Rose Dawson

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Matthew O'Brien

This may be a stupid question, but I wanted to know how many other people have noticed this. In Cameron's movie, Lovett's assistanst does a back ground check on the woman that he believes in only claiming to be Rose Dewitt-Bukater; he believes that he has disproved her claim by discovering that in the 20's she was working as an actress named Rose Dawson. At the end of the movie though, Rose conceals her identity by giving her name as Rose Dawson to a Company Official. If she used this name, this name would have been listed among the survivors. Why then, don't they connect this elderly woman with the Rose Dawson who survived the sinking if they couldn't connect her with Rose Dewitt-Bukater?

I am not a huge fan of the movie's fictional love story, but this has always bothered me.


Yet another reason why Cameron's script couldn't even get an Oscar nomination (and if she was in movies, a very visible and public form of entertainment, is it really credible to believe that no one from the Titanic would have recognized her?)
eric if you think your such an expert why don't you right a script and send it to a few of us. I mean you seem to be the "Knows what it takes to right a good script guy". come on write one.
Yeah, every one I know asked me that question: Why if Titanic got eleven Oscars, wasn't the script even nominated? There are just too many flaws that only a writer would catch, but as Eric said, the main reason is because of all the loose ends. No matter how visually beautiful (in par with "Gone With the Wind"), no matter how successful the actors were in portraying their characters AS THE DIRECTOR/WRITER COMMANDED THEM (and believe me, anyone who has worked with Cameron will tell you he is dictatorial), no matter how accurate the sets, costumes, continuity, etc., the script got in the way and tripped over itself so many times it's a wonder everyone didn't get seasick from it while repeating their lines. It's to the actors' credit that they were able to project their lines with straight faces and find a way to inject some believability to the masses to win the audience's sympathy and concern for them. As the old saying goes, those who can - do, those who can't - teach. I've been on both sides, both as an actor and a writer, and I know what the actors had to go through, especially with the writer being the director, and the director being James Cameron to boot! So do not judge the actors so harshly. Yes, a good actor (even the extras with no lines and most of them on the cutting room floor) will research his/her character to a great extent, but in the end, no matter how the actor argues for the truth, the director has the final say, and actors hate to be replaced, so directors get their way. Truthfully, it's just a movie. It's entertainment. Movies are never meant to be oracles of truth. Movies are the vision of the writer first, the producers second, and the director third. At the end of the day, it's about making money - lots and lots and lots of money. Will it draw crowds at the box office? Will it sell videos and DVDs? Will it sell toothpaste when it hits television? That's what studios care about. That's why they campaign so heavily to win Oscars. Did "Titanic" deserve to win eleven Oscars? In my professional opinion, absolutely. Why? Because it achieved excellence in its CRAFT, not because it achieved excellence in its authenticity. Movies are an artist's vision, not a photograph. Do you criticize Picasso for his vision of a woman? Or Van Gogh for his depiction of a starry night? No. Then for the same reason, you must understand that this is also art, and film is only a canvas. It's all about perception. Cameron's perception has changed, and expanded to a level where he has gone back to Titanic and made another movie, which promises to tell the truth (hopefully). I've never - NEVER!!! - known any other director/writer in Hollywood of his caliber to do that. For that, you should all give him credit and move on to critique something else. This puppy has run its course and is ready for beddy-bye.

All the best,

Jason D. Tiller

Great post Kyrila! I couldn't agree more.

Best regards,


Timothy Brandsoy


Titanic the movie, like the real thing, will be discussed long after we are gone.
I think James Cameron was a bit out of his element. He does good effects and action movies, but Titanic was too dependent on dialogue, not his forte. Movies are an art form, not necessarily art. But his interpretation will always be at the forefront of contemporary culture, like it or not.

Don't get me wrong, I love the movie. It was the 2nd movie I got on DVD (Bullett being the first) and have watched it many times. It looks great on a high resolution big screen TV! Make no mistake the star of the movie was the ship herself. Cameron has said that he lighted her to make her stand out like a leading lady...and lighting is everything as we all know LOL.

Some people have a problem with Kate's Rose being a 'modern' women, that she was too current, although they did exist even then. But she would have been thought a radical or a lesbian at that time.

From PBS:
1914: Medical article links women's participation in the suffrage movement with "repressed homosexuality."

Medical Theory and Homosexuality
Women who challenged the primacy of men - whether by entering the work place, demanding the vote, or rejecting a man's sexual prerogatives -- were often labeled by doctors as biological misfits and "inverts," one of the terms used for gays and lesbians. In medical articles of the time, doctors often linked women's political activism to defective sexuality, declaring that if a woman harbored "masculine ideas of independence," she likely possessed other "manly" attributes -- such as excessive body hair, a fondness for cigars and the ability to whistle. While conceding that not every suffragist was a lesbian, these doctors nonetheless determined that their efforts to "invade a man's sphere" was a clear indication that women activists had a "certain impelling force within them."

