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James Cameron finally revealed why Jack had to die in ‘Titanic’

Rose had to let go.

Two decades after the Titanic sank on the big screen, director James Cameron is still defending one of Hollywood’s most heartbreaking movie deaths.

After joking to Vanity Fair that Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) froze to death hanging off a wooden plank clearly big enough for him and Rose (Kate Winslet) happened “because it says on page 147 (of the script) that Jack dies,” Cameron called the decision “an artistic choice.”

“I think it’s all kind of silly, really, that we’re having this discussion 20 years later. But it does show that the film was effective in making Jack so endearing to the audience that it hurts them to see him die. Had he lived, the ending of the film would have been meaningless,” he told the magazine.

‘Titanic’ returns to theaters for 20th anniversary

Kathy Bates expertly depicted one of the Titanic's most dazzling passengers, Maggie Brown -- known as "the unsinkable" Molly Brown later in life -- in the 1997 film. Referred to as "new money" while on the Titanic, Brown survived the ship’s sinking and went on to become a philanthropist, actress, and socialite. A Broadway musical and movie about her life, called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," was made in 1960 and 1964, respectively.

“Titanic” characters based on real people

“The film is about death and separation; he had to die.”

“MythBusters,” however, hasn’t taken Cameron’s frequent defense of Jack’s death well, devoting an entire 2012 episode to proving that the lovebirds could both have fit on the door and survived the frigid water.

james cameron

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