Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is a 2000 American biographical sports film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is based on the true story of coach Herman Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington, and his attempt to integrate the T. C. Williams High School (now Alexandria City High School) football team in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971. Will Patton portrays Bill Yoast, Boone's assistant coach. Real-life athletes Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell are portrayed by Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris, respectively.

Remember the Titans
Remember the titansposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBoaz Yakin
Written byGregory Allen Howard
Produced byJerry Bruckheimer
Chad Oman
CinematographyPhilippe Rousselot
Edited byMichael Tronick
Music byTrevor Rabin
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release date
  • September 29, 2000 (2000-09-29)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$30 million[1]
Box office$136.8 million[1]

The film was co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and released by Buena Vista Pictures. On September 19, 2000, the film's soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records. It features songs by several recording artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, The Hollies, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, The Temptations, Cat Stevens, and Steam.

Remember the Titans had a budget of $30 million and premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on September 29, 2000. It grossed an estimated $115.6 million in the U.S., and $136.7 million worldwide. The film is often listed among the best football films.[2][3][4][5][6]


In 1981, a group of former football coaches and players attend a funeral.

Nearly ten years earlier in the summer of 1971, at the newly integrated T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Herman Boone, a black head coach who was supposed to lead the black high school's football team, is assigned to the coaching staff under white head coach Bill Yoast, who previously led the white high school and has been nominated for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame. In an attempt to placate rising racial tensions and the fact that, despite the abolition of racial segregation in public schools, all other high schools are "white only", the school district decides to change course and name Boone the head coach. He refuses, believing it is unfair to Yoast, but relents after seeing what it means to the black community. Yoast is offered the position of assistant coach by the school board and initially refuses, but reconsiders after the white players pledge to boycott the team if he does not participate. Dismayed at the prospect of the students losing their chances at scholarships, Yoast changes his mind and takes up the position of defensive coordinator under Boone, to the dismay of his daughter Sheryl.

The black students trying out for the team have a meeting in the gymnasium with Boone, but it devolves into a fiasco when Yoast and several white students interrupt it. Afterwards, Boone takes Yoast aside and explains how he will run the team and that black and white does not matter to him, leaving Yoast with renewed faith in Boone. On August 15, the players gather and journey to Gettysburg College for training camp. Early on, the black and white team members frequently clash in racially-motivated conflicts, including some between captains Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell. However, through forceful coaching and rigorous athletic training by Boone—including an early morning run to the Gettysburg National Cemetery and a motivational speech—the team achieves racial harmony and comes out a unified team. After returning from camp, Boone is told by a member of the school board that if he loses even a single game, he will be dismissed. Subsequently, the Titans go through the season undefeated while battling racial prejudice before slowly gaining support from the community. Gerry even has his best friend Ray removed from the team because of his racism, following a game where Ray intentionally missed a block that led to the near-season-ending injury of starting quarterback Jerry "Rev" Harris.

Just before the state semi-finals, Yoast is told by the chairman of the school board that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame after the Titans lose one game, implying he wants Boone to be dismissed. During the game, it becomes apparent that the referees are biased against the Titans; upon seeing the chairman and other board members in the audience looking on with satisfaction, Yoast realizes that they have rigged the game, and marches onto the field to warn the head referee that if the game not officiated fairly, he will go to the press and expose the scandal. After this, the Titans soon shut out their opponents and advance to the state championship, but Yoast is told by the infuriated chairman that his actions in saving Boone's job have resulted in the loss of his Hall of Fame nomination.

While celebrating the victory, Bertier is severely injured in a car accident when he drives through an intersection against an oncoming truck; the Titans wait in the hospital for his recovery. Although Bertier is now unable to play, having been paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life, the team goes on to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter and win the state championship.

Ten years later, Bertier dies in another car accident caused by a drunk driver after having won the gold medal in shot put in the Paralympic Games. It is revealed that it is his funeral the former football coaches and players are attending, where Julius, while holding the hand of Bertier's mother, leads the team in a mournful rendition of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye".

In the epilogue, descriptions show the players' and coaches' activities after the events in 1971. Coach Boone coached the Titans for five more seasons before retirement, while Coach Yoast assisted Boone for four more years, retiring from coaching in 1990; the two coaches became good friends. After Bertier's death, the gymnasium at T.C. Williams High was renamed after him. Julius would work for the city of Alexandria and remain friends with Bertier until his death.




