Titanic Myth Busted: Jack and Rose Could Have Lived Happily Ever After

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Paramount Pictures

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet shoot a scene in "Titanic" that requires them to balance on a floating piece of wood while get advice from director James Cameron.

We knew there was a way Jack and Rose could have lived happily ever after in the hit movie Titanic. All Rose needed to do was scoot over.

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, the duo behind the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters, made that point on Sunday’s episode, braving the waters of San Francisco Bay with an exact replica of the board that allowed Rose to float to safety at the end of the movie.

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In the movie, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) lets Rose (Kate Winslet) float on the board above the water while he hangs on, eventually freezing to death in the ice-cold North Atlantic. With only one life preserver and the single fragment of wood, there just wasn’t the room and there wasn’t enough buoyancy to keep both doomed lovers afloat.

But it worked for a pair of grown men on a television show—sort of. The Hyneman and Savage showed how they could, after much finagling, manage to both climb aboard the piece of wood and stay afloat.

Sunny San Francisco is a bit different from nighttime in the North Atlantic, but even still, without their full-body exposure suits it would get mighty cold pretty quick out there. But the Mythbusters do manage to improvise a solution Rose and Jack didn’t think of: tying their single life preserver to the bottom of the board, giving it enough flotation for the two of them to keep about 80 percent of their bodies out of the water. Good enough to keep from freezing to death for more than an hour? They didn’t test that.

The experiment didn’t impress director James Cameron much, though. As he said in an interview on the show, “I think you guys are missing the point. The script says Jack died. He has to die.” Okay, so Rose is off the hook for this one.

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