James Cameron Defends Titanic Ending

If there’s one detail in Titanic that has been scrutinized over and over again, it’s the ending that sees Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) freezing to death in the water while Rose (Kate Winslet) sits safely on top of a door floating in the ocean. Physicists have attempted to determine whether or not the door was bouyant enough to support both Jack and Rose while others have tried to determine if Jack and Rose could both even fit on the door. Mythbusters even had an entire segment dedicated to the issue. Now director James Cameron defends Titanic‘s ending, giving what should be the final word on the matter, specifically calling out the science show for their conclusion.

The Daily Beast sat down with James Cameron recently to talk about a variety of things, and eventually the conversation turned to the controversial ending that left Jack out in the cold, literally. The director was rather blunt about decision that Mythbusters came to and doesn’t think it could have turned out well for Jack, even taking the science into consideration. Here’s what Cameron had to say:

“Look, it’s very, very simple: you read page 147 of the script and it says, ‘Jack gets off the board and gives his place to her so that she can survive.’ It’s that simple. You can do all the post-analysis you want. So you’re talking about the Mythbusters episode, right? Where they sort of pop the myth? OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later—which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead. So that wouldn’t work. His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died. They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of shit.”

It’s hard to argue with that. After all, while the science might support it being possible for Jack to survive, his body might not have had the strength to do everything required in order to make the door float enough to keep he and Rose from the chilly waters. Plus, if Jack survives, then we don’t really have as dramatic of an ending for Rose. It might be sad, but it’s probably for the best. Though now James Cameron might need to have a debate with Kate Winslet, who admitted that Jack could have totally survived aas well.

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