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Villain Overview
Well, it's for royalty. We are royalty, Rose. You know, there's nothing I couldn't give you. There's nothing I'd deny you... if you would not deny me. Open your heart to me, Rose.
~ Cal trying to convince Rose to marry him.

Caledon Nathan "Cal" Hockley III is the main antagonist of James Cameron's hit 1997 film Titanic. He is the arrogant fiancé of Rose DeWitt Bukater (the film's protagonist), as he plans to marry her at all costs to inherit his fortune to her.

He was portrayed by Billy Zane, who also portrayed Hughie Warriner in Dead Calm, Match in Back to the Future, and Ansem in Kingdom Hearts.

Personality

Cal was so ruthless and relentless that he had his rival handcuffed to a sinking ship in a desperate attempt to keep Rose for himself, though his efforts were to no avail as his violent temper and general contempt for others simply served to alienate him further from the woman he claimed to love, much to his frustration.

He also proved to be quite manipulative, as he was able to (briefly) frame Jack for the supposed theft of a rare diamond to have him arrested by the Master-At-Arms, as well as deliberately ditching his bodyguard Spicer Lovejoy by convincing him to get the diamond for himself by killing Jack, much to Lovejoy's frustration. Cal even convinced the officers to let him board on a lifeboat by taking an abandoned child for himself after learning that they won't take any bribes from anyone.

History

Early Life

Cal was the proud son of a Pittsburgh steel industry tycoon who boarded the RMS Titanic as a First Class passenger in 1912, appointed as a possible fiancé for Rose by her mother Ruth DeWitt Bukater, in an attempt to inherit his fortune, which Cal also wanted in Rose. Throughout the movie, Cal attempts to convince Rose into marrying him without success, as Rose is appalled by the pressure she had to put up with the proposal, even with Ruth reminding of the time when Rose's late father left a series of a horrible debts and that Cal's fortune might be the solution to them all.

Boarding the RMS Titanic

Cal first appeared in the Southampton harbor when the Titanic is ready to depart for its maiden voyage, boarding with Rose, Ruth, and Lovejoy. He mocked Rose's taste of art portraits, saying that the artists (such as Pablo Picasso) would never amount to much and that the paintings were sold cheap, much to Rose's annoyance.

Several days as the Titanic sailed through the Atlantic Ocean, Rose attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the stern of the ship, but was convinced by third class passenger Jack Dawson to have second thoughts. After being convinced, Rose prepares to climb back over, but slips and nearly falls, prompting Jack to quickly grab her and pull her back to safety. However, Rose's screams alerts several crew members and Cal to scene, as they misinterpret Jack trying to rape Rose. With that in mind, Cal attempts to have Jack arrested, but Rose clears up the misunderstanding by lying that she was trying to view the propellers, slipped and would've fell off the ship if it weren't for Jack's intervention (not wanting Cal to know of her suicide attempt). When Jack obviously confirmed this, Cal reluctantly agrees to let this be and orders Jack to be released. Cal initially decides to pay 20 bucks to Jack as a reward, but on the advice of Rose and fellow first class passenger Archibald Gracie, he offers to invite Jack to dinner, to which Jack accepts, much to Cal's delight.

That night, as Rose is recovering for her suicide attempt, Cal gives her a rare 56-carat blue diamond known as the Heart of the Ocean, initially intending to save it for the engagement gala next week. Cal then begs Rose to open her heart to him, but Rose doesn't feel that way, despite finding the necklace to be quite charming.

The next day, after having a talk with Rose, Jack came over to dinner as agreed after being loaned a nice tuxedo belonging to Molly Brown's son. During dinner, Cal watches as Ruth attempts to humiliate Jack in front of the others by trying to expose him as a steerage passenger, although Jack saves himself from being humiliated and earned up the respect of the other first class passengers, much to Cal's annoyance. Following dinner, Rose joins up with Jack in third class for a party where they are caught in the act of dancing by Lovejoy.

The next morning Cal and Rose are having breakfast together where Cal intimidates Rose by stating he hoped that Rose would come by last night. Rose explains to him she was tired, and Cal then told her to do what was she was expected to do as a lady of society, although Rose has the courage to stand up for herself by stating she is still his fiancee. Though Cal agreed with that, he loses his temper by flipping the breakfast table, telling her while she may not be his wife by law, she was in practice and had to honor him. He then forbids her from ever seeing Jack again before storming out of the room, leaving Rose as she begins to break into tears.

The next day, Cal was having brandy and smoking with her fellow first-class passengers until Lovejoy tells him that none of the stewards have seen Rose. Cal later finds a sketch of a nude Rose wearing the Heart of the Ocean along with an insulting letter left by Rose inside the safe.

Plotting against Jack

Upset by this, Cal formulates a plan with Lovejoy to separate Jack and Rose once and for all, just as the Titanic collides with an iceberg. Upon hearing of the ship's impending fate, Rose and Jack head to warn Ruth and Cal about the inevitable fate, but Cal orders to have Jack arrested for supposedly stealing the Heart of the Ocean by having Lovejoy put the necklace in Jack's coat pocket to frame him. To make matters worse for Jack, he is found wearing someome else's coat (which was reported stolen by the owner). Cal frames Jack as "an honest thief". Jack is then sent to the ship's lower levels where he is handcuffed to a pipe with Lovejoy as a guard.

