It was the blockbuster film of the year. It launched the careers of two of Hollywood's most successful actors. The most-referenced movie on the internet, and without a doubt, had the most controversial ending we all had to deal with.
Titantic came out in 1997 and shook the world with its romantic portrayal of the tragic sinking of one of the world's largest luxury ships in history. We stayed on the edge of our seats for 3 hours as we watched director James Cameron build up the relationship of two passengers that was as doomed to fail as the ship they were sailing on.
Or was it? After the Titanic finally sinks into the freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean, our two lovers are finally reunited and it doesn't look good.
In a last act of love, Jack lifts Rose onto a floating door so that she can survive. A very big floating door. Like, with enough room for two people, at least!
We always wondered what would have happened if Jack had just climbed on board, but according to our director, it was never meant to be...
James Cameron puts it very bluntly when he said ""...it says on page 147 [of the script] that Jack dies. Very simple."
He goes on to say that despite the theories, the size of the piece of wood didn't matter.
"I was in the water with the piece of wood putting people on it for about two days, getting it exactly buoyant enough so that it would support one person with full free-board, meaning that she wasn’t immersed at all in the 28 degree water so that she could survive the three hours it took until the rescue ship got there."
In the end there was nothing that could have saved Jack, and Cameron has no qualms about the matter.
"Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless. ... The film is about death and separation; he had to die. So whether it was that, or whether a smoke stack fell on him, he was going down."