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|“||I always win Jack, one way or another.||„|
|~ Cal Hockley's most famous quote.|
|“||My fian... my FIANCEE! Yes, you are, and my wife. 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?||„|
|~ Cal Hockley losing his temper with Rose.|
|“||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 Hockley trying to convince Rose to marry him.|
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 Rose away from him, 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.
Despite this, he was not completely evil and had some moral standard. He was shocked and angered when Murdoch accidentally killed Tommy; he is even horrified to witness the ship's first smokestack falling down and crushing Fabrizio and several passengers to death. This shows that he did not approve of unnecessary deaths. And when Rose rebuffed him for the final time after the disaster, he decided to let her go. This shows that he did know when to accept defeat or rejection if he had to.
Caledon Hockley was born on March 17, 1882. He was the proud son of Nathan Hockley, a powerful and wealthy steel tycoon. It's unknown what happened to his mother. Cal boarded the RMS Titanic as a First Class passenger in 1912, appointed as a possible fiancée 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 Southampton Harbour 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 later, 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 it as Jack having tried 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 have fallen off the ship if it were not 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 him to be released. Cal initially decides to pay $20 to Jack as a reward, but on the advice of Rose and fellow First Class passenger Archibald Gracie, he offers to invite the artist to dinner, to which Jack accepts, much to Cal's delight.
That night, as Rose is recovering from 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 does not feel that way, despite finding the necklace to be quite charming.
The next day, after having a talk with Rose, Jack comes over to dinner as agreed after being loaned a 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 earns 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 his fiancée by stating he hoped that she 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 his fiancée. Though Cal agrees 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.
Later that night, Cal is having brandy and smoking with his 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 it, 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 someone 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 little slut, but before he can continue, a crew member comes in and instructs him and Rose to put on their lifebelts and head to the boat deck, 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 are not enough lifeboats and that half of the people on 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 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 the nearby lifeboat (as architect Bruce Ismay is helping some men board the lifeboat before hopping on himself), 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 to Rose, laughing at this before giving up his pursuit, but not before giving Lovejoy his gun back, promising him he can have the diamond if he can get it, much to Lovejoy's frustration before leaving (in a deleted scene).
Once returning to the boat deck after ditching Lovejoy, Cal runs to where the penultimate lifeboat is being filled and ready to launch, (and the last lifeboat is being lowered onto the boat deck from storage) but finds himself behind a large group of men (among them Tommy and Fabrizio) 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 in Cal's face, declaring that he will only let women and children board the lifeboat.
Suddenly, the crowd become startled as one passenger tries to leap into the lifeboat only to be shot by Murdoch while another passenger pushes 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 cannot 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 towards the back of the ship away from 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, he watches as the ship's first funnel collapses into the water, killing Fabrizio and several other swimmers who were directly under it when it fell, much to Cal's horror.
Following the sinking of the ship and the deaths of many passengers and crew (including Captain Smith, Thomas Andrews, 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.
Even though Cal survived the disaster, it was told by an elderly Rose that he got married to another woman named Caroline in 1915 and sired his children, and inherited his family's millions. However, the Wall Street Crash in 1929 ruined most of Cal's finances. Cal (who was probably extremely distraught) committed suicide by putting a pistol in his mouth on December 15 of that year. His widow, children and other money-grubbing members of the Hockley family "fought like hyenas" over what was left of Cal's remaining estate.
- 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 fatally hits him with an oar, cutting open his scalp and sarcastically telling him to swim to his destination. Had this been kept in the film's final cut, Cal would have definitely crossed the Moral Event Horizon for an action as leaving someone on a sinking ship with indifference of their death would be considerably cruel. James Cameron ultimately rewrote the scene as he was sure that by having Cal pass a third-class child as his own the audience was going to already despise him enough.
- In another old script, Cal actually finds Rose aboard the Carpathia and expresses remorse for his actions, but she rebuffs him and tells him to leave because she is dead for him now; 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 did not want to make Cal look sympathetic after all his heinous actions against Jack and Rose.
- There are some theories that Cal may not have been too bad like shown because some viewers feel that Rose could have invented some things while telling about her experience on the Titanic as there are scenes in the film she didn't witness and couldn't have known. Thus, some viewers sympathize with Cal as while he appears to be misogynistic and snobbish, Rose didn't treat him well at all by having an affair with Jack. In addition, by letting Jack draw her naked wearing the necklace Cal bought for her and keeping the drawing, Rose would in a way rub on Cal's face that she cheated on him.
- Cal shares some similarities with Giovanni Malatesta, a disfigured Italian condottier, as:
- Both come from high-income families (The Hockley family with Cal and the Malatesta family with Giovanni)
- They are both forced to marry a woman, but are dumped by another man (Cal for Rose and Giovanni for Francesca)
- The only difference is that Giovanni managed to kill his fiancée and her lover, while Cal even tried to kill Rose and Jack ended up failing.
- An interesting plot hole takes place during the scenes of the Carpathia in which Cal nor Ruth manage to find Rose on the Carpathia despite the ship being smaller than Titanic, only 705 surviving the sinking and the Carpathia taking three days in real life to reach New York City giving them enough time to try and find Rose (even though Cal does try to find Rose but fails to find her) before presumably giving up on looking for her once the ship arrives in New York. This would mean Rose would have to spend three entire days excessively hiding from them as she is aware that the both of them survived the sinking despite having her head wide open in the scene where she gives her name to an officer as "Rose Dawson" as the Carpathia arrived in New York. In Ruth's case, it is left unexplained as she is not seen after she arrives on Carpathia.