After leading his football team to 15 winning seasons, coach Bill Yoast is demoted and replaced by Herman Boone – tough, opinionated and as different from the beloved Yoast as he could be. The two men learn to overcome their differences and turn a group of hostile young men into champions.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods.
Based on real events in 1971, where T.C. Williams High School, a now hot bed integrated school, becomes a beacon of unification via their mixed race football team.
As is normally the case with films of this ilk, it quickly comes to pass that certain artistic licence has been taken with the truth. In reality the issues of race, integration and the near powder-keg atmosphere portrayed in the picture, were long past their worst in Virginia 1971. However, that should in no way detract from the thematics and truthful aspects of this Disney production. As is told in the film, the Titans did have what became known as the perfect season, whilst the bond formed between the black and white members most definitely existed. All told, the film soars high as an inspirational piece, not only for the mixed race community coming together plot's essential being, but in the crucial tale of one Gerry Bertier.
That this film urged me to seek out the story of Bertier is a testament to the power of film, regardless of any sort of sentimental prodding from the film makers. It's hoped that this film also prompts newcomers to research further the topics within the story.
The cast list is impressive, Denzel Washington and Will Patton find instant chemistry as the head coaches thrust together by outside influences, with both guys beautifully doing credit to the real life friendship that would be born from the situation. Ryan Hurst, Wood Harris, Ethan Suplee, Donald Faison, Kip Pardue, Craig Kirkwood and a pre-fame Ryan Gosling fill out the integrated football team. While two important female family roles are nicely portrayed by Hayden Panettiere and Nicole Ari Parker. The soundtrack is nicely put together, with the core offering of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's thumping rendition of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" particularly potent and uplifting.
Though not primarily offering up anything new in the pantheon of race and sport related movies, Remember The Titans does have so much good going for it. It's hard to be picky, even churlish about the little faults (are these actors really the age of high schoolers for example?), so hopefully come the end, after the credits roll, you will be suitably inspired and perhaps a touch more better off for having spent time with this particular football team. 8.5/10
Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Run It Up Productions Inc., Technical Black, Walt Disney Pictures by Boaz Yakin, Gregory Allen Howard.
Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris.
Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport
Keywords: ku klux klan american football 1970s trainer race politics coaction civil rights apartheid friendship sports politics high school racial segregation racist high school sports based on true story racial tension xenophobia virginia head coach
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