|“||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 "Cal" Hockley is the main antagonist of James Cameron's hit 1997 film Titanic. He is the arrogant fiance of Rose DeWitt Bukater who plotted to make her his wife.
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.
Cal was the proud son of Nathan Hockley, a powerful and wealthy steel tycoon. He boarded the RMS Titanic as a First Class passenger in 1912, appointed as a possible fiance 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 have fell 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 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 does not 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 his fiancee 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 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.
Later that night, Cal was 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 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 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 slut, but before he can continue, a crew member 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 are not 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 (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 on Rose, laughing at this before giving up his pursuit.
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 Fabrizo) 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 will only let women and children board the lifeboat. Suddenly, the crowd became 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 with horror 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 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 while his children fought like hyenas over what was left of his 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 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 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.
- 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 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.