Cal slaps Rose and calls her a slut, but before he can continue, a crewmember comes in and informs him and Rose to put on their lifebelts and head to the boat deck, to which Cal finds ridiculous.

Trying to Escape

At the boat deck, Cal laughs at Ruth's concern about the lifeboats being overcrowded as she demanded that they be sorted out by class, prompting an outraged Rose to berate her mother by exclaiming that that aren't enough lifeboats and that half of the people in the ship will die. Cal commented on this by saying "not the better half" and that Jack's drawing would be a lot worth more by morning indirectly telling her that Jack would be dead by then. Soon, Rose was ordered by Ruth to get into the lifeboat, but Rose refuses and leaves to go rescue Jack. Cal attempts to stop Rose by restraining her, but Rose gets free of him by spitting in his face before escaping. Rose later rescues Jack and the two with help of Jack's friends Fabrizio De Rossi and Tommy Ryan look for a way out to escape.

Later on, Cal makes a deal with First Officer William Murdoch by bribing him with money to secure a lifeboat seat for him. He eventually learns from Lovejoy that Rose has already freed Jack and that they are on the other side waiting to board another lifeboat, much to his anger. Going against Lovejoy's advice to board on the nearby lifeboat, Cal decides to confront Rose and gives her his jacket, but Rose refuses to board the lifeboat without Jack. Cal then offers to make an arrangement for himself and Jack to get off safely. Though Rose is still unwilling to board, she was forced into the lifeboat.

Once Rose's boat lowers, Cal informs Jack that the arrangement was only for himself, telling him "I always win Jack, one way or another." Unwilling to leave Jack on the sinking Titanic, Rose jumps off the lifeboat into one of the lower decks of the ship before reuniting with Jack on the Grand Staircase. Upon witnessing this and unable to concede defeat, Cal angrily grabs Lovejoy's gun and begins to shoot at Jack, intending to kill him. Cal continues to keep shooting at Jack and Rose until they reach the flooding first class dining room where the gun runs out of bullets and could not keep up with them as the room is flooding. It was then Cal realized that he put the diamond in his coat before giving the coat on Rose, laughing at this before giving up his pursuit.

Once returning to the boat deck after ditching Lovejoy, Cal runs to where the last lifeboat is being filled and ready to launch, but finds himself behind a large group of men desperately wanting to board and also finds a lost child crying behind them. Cal shoves his way through the crowd and he gets to the front of the mob where he angrily confronts Murdoch about the deal they had earlier. However, Murdoch responds by furiously throwing the bribe money back at Cal's face, declaring that he'll only let women and children board the lifeboat. Suddenly, the crowd became startled to push Jack's friend Tommy Ryan forward, where Murdoch accidentally shoots and kills him, much to both Cal and Fabrizio's shock. Out of guilt for shooting an innocent man, Murdoch commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. Realizing now that he can't bribe any of the officers to let him board the lifeboat, Cal goes back to grab the child he saw earlier and pushes his way through the crowd again where he confronts Chief Officer Henry Wilde and convinces him to let him on by passing off the child as his own.

Shortly after this, the water begins to flood the boat deck and many passengers retreat into the rising water. Cal however remains on board the lifeboat, but the boat remains trapped due to no one cutting the falls of the boat. Eventually, the falls are cut by several crew members and Fabrizio and the boat flows off the deck where Cal is seen trying to shove off other passengers trying to board the lifeboat, saying they will swamp the boat. A few minutes later, one of the ship's funnels collapses, killing Fabrizio and several other swimmers, much to Cal's horror.

Following the sinking of the ship and the deaths of many passengers and crew (including Jack and Lovejoy), Cal is seen accepting a sip of whiskey from another passenger in his boat. As the survivors are taken in by the arriving ship RMS Carpathia, Cal desperately tries to find Rose, but the latter hid herself away in steerage from plain sight. As such, Cal finally gives up and leaves the scene in defeat, making it the last time that Rose ever saw him again.

Death

Even though Cal survived the disaster, it was told by an elderly Rose that he got married to another woman and inherited his millions to his children. However, the 1929 Wall Street Crash destroyed most of Cal's finances, and he committed suicide by putting a pistol in his mouth while his children fought like hyenas over what was left of his remaining estate.

