'Titanic' was king of the world 25 years ago, and for good reason : Pop Culture Happy Hour When Titanic pulled into theaters 25 years ago, it quickly became an inescapable cultural juggernaut. Everything about it was huge: Its budget, runtime, box office, and accolades. And it catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into a whole new stratosphere of fame. Now that we've got some distance from Leo Mania and "king of the world" jokes, how does James Cameron's epic hold up all these years later? Vote for your favorite American Idol contestants at npr.org/AmericanIdol

'Titanic' was king of the world 25 years ago, and for good reason

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AISHA HARRIS, HOST:

When "Titanic" pulled into theaters 25 years ago, it quickly became an inescapable cultural juggernaut. Everything about it was huge - its budget, runtime, box office and accolades. And it catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into a whole new stratosphere of fame. The parodies were seemingly endless.

LINDA HOLMES, HOST:

"Titanic's" massive success and ubiquity have also made it easy to dismiss the movie as a cheesy romance only teenage girls could love. But now that we've got some distance from Leomania (ph) and king of the world jokes, how does James Cameron's epic hold up all these years later? I'm Linda Holmes.

HARRIS: And I'm Aisha Harris. And near, far, wherever you are, we're talking about "Titanic" on POP CULTURE HAPPY HOUR from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

HARRIS: Joining us today is Vulture TV critic Roxana Hadadi. Welcome back, Roxana.

ROXANA HADADI: Thank you. Thank you.

HARRIS: And also joining us is writer Chris Klimek. Welcome back to you, too, Chris.

CHRIS KLIMEK: Thank you. I'm so excited to discuss Jim Cameron's second-best seafaring disaster romance with you all.

(LAUGHTER)

HARRIS: All right. Here we go. So in case you haven't seen "Titanic," Kate Winslet plays the upper-class Rose. She boards the Titanic with her mother, Ruth, and her pompous older fiance, Cal, played by Frances Fisher and Billy Zane, respectively. Also aboard ship is Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack Dawson, a poor drifter who manages to snag a third-class ticket in a poker game. Now, Rose and Jack meet and strike up a not-so-secret romance, despite their class differences and Cal's many attempts to run interference. And then, of course, the ship strikes an iceberg.

Gloria Stuart plays Rose in the present day. She recounts her experience to a treasure hunter, played by Bill Paxton, named Brock Lovett. He's leading an expedition of the ship's wreckage and is searching for a famous jewel known as the Heart of the Ocean. James Cameron wrote and directed the film.

And here are a few stats, in case you've forgotten just how big a deal this movie was at the time. It was huge, as we've already said. It became the first movie to cross the $1 billion mark in box office. It was the No. 1 movie for 15 weeks in a row, and it was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and took home 11. At the time, it tied with "Ben-Hur" for most wins for a single film. So obviously, this was a big deal 25 years ago, but how do we feel about it now? Roxana, let's start with you.

HADADI: This movie still rules, like, in every way that a movie can rule. I think the first time I saw it, I was actually in Iran and watched it on a bootleg VHS...

KLIMEK: Wow.

HADADI: ...Because the international appeal of this movie was huge. It was...

HARRIS: Yeah.

HADADI: ...As you said, rightly, everywhere. And I think it still holds up in some very impressive ways. I think the practical effects are still amazing. It's so impressive, especially as the industry has moved more and more toward CGI. So I think there's a practical, tactile feel to the movie that still resonates. And I still love this romance. I still love Leo and Kate Winslet together and this very sort of expected two people from different sides of the track fall in love, but they do it so compellingly.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TITANIC")

KATE WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) Don't presume to tell me what I will and will not do. You don't know me.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) Well, you would have done it already.

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) You're distracting me. Go away.

DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) I can't. I'm involved now. You let go, and I'm going to have to jump in there after you.

HADADI: This is still a movie that I hold very dear to me, but I don't know what everyone else thinks.

HARRIS: Well, at the time, just off of reading a few articles from when the movie came out, it sounded like so much of the draw was that love story. Like, yes, there is the spectacle. But a lot of people were also going back repeatedly to the theater to watch this three-hour-and-15-minute movie because of the connection that Winslet and DiCaprio have on screen. So I concur. I have other thoughts on that, but I understand that feeling very, very well. Chris, our noted James Cameron...

KLIMEK: Apologist.

HARRIS: (Laughter).