So I think it entirely possible, even in 1912 for a 17 year old girl to be versed in Freud and current psychology. It could also explain her interest in Jack, a sexually ambiguous (non-threatening) drifter and an untrained artist lacking in style. But, as I mentioned earlier in another thread, if she was so worldly she would have known that Impressionism was nothing new by 1912.

I think Kate brought a lot to the character, she'd done some serious work in New Zealand before. See Heavenly Creatures if you ever get a chance.

Actually, I found Rose's comments about Freud and Picasso to be annoying in that she came off as a snide, condescending jerk going out of her way to be rude to everyone who was part of the First Class world. That was precisely why I found myself not developing one whit of sympathy for her plight.

As for Jack, the only word that can summarize his character is "loser". If he were an ambitious immigrant out to make his fortune in America like the bulk of Titanic's steerage passengers were, then I could have more easily accepted the whole class barrier romance because then you would have had a fascinating contrast. Rose, the First Class woman who wants to escape the world of First Class and Jack, the steerage passenger who hopes to one day be part of that world. But to me, someone who's nobility is defined by his lack of desire to make an honest living while teaching the joys of spitting and giving the finger is also a character I couldn't develop a drop of sympathy for either.

Timothy Brandsoy


She was snide to them, at least to those who were the snobby elite (I don't think the characterizations of Ismay or the Gordons were fair however). She had no problem with Andrews or Margaret Brown. She enjoyed the steerage crowd more.

Jack wasn't an immigrant. He was returning to Wisconsin. I don't know if being an artist is NOT an honest living, it's certainly a difficult one. Certainly his manners were poor, but what man or woman/child isn't when they are proving their independance. He was a social malcontent ala James Dean "East of Eden via Titanic" LOL

They were flawed characters, not my accident in my estimation.

The snideness also extended to Ismay, Colonel Gracie and Astor, who I think deserved better. And I also resented seeing the Straus's scenes left on the cutting room floor because to me they offered at least some counterpoint to the prevailing idea in the film that the more poor you are, the better your capacity to love.

I'm aware that Jack wasn't an immigrant. I simply think an immigrant would have been a more plausible and believable character for a fictional story set aboard Titanic because Titanic had far more immigrants aboard then social malcontents.

Tom Pappas

I think the Straus scene at the lifeboat was cut because it would have created overload in the "woman not leaving her man to die" department, thereby diluting the effect of Rose getting back on board. Besides, its deletion gave a few more seconds for action-flick director Cameron (The Terminator, Aliens) to spend on the Perils of Pauline partie deux below decks.

James Dean as Jack - what a concept!
Timothy, after winning 11 Oscars, I doubt Cameron was "out of his element." Has he won so many Oscars for his other films? But I don't want to start an argument. I agree with you that the dialogue needed LOTS of work - and the voting members of the Academy agreed!
As for James Dean as "Jack," it could have been worse - it could have been Keanu Reeves! Personally I would have preferred Brendan Fraser. Now there's an actor who can take an innane role ("Encino Man" "George of the Jungle") and make it sexy and believable. But what DiCaprio brought to the table was a vulnerability and cockiness that Cameron wanted for the character. This is a kid who cut his acting chops on films such as "Gilbert Grape" and the one with Diane Keaton - roles which required serious and demanding acting. The kid can act, but this was not a film that required much acting, because - after all - the ship was THE star. It stole every scene it was in - which was pretty much all of them. IMO. :)

Oh, and for those who STILL think it should have been more accurate - Do you think Casablanca should have more accurately depicted WWII? Or Gone With the Wind should have more accurately depicted the Civil War? Like I said, it's just entertainment.

Kyrila, Yes Cameron's Titanic movie is just meant to be entertainment.But as I have said in another post that to me fictitious character Rose is not a true representative of the real first class women that were aboard the Titanic.I find it hard to believe that any real first class woman would want to start a relationship with a poor guy down in steerage.And also the demeaning depiction of 1st Officer Murdoch shooting down 2 steerage passengers before pointing the gun at himself and committing suicide.There is not a shred of evidence that Officer Murdoch did this.I don't hate Cameron's Titanic movie.But I don't regard it as the definitive Titanic movie.The definitive Titanic movie in my humble opinion will always be A Night to Remember. Sincerely,Jerry Nuovo
"Do you think Casablanca should have more accurately depicted WWII?"

The analogy is not appropriate. "Casablanca" was made *during* the war when Hollywood was not concerned about history but providing something to boost the morale and enthusiasm of its audience for the ongoing war effort. And "Casablanca" makes no pretense of interacting with real persons at all or trying to accurately recreate the details of where it is set.
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