Titanic ‘door’ prop sells for more than half a million

Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Few films have reached the dizzying heights of James Cameron’s Titanic, but even fewer film scenes have been as controversial, debated, and memeified as the one in which Rose survives the Titanic’s sinking thanks to a floating piece of wood. Now, theorists may be able to finally put an end to the debate as the actual prop used in the scene has sold at auction for the princely sum of $718,750 (€664,768).

To the surprise of many, however, the prop turned out not to be a door at all, but rather a piece of door frame whose design was based on an actual frame from the real entrance of the Titanic’s first-class lounge. It was fashioned out of balsa wood, which is the same material used for surfboards and fishing floats, giving it superior buoyancy in water.

The scene has become infamous over the years, with many people stating that the size and shape of the prop could have easily accommodated Rose and her lover, Jack. In fact, in an episode of Mythbusters from 2012, the director admitted that he still received hundreds of emails a year telling him that both characters could have fit on the floating prop.

While he admitted that they may have “screwed up and the board should have been a tiny bit smaller”, he went on to say that that didn’t really matter as the whole point of the starcrossed lovers’ fate was to be just that, with Jack having to die according to the script. 

The prop’s sale was part of Heritage Auction’s Treasures from Planet Hollywood, which included several famous props from across the decades. Among these were the axe used in The Shining, which sold for $125,000 (€115,685), Indiana Jones’s bullwhip from The Temple of Doom, which fetched $525,000 (€485,861), and a Spiderman suit worn by Toby Maguire, that also went for $125,000. 

In total, the auction raised $15.68m (€14.51m).

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