April 17, 2024

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Titanic prop that saved Rose and sparked controversy sells for $700,000 at auction on NPR website

Titanic prop that saved Rose and sparked controversy sells for $700,000 at auction on NPR website

The wooden door panel that saved Rose's life in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic It was one of hundreds of famous Hollywood props, many from the movie, that were auctioned off at a five-day auction last week.

Heritage Auctions


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Heritage Auctions

The wooden door panel that saved Rose's life in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic It was one of hundreds of famous Hollywood props, many from the movie, that were auctioned off at a five-day auction last week.

Heritage Auctions

Some of the most iconic props in Hollywood history went up for auction last week, from Indiana Jones' trusty whip to Forrest Gump's assorted chocolates to the infamous ax from the shining.

But the best-selling piece was a piece of wreckage, even though it had sparked imagination and debate for more than a quarter-century.

“The plank is from Titanic “Who saved Rose — but, controversially, not Jack — was the king of the auction, bringing in $718,750 to float to the top of the five-day event,” auction house Heritage Auctions said. He said in a statement.

the “Hero Wood Floating Board“I played Creative role In the 1997 blockbuster film. As the Titanic sinks, stranding passengers in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Rose, played by Kate Winslet, manages to lie down on a piece of a door while Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, clings to the edge, eventually succumbing to hypothermia.

“The biggest spectacle, really, the climactic spectacle, if you will.” The auctioneer said-Introducing a widget item. “There are many big scenes but this is goodbye.”

Bidding started at $60,000 and ended about five minutes later at $575,000 (total cost includes additional fees). In the live video, the audience can be heard applauding warmly as the auctioneer congratulates the winner, whom he refers to as “Mr. Green.”

The five-day “Treasures from Planet Hollywood” auction generated more than $15.6 million from more than 5,500 bidders worldwide across about 1,600 lots, according to Heritage Auctions, which said there were so many bidding wars that “we lost track of it.” .

“There's been a generational shift to where these huge franchises and blockbuster movies were in the '80s and '90s — Home Alones, Indiana Jones movies, the Die hards, of course, Titanic “—is now a collector's favorite,” Executive Vice President Joe Maddalena said in a statement provided to NPR. “Collectors are finally rewarding these artifacts for what they are: cultural artifacts akin to ancient fine art.”

Five of the best pieces came from Titanicincluding the ship's steering wheel ($200,000), Rose's water-soaked chiffon dress ($118,750) and the ship's brass engine dial telegraph ($81,250) — another sign that the public's fascination with the century-old shipwreck is going nowhere. place.

The prop is modeled on a realistic structure

The 8-foot-long, 41-inch-wide floating piece of wood is made of balsa wood and intricately carved with Rococo motifs such as floral accents and scrolling curves, according to the auction house.

A plaque on the back reads: “Leonardo DiCaprio / Kate Winslet / Titanic / 20th Century Fox / Paramount Pictures, 1997 / The floating plate he uses to save her life in the film's sinking sequence, in their roles as the characters Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater.” Courtesy From Twentieth Century Fox.”

Heritage Auctions says the prop was based on “the most famous complete piece of debris from the 1912 tragedy,” which is believed to be part of the door frame just above the first-class lounge entrance.

Researchers hypothesize that the plaque represents the exact area where the ship split into two parts and that it rose to the surface of the water as the ship sank. The auction house notes that it closely resembles a certain artifact housed at the Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Director James Cameron visited the museum during the production of the film and consulted an American expert who helped with the research there, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. Maritime Museum.

“Among other things, this allowed the construction of exact replicas of deck chairs and, most notably, a replica of a large piece of carved oak. [paneling] “It was used in the climactic death scene in the film where Rose's character clings to floating debris,” she added.

Fans have long debated whether there's room for both Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) on the makeshift raft in the 1997 blockbuster. Titanic.

CBS/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images


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CBS/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Fans have long debated whether there's room for both Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) on the makeshift raft in the 1997 blockbuster. Titanic.

CBS/CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

The piece of wood is at the center of a constant debate

Angry fans have argued for decades that there was a place on the board for both lovers and that Rose could have saved Jack – and their star-crossed love story – by simply hurrying up.

Cameron strongly disagrees He explained in multiple interviews Over the years.

“When Jack puts Rose on the raft, he tries to get on the raft — he's not a fool, he doesn't want to die — and the raft sinks; it just kind of capsizes.” Cameron told IGN in 2012. “And obviously there's really enough buoyancy available for one person. So he made the decision to let her be that person.”

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Mythbusters Even teamed up with Cameron In a ring In the same year to address the question he described as “the most requested legend in the history of MythBuster”.

they I finish That both Rose and Jack could have stayed afloat and avoided hypothermia, but only if they had thought to strap their life jackets underneath to aid buoyancy. Cameron said at the time that this was missing the point Five years later He loved working with the MythBusters, “but they're full of bad***”).

He said in the episode, “The script says that Jack is dead. He has to die.” “So maybe we made a mistake and the board should have been a little smaller, but the guy would fall.”

In 2022, a full 25 years after the film's release, Cameron said he commissioned a scientific study in the hopes of shutting down the debate once and for all.

The results, which were broadcast in a National Geographic especially Last year, he suggested that under some scenarios, Both Jack and Rose would have survived On the temporary raft if they knew more about hypothermia and thermodynamics.

“In an experiment in a test set, we couldn't simulate the terror and the adrenaline and all the things that worked against them,” Cameron said. “He couldn't have predicted what we know today about hypothermia. He couldn't have done a bunch of different experiments to find out what worked best.”

Ultimately, Cameron insisted that Jack's death was necessary as a plot device and character choice. But he said he would have done it differently based on what he knows now: “I would have made the raft smaller, so there's no doubt.”