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 African-American coach Herman Boone, portrayed by Denzel Washington, and his attempt to integrate the T. C. Williams 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|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Boaz Yakin|
|Produced by||Jerry Bruckheimer|
|Written by||Gregory Allen Howard|
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
|Edited by||Michael Tronick|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$136.7 million|
The film was co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and released by Buena Vista Pictures. On September 29, 2000, the film's soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records. It features songs by several recording artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Hollies, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, The Temptations, and Cat Stevens.
Remember the Titans had a budget of $30 million and premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on September 29, 2000. It has grossed an estimated $115,654,751 in the U.S., and $136,706,683 worldwide. The film is often listed among the best football films.
In the autumn of 1981, a group of former football coaches and players attend a funeral.
Ten years earlier in July 1971, at the integrated T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, an African-American head coach, Herman Boone, is hired to coach the school's football team. Boone is assigned to the coaching team under current Caucasian coach Bill Yoast, nominated for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame. In an attempt to placate rising racial tensions and the fact that all other high schools are "white" only, Boone is assigned the head coach job. He refuses, believing it is unfair to Yoast, but relents after seeing what it means to the African-American community. Yoast is then offered an assistant coach's job by the school board and initially refuses, but reconsiders after the Caucasian 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 his daughter Sheryl's dismay.
The African-American students have a meeting in the gymnasium in auditioning to play for the team until Boone arrives, but the meeting turns into a fiasco when Yoast and Caucasian students interrupt. On August 15, the players gather and journey to Gettysburg College, where their training camp takes place. As their days of training progress, African-American and Caucasian football team members frequently clash in racially motivated conflicts, including some between captains Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell. Through forceful coaching and rigorous athletic training by Boone, which includes an early morning run to the Gettysburg cemetery and a motivational speech, the team achieves racial harmony and success. After returning from football 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 he intentionally missed a block which consequently 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've rigged the game and warns the head official that he will go to the press and expose the scandal and have all the officials and anyone else involved arrested unless the game is officiated fairly. The Titans soon shut out their opponents and win 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 his loss of candidacy for Hall of Fame induction.
While celebrating the victory, Bertier is severely injured in a car accident with a truck after driving through an intersection. Although Bertier is unable to play due to being paralyzed from the waist down, the team goes on to win the state championship. Bertier would remain a paraplegic for the rest of his life.
Ten years later, Bertier dies in another automobile accident caused by a drunk driver, after winning the gold medal in shot put in the Paralympic Games; it is then revealed that it is his funeral the former football coaches and players are attending, where Julius, while holding the hand of Gerry'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.
- Denzel Washington as Coach Herman Boone
- Will Patton as Assistant Coach Bill Yoast
- Wood Harris as DE Julius Campbell
- Ryan Hurst as LB Gerry Bertier
- Donald Faison as RB/LB Petey Jones
- Craig Kirkwood as QB Jerry "Rev" Harris
- Ethan Suplee as OL Louie Lastik
- Ryan Gosling as LB Alan Bosley
- Burgess Jenkins as TE Ray Budds
- Kip Pardue as QB Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass
- Hayden Panettiere as Sheryl Yoast, Bill Yoast's tomboyish 9-and-a-half-year-old daughter
- Nicole Ari Parker as Carol Boone, Herman Boone's wife
- Kate Bosworth as Emma Hoyt, Gerry's girlfriend
- Earl C. Poitier as DL Darryl "Blue" Stanton
- Neal Ghant as Frankie Glascoe
Filming locations for the motion picture included the campus of Berry College in Rome, GA, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia, including Henry Grady High School and Druid Hills High School which both filled in for T.C. Williams High School.
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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 elements of teamwork, commitment, and friendship to the film.
- Coach Boone may not have been as inspirational a coach as Washington portrays in the movie. In interviews, many former Titans football players said they believed his coaching strategies had no correlation to their success, and were indeed too harsh, causing some players to quit.
- 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 fourteen wins being shutouts.
- 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. The team did go on a tour of Gettysburg, although it was not as dramatic as portrayed in the film.
- 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.
- 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 mount.
- The "where are they now", shown during the film's closing credits, omits the fact that Sheryl Yoast died in 1996 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.
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" was a seven-minute instrumental. It has been used on numerous sports telecasts, particularly those on NBC, which utilized the score during its closing credits for the Salt Lake 2002, Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012, and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as well in 2002 with the final closing credits montage ending their 12-year run of NBA coverage. 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.
|Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by |
|Released||September 19, 2000|
|Genre||R&B, pop rock|
|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|
|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|
Following its release in theaters, the Region 1 widescreen and Pan and scan edition of the motion picture was released on DVD in the United States on March 20, 2001. 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.
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.
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. It eventually went on to gross an estimated $115,654,751 in the U.S., and $136,706,684 worldwide.
Among mainstream critics in the U.S., Remember the Titans received generally positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73% of 132 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 6.3/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, the film received a score of 48 based on 32 reviews. CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.
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) creates a richer fabric than the usual cloth from which this kind of movie is cut." 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." 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."
—Roger Ebert, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times
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." 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".
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." 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." 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." 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.
The film was nominated and won several awards in 2000–2001.
|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|
|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:
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- "Top 30 football movies of all-time". Fandango.com.
- "Super Bowl 2019: The 25 best football movies of all time, ranked". USAToday.com.
- "Ranking the 20 best football movies of all time". TheScore.com.
- "The 15 Best Football Movies". MensJournal.com.
- "The 25 Best Football Movies Ever Made". Esquire.com.
- "Remember the Titans Production Details". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- McKenna, Dave (July 29, 2014). "Remember The Titans Is A Lie, And This Man Still Wants You To Know It". Deadspin. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- 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". ChasingtheFrog.com. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Rose, Tom (November 24, 2002). "This legendary football coach won't forget the Titans". Observer-Reporter. Washington, MA. p. C1.
- "Barack Obama Wins Big: 'Change Has Come to America'". Time. November 4, 2008.
- "Remember the Titans (2000) - DVD Widescreen". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Remember the Titans All Available Formats & Editions". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Remember the Titans Blu-Ray". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Remember the Titans (2000) Weekly". BoxOfficeMojo.com. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Remember the Titans. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Remember the Titans (2000). Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Berardinelli, James (September 2000). Remember the Titans. ReelViews. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Wilonsky, Robert (September 28, 2000). Clash of the Titans. Dallas Observer. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Ebert, Roger (September 29, 2000). Remember the Titans. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- McCarthy, Todd (September 24, 2000). Remember the Titans. Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- 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.
- Grimm, Bob (July 19, 2001). Remember the Titans. Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Gleiberman, Owen (October 6, 2000). Remember the Titans. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- Jeff, Vice (June 27, 2002). Remember the Titans. Deseret News. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
- "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved August 14, 2016.