KLIMEK: Yeah. You know who was not a teenage girl in 1997, was me, and I was there on opening night, December 19, right before Christmas. Just to give you a time stamp - I got my tickets via Moviefone, not moviefone.com. And I went back, I think, two more times, bringing up my collective investment to 582 minutes. And I was there because, you know, in 1997, Jim Cameron was my favorite filmmaker. I had to sneak in 'cause I wasn't quite old enough for opening night of "Terminator 2" and "True Lies" and, you know, a few years after that. But I think the thing that is hard to recall now, 25 years later, is what a swerve this was, I mean, in terms of a thematic swerve. Like, all of the stories that, you know, we - in our prep doc, we had some of the reporting from the time about how this was going to be "Cleopatra." This was going to be "Heaven's Gate." This was going to sink 20th Century Fox, no pun...

HOLMES: "Waterworld."

KLIMEK: Yeah, exactly.

HARRIS: Yeah.

KLIMEK: You know, and of course, this is my favorite filmmaker. I'm reading these updates on Ain't It Cool News because, again, 1997. And I'm like, wow, what's going to happen? And also, this is a romance? But I was totally swept away by it, too, you know? And, I mean, I had not seen the Baz Luhrmann "Romeo + Juliet" at that time. I did know Kate Winslet from "Heavenly Creatures," the Peter Jackson movie. But, I mean, they were not making the kinds of movies that I was really going crazy for at that time. This really seemed to me, then and now, this kind of a perfect marriage between a truly ambitious, technologically visionary experiment and just a shameless, you know, kind of cornball, old Hollywood, sweeping epic.

I did have to watch this again because this is not one of the Cameron movies that I know every shot of. But I loved it. I mean, I think this movie absolutely deserves its reputation. I mean, yeah, everyone knows when it comes to dialogue, Jim Cameron is not Noel Coward. But screenwriting is way more than dialogue. William Goldman, who's got a couple of Oscars for screenwriting, when he was writing his Premier magazine roundup of all the Oscar winners at the end of the year was like, I totally defend this movie's screenwriting nomination because screenwriting is structured. Dialogue is the least important thing. So yeah, there's some howlers, but so what? I think this movie is great. I think it absolutely deserves its legacy.

HARRIS: Awesome. Thank you, Chris. Linda, how about you?

HOLMES: I was not a teenage girl, but I was a woman who loved romantic movies. And for me, I have such a strong memory of how much I loved this movie when I saw it. I am pretty sure I did go back and see it a couple more times. I was thrilled by the scale of it, by the beauty of it and, yeah, by the fact that it was this big, big, big story. And I think one thing that it helps to remember is that, in addition to what Chris said, which is that this was a swerve for Cameron, this was also not a kind of movie that they were making a ton of at the time. This was a big time for, like, cop movies and action movies. It was a big time for kind of comedy dudes like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler and that kind of thing.

KLIMEK: Just to support what Linda was saying about what studios were in the business of in 1997 - this movie was, of course, supposed to come out Independence Day weekend, '97. And it was six months late. So that left Fox with their other boat movie that summer, "Speed 2: Cruise Control."

HOLMES: Yes, absolutely.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: So these, like, big, sweeping romantic epics were not that much of a thing then, you know? You had had "The English Patient." And you had had "Out Of Africa" long before that. And you would - but you would later have stuff like "Pearl Harbor." But those things hadn't happened yet. And so my reaction to rewatching this has been so colored by the fact that I am in the middle of reading Isaac Butler's book "The Method"...

KLIMEK: Oh, that's great.

HOLMES: ...Which is about method acting. But it's about the transformation of acting and film in the middle of the 20th century and kind of how American filmmakers and audiences got less into certain kinds of things and more into other kinds of things. That is a spectacularly interesting lens through which to watch one single performance in this movie. It is Billy Zane as Cal.

HARRIS: I love him so much (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TITANC")

BILLY ZANE: (As Cal Hockley) Completely unacceptable. What made you think that you could put your hands on my fiancee? Look at me, you filth.

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) Cal.

ZANE: (As Cal Hockley) What do you think you were doing?

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) Cal, stop.

ZANE: (As Cal Hockley) What gives you the...

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) It was an accident.

HOLMES: It is so easy to look at that performance and say, that's such bad, corny acting.

KLIMEK: I think of it as a silent film performance.

HOLMES: It's just different acting, right?

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: He's not trying to be Brando. He's not trying to do naturalistic, like, everyman acting. He's a type. And that is what acting used to be.

HARRIS: Yeah.

