Titanic (1997 film)

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Titanic
Directed by James Cameron
Produced by James Cameron
Jon Landau
Rae Sanchini
Written by James Cameron
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet
Music by James Horner
Cinematography Russell Carpenter
Editing by Conrad Buff
James Cameron
Richard A. Harris
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Paramount Pictures
Lightstorm Entertainment
Release date(s) December 19, 1997
Running time 194 min.
Country USA/UK
Language English

Titanic was a highly successful 1997 film by director James Cameron, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Plot

Spoiler warning
This article contains important plot information

The plot involves a fictional 1996 discovery of the RMS Titanic by treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team. They discover a nude portrait of a young woman wearing a heart-shaped diamond.

Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart), age 101, watches the report on TV and calls Lovett to tell him that she's the woman in the picture, then flies out to the ship on a helicopter. There, she tells the crew her story, who are looking for the diamond she is carrying in the picture, the "Heart of the Ocean," which was given to her by her fiancée Cal.

The scene then shifts to days before the maiden voyage of the Titanic, where Rose DeWitt Bukater (Winslet) is the daughter of a wealthy British aristocrat, Ruth DeWitt Bukater (Frances Fisher). Rose is pledged to marry a wealthy man, Caledon "Cal" Nathan Hockley (Billy Zane), but she doesn't love him. Nonetheless, she accompanies him on the newly built RMS Titanic to sail to America. Meanwhile, lowly artist Jack Dawson (DiCaprio) wins a ticket on board in a bar. He and his Italian friend go on board the Titanic. Jack has a wonderful time, but Rose is miserable because of her dislike for her fiancée and the stuffiness and boredom of her and Cal's families. Finally, in despair, she attempts to throw herself off the back of the ship, but Jack sees her and manages to stop her from jumping. The two soon fall in love.

Nonetheless, Cal is very angry at this news and tells Rose that he will not tolerate "such a wife." He forbids her to see Rose again, and she decides to obey. However, later she changes her mind, and asks Jack to do a portrait of her wearing nothing but the Heart of the Ocean, which Cal bought her. Cal finds out and is enraged, but the two escape him and run into the cargo hold of the ship, where they have sex.

That night at 11:40, the ship strikes a large iceberg, which ruptures the side of the ship, and water rushes into the hold. The Titanic slowly begins to sink. Cal tries to keep Jack from escaping the sinking ship, but fails. Jack and Rose manage to hang on to debris from the ship; Jack succumbs to the icy waters of the North Atlantic and dies (but tells Rose that she will live to be an old woman and die warm in her bed). Later, Rose notices Cal has survived, but turns away to avoid him seeing her. When questioned, Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson (thus having everyone believe Rose DeWitt Bukater died) and begins a new life in America.

The scene then shifts back to the present day[1]. Rose mentions that Cal lost everything in the Great Depression and committed suicide as a result; she went on to marry and be successful.

Unbeknownst to everyone, Rose still owned the "Heart of the Ocean"; late at night she removes the necklace from her pocket and tosses it into the ocean, keeping the treasure hunters from finding it.

The dramatic final scene has Rose ascending the Grand Staircase of the Titanic, reunited with Jack. (It has been debated whether this was a dream, or if Rose died as Jack foretold and was reunited with him in the afterlife.)

References

  1. The technical term for a plot line, where it begins and ends in one time but the majority takes place in another, is called a "framing sequence".