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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.
Oh, there is.... not that you'll benefit from it. I always win, Jack.... one way or another.
~ Cal Hockley to Jack.

Caledon Nathan "Cal" Hockley III is the main antagonist in 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 previously portrayed Hughie Warriner in Dead Calm and Match in Back to the Future.

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.

Events of the film

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 and Ruth attempt to humiliate him in front of the others trying to expose him as a steerage passenger during the dinner service the following night, although Jack saves himself from being humiliated and earned up the respect of the other first class passengers, including the ship's builder Thomas Andrews. 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 fiancé. 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. 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. Jack is then sent to the ship's lower levels where he is strapped 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. 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 the drawing Jack wrote 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 and leaves Cal. 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. 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.

I hope you enjoy your time together!
~ Cal, to Jack and Rose, after he gives up chasing them.
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 leaving Lovejoy behind, 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 confronts Murdoch, angrily reminding him about the deal they had earlier. However, Murdoch responds by throwing the money back at Cal's face, angrily declaring that he's obliging to the women and children first/only rule. 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, Murdoch commits suicide by shooting himself, right before Cal retreats from the spot where Tommy and Fabrizio was at and goes back to grab the child he saw earlier and then pushes his way through the crowd again where he confronts Chief Officer Henry Wilde and convinces him to let him on because he has a child in his arms, Wilde allows him to board where Cal passes 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, making it the last time that Rose ever saw him again.

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 his 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.

Gallery

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. 
  • Cal had some similarities to Gaston LeGume from Disney's Beauty and the Beast:
    • They both are handsome and charming, yet narcissistic and murderous men who want to marry the heroines (Belle and Rose) for their beautiful looks.
    • They have henchmen (Cal to Lovejoy; Gaston to LeFou, Monsieur D'Arque and his buddies) at their disposal.
    • They want to finish off the heroes (Jack and the Beast) to have the heroines for themselves, which ended up in failure.
    • However, Gaston proves to be more despicable as he refused to give up his pursuit of Belle, leading to his own death following his battle against the Beast. Cal, on the other hand, survived the sinking the Titanic and gave up his pursuit of Rose, though he would later commit suicide after losing his finances to the 1929 Wall Street Crash.