HOLMES: Before people decided it should be super, super hyper-natural, it was this very exaggerated, being a type of darling. And he is this just rich slimeball in this very particular way. And, you know, they are types as well, to a lesser degree. But, you know, she's very much the kind of spunky ingenue who wants to break out on her own. Leonardo DiCaprio is very much the not the Brando tortured person. And there's some talk in the history about him and Cameron going back and forth about the fact that was kind of DiCaprio's idea of himself. And Cameron was saying, no, no, no, this is a simpler, more optimistic guy. It's not that story.

So I saw - I rewatched this whole movie through the lens of kind of it being a throwback in filmmaking style, in acting style, you know, not just that it was a period piece. And I really was awash in a new respect for just the scale of the filmmaking because, as Roxana said, although there are certainly a lot of visual effects in this movie, there are also a ton of practical effects. They notoriously built this boat.

KLIMEK: Yeah, built a whole studio in Mexico.

HOLMES: I mean, it's a spectacular feat of technical filmmaking. And on that basis alone, I just - I admire it enormously, enormously. And I was so happy to go back and watch. I could not watch quite all of it because there are actually parts of it that I find so sad that I can't (laughter) watch them, but delighted to watch it again.

HADADI: It's also so funny to think of Leo because he's always Leo to me - to think of Leo as wanting to do this, like, tortured, almost, like, Romeo performance that he had just given in Baz Luhrmann's movie. But he's so much, by requirement of the story, softer and cockier. And, like, there has really become now with time, looking upon that Leo performance, is, like, oh, that was actually something very different from what we had gotten from him so far and, honestly, what we would ever get from him again because he did not maintain romantic, sort of heroic acting.

HARRIS: He definitely fled from that, I think.

HADADI: Yeah.

HARRIS: So I was 9. We were a strictly no-PG-13-movies-if-you're-under-13 household. So I was not seeing this in the theater, but every girl in my class saw it and every day - for what was probably only maybe a couple months but felt like it was a full year - was wearing the "Titanic" shirt. So Leomania was there. And I can understand why he wanted to sort of, like, run away from that because that could have been a trap. It could have been, you know, him getting stuck in what, you know, some of the "Twilight" actors have gotten stuck in.

My journey with the film was that, you know, I saw it once it came out on video, and I remember my mom letting us watch it 'cause she had seen it, so she could, like, kind of vet what parts I could watch and what I couldn't. And I remember loving once the ship hit the iceberg and being bored by everything that came before it. When I was a young girl, I was very much like, ugh (ph), the romance sucks, blah, blah, blah. I just like the part where the ship goes down, so I skip - and whenever it was on TV, I would wait until I could time sort of when the ship was actually hitting it 'cause it doesn't hit until about an hour and 38 minutes in.

KLIMEK: It's minute 100 - 100 minutes into a 194-minute movie. So the movie is more than half over when they hit the iceberg, yeah.

HARRIS: It takes a long time to get there. And so I was kind of like, oh, this movie - this is a such a simple story, all these things that we've already talked about. And now having rewatched it, I still think the dialogue is terrible. I still think it's very simplistic, but you can't deny the chemistry that these two have. And I also really appreciate the ship hitting the iceberg in a different way. It was so interesting to watch because what is really, I think, not talked about enough when we're talking about this movie is the way in which all of these politics kind of come forward as people are trying to save their own lives. And so you've got the upstairs-downstairs - like, literally upstairs-downstairs concept of, like, the first class versus the third class and the middle class and how all of them are not treated the same way. Their lives are not treated the same way.

And then you also have all these moments of people trying to bargain, bribe or just becoming resigned to their fate. And the moment that really just hit me the most this time around was when the ship's band is playing "Nearer, My God, To Thee" as the ship is falling, and there's a montage where you see Victor Garber's character, who plays the architect who designed the ship. He's like, I'm just going to go down with the ship. I'm not even going to try. There's all these other people who we may or may not have seen but didn't have dialogue - so a woman...

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HARRIS: ...Tucking her kids in as the ship is going down.

HOLMES: And the old couple.

HADADI: The old couple in bed together.

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HADADI: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TITANIC")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character, snoring).

HARRIS: What I appreciate about that whole sequence and then the entire ship going down is that even though some of these characters we haven't even seen before, you still feel the moment. They're not just treated as bodies or collateral as they tend to be in these movies about disasters. Like, often you just see people falling. You don't even get to see what they look like. You just see them falling. And here there's just so much time taken to really just, like, let it sink in of what is happening. You feel like you are there on the ship. I think this is a good movie. Like, I used to say it's not, and now I think it's like, no, it's a good capital-M movie.

