Titanic is packed with subtle details, and Rose’s dog is one of them, as it has a secret and tragic connection to the real Titanic.
Titanic He tells a fictional story based on a real-life tragedy and it included various subtle nods to the stories of the passengers, and Rose’s dog is one of them, which actually has a deeper and sadder true story. James Cameron has been behind some notable big-budget productions, and while he’s often associated with sci-fi projects, one of his most ambitious and successful projects was far from that: Titanica disaster drama movie released in 1997 and which became the most expensive movie ever made at the time and the highest-grossing movie for many years.
Based on the real-life tragedy of the RMS Titanic in 1912, Titanic Tells the story of two passengers from opposite social classes: Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), a first-class young woman traveling with her fiancé, Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), and her mother, Ruth (Frances Fisher), and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a third-class passenger who won his ticket minutes before the ship sailed. In just four days, Rose and Jack met, fell in love, and defended their relationship from all those who tried to keep them apart, but their romance ended in tragedy as Jack became one of the many victims of the sinking of the Titanic, while Rose was eventually rescued and it was she who told this story many, many years later.
The story of Jack and Rose aboard the Titanic is told by old Rose (Gloria Stuart), and her story featured characters based on real-life passengers of the Titanic, such as Molly Brown (Kathy Bates) and J. Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde ), and it’s also through old Rose that other connections to the real sinking of the Titanic were made. One of the most subtle ones with a tragic backstory is all about Rose’s dog: when Rose and her granddaughter arrive at Lovett’s research vessel, Rose is seen with her Pomeranian, which might be a nod to one of the three dogs that survived the sinking of the Titanic, but there’s a lot more to this.
According to National Museums Liverpool, there were 12 dogs on the Titanic, and as the fare to travel with them was expensive (equal to a child’s), most owners were first-class passengers. Sadly, only three of those 12 dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic: a Pekinese and two Pomeranians, all of which were lucky enough to have escaped with their owners in lifeboats, with some of them wrapping their dogs in blankets to pass them as babies . However, there’s another story linked to the dogs on board the Titanic, and it was briefly referenced in a deleted scene. John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man on board the Titanic, as Rose pointed out when introducing some notable passengers to Jack, is said to have done his best to give the dogs a chance to survive. Astor was traveling with his wife, their valet, her maid, her nurse, and their dog, Kitty. One of Titanic‘s deleted scenes sees Astor coming across Benjamin Guggenheim, telling him that his wife asked him to look for the dog. According to some stories, Astor opened the ship’s kennel and released the dogs, including Kitty, but neither he nor Kitty survived.
James Cameron paid attention to even the smallest details when bringing Titanic to life, and the movie is packed with subtle details and references to the real tragedy of the Titanic. Rose’s dog being a Pomeranian surely isn’t a coincidence, and it can be seen as a subtle reference to the pets that survived the sinking of the Titanic while also connecting to the alleged story of Astor trying to give the dogs a chance of survival.
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