when he says Cameron made the right move cutting resolution for his story out of the film. That’s because Brock is not a character in the story who requires resolution — he is the audience. This is Rose’s story, her romantic saga, her push to become an independent woman divorced from cultural norms. When viewed in isolation — the only way any of us gets to see this alternate ending — yeah, we get more of that sweet, sweet Paxton juice, but it’s not bearing the weight of the previous two-plus hours, seen completely through Rose’s eyes. By the actual ending, we’ve lost track of Brock’s search for the Heart of the Ocean, instead whisked through history. Just as he has.

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: Don’t you think her moment with the gem is more meaningful when she has an audience? She’s saying goodbye again to Jack, and to her youth, and to her life, effectively. I like having other people there to share the moment and understand the impact of it — particularly her granddaughter, who’s seeing Rose and her life in a new light in that moment. (And also watching her inheritance sink to the bottom of the sea. She has a right to know about that, too.)

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: Rose does not owe anyone jack shit! (Or Jack’s shit, for that matter.) When Rose walks out to the edge of the Brock’s ship in the actual finale of the film, she’s carrying a life well lived — and a romance that never died. Releasing the necklace untethers her from reality, and she’s able to drift into her memories of the Titanic, an ill-fated boat, and Jack, an unforgettable dreamboat. Who would want anyone around for that? Reminiscing about your dead lover is the definition of “me time.”

Closing arguments: Jury, consider the Titanics

The Heart of the Ocean neckalce sinks to the bottom of the ocean, with the camera pointing up to see the lights of the Titanic dive boat above

Tasha, the case for Titanic’s alt ending: I’ll just say this: Just as the sinking of the Titanic isn’t just Rose and Jack’s story — it’s a tragedy for so many people, and their suffering is important too — tossing a priceless diamond into the ocean as a dramatic gesture is more than just Rose’s moment. It’s worth considering the impact of what she does, and showing that on screen.

Patches, the case for Titanic’s original ending: With the alternate ending, Cameron intended to cram more Message into the final beat. The effect of the dialogue is basically him wagging his finger at the audience. Rose goes and on and on and on about how she made it to this stage in life without Cal, did it without indulging in the money she could have reaped from selling the necklace, and right before dropping the necklace, reminds Brock, “You look for treasure in the wrong place, Mr. Lovett — only life is priceless, and making each day count.” Hey, Rose, it’s called subtext!!

This poll is closed

Yes, swap in the alternate ending!

No, the original is the original for a reason.

Six Act Structure.

Story structure simplified., story structure analysis: titanic (movie).

Titanic. Movie Poster. Plot summary and story structure.

Released: 1997

Screenplay By: James Cameron

Directed By: James Cameron

Run Time: 187 Minutes

Character : Rose Dawson nee DeWitt Bukater

Plot summary of the 1997 film  Titanic  continues below…

Looking to streamline your script writing? Want to learn how to write a book? Searching for an easy to understand plot diagram ? Pick up your copy of “ Actions and Goals: The Story Structure  Secret ” t oday, and take your storytelling to a whole new level!

Titanic: Story Structure Analysis

Dramatic phase one: the setup.

All of the main characters are introduced. The story world and its mechanics are established. Foundations are laid for the main throughline, subplots and central conflict.


A character in an Imperfect Situation faces Oppressive Opposition as he pursues an Initial Goal. But when there is a Disturbance to his routine, he faces a Dilemma regarding his situation, and must assume a New Role.

Rose DeWitt Bukater, who is betrothed to a man she despises (the imperfect situation) at his and her mother’s insistence (oppressive opposition), struggles to come to terms with the arranged marriage (the initial goal). But when Cal and her mother continually insist on controlling her life, Rose runs to the back of the ship to commit suicide (the disturbance), meets the roguish Jack while contemplating her decision (the dilemma), and decides to befriend him instead of killing herself (the new role).

titanic summary of the movie

The Imperfect Situation: Rose is being forced into marriage with a man she dislikes. She is bored with her life and fed up with the stuffy rules governing her existence. If only she had been born poor.

Initial Goal: Rose is being forced to marry Cal against her will. She doesn’t want to but sees no way out of it.

Oppressive Opposition: Cal is a douchebag to Rose every chance he gets. 