Quotes

God, not those finger paintings again. There were certainly a waste of money.
~ Cal complaining of Rose's collection of painting she has brought.
"Something" Picasso? He won't amount to a thing. He won't, trust me. At least they were cheap.
~ Cal criticizing Pablo Picasso's paintings.
Completely unacceptable! What made you think you could put your hands on my fiancee? (Jack says nothing) Look at me, you filth! What do you think you're doing?
~ Cal after mistakenly believing that Jack tried to rape Rose.
Oh, yes. Uh.. Mr. Lovejoy, I think a 20 should do it. (Rose: Is that the going rate over saving the woman you loved?) Rose is displeased... what to do? I know: perhaps you can join us for dinner tomorrow evening to regale our group... with your heroic tale. (Jack: Sure. Count me in.) Good, this settles then. This should be interesting.
~ Cal offering to invite Jack to dinner as a reward after learning that he actually saved Rose from falling off the ship.
I know you've been melancholy. I don't pretend to know why. I intended to save this until the engagement gala next week, but.... I thought.... tonight. (Rose: Good gracious.) Perhaps it's a reminder of my feelings for you.
~ Cal giving the Heart of the Ocean to Rose as a wedding present.
Why, Dawson.... it's amazing. You could pass off as a gentleman. (Jack: Almost.) Extraordinary!
~ Cal commenting that Jack is wearing a nice tuxedo loaned by Molly Brown for dinner.
A real man makes his own luck... right, Dawson? (Jack nods)
~ Cal commenting how Jack won his ticket by a good game of poker.
You will never behave like that again, Rose. Do you understand? (Rose: I am not a foreman in one of your mills that you can command. I am your fiancee!) My fian... MY FIANCEE?! Yes, you are, and MY WIFE!! (flips the breakfast table in anger) My wife in practice if not yet by law, so you will honor me! You will honor me the way a wife is required to honor a husband, because I will not be made a fool, Rose. Is this in any way unclear? (Rose: No!) Good... excuse me.
~ Cal angrily forbidding Rose to see Jack again.
You there! (Steward: Sir, there's no emergency.) Yes, there is, I have been robbed! (Lovejoy: Fetch the Master-at-Arms.) Now, you moron! (Steward: Yes, sir.)
~ Cal and Lovejoy planning to have Jack framed and arrested.
Oh, an honest thief, we have an honest thief here.
~ Cal declares Jack is "an honest thief".
Any room for a gentleman, gentlemen? (Officer: Only women at this time!)
~ Cal trying to convince the officers to let him board a lifeboat to no avail.
Not the better half. You know, it's a pity I didn't keep that drawing. It be worth a lot more by morning. (Rose: You unimaginable bastard!)
~ Cal reminding Rose that he's letting Jack perish in the sinking ship.
Where are you going?! To him?! You want to be a whore to a gutter rat?! (Rose: I rather be his whore than your wife!) NO! I said NO! (Rose spits at his face before escaping)
~ Cal trying to stop Rose from rescuing Jack to no avail.
We're running out of time. This strutting martinet isn't letting any men on at all. (Lovejoy: There's one at the other side letting men on.) Well, then, that's our play. We'll need some insurance first. C'mon.
~ Cal being reminded by Lovejoy of a possibility to board a lifeboat at the starboard side after failing to find Rose.
I make my own luck. (Lovejoy: So do I).
~ Cal as he puts the diamond and wads of cash in his pockets.
Do we have an understanding then, Mr. Murdoch?
~ Cal bribing First Officer Murdoch to let him board a lifeboat.
Oh, goddamn it all to hell.
~ Cal after learning from Lovejoy that Rose has rescued Jack from the flooding E-Decks.
Look, I have an arrangement on the other side of the ship. Jack and I can get off safely... both of us. (Jack: See? Got my own boat to catch.) Now hurry. They're almost full.
~ Cal trying to help Jack in convincing Rose to board on a lifeboat by offering an arrangement for himself and Jack.
You're a good liar. (Jack: Almost as good as you. There's uh..... there's no arrangement, is there?) Oh, there is.... not that you'll benefit much from it. I always win, Jack.... one way or another.
~ Cal revealing to Jack that the arrangement is only for himself alone.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR TIME TOGETHER!!!
~ Cal to Jack and Rose after he gives up chasing them with Lovejoy's pistol.
I put the diamond in the coat..... and I PUT THE COAT ON HER!! (returns Lovejoy's pistol) I give it to you... I give it to you.... if YOU can get them!
~ Cal reminding Lovejoy that he unintentionally gave the diamond to Rose before leaving him behind.
We had a deal, DAMN YOU!! (Murdoch: Your money can't save you any more than it can save me. GET BACK!!)
~ Cal berating Murdoch for reneging on the deal, even when Murdoch throws back the bribe money to Cal in disgust.
NO! You'll SWAMP US!!
~ Cal pushing a passenger off the lifeboat he has taken refuge on.

Trivia

  • In an old script of the film Cal beats Fabrizio with an oar when he attempts to board a lifeboat he is in. When Fabrizio tells Cal he has to get to America, Cal hits him with an oar, cutting open his scalp and sarcastically telling him to swim to his destination. Fabrizio would later die due to this. If this was left in the final cut of the film, Cal would definitely cross the Moral Event Horizon for an action as leaving someone on a sinking ship with indifference of their death would be considerably cruel.
  • In another old script, he actually finds Rose aboard the Carpathia and expresses remorse for his actions, but she rebuffs him and tells him to leave; he sadly complies, though not before asking Rose what he should tell her mother. The reason for this scene's removal is possibly because the writers didn't want to make Cal look sympathetic.
  • Based on Cal's actions, he likely had Borderline Personality Disorder.