Controversial ‘Titanic’ prop sells for over $700,000 at auction

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A memorable piece of movie history has a new owner.

Heritage Auctions recently hosted its annual “Treasures From Planet Hollywood” auction, raising over $15.6 million. The highest-selling item from the auction was the piece of wood Jack and Rose clung to at the end of “Titanic.”

What is referred to as “the floating door” by fans sold for $718,750, beating out items such as Indiana Jones’ whip from “Temple of Doom” and the ax Jack Nicholson’s character carried in the 1980 movie “The Shining.”

In addition to the real door used in the movie, a prototype of the prop also sold at the auction for $125,000. According to auction officials, the piece of wood is “part of the door frame just above the [ship’s] first-class lounge entrance.”

ULTRA-RARE TITANIC DOCUMENT TO GO UP FOR AUCTION LATER THIS MONTH: ‘TELLS A GREAT STORY’

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Many other props from the film were part of the auction as well, including a wheel used for the boat in the film, which sold for $100,000; the dress Kate Winslet wore in the final scenes of the film, which sold for $118,750; and a telegraph prop, which sold for $81,250, according to a release from Heritage Auctions.

For 25 years, controversy has followed the piece of wood, or floating door, with many fans arguing both Jack and Rose could have fit on the door and that Jack didn’t need to die at the end of the movie.

In the film, DiCaprio’s character stays in the freezing water as the Titanic sinks, allowing Winslet’s character to remain safely on the door as the two determine they both can’t fit.

“Jack might’ve lived, but there’s a lot of variables,” James Cameron said in “National Geographic’s Titanic: 25 Years Later with James Cameron” special in February 2023. “I think his thought process was, ‘I’m not gonna do one thing that jeopardizes her.'”

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The debate was so heated it even became a central topic in an episode of “Mythbusters” in 2012. On the show, they determined if they had tied Rose’s life jacket underneath the door, it would have been buoyant enough to hold at least both their upper bodies above water. But some believe their science was faulty.

Winslet has long joked that both characters would be able to fit on the door, but she gave her serious opinion during a December 2022 episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. During the episode, she compared the door to a paddleboard, saying, “If you put two adults on a stand-up paddleboard, it becomes immediately, extremely unstable.

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“I have to be honest. I actually don’t believe that we would have survived if we had both gotten on that door,” she said on the podcast. “I think he would have fit, but it would have tipped, and it would not have been a sustainable idea.”

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“So, you heard it here for the first time,” Winslet added. “Yes, he could have fit on that door. But it would not have stayed afloat. It wouldn’t.”

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