He criticizes her taste in art. He orders her food for her and snatches cigarettes out of her mouth. I’m pretty sure if he had a mustache he’d twirl it. Meanwhile, her mother refuses to listen to any of Rose’s objections to marrying Cal, insisting he is a “good match” because he’s rich.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Disturbance:  Over dinner, Rose has a sudden realization how the rest of her life will play out. This prompts her to run to the back of the ship to commit suicide by jumping overboard.

Turning Point One – The Dilemma: Start Time: 36 of 187 minutes (19.2%) – Jack shows up and attempts to convince Rose that jumping into the Atlantic Ocean is a horribly stupid idea. She must choose between her terrible life, and heeding the advice of this charming, dirt-poor stranger.

The New Role: If Rose takes Jack up on his offer, she will become friends with a hobo. Eww!

Act Run Time: 45 out of 187 minutes (24.1%)


The character Learns the Rules of an Unfamiliar Situation and faces Incidental Opposition in pursuit of a Transitional Goal. But when he receives a Reality Check, he makes a Commitment to his New Role.

Act Start Time: 45 of 187 minutes (24.1%)

Rose learns about life on the other side from Jack (the unfamiliar situation) and is berated by her mother and Cal (incidental opposition) for trying to get to know him (the transitional goal). But when Cal reveals he had Lovejoy follow her, and her mother forbids her from seeing Jack again (the reality check), Jack sneaks back into first class and convinces Rose to be herself and have an affair with him (the commitment).

The Unfamiliar Situation: Jack enters Rose’s privileged but strict world, and Rose enters Jack’s poor but carefree world.

Titanic. Plot summary and story structure. Rose Dances while Jack cheers her on.

Transitional Goal: Rose begins to get to know Jack, however, they haven’t begun a relationship in earnest yet.

Incidental Opposition: Rose’s mother shows up while she and Jack are hanging out on the decks. Her mother’s disdain for Jack is palpable. Later, Jack goes to their fancy dinner party and, much to Cal’s dismay, charms everyone at the table (except Rose’s mother, of course). Afterward, Lovejoy follows Rose to Jack’s party and reports his findings to Cal.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Reality Check:  The next day, Rose faces the reality of the world in which she lives. Over breakfast, Cal tells her he knows where, and with whom, she went the previous evening. He flips out and flips the table to demonstrate it visually. He demands that as his wife in training, she will honor him. Rose’s mother arrives shortly thereafter and reveals to the audience that Rose’s father has left their family penniless. They argue over her engagement Cal and who is the selfish one in their relationship.

Turning Point Two – The Commitment: Start Time: 74 of 187 minutes (19.2%) – The same morning, Jack returns to first class to find Rose but is turned away by Mr. Lovejoy. Undeterred, Jack sneaks Rose into a room and confesses his feelings for her. Despite herself, she tells him to leave her alone. Over lunch, she remembers how boring her life will be when she sees a little girl being forced to be a lady by her mother. This prompts Rose to go find Jack on the bow of the ship. He gives her his patented “king of the world” treatment and Rose commits to her New Role by beginning a love affair with Jack. Her decision to be with Jack brings the new couple into the Central Conflict with Cal.

Act Run Time: 38 minutes of 187 minutes (20.3%)


The character is thrown in the middle of the Central Conflict and is placed at direct odds with the forces of antagonism. He undergoes a series of successes and failures as he works toward resolving the main throughline.


The character stumbles into the Central Conflict and faces Intentional Opposition in pursuit of a False Goal. But when there is a grave Turn of events, he has a Moment of Truth.

Act Start Time: 83 of 187 minutes (44.4%)

Rose shuns and infuriates Cal (the central conflict) who sends Lovejoy after her (intentional opposition) for starting an all-out relationship with Jack (the false goal). But when the ship strikes an iceberg and Cal frames Jack for the theft of the heart of the ocean diamond (the turn), Rose realizes Jack is innocent and turns her back on Cal and her mother to rescue him (the moment of truth).

The Central Conflict: Rose and Jack square off with Cal, Lovejoy, and the sinking ship.

False Goal: Rose attempts to have a relationship with Jack.