Filming locations for the motion picture included the campus of Berry College in Rome, Georgia, Etowah High School in Woodstock, and in Atlanta, Georgia including Henry Grady High School and Druid Hills High School which both filled in for T.C. Williams High School. Practice scenes were filmed at Clarkston High School in Clarkston Georgia. All home games were filmed in Dallas, Georgia at Paulding County High School. Additionally, some of the championship game scenes were filmed at the Sprayberry High School football stadium in East Marietta, Georgia.

Historical accuracyEdit

As with any movie that is not a documentary film but is rather "based on a true story", it has strayed from the actual events that had occurred on many occasions to add new dramatic elements of teamwork, commitment, and friendship to the film.

  • Alexandria Schools were racially integrated in 1965, and T.C. Williams was created by merging three racially integrated schools.[7][8]
  • The Titans were ranked second in the nation at the end of the 1971 season, finishing 13–0. However, despite the movie showing multiple close games, most games were actually blowouts, with 9 of their thirteen wins being shutouts.[9]
  • In the movie, Coach Boone states, "We are not like all the other schools in this conference, they're all white. They don't have to worry about race. We do." This is false as well; all the schools the Titans faced were integrated years before.
  • While the team is at camp, it shows Coach Boone waking them up at three in the morning to go for a run. This did not occur; neither did his speech at Gettysburg.[9] The team did go on a tour of Gettysburg, although it was not as dramatic as portrayed in the film. In the film on the tour of Gettysburg, Coach Boone said it was the scene where 50,000 men died. There were approximately 46,000 casualties and 8,000 deaths in this battle.
  • Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass was far from being the only one with long hair at the time. Even Gerry Bertier had long hair. But in interviews Bass said "I'll say for the record my hair was never that long." He also says the kiss with Gerry never happened.
  • The climax of the movie is a fictionalized 1971 AAA state championship football game between T. C. Williams and George C. Marshall High School. The dramatic license taken in the movie was to convert what was actually a mid-season match-up between T. C. Williams and Marshall into a made-for-Hollywood state championship. In reality, the Marshall game was the toughest game T. C. Williams played all year. As depicted in the movie, the real Titans won the Marshall game on a fourth down come-from-behind play at the very end of the game. The actual state championship (against Andrew Lewis High School of Salem) was a 27–0 blowout, played at Victory Stadium in Roanoke, VA.[10]
  • Bertier's car accident took place on December 11, 1971, after (rather than a few days before) the season-ending State Championship game. Bertier had been at a banquet honoring the team for their undefeated season. After the banquet, Bertier borrowed his mother's new 1971 Chevrolet Camaro. Bertier lost control of the Camaro and crashed (the movie shows him getting broadsided). The cause of the accident was determined to be a mechanical failure in the engine mounts.[10]
  • The "where are they now", shown during the film's closing credits, omits the fact that Sheryl Yoast died in 1996 of an undetected heart condition at the age of 34, and that she was not an only child as she had three sisters. Her oldest sister Bonnie was in college, her second oldest Angela went to a different high school, and her younger sister Deidre was only three years old in 1971.
  • The "where are they now" also omits the primary cause of Boone's retirement: He was fired from the school due to allegations of player abuse and coach complaints.[11][12]


On September 19, 2000, the soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records. The film score was orchestrated by musician Trevor Rabin and features music composed by various artists. From the instrumental score, Rabin's track "Titans Spirit", was the only cue (of the 12 composed) added to the soundtrack. It is also the only piece of music on the soundtrack album not to have been previously released.

"Titans Spirit" is a seven-minute instrumental. It has been used on numerous sports telecasts, particularly those on NBC, which has utilized the score during its closing credits for each Olympic Games since 2002, as well as the final closing credits montage ending their 12-year run of NBA coverage in 2002. The song was also played as veteran New York Mets players crossed home plate during the closing ceremonies at Shea Stadium, and as the New York Yankees were awarded their rings from their 2009 World Series championship. The New Jersey Devils also used this song during the jersey number retirement ceremonies for Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur and Patrik Eliáš. In 2018, at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the song was used during the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup celebration as captain Alexander Ovechkin lifted the Cup in Las Vegas.

