The ending to James Cameron’s 1997 mega-blockbuster “Titanic” has always infuriated fans, but that has mostly been out of frustration for the elderly Rose flippantly throwing the priceless “Heart of the Ocean” necklace into the water rather than anything to do from a storytelling perspective. Now, however, the alternate ending to the film is once again making the rounds and fans are relieved to see that the ending isn’t potentially even more aggravating.
Twitter user Pat Brennan reignited the fury last week by tweeting out an abbreviated version of the alternate ending, reminding folks just how campy this version of events could’ve been:
The aging Rose–still intent on tossing the insanely valuable piece of jewelry into the ocean–gives a sappy life lesson about how you can’t put a price on life and to live every day to the fullest.
“You look for treasure in the wrong place, Mr. Lovett. Only life is priceless … and making each day count,” she says in the clip as Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) looks on in disbelief.
The sequence very much reads like the dramatic ending to a first draft before the writer eventually discovers how to say more with less, and to show instead of tell.
The older Rose character, played by the late Gloria Stuart, then tosses the necklace into the ocean while making an odd squeaking sound, forever surrendering the heirloom to the murky depths below.
“Jesus, no!” Lovett’s colleague exclaims, echoing the sentiments of seemingly everyone who has ever watched the alternate ending.
The clip isn’t new, nor is it as rare as one might assume, though it does seem to gain traction on the internet every few years. The footage was originally made available on a 2005 DVD release of the movie.
Furthermore, Bill Paxton actually reminisced about the alternate ending in a February 27, 2017 interview with Yahoo News published just two days after his tragic death at the age of 61. “The alternate ending that didn’t make the movie,” said Paxton with a smile. “Oh, Jesus.”
“She turns and she’s holding the diamond, and my character’s been all about finding this diamond because he’s a mercenary treasure hunter,” Paxton continued. “And she says something to me about ‘You don’t know what to really value in life’ and throws the diamond in. I just have an epiphany where I look up and I have this crazy laugh. I mean, I would have shot heroin to make the scene work better.”
The full 10-minute version of the alternate “Titanic” ending is embedded below.