Anna Sheffer
July 18, 2019 8:39 am

By now, most Titanic fans have strong opinions about whether Jack could have fit onto the door with Rose. The door scene remains one of the most controversial moments in ’90s cinema, and Leonardo DiCaprio is still fielding questions about it. But apparently, the internet has been so concentrated on the questions that it missed one crucial detail: The “door” that rescues Rose isn’t a door at all.

BuzzFeed recently pointed out that Rose really grabbed on to what looks like part of a wooden door frame above a door, not an actual door. It’s a revelation powerful enough to make us question everything we’ve believed about this James Cameron classic, but it turns out that there is a lot of compelling evidence. Irish website The Daily Edge examined the question back in 2017 and found that the movie’s script never mentions a door. Instead, it refers to “a piece of wooden debris, intricately carved.” The script also specifies that “when Jack tries to get up onto the thing, it tilts and submerges, almost dumping Rose off. It is clearly only big enough to support her.”

The “door” also bears an uncanny resemblance to a piece of real-life detritus from the RMS Titanic.

Andrew Milligan, Getty Images

This isn’t a coincidence. According to Nova Scotia’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, James Cameron visited several of the ship’s artifacts on display there before working on his 1997 movie. The museum also notes that Cameron consulted with a known expert on the historic shipwreck to create an accurate replica of “a large piece of carved oak paneling” that was used “in the climactic death scene in the film where the character Rose clings to floating wreckage.”

Well, there you have it. Everything we thought we knew about Titanic is wrong. Somehow, we have a feeling that people will still call this infamous scene “the door scene,” though. Saying “the carved oak paneling scene” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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