It was also used during the 2008 Democratic National Convention to accompany the celebration and fireworks at Invesco Field after future president Barack Obama gave his nomination acceptance speech, and was also used immediately following his victory speech upon winning the 2008 Presidential Election.[13]


Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 19, 2000
GenreR&B, pop rock
LabelWalt Disney
Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
1."Ain't No Mountain High Enough"2:23
2."Spirit in the Sky"4:02
3."Peace Train"4:08
4."Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye"4:05
5."Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress"3:17
6."I Want to Take You Higher"2:44
7."Up Around the Bend"2:42
8."Spill the Wine"4:05
9."A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall"5:10
10."Act Naturally"2:21
11."Express Yourself"3:53
12."Titans Spirit"7:25
Total length:46:21


Following its release in theaters, the Region 1 widescreen and Pan and scan edition of the motion picture was released on VHS and DVD in the United States on March 20, 2001.[14] A Special Edition widescreen format of the film was released on March 20, 2001, along with a widescreen Director's cut on March 14, 2006.[15]

A restored widescreen hi-definition Blu-ray version was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on September 4, 2007. Special features include backstage feature audio commentary with director Boaz Yakin, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and writer Gregory Allen Howard, feature audio commentary with real-life coaches Herman Boone and Bill Yoast, "Remember The Titans: An inspirational journey behind the scenes" hosted by Lynn Swann, "Denzel Becomes Boone," "Beating The Odds"; Deleted scenes; Movie Showcase and seamless menus.[16]


Box officeEdit

Remember the Titans opened strongly at the U.S. box office, grossing $26,654,715 in its first weekend and staying within the top five for six weeks.[17] It eventually went on to gross an estimated $115,654,751 in the U.S., and $136,706,684 worldwide.[1]

Critical responseEdit

Among mainstream critics in the U.S., Remember the Titans received generally positive reviews.[18] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73% of 134 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 6.3/10. The site's consensus states: "An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it's also well-crafted and features terrific performances."[19] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to critics' reviews, the film received a score of 48 based on 32 reviews.[18] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[20]

James Berardinelli writing for ReelViews, called the film "relentlessly manipulative and hopelessly predictable" but noted that it was "a notch above the average entry in part because its social message (even if it is soft-peddled [sic]) creates a richer fabric than the usual cloth from which this kind of movie is cut."[21] Describing some pitfalls, Robert Wilonsky of the Dallas Observer said that "beneath its rah-rah rhetoric and pigskin proselytizing, it's no more provocative or thoughtful than a Hallmark Hall of Fame film or, for that matter, a Hallmark greeting card. Its heart is in the right place, but it has no soul."[22] Wilonsky however was quick to admit "The film's intentions are noble, but its delivery is ham-fisted and pretentious; you can't deny the message, but you can loathe the messenger without feeling too guilty about it."[22]

'Remember the Titans' has the outer form of a brave statement about the races in America, but the soul of a sports movie in which everything is settled by the obligatory last play in the last seconds of the championship game.

—Roger Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times[23]

Todd McCarthy, writing in Variety, said, "As simplistic and drained of complexity as the picture is, it may well appeal to mainstream audiences as an 'if only it could be like this' fantasy, as well as on the elemental level of a boot camp training film, albeit a PG-rated one with all the cuss words removed."[24] Roger Ebert, in the Chicago Sun-Times, viewed the film as "a parable about racial harmony, yoked to the formula of a sports movie," adding, "Victories over racism and victories over opposing teams alternate so quickly that sometimes we're not sure if we're cheering for tolerance or touchdowns. Real life is never this simple, but then that's what the movies are for".[23]

In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle wrote that the film reminds the viewer that "it's possible to make a sentimental drama that isn't sickening —  and a sports movie that transcends cliches."[25] Columnist Bob Grimm of the Sacramento News & Review, somewhat praised the film, writing, "The film is quite lightweight for the subject matter, but Washington and company make it watchable."[26] Some detractors like Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Denzel Washington should have held out for a better script before he signed on to star in Remember the Titans, but you can see why he wanted to do the movie: He gets to play Martin Luther King Jr. and Vince Lombardi rolled into one nostalgically omnipotent tough-love saint."[27] Jeff Vice of the Deseret News admitted that although the film contained dialogue that was "corny, clichéd, and downright cheesy at times," as well as how it relayed its message in one of the "most predictable, heavy-handed manners we've seen in a movie in years", the film "serves as a reminder of how much goodness there is inside people, just waiting for the right person to bring it out." He also viewed the casting as top-notch, saying that it helped to have a "rock-solid foundation in the form of leading-man Denzel Washington" at the helm.[28]


The film was nominated and won several awards in 2000–2001.