HADADI: Yeah.

HARRIS: And I wish I'd seen it on a big screen because it deserves to be seen on a big screen.

HOLMES: Yeah. And I think what you're talking about is related to what Chris was talking about with the screenwriting, the screenwriting not just being dialogue.

HARRIS: Right.

HOLMES: One of the things that I was struck by watching this again is just how much is going on all over the ship at different times. And you know - both because you can see it in the movie and because if you have read anything about Cameron - you know he's obsessively - he can tell you exactly where everyone on the ship is at every different individual moment. It's choreographed. You know, he knows exactly what happens to every individual person that you see walking around, in the dining room. You know, there are these stories that he would walk up to extras and give them backstories for their characters who are walking around.

Despite the fact that, you know, there was some really unhappy reporting about Kate Winslet's experience doing this movie and that Cameron had made comments about her weight and other things that I do not enjoy looking back on, she's radiant in this. DiCaprio is radiant in this. They're so beautiful. And some of that corny dialogue - although I do absolutely agree it's corny, some of that corny dialogue, you can't process anymore. You can no longer hear I'm the king in the world the way it sounded when it wasn't a joke.

KLIMEK: Yeah, which I think we can all agree was definitely the most scandalous thing ever to happen at the Oscars...

(LAUGHTER)

KLIMEK: ...Ever, ever.

HOLMES: But, like, some of those lines that are really super-corny - paint me like one of your French girls.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: Like, now they're memes. Now they're jokes.

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: They weren't as clunking at the time to me as they are when I watch it now.

HADADI: I also think that you could watch this movie on mute and still understand everything that's happening because there's such a strong sense of place within the ship. Like, we get all these long shots of the long hallways, the different levels. People are organized by class where you can go and not go. And also, just Winslet and DiCaprio - it makes sense to me that they remained friends. And we got the twist on this dynamic in "Revolutionary Road," where they play...

HOLMES: Yeah.

KLIMEK: Yeah, yeah.

HADADI: ...A very unhappily married couple. But there is something between the two of them that - even if you were to not listen to the dialogue, it's like, oh, I get it. Like, I get why these two would appeal to each other. And we do still get the they-could-have-both-fit-on-the-door memes all these years later, right? Like...

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HADADI: There is something still...

HOLMES: Yeah.

HADADI: ...That we care about in terms of, should they have ended up together? And why do we care so much? But we do.

KLIMEK: This is why I push back so hard whenever anyone is like, you know, Cameron is just a technician. He's just a guy who invents cameras and builds submarines, you know? But he doesn't know anything about storytelling, and he doesn't know anything about - look. You cast this movie wrong, and you get - look no further than "Avatar," right?

HARRIS: God, don't even get me started.

KLIMEK: Nothing wrong with the special effects in Avatar, right?

HOLMES: Right. Now he's in this endless cycle of, I'm going to make 16 more "Avatar" movies, which seem to get farther away every time you hear about them.

KLIMEK: Look. And even I don't want that. I mean, no one - look. Again, I am this guy's apologist, you know, court-appointed attorney, whatever. And even I don't want, like, nine more "Avatar"s. I would like - I wish you would spend your time doing something else. But I think when you take perfect casting, combine it with a brilliant James Horner score with all these other elements that I think brought people who were not me, you know, into the fold on on "Titanic," you get this really spectacular result.

HARRIS: Another thing that struck me about this rewatching it for the first time in full in at least over a decade was how feminist-y (ph) it tries to be because part of the whole point of this film is that Rose is unhappily betrothed to Billy Zane.

HADADI: The best.

HARRIS: Yes, Billy Zane is so great at this smarmy, terrible guy who only cares about himself. But, like, it is a kind of feminism that I think we all kind of laugh about today. But I imagine at that time, it felt like a very gung-ho aspect of the film and another draw to it for women in the way that, like, romance sometimes can be. I will say I kind of - I blanched at the moment that I forgot about where she says, to me it was a slave ship taking me back to America in chains. I was like...

HOLMES: Yeah, yeah.

HARRIS: I forgot that was a line of dialogue there.

HOLMES: Yeah. That's a disaster.

HARRIS: But what do you think in general about how this tries to portray a certain kind of feminism? And do you feel as though that was part of what made girls especially so drawn to this?

