As promised, James Cameron joined the Mythbusters guys on last night’s episode to once and for all debunk the show’s most-requested myth: The pop culture theory that Jack and Rose could’ve both survived on the plank at the end of Titanic. When Reddit explored the issue months ago, they determined that the buoyancy wasn’t enough for both bodies, which lets Rose off the hook somewhat for making Jack take to the frigid waters of the Atlantic while they waited to get rescued.
But most people wouldn’t be satisfied until Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman took to the plank themselves! And like I said, Cameron was a good sport about joining the experiment. Turns out Cameron gets fan e-mails every day telling him, “Rose is a selfish so-and-so [Editor's Note: we imagine there's a stronger word they use] and Jack’s an idiot.” Lo and behold, the hosts discovered that Rose and Jack could have both survived on the plank, but only under one condition. Check out this preview of them adjusting the plank to fit their actual body weight and then waiting the 63 minutes that it took for Rose to get rescued in the movie.
“Rose” and “Jack” clambered up onto the plank, and just like in the movie it started to sink. But then they had the bright idea to tie Rose’s lifejacket underneath the board! Thus giving it more buoyancy—enough that both were able to have 80% of their bodies out of the water for the full 63 minutes of waiting. That’s 100% more than Jack got. We also learned that prolonged exposure to the water slows down motor control, which is also part of why Jack drowned. But as long as they stayed on top of the board, drowning wasn’t a danger.
I don’t even know what to believe anymore. If only Jack and Rose had conjured up the ghosts of MacGyver or Bear Grylls, they could’ve both escaped to America together. Even worse is that there’s foreshadowing to this moment—when they first end up in the water and that random guy tries to jump on top of Rose in her lifejacket! Jack saves her from drowning, but God forbid she put two and two together and take advantage of the added buoyancy of her vest. Actually, if you think about it, it gets even more offensive: Rose was already floating, and yet she decides to keep her lifejacket on.
Hyneman summed it up for all of us: “With all we’ve learned, I think Jack’s death was needless.” Oh snap! But of course Cameron — who expected to be in the right here — had to have the final word. “I think you guys are missing the point here,” he joked to the Mythbusters guys. “The script says Jack died. He has to die. So maybe we screwed up and the board should have been a little tiny bit smaller, but the dude’s goin’ down.”
[via Entertainment Weekly]
Photo: Paramount Pictures