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1 Real-Life Detail Makes Titanic's Controversial Door Scene More Interesting

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 3/26/2023 Adrienne Tyler
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James Cameron is well-known for his attention to detail in all his movies, and this was particularly interesting in Titanic, where one real-life detail makes the controversial door at the end of the movie even more interesting. Titanic stands as one of James Cameron’s most ambitious projects, and it once was the most expensive movie ever made, and it’s easy to see why as Cameron made different trips to visit the remains of the ship and paid attention to all details to make sure they recreated the Titanic as accurately as possible.

Titanic tells the fictional story of first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) and third-class young man Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), who meet and fall in love on board the Titanic, so they not only have to defend their romance from those who look down upon them but also have to do their best to save themselves during the ship’s sinking. Cameron made sure they had an accurate replica of the Titanic in order to tell the story of Jack and Rose the way he wanted to, and his attention to detail was such that even one of the movie’s most controversial objects is based on a real-life part of the ship: the door that helped save Rose’s life.

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

Titanic’s Controversial Door Frame Is An Accurate Replica

First off, the now infamous door in the third act of Titanic isn’t a door but a door frame, and it’s based on the real designs of the Titanic’s luxurious insides. In 2017, The Daily Edge pointed out that in the script of Titanic, this piece isn’t even referred to as a door, and instead, it was written as “a piece of wooden debris, intricately carved". In addition to that, it has been pointed out that the door frame in Titanic looks very similar to the largest fragment recovered from the Titanic, which happens to be a door frame with a shape and design just like the one that Jack and Rose tried to use to save themselves. This piece can be found at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which has confirmed that Cameron visited it to take a look at some of their artifacts.

On the official website of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, it’s explained that Cameron visited the artifacts at the museum during the production of Titanic, and consulted with Titanic expert Ken Marschall. The museum points out that this allowed Cameron and his team to make accurate replicas of the deckchairs and “a large piece of carved oak paneling”, which was used in “the climactic death scene” where Rose “clings to floating wreckage”. The infamous door frame is further proof of Cameron’s dedication to his research of the Titanic for the movie, and knowing that it’s a door frame and not a door might help explain that Jack couldn’t have fit in it as has been argued for years.

Why Jack Couldn’t Have Been Saved At The End of Titanic

It has already been confirmed by Cameron himself that the door frame at the end of Titanic couldn’t have saved both Jack and Rose. The movie proves it when they swim to this piece of debris and both try to get on it but it can’t handle the weight of both, so Jack helps Rose get on it. In order for the door frame to save Jack and Rose, it would have needed extra support to stay afloat, so even though it looked wide enough to carry Jack and Rose, it wouldn’t have done much to save them. That’s from a logical point of view, but narratively, Jack had to die in order to restore harmony and truly save Rose, who truly started living after Jack’s death. In the end, Titanic is more than a love story, as James Cameron’s attention to detail makes it a fascinating trip back in time.

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