What do you remember most from Titanic? Perhaps it’s the emergence of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into superstardom. Maybe it’s the spectacular visual effects. Or it could just be Celine Dion belting ‘My Heart Will Go On”
It’s a difficult question because the film has so many iconic and memorable elements. That’s why twenty-four years after its 1997 release, Titanic is still relevant and acclaimed.
The story follows Jack and Rose two passengers upon the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic. In the over three-hour run-time, director James Cameron weaves one of the most enduring and tragic love stories seen on screen. If you’ve seen the film, it’s hard to imagine the script being any more elegant or fulfilling.
However, the final cut was almost different. A deleted scene reveals an ending that very well may have spoiled the ending of the movie.
Stick around as we unpack the alternate ending and take a look at some other interesting notes about Titanic.
An Eloquent Original Ending
Considering the nature of this video, be advised, it contains spoilers. With that said, let’s first take a few moments to refresh you on the actual ending of Titanic.
During the climax of the film, the Titanic is torn in half by an iceberg. The frigid ocean is rife with passengers struggling for their lives. Jack is able to find Rose and sacrifice himself to save her.
It’s a deeply painful moment, but it is not the end of the movie. In the denouement, master storyteller James Cameron leaves the viewers with some hope.
The movie cuts back to the 100-year-old Rose who has survived the ordeal of the Titanic. She is accompanying a team of treasure hunters on a vessel led by Bill Paxton’s character Brock Lovett. The team is searching for The Heart of the Ocean a rare diamond necklace thought lost in the wreckage of the Titanic. Unknown to the crew, the Heart of the Ocean has been in Rose’s possession since the events. The necklace has been the chain that links Jack and Rose since his death.
When the ship reaches the location of the sunken Titanic, Rose drops the Heart of the Ocean in the sea.
The final moments that Rose spends with the necklace alone are impactful to the story. One could even suggest these scenes were what secured an Oscar nomination for Gloria Stuart in the film. More on that later.
The final scene shows Rose in her bed. Whether she is sleeping or has passed away is unclear. Though, in her dreams or in her death, a young Rose is reunited with Jack in the majestic stairs of the Titanic.
The two share a kiss as the other passengers applaud.
The ending is moving and is likely responsible for a tear or two. Yet, more importantly, it is a heartwarming signoff to a near-perfect film.
This was almost not the case.
Before we take a look at the alternate ending, if you are enjoying this video, take a moment to hit the like button. Also, consider subscribing to the Facts Verse page.
The Awful Alternative Ending
A recently revealed deleted scene, suggests a very different ending to Titanic. One that takes away from the story.
In this ending, Brock Lovett and Rose’s granddaughter see Rose wander out to the bow of the ship. Thinking she is going to jump, they run after her.
When they reach her, they discover she has had the Heart of the Sea all along.
Rose, as if in a hostage situation, tells them not to come any closer or else she will drop the necklace.
Lovett, overcome with emotion, begs Rose to reconsider throwing the necklace into the sea. Rose insists she has been thinking of this moment for many years. She suggests she is putting the Heart of the Sea back where it belongs.
After letting Lovett touch the necklace, she convinces him, in a very hokey fashion, that true treasure is not diamonds but instead making the most of life.
Rose tosses the necklace into the sea. Lovett lets out a near maniacal laugh as he realizes Rose is right. He then asks Rose’s granddaughter to a dance.
The alternative ending is truly corny and embarrassing.
Beyond that, the final scenes emphasize Lovett’s minor character instead of the sentiment of Rose and Jack.
In any case, it seems Cameron came to his senses when he decided to scrap this ending in lieu of the actual one. We will discover that Cameron’s instincts led to other correct calls throughout production as well.
The results led to one of the most important films in cinematic history.
However, this ending change is not the only interesting thing about Titanic.
Titanic’s Fascinating Facts
The film was impactful for several other reasons. This movie has been analyzed by critics and fans alike to learn everything there is to know.
Let’s check out some of the staggering statistics and curious caveats that make Titanic such an amazing part of our pop culture.
Titanic Catches Oscar Fever
Although the script for Titanic is memorable, it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. However, the film was recognized in almost every other category.
Titanic holds the record for the most Academy Award nomination of any film at 14. It took home an incredible 11 Oscar statues. Among the wins were directing, editing, cinematography, visual effects, and costuming.
Surprisingly, the film did go home empty-handed in the acting department.
However, Titanic holds another statistic as the first film to have two actresses nominated for academy awards for playing the same character in the same film. Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart were nominated for Young Rose and Old Rose, respectively.
Though Stuart was considered a strong favorite to win, she was upset by Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential.
Winslet was nominated five more times before she finally won an Oscar for 2009’s The Reader
Box Office Bonanza
If you are familiar with James Cameron’s directorial career, you may know he is the king of the box office.
Currently, two of the top three highest-grossing films of all time are directed by him. Avatar and Titanic are numbers 2 and 3 on the all-time list. The films both grossed over two billion dollars. Cameron was only recently unseated from the top position in 2019 by Avengers: Endgame.
Titanic was the highest-grossing film for 12 years. The fervor for Titanic was so great it became the first film ever to still be in theaters when it was released to video. Many cinemas wore out their film reels by overplaying the film.
Titanic grossed 2.19 billion in its theatrical run.
Improvised Dialog Makes History
Anyone who has seen Titanic is familiar with the most famous quote in the film. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character makes his way to the edge of the ship and, in ecstasy, shouts “I’m the king of the world”
The line is a classic and has been reenacted by fans countless times.
However, what you may not have known was that the line was actually improvised by DiCaprio. He shouted the line on one of the takes. James Cameron liked the line so much he kept it in the final cut.
It seems, once again, Cameron made the right call. “I’m the king of the world” secured a place on The American Film Institute’s list of the greatest movie quotes of all time.
A Promiscuous Prop Fetches a High Price
There is a scene in the film where Jack sketches a picture of Rose while she is not wearing anything but the Heart of the Sea necklace.
Alongside the necklace itself, the naked drawing is one of the most famous props in the film- and the selling price backs that up.
In 2011, the nude drawing of Rose was actioned off. Though the final price was never explicitly stated, it is known the bids reached above 16,000 dollars.
Though DiCaprio, is shown drawing the picture in the movie, the sketch was actually drawn by James Cameron.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Called Cameron Out
At one point in the film, after Jack dies, Rose is floating in the ocean looking up at the stars. Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had an issue with this scene.
He claimed the constellation patterns that Rose sees in the sky were not correct. At those coordinates at that time, the Titanic survivors would have seen a different star pattern.
Cameron claimed deGrasse Tyson wrote him a “snarky email” about this error.
Though, Cameron, a perfectionist in the director’s chair, had a chance to remedy his mistake.
When Titanic was re-released in 3D, Cameron reshot the scene to show off the true star pattern.
This was a nice touch as he didn’t want anything to mar his masterpiece.
Well, that some of the interesting history of Titanic. The alternate ending is only the latest bit of news on the film. It’s crazy to think that even though it’s nearly a quarter of a century old, the movie is still making headlines. Who knows what we will discover next?
So, what do you think? Would the deleted scene have ruined the ending? Does Titanic deserve all the critical acclaim? Sound off in the comments below.
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Thanks for watching.