Intentional Opposition: Cal orders Lovejoy to find Rose, and she and Jack narrowly evade his pursuit. Cal finds the drawing of Rose in his safe and comes up with the awesome idea to frame Jack for a crime.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Turn:  Rose and Jack get busy. The lookouts spot an iceberg. After much communication throughout the ship to turn, they hit it anyway. Cal tells a steward he has been robbed and to fetch the master of arms. Rose and Jack overhear what is going on with the iceberg and resolve to tell Cal and her mother. When they return Cal orders Jack searched, and they find the diamond Lovejoy planted on him. Jack pleads with Rose to believe him. She doesn’t. Mr. Andrews tells the captain the ship will sink in an hour or two at most.

Turning Point Three – The Moment of Truth: Start Time: 108 of 187 minutes (57.7%) – Back in their stateroom, Cal slaps Rose to demonstrate what their married life will be like. Meanwhile, Lovejoy leaves Jack to die in the slowly flooding detention area of the ship.

While they make their way to the lifeboats, Cal and Rose’s mother make saucy remarks about the state of the ship. Rose tells her mother to shut up and that half the people on the ship will die. Cal tells Rose Jack’s drawing will be worth more in the morning, prompting her to realize he set Jack up. Rose bids her mother a final goodbye. Cal tries to stop her but she spits in his face and flees. She now realizes the person she must be moving forward and makes the decision to fight against adversity for what she believes is right.

Act Run Time: 35 minutes of 187 minutes (18.7%)

titanic summary of the movie


The character implements a Doomed Plan and faces Self-Inflicted Opposition in pursuit of a Penultimate Goal. But when an unthinkable Lowpoint occurs, he pulls himself together and discovers a Newfound Resolve.

Act Start Time: 118 of 187 minutes (63.1%)

Rose attempts to escape the ship with Jack (the doomed plan), by navigating the bowels of the sinking ship (self-inflicted opposition) and rescuing him from the detention area (the Penultimate Goal). But when the lifeboats are only taking women and Jack convinces Rose to go by herself (the lowpoint), she has a change of heart and jumps onto the lower decks to stay with him (the newfound resolve).

The Doomed Plan: Rose goes to the detention area to save Jack, but there won’t be any lifeboats for them to escape aboard. Not to mention he dies at the end anyway. She only manages to add a few extra minutes to his life. Fail.

Penultimate Goal: Rose attempts to save Jack from the detention area in the bowels of the ship.

Self-Inflicted Opposition: Rose’s trip into the heart of the sinking ship is her own doing. She could have just gotten on the lifeboat and left. All the hardship she encounters on her way is a result of her own decisions.

Turning Point Catalyst – The Lowpoint: The crewmen start shooting. Jack convinces Rose to board a lifeboat. Cal tells her he has an arrangement with a boat on the other side of the ship he will share with Jack. Rose is sad but agrees. Once Rose is on the boat being lowered into the ocean, Cal reveals to Jack that while he does have an arrangement with a boat, Jack won’t benefit from it. In your face, Jack.

Turning Point Four – The Newfound Resolve: Start Time: 138 of 187 minutes (73.7%) – Looking up at Jack, Rose decides she cannot leave him and jumps from the lifeboat onto one of the lower decks.

They run to each other and embrace. Rose reminds Jack that if he jumps, she jumps, mirroring their initial interaction at the Dilemma. She has decided nothing will come between her love for this guy she just met yesterday.

Act Run Time: 22 of 187 minutes (11.8%)


The character engages in a final confrontation with the forces of antagonism to resolve the Central Conflict. The main throughline and all additional subplots are resolved. The new status quo is established.


The character tries a Longshot and faces Ultimate Opposition while trying to accomplish the Ultimate Goal. But just when it seems All is Lost, he makes a Final Push against the forces of antagonism and either succeeds or fails.

Act Start Time: 140 of 187 minutes (74.9%)

Rose and Jack must stay aboard the sinking ship as long as possible, and evade the now murderous Cal (the longshot), to survive together (the ultimate goal). But when the decks erupt into pandemonium as the ship breaks in half and sinks (all is lost), Rose and Jack manage to find each other in the ocean and use a piece of wood to get Rose out of the water (the final push).

The Longshot: Rose and Jack evade Cal and go to the back of the ship in attempt to stay on board as long as possible to survive the sinking of the Titanic.

Ultimate Goal: Rose wants to survive the sinking ship with Jack.