Award Category Nominee Result
2001 Angel Awards Silver Angel ———— Nominated
BET Awards 2001 Best Actor Denzel Washington Won
2001 BMI Film & TV Awards Film Music Award Trevor Rabin Won
Black Reel Awards of 2001 Best Actor Denzel Washington Won
Best Screenplay Gregory Allen Howard Won
Best Film Jerry Bruckheimer, Chad Oman Nominated
2001 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actor - Drama Denzel Washington Nominated
Favorite Supporting Actor - Drama Wood Harris Nominated
2001 Casting Society of America Awards Best Casting for Feature Film - Drama Ronna Kress Nominated
2001 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture Denzel Washington Won
Outstanding Motion Picture ———— Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Wood Harris Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Nicole Ari Parker Nominated
Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Krysten Leigh Jones Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2000 Best Male Newcomer Kip Pardue Nominated
Youth in Film Hayden Panettiere Nominated
2001 Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards Best Sound Editing - Dialogue & ADR Robert L. Sephton, Christopher T. Welch, Julie Feiner, Cindy Marty, Gaston Biraben, Suhail Kafity Nominated
Best Sound Editing - Music Will Kaplan Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 2000 Best Performance by a Youth in a Leading or Supporting Role Hayden Panettiere Nominated
2001 Political Film Society Awards Human Rights ———— Won
Exposé ———— Nominated
Golden Satellite Awards 2000 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama Denzel Washington Nominated
2001 Teen Choice Awards Film - Choice Drama/Action Adventure ———— Nominated
22nd Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Hayden Panettiere Won
Best Family Feature Film - Drama ———— Nominated

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


  1. ^ a b c "Remember the Titans". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "Top 30 football movies of all-time".
  3. ^ "Super Bowl 2019: The 25 best football movies of all time, ranked".
  4. ^ "Ranking the 20 best football movies of all time".
  5. ^ "The 15 Best Football Movies".
  6. ^ "The 25 Best Football Movies Ever Made".
  7. ^ Shapiro, Len; Pollin, Andy (December 16, 2008). The Great Book of Washington DC Sports Lists. Running. p. 304.
  8. ^ "Alexandria school plan to be offered". Free-Lance Star. Fredericksburg, VA. Associated Press. May 1, 1971. p. 10.
  9. ^ a b The Titans had a solid football team for many years after 1971 and won most of their games by large margins. "Remember the Titans True Story - Real Gerry Bertier, Bill Yoast, Herman Boone". Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Rose, Tom (November 24, 2002). "This legendary football coach won't forget the Titans". Observer-Reporter. Washington, MA. p. C1.
  11. ^ "Remember The Titans Is A Lie, And This Man Still Wants You To Know It". Deadspin.
  12. ^ Huff, Donald (June 2, 1979). "Boone Axed At Williams". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  13. ^ "Barack Obama Wins Big: 'Change Has Come to America'". Time. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original on November 8, 2008.
  14. ^ "Remember the Titans (2000) - DVD Widescreen". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "Remember the Titans All Available Formats & Editions". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  16. ^ "Remember the Titans Blu-Ray". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "Remember the Titans (2000) Weekly". Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Remember the Titans. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  19. ^ Remember the Titans (2000). Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  20. ^ Cunningham, Todd; Zerbib, Kathy (November 22, 2017). "19 of the Most Loved or Hated Movies: Films That Got A+ or F CinemaScores (Photos)". TheWrap. Denzel Washington and an inspiring tale of race relations added up to an A+ for "Remember the Titans" in September 2000.
  21. ^ Berardinelli, James (September 2000). Remember the Titans. ReelViews. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  22. ^ a b Wilonsky, Robert (September 28, 2000). Clash of the Titans. Dallas Observer. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  23. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (September 29, 2000). "Remember The Titans movie review (2000)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  24. ^ McCarthy, Todd (September 24, 2000). Remember the Titans. Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  25. ^ Lasalle, Mick (September 29, 2000). Gaining Ground / Sport bridges racial divide with a minimum of cliches in Remember the Titans. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  26. ^ Grimm, Bob (July 19, 2001). Remember the Titans. Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  27. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 6, 2000). Remember the Titans. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  28. ^ Jeff, Vice (June 27, 2002). Remember the Titans. Deseret News. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  29. ^ "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 14, 2016.

External linksEdit