Based on a fictional love story set on the Titanic, the Titanic movie of 1997 is by far the most popular Hollywood depiction of the event. Directed by James Cameron, the film won a total of 11 Oscars as well as 76 wins and 48 nominations. The love story between Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) is the main focus, but there are many other characters who are based on actual Titanic Passengers. After its release in 1997 it became the highest grossing film of all time pulling in over $1.8 billion worldwide.
Titanic Movie Plot
Explorer Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team explore the Titanic wreck in search of a precious diamond called The Heart of the Ocean. The diamond is thought to be located in the safe of Caledon Hockley’s safe which they easily locate. Upon opening, they find no sign of the diamond, but rather a nude sketch of a woman wearing a necklace fitted with the Heart of the Ocean. The sketch is dated April 14, 1912, the same date as the Titanic sinking. 100-year-old Rose Dawsoon Calvertt learns of this drawing and identifies herself as the woman depicted. Her and her granddaughter Elizabeth “Lizzy” Calvert contact Lovett’s team. Rose is revealed as Rose DeWitt Bukater, a woman believed to have died on the Titanic.
Bukater is a 17 year old upper-class woman engaged to the quintessential snob by the name of Caledon “Cal” Hockley (Billy Zane) when she boards the Titanic with her mother Ruth Bukater (Frances Fisher). The Dewitt-Bukater family, although projecting an upper class lifestyle has fallen under difficult financial times, and the marriage of Rose to the Cal, the heir to a steel fortune will eliminate all of their debts. Distraught over her situation and dissatisfaction with her engagement, Rose attempts suicide by jumping off the stern of the Titanic. Her attempted is quelled by an American by the name of Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio). Dawson is taken by her beauty and has the opportunity to mingle with the first class passengers for one night. The relationship between Dawson and Bukater grows and thanks to music from Gaelic Storm and some ale, they spend an enchanting night in third class.
Hockley finds out about their partying and forbids Rose to see Jack again, but she defies Hockley and meets Dawson on the rail where they share a passionate kiss. Retiring to Rose’s stateroom, she asks Dawson to sketch her wearing only the Heart of the Ocean, an engagement present from Hockley, and a smile. After more eloping, Rose decides that when they reach New York that she will leave the ship with Jack. They then witness the collision of the Titanic with the iceberg in the middle of the Atlantic. Cal discovers the drawing and a taunting note that Rose left him and frames Dawson for stealing the Heart of the Ocean. Dawson is arrested and taken to the master-at-arms office. Cal slaps Rose across the face due to his anger. Rose runs away from him (spitting in his face as Jack taught her to earlier) and her mother (who is in a lifeboat) to rescue Jack from imprisonment. With his “cell” being at the bottom of the ship and the ship sinking, the office slowly begins to flood. Rose eventually gets to him and frees him with an axe.
Cal convinces Rose to board a lifeboat by telling her that he made arrangements with one of the men working the lifeboats and that Dawson would get off safely. Once Rose is out of earshot, Cal reveals that there was an arrangement, but it wouldn’t be used to save Jack. Rose realizes that she cannot leave Jack and goes back for him again. Cal boards a collapsible lifeboat by pretending to look for a lost child, while Jack and Rose are washed into the freezing Atlantic after attempting to take refuge on the stern. They manage to grab onto an oak door that can only support one of them. Jack suffers from severe hypothermia and dies in Rose’s arms.
Titanic Movie Epilogue
Rose is taken by the RMS Carpathia to New York and gives the name Rose Dawson leading people to believe that Rose DeWitt Bukater died on the Titanic. She sees Cal on the deck of the Carpathia one last time looking for her. She later explains that Cal married and committed suicide after the stock market crash in 1929 when he lost everything. After she steps onto the railing, it is revealed she still has the Heart of the Ocean in her possession. She drops the diamond into the water, sending it to join the remains of the most important event of her life. The film ends with a shot of Rose in bed. Around her are pictures of her doing everything she said she would do with Jack throughout her life. The final shot of the film is where the young Rose is reunited with Jack at the Grand Staircase of the Titanic, surrounded and applauded by those who perished on the ship, as they kiss passionately.