Ultimate Opposition: Cal tries to shoot the lovebirds with Lovejoy’s pistol. I guess if he can’t have her no one can. The ship sinks into the deathly cold of the Atlantic. Rose and Jack are separated.

Turning Point Catalyst – All is Lost: The decks are in chaos as the last lifeboats are loaded. Rose and Jack encounter Mr. Andrews who confesses he wishes to stay aboard the ship. Jack’s friend, Tommy is shot by a bastardo as the band plays to the end. Numerous other passengers struggle with the fact they are about to die.

Turning Point Five – The Final Push: Start Time: 154 of 187 minutes (82.3%) – Rose and Jack make their way to the stern of the ship, knowing it is about to go under. Jack pulls Rose up onto the railing as the ship goes vertical.

As the ship slowly sinks, Jack tells Rose to hold his hand, kick, and not let go. She let’s go anyway. When Rose reaches the surfaces the world is in chaos, but Jack somehow manages to find her.

The reunited lovers swim away from the panicked masses. Rose gets aboard a piece of wood, but Jack can’t because he’s no good with physics. Rose tells Jack she loves him. He tells her she must live on to make babies and die an old lady. He makes her promise she will survive.

When the lifeboats finally come back, Rose awakens to find Jack is a handsome Popsicle.

The lifeboats pass her while she is saying her goodbyes to Jack’s corpse. She tries to scream for them to come back but has no voice. In a last-ditch effort, she swims over to a dead guy, steals his whistle and blows it. Hearing her, the lifeboats come about.


Having accomplished (or failed to have accomplished) the Ultimate Goal, the character is shown living in a New Situation.

Act Start Time: 178 of 187 minutes (95.2%)

Having survived the sinking of the ship through Jack’s ultimate sacrifice, Rose is shown to have honored her promise to him by not marrying Cal and living a full and happy life on her own terms.

The New Situation: Rose Prime gives the death toll in contrast to the number of survivors. Mr. Lovett, the leader of the expedition to find the missing heart-of-the-ocean diamond, finally “gets it”. Rose Prime throws the ridiculously expensive diamond into the ocean and watches it sink. We see Rose has lead a happy life through the pictures she conveniently displays on her nightstand. She either dies or falls asleep and is reunited with Jack and the other passengers aboard Titanic, who all offer a round of applause at her final kiss with Jack as the screen fades to white.

Titanic. Plot summary and story structure. Rose and Jack kiss aboard the Titanic while all the other passengers look on.

Act Run Time: 9 of 187 minutes (4.8%)

To learn more about Six Act story structure, purchase your copy of “ Actions and Goals: The Story Structure Secret ” today!

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Watch CBS News

"Rare, uncut" video of the 1986 dive exploring the Titanic wreckage released

By Kerry Breen

Updated on: February 15, 2023 / 8:04 PM EST / CBS News

An oceanographic institution has released over an hour of footage from the 1986 dive exploring the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic that has mostly not been seen by the public before.

The footage was shared Wednesday evening  by the Woods Hole Oceanic Institution  in honor of the 25th anniversary of James Cameron's Academy Award-winning movie, "Titanic," which has been re-released in theaters around the country. 

The wreckage of the Titanic was first found by researchers from the WHOI, working in partnership with a French institute, in 1985. That expedition was led by Dr. Robert Ballard. In June 1986, the team returned to the wreck site with a human-occupied submersible called Alvin and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called Jason Junior. That mission marked the "first time humans set eyes on the ill-fated ship" since its sinking in 1912, according to the institution. 


The "rare, uncut and mostly unnarrated footage" was uploaded to the WHOI's YouTube channel Wednesday. The video includes images of the Alvin submersible approaching the ship and parking on its deck. 

The footage also provides a look at interior shots of the wreck, including a look inside a chief officer's cabin and footage of debris on the ocean floor. 

"More than a century after the loss of Titanic, the human stories embodied in the great ship continue to resonate," said Cameron in a statement provided by the institute. "Like many, I was transfixed when Alvin and Jason Jr. ventured down to and inside the wreck. By releasing this footage, WHOI is helping tell an important part of a story that spans generations and circles the globe."