HADADI: I think that was part of the appeal. I mean, I think Cameron loves a strong female character - trademark - you know? Like, I think he really likes this - women can be resilient, and women can be tough, and women should talk about what they want. And I think we have demanded more as time has gone by. We want more complexity than that. But I think for the time, it was unique to get some sort of interiority as to what Rose wanted. And she did not want to be like her mother. She did not want to be part of this upper crust, sit around and gossip all day. She wanted to do things. I must have been, like, 11. And I remember thinking, like, that sounds awesome. Like, it worked - you know, like, it worked on me.

HARRIS: Yeah.

HADADI: And I think...

HARRIS: Yeah.

HADADI: ...That for that core - Leo is beautiful and I can grow up and do what I want and be a success - I think the movie did that well. I mean, I think about the pan of the framed photographs of Rose's life.

HARRIS: Yeah.

HADADI: What Cameron is telling us just in these very brief images are very evocative and compelling. We saw that she lived an array of her dreams, and she did it on her own terms. So I don't think Cameron does intersectionality well...

HOLMES: No.

HADADI: ...At all.

HOLMES: No.

HADADI: Not at all.

HOLMES: Yeah.

HARRIS: No.

HOLMES: It's a very Disney, like, Jasmine...

HARRIS: Right.

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: ...Ariel version of feminism.

HARRIS: Yeah.

HOLMES: Right.

HARRIS: Yes.

HOLMES: That's what I was going to say - is that the idea that you should marry for love and not position and security is an ancient trope in romance and also a lasting contemporary trope in romance of all kinds. The idea that you should marry for love or that you should not marry for anything other than love is not a fresh idea. And that's where I go back to the kind of magical chemistry that they got out of these actors because ultimately, think about the fact that this is not that different of a timeline than the "West Side Story" timeline, which - usually when people watch it in "West Side Story" or "Romeo And Juliet," they say, how can these people possibly have - like, two days later, they're, like, sure that they're meant for each other...

HARRIS: Yeah.

HOLMES: ...Forever? With all the other stuff that goes on around the complaints about this movie, I very rarely hear - what? - they know each other for two or three days.

HARRIS: That was definitely my complaint originally...

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HARRIS: ...When I was a hardened cynic at 9 years old.

HOLMES: Way ahead of me. But I think...

HARRIS: Yeah.

HOLMES: ...The chemistry between the characters is such. And they have this interesting reaction of fascination and respect and sex and fun and excitement. Like, there are some great shots in this movie that really convey how exciting it was to be on this ship until the iceberg part. But there's that shot when she's about to come out to try to jump, and he's lying on his back, looking up at the sky, smoking. To me, it's a real, like, moment where you realize why he was so excited to be on this ship and being out on the water is so exciting and beautiful.

And I think they're able to spin a kind of a spell around these two very young people that makes them feel genuinely connected to each other within a relatively short period of time. And maybe that's the variety of experiences that they have in terms of not just the sex but the dancing and the - you know, the spitting off the edge of the boat, which I think is so funny.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TITANIC")

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) Teach me to ride like a man.

DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) And chew tobacco like a man.

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) And spit like a man.

DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) What? They didn't teach you that in finishing school?

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) No.

DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) Come on. I'll show you. Let's do it. I'll show you how. Come on.

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) No, Jack. No.

DICAPRIO: (As Jack Dawson) Aww (ph), come on.

WINSLET: (As Rose DeWitt Bukater) Jack.

HOLMES: You got a lot of people in this who are just height-of-their-powers kind of delivering, you know?

HARRIS: Yeah, yeah.

HOLMES: "Titanic" is one of those movies, of which there is a category, that are - people are harder on them in terms of how they remember them if they win best picture.

HARRIS: Yes.

HADADI: Yeah.

HOLMES: And if this movie had not won best picture, I think people would not have spent as much time as they have trying to explain why it is not actually a good movie when, in fact, it is a good movie.

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

HADADI: I think this movie also has a really fascinating - different interpretations as time has passed. I might be butchering this, but I think Celine Sciamma, who directed "Portrait Of A Lady On Fire" and "Petite Maman" - I think she gave an interview recently where she talked about the queer legacy of this film and how it's been sort of embraced by different audiences in terms of Rose going for what she wants and taking a more stereotypically masculine role. So it's also interesting to see now these different reads of a film that was very boy and girl fall in love. Like, if you want to discredit that, that's fine. But there are all these different readings of it now as well that time has passed that I think add additional layers to whatever stereotypical reading people might have first gotten out of it.

HOLMES: Yeah.

HARRIS: Yeah. Well, I want to wrap this up because we have not even talked about "My Heart Will Go On."

HADADI: We're all going to sing it, right?

HARRIS: I am happy to sing it.

