The MythBusters have spoken: Leonardo DiCaprio’s character “Jack” actually could have survived the climax of James Cameron’s Titanic if only he and Rose would have exercised some creative thinking.
Some background: Internet users cried foul when Reddit hosted a montage of images suggesting that Jack and Rose could have both survived the events of Titanic if Rose the door-hog would have just scooted over a little bit. After the re-release of Titanic in 3D, filmmaker James Cameron sounded off on the controversy, claiming that the issue wasn’t one of space but of buoyancy. If Jack had clamored on top of the floating door, it would have sunk, and both lovers would have died together.
Cameron enlisted the help of TV’s MythBusters to prove his claim, but hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman actually came up with a scenario in which both Jack and Rose could have survived, proving Cameron to be wrong and, worse, an evil and cruel man fully responsible for making millions of teenage girls cry in 1997.
Cameron appeared on the MythBusters episode himself to help take on the show’s most-requested myth in its history and to definitively answer the dozens of emails he still receives claiming that “Rose is a selfish so-and-so and Jack’s an idiot.”
The findings? EW has an exhaustively detailed account, but the gist of it is that Jack and Rose could have plausibly survived both hypothermia and the buoyancy concerns had they thought to tie Rose’s life jacket to the bottom of the door to help keep it afloat. It would have taken several tries to get both Jack and Rose on the door and to keep it balanced, but it’s absolutely possible that they could have both lived to tell Titanic’s tale.
No doubt, Jack did the chivalrous thing and proved his love for Rose by laying down his life for her, but the fact of the matter is the two just didn’t try hard enough to make it out of there alive.
“With all we’ve learned, I think Jack’s death was needless,” Hyneman concluded.
Cameron’s response? “I think you guys are missing the point here. The script says Jack died. He has to die. So maybe we screwed up and the board should have been a little tiny bit smaller, but the dude’s goin’ down.”