About 2,200 people were aboard the ocean liner — heralded as "unsinkable" and designed to be the most luxurious ship available — when it set out into the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage. About 1,500 people died after the ship struck an iceberg and sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Only about 700 passengers and crew members survived to be rescued by the R.M.S. Carpathia. 

The wreckage of the Titanic has remained about 12,600 feet below the ocean's surface ever since. 


 According to the WHOI, efforts to "locate and salvage" the ship began almost immediately after the sinking, but technical limitations kept the wreck hidden for nearly 75 years. By 1985, new imaging technology captured photographs of the ship and helped researchers find the wreck. 

Dana Yoerger, a WHOI engineer and a member of both the 1985 and 1986 missions, said the 1986 expedition "changed how we explore the deep ocean." 

"The human-occupied submersible Alvin brought scientists down 12,500 feet to the Titanic," Yoerger said in a statement. "Operating from Alvin, we used the Jason Jr robot to penetrate Titanic and transmit images of the ship's interior while the people remained safely outside the wreckage.  For WHOI and the entire ocean research community, these advances provided an important foundation for modern deep-sea exploration technology." 

  • RMS Titanic

Kerry Breen

Kerry Breen is a reporter and news editor at CBSNews.com. A graduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism, she previously worked at NBC News' TODAY Digital. She covers current events, breaking news and issues including substance use.

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Kate winslet on why “life was quite unpleasant” after ‘titanic’ release: “being famous was horrible”.

"I felt like I had to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, and because media intrusion was so significant at that time," she says of being 22 when the classic film came out.

By Lexy Perez

Associate Editor

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Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet may have starred in one of the top-grossing movies in history, but she admits the aftermath of Titanic led to an overwhelming amount of attention.

In a cover story for PORTER published Monday, the actress opened up about struggling with the fame she experienced after Titanic , which came out when she was 22.

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Winslet reiterated that, though she was “grateful” for the film’s success, especially given she was “able to get a flat” in her early 20s, she still “didn’t want to be followed literally feeding the ducks.”

With an illustrious career over the years, Winslet explained that when thinking of the word fame she wears “it really lightly” but said, “It’s not a burden, any of it.” She noted how even years later Titanic “continues to bring people huge amounts of joy.”

“The only time I am like, ‘Oh god, hide’, is if we are on a boat somewhere,” she quipped.

Winslet starred in the 1997 James Cameron film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio . The two formed a strong friendship while filming and have continued to maintain a bond. When asked whether she’s seen the meme that states, “Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Leo looks at Kate,” Winslet laughed and joked, “[He’s looking at me like that because] he just knows I can see right through it all.”

“I think when you experience something so seismic, so young… we really went through that together,” she said of DiCaprio.

“They were so mean. I wasn’t even fucking fat,” she said. “If I could turn back the clock, I would have used my voice in a completely different way. … I would have said to journalists, I would have responded, I would have said, ‘Don’t you dare treat me like this. I’m a young woman, my body is changing, I’m figuring it out, I’m deeply insecure, I’m terrified, don’t make this any harder than it already is.’ That’s bullying, you know, and actually borderline abusive, I would say.”

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Fatal Dive To The Titanic: Truth And Lies



UNSINKABLE Titanic Untold Movie

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Screen Rant

10 actors whose highest-grossing movie is their best one.

It's rare for films to find success both commercially and with awards. For actors like Daniel Craig, their highest-grossing film has been their best.

  • Some iconic actors find their best work in their highest-grossing movie, despite commercial and critical divides.
  • Films like "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" stand out for being both successful and beloved.
  • Stars like DiCaprio, Mortensen, and Gadot have had their careers defined by blockbusters despite other acclaimed work.

Commercial and critical success don't always align, but for several iconic actors, their highest-grossing movie is also their best. While many of the highest-grossing films are unbelievable cinematic experiences that have pushed the medium forward and set cultural standards for moviemaking, they're often not the most critically celebrated films. Only rarely have films like Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King been both commercial and award-winning juggernauts.

Some of the best movies of all time have been box office hits, but many flew relatively under the radar upon their release, innovating the film medium and only receiving due recognition years later. The division between commercial and critical success is apparent in the movie industry, and many stars are known for doing their best work in lower-budget films. Actors whose highest-grossing films are also their best have typically centered their careers around blockbuster movies or starred in a commercial and critical success like Titanic .

