Director James Cameron has never had a problem with exotic alien planets, car chases, killer mercenaries from the future or anything of that sort. He’s inarguably one of the biggest and most successful directors of all time, having made some of the most lavish, spectacle-heavy blockbusters of the modern era (“Aliens,” “The Terminator,” “True Lies” and um, “Avatar”, just to name a few). It is instead small, intimate moments and honest-to-goodness human connection that he seems to have more trouble with (or perhaps less interest in). It’s a thought entertained by a segment of the American moviegoing public in 1997, when we all sat in a theatre at the end of “Titanic,” wondering why Rose (Kate Winslet) couldn’t just… scoot over a little bit to make room for her dying love Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) before he fell to the bottom of the freezing ocean deep, never to return.
Well folks, the alternative ending to the 1997 film —previously the highest-grossing motion picture of all time, before Cameron de-throned himself “Avatar”— has surfaced on YouTube, and the results make us grateful for the ending that sees a lip-quivering baby Leo plummet to the bottom of the ocean. Seriously. Because this “other” ending makes the original look like Jean Renoir by comparison.
The following clip contains many baffling elements: long periods of delayed vocal reactions, Bill Paxton’s “blank face”, a Harry Knowles look-a-like screaming at the elderly Rose “this really sucks, lady!” No kidding. In the clip, we find out what really happens to the elusive Heart of the Ocean —the bejeweled necklace that sets the film’s present-day plot in motion— and we also get a end-of-the-movie sermon from Gloria Stuart’s older Rose about the flimsiness of material possessions and the value of true love and human connection. Oy. It’s all delivered in a mannered, mostly unconvincing fashion with the emotionally-charged (some might even say manipulative) score by James Horner cranked all the way up to 11, doing its damndest to bring the viewer to tears. Seriously, try watching the last minute of this thing without your jaw hanging open in disbelief. We tried, but alas, it was not possible. See for yourself. [MTV]