(LAUGHTER)

HARRIS: OK, "My Heart Will Go On" - yay or nay?

HOLMES: Well, "My Heart Will Go On," to me, is the same as, I'm the king of the world. You can no longer hear it outside the context of its ubiquity, and therefore, it's very hard to judge. But honestly, as a movie theme song, what are you going to say other than, huge success?

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: Like, I don't listen to it.

HARRIS: (Laughter).

HOLMES: But I also don't blame it for the fact that when you hear that, like, toodle-y (ph) penny whistle, everybody kind of goes, mmm (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: Like, that's legacy and ubiquity and popularity - and, again, the queen of what she did.

HADADI: Yeah.

HARRIS: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MY HEART WILL GO ON")

CELINE DION: (Singing) You're here. There's nothing I fear. And I know that my heart will go on.

KLIMEK: I am on record saying that every movie, certainly every, like, genre or superhero movie, should have a theme song with lyrics. So I cannot be anything but pro, pro, pro on "My Heart Will Go On."

HARRIS: Awesome.

HADADI: Extreme pro. I mean, again, it was, like, playing in Iran. I was like, how many people understand these lyrics? But it was the hot taxicab jam. So yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

HARRIS: I will go on the record as saying I love this song, and I appreciate the fact that it is not just tacked on to the end of the movie. It is - as you were saying, Linda, you hear those reeds, and they play throughout the movie. It is a motif. And then when you get to the end of the film and you hear Celine just belting out, (singing) you're here...

I, like - ugh, I just feel it (laughter).

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: Oh, my God. Wait. I have to say one more thing.

HARRIS: Yes.

HOLMES: If you have not already seen it, if you ever get a chance to see the unbelievably bizarre alternate ending (laughter)...

HARRIS: Wait. Alternate ending of the movie?

HADADI: I don't think I've ever seen the alternate - what is the alternate ending?

KLIMEK: I watched that for the first time this weekend.

HOLMES: Oh, my gosh.

KLIMEK: It's bad. It's really bad.

HADADI: Why have I not heard of this?

HOLMES: Its badness is so epic. I'm not going to spoil it for you. Look it up. I think you can find it on YouTube. But all I'm going to say about it is it involves this very blunt conversation between Gloria Stuart as the Old Rose talking to Bill Paxton, as the explorer...

KLIMEK: Yeah.

HOLMES: ...Essentially explaining this very simplistic moral of the story about living every day to the fullest. It's shocking.

(LAUGHTER)

HOLMES: Look it up on YouTube. Or you can find it in the extras attached to the movie on iTunes.

HADADI: OK.

KLIMEK: Props for self-editing here. I mean, I think it was probably helpful for him to shoot it and then to see it and realize, this must never be seen.

HOLMES: Shocking.

HARRIS: Wow.

HADADI: I need to find that, and I need to find the Heart of the Ocean necklace that I bought in an Iranian bazaar and, like, brought back.

HARRIS: Oh, man.

HADADI: It's somewhere in my parents' house. I have to find it.

HARRIS: I remember seeing the ads in, like, the magazines for you to buy the...

HADADI: Yeah. Like, a mail order?

HARRIS: Yes, the heart of - a mail order for the Heart of the Ocean.

HOLMES: Oh, yes.

HADADI: Yeah.

HARRIS: That was a time.

HOLMES: Those were the days.

HARRIS: That was a time (laughter).

HADADI: It was a vibe, a whole mood.

KLIMEK: I mean, they had a big investment to recoup, you know? You can't blame them for trying to...

(LAUGHTER)

KLIMEK: They were not going to get a sequel to this movie. So...

HADADI: Yeah, it was only the No. 1 movie for four months.

HARRIS: (Laughter) Well, I think it's safe to say we might not ever see anything like it again, even though James Cameron apparently has at least nine, maybe 10 - who knows - "Avatar"s in the works.

(LAUGHTER)

HARRIS: Well, we want to know what you think about "Titanic." Find us at facebook.com/pchh and on Twitter at @pchh. And that brings us to the end of our show. Roxana Hadadi, Chris Klimek and Linda Holmes, thanks to you all for being here.

HADADI: Thank you.

KLIMEK: Thank you.

HOLMES: Thank you.

HARRIS: This episode was produced by Mike Katzif and edited by Jessica Reedy. And Hello Come In provides the music you're bobbing your head to right now. Thank you for listening to POP CULTURE HAPPY HOUR from NPR. I'm Aisha Harris, and we'll see you all tomorrow.

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