10 Leonardo DiCaprio

Titanic ($2.2 billion).

*Availability in US

Not available

While Leonardo DiCaprio has serious competition for his best film, he arguably hasn't starred in anything as culturally impactful as Titanic . All of his films with Martin Scorsese are exceptional, as are movies like Inception and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood , but Titanic was so monumental to his career that it's hard to overlook. DiCaprio has consistently starred in great films and given award-worthy performances, yet he's never been as famously celebrated as he was in James Cameron's multi-billion dollar Best Picture winner.

9 Brie Larson

Avengers: endgame ($2.8 billion), avengers: endgame.

Given that Avengers: Endgame is the second highest-grossing movie of all time, it's the most commercially successful movie for dozens of famous Hollywood stars. While actors like Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, and Scarlett Johansson have had better films in their careers, Avengers: Endgame is the best film Brie Larson has been a part of so far. She's an amazingly talented actress, proven by her Academy Award win for Room , though many of her film roles have been blockbusters like Fast X and Kong: Skull Island .

8 Sam Worthington

Avatar ($2.9 billion).

Despite starring in the highest-grossing and one of the most revolutionary blockbusters ever, Sam Worthington's career never picked up much outside of Avatar . Aside from Avatar: The Way of Water and Hacksaw Ridge , Worthington doesn't have much competition in the argument for his best film. Clash of the Titans and its sequel were decently successful commercially but received underwhelming reviews from critics and audiences. Other than that, many of Worthington's movies have been low-budget thrillers.

7 Tom Cruise

Top gun: maverick ($1.46 billion), top gun: maverick.

Tom Cruise's best movie is highly debatable, though it's not much of a stretch to pick Top Gun: Maverick , given its overwhelming success critically and commercially. From Magnolia to the Mission: Impossible series to Collateral , Cruise has had one of the most impactful movie star careers ever, and after over forty years of work, the long-awaited Top Gun sequel was his first hit to pass $1 billion at the box office. It's one of five of his films to be nominated for Best Picture, but the only one for which he was nominated as a producer, making it an outstanding achievement in his career.

6 Viggo Mortensen

The lord of the rings: the return of the king ($1.12 billion), the lord of the rings: the return of the king.

For many stars in the Lord of the Rings movies, the series was the best work in their career. To be fair, Peter Jackson's trilogy are some of the most beloved films ever, so there's a high bar to pass. Viggo Mortensen has appeared in great movies like Eastern Promises , Captain Fantastic , and The Road , but he's still best known for playing Aragorn, and he's unbelievable in The Return of the King . The third installment grossed over $1 billion, making it the most profitable in the series and Mortensen's career.

5 Emily Blunt

Oppenheimer ($959 million), oppenheimer.

Emily Blunt has been in some fantastic films, from action movies like Sicario and Edge of Tomorrow to great dramas like The Devil Wears Prada . Oppenheimer was one of the best movies of 2023 , taking home the Best Motion Picture - Drama Award at the Golden Globes and a frontrunner to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The film's success has been well documented, raking in an unprecedented box office run. Emily Blunt gives one of the most nuanced performances in her career , bringing Kitty Oppenheimer to life.

4 Gal Gadot

Wonder woman ($817 million).

Wonder Woman during WWI in 2017's Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

2017's Wonder Woman was a groundbreaking superhero movie and enormous success, seemingly shifting the direction of the DCEU for the better. Unfortunately, the movie is still Gal Gadot's best release as Wonder Woman, and she's yet to top the film with any other projects. She's appeared in commercial blockbusters like the Fast franchise and Death on the Nile , yet none of her films have been particularly well-received critically.

3 Clark Gable

Gone with the wind ($402 million).


Gone With the Wind

$402 Million at the box office may not seem like a ton compared to the outrageous numbers, but when adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind is one of the highest-grossing movies ever. Few films are as impactful as the 1939 romantic epic, which solidified Clark Gable as one of the definitive stars of his era. In a storied career that included films like It Happened One Night and Mutiny on the Bounty , Gone with the Wind was Gable's crowning achievement . The film has stood the test of time as one of the most romantic films ever.

2 Daniel Craig

Skyfall ($1.11 billion).

Skyfall - James Bond- Daniel Craig and 'M' - Judi Dench

Daniel Craig hasn't had the best luck in his career outside of playing James Bond. Still, that doesn't diminish his accomplishment as one of the most incredible action stars of the 21st century. While Knives Out is a strong contender for his best film, Skyfall has a slight edge, being the best James Bond movie . With Sam Mendes directing and Roger Deakins as the cinematographer, the 2012 installment in the long-running action franchise became a wonderful mix of blockbuster filmmaking and stunning artistry.

1 Michael J. Fox

Back to the future ($388 million).

Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) Looking Serious in Back To The Future

Back to the Future

Michael J. Fox is one of the most beloved movie stars of the '80s, having starred in one of the best sci-fi movies of all time . Decades later, Back to the Future is still Michael J. Fox's best movie and biggest commercial hit . After all, it's hard to top such an endearing, timeless classic. The '80s are packed with great family-friendly adventure movies, and few are as iconic as the time-traveling coming-of-age comedy mash-up.


  1. Titanic Movie Review & Film Summary (1997)

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  1. Titanic (1997)

    Synopsis In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team aboard the research vessel Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace. It is dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg.

  2. Titanic

    The film begins with the robotic exploration of the Titanic 's wreckage by treasure hunters who hope to locate a fabled massive blue diamond, known as the Heart of the Ocean, that was supposedly lost when the ship sank. They recover a safe that contains some papers, including a drawing of a nude woman wearing a necklace with the gem in it.

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    Plot In 1996, aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh, Brock Lovett and his team search the wreck of RMS Titanic. They recover a safe they hope contains a necklace with a large diamond known as the Heart of the Ocean. Instead, they find only a drawing of a young nude woman wearing the necklace.

  4. Titanic Movie Summary

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    The human story involves an 17-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater ( Kate Winslet) who is sailing to what she sees as her own personal doom: She has been forced by her penniless mother to become engaged to marry a rich, supercilious snob named Cal Hockley ( Billy Zane ), and so bitterly does she hate this prospect that she tries to kill her...

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    Buy Study Guide Titanic Summary The film opens with images of the Titanic 's departure from Southampton in April, 1912. In the present day, treasure hunter Brock Lovett leads a team of submersibles down into the Titanic's wreck. He finds a safe containing a drawing of a nude woman wearing a necklace he is seeking, called "the Heart of the Ocean."

  8. Titanic (1997 movie)

    Story A 100-year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells a story about her voyage on the famous ship Titanic. She is sharing the story with her granddaughter, Lizzy Calvert, and a crew of men who are interested in the Titanic shipwreck. The members of the crew are named Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell, and Anatoly Mikailavich.

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    Film and Plot Synopsis. Released in 1997 and directed by James Cameron, "Titanic" is a sweeping romantic drama that tells the tragic and epic tale of the ill-fated maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Set against the backdrop of one of the most infamous maritime disasters in history, the film centers around the love story between two ...

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    Jack Dawson is a traveler who never stays in one place for long. He finds himself in a bar at a poker game with two Swedish men who are about to board Titanic. One of the Swedish men bets their Titanic tickets and Jack wins the game, and thus the tickets, with a full house.

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    The movie starts out in the present day (well, present day in the dark ages of the 1990s). A guy named Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) is heading up a crew of people searching for some kind of treasure in the wreck of the legendary Titanic. During one of the dives, he thinks he's found it, hauling a safe up to his boat and making a big ceremony out ...

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  19. Titanic True Story: How Much Of The Movie Is Real?

    The Titanic real story adaptation made for one of the most impressive cinematic achievements that viewers constantly revisit. James Cameron became a widely known and respected name in the film industry thanks to The Terminator franchise, but he drew a lot more attention in 1997 with Titanic, a romance-disaster movie based on the accounts of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912.

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  21. A brief summary of the Titanic disaster

    Home World History Accidents & Disasters Titanic Article Titanic summary Learn about the Titanic, the circumstances of its sinking, and the discovery of its wreckage Cite Written and fact-checked by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

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    Titanic weaved between fact and fiction to fill in the blanks of that tragic night, and one of its most controversial decisions was including a scene where officer William Murdoch shot passengers and himself. Although James Cameron filmed it to resolve an ambiguity, it mired him and the movie in controversy. The real history is murky, relying on the eyewitness accounts of different people who ...

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