The film Remember The Titans, based on a true story, is set in Alexandria, Virginia is from the beginning made out to be yet another American high school sports movie like many other films made; however, there is more to this feel-good sports movie than just American football. If you are unaware, 1971 played a vital role in bringing a separated community together; the community’s divide was between the black and the white races. This divide was made worse when two high schools, George Washington and Francis Hammond were changed into junior highs, and T.C. Williams became the senior high school. One of the original high schools being predominantly white and the other predominantly black, the integrating of the schools created masses of tension and friction between the already rivalling races.
With an all-star cast being linked to real-life characters in this motion picture, some may see it as trying to alter the history of T.C. Williams. Remember, The Titans should not be watched if you intend to see a sports movie because although based around American football, there is more depth in this story than just a game. It is based on the racial tension being pushed to the limits as they are forced to work as a team. The film starts at a funeral. However, we are unaware whose funeral it is and why the film decides to begin like this, but this soon becomes apparent as the narrator takes us back in time ten years.
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Here the film unfolds as we see an American football training session interrupted by news that a fight was taking place between the separate races; like several other occasions within this film, this may have been slightly dramatized to try and show the tension between the races, and even after looking through the history of Alexandria, Virginia it is challenging to say how and why the fight was taking place, after this, the film goes into politics ever so slightly, because the head coaching position initially held by a white man; (Coach Yoast), was now given to a new coach, and as I’m sure you can guess the new coach; (Coach Boone) happens to be a black man.
This again causes friction, and the white members of the team decide that they are unwilling to play under the influence of a black coach. So at the first meeting of the new team, a white male joins the crowd of black men awaiting their introduction to the football team, seemingly unaware of the racial divide, soon after. Finally, we have a dramatic entrance with the doors swinging open and the entire white football team being led by coach Yoast.
The team is taken off to camp where it is clear for all to see that coach Boone won’t be taking sides with any race and that there will be no favourites; his intentions are clear from the start that he will be making an effort to unite the team as one before the end of the camp, his method for doing this was by making a member of each race share a room with a member from the opposite race for the duration of the camp after this appears to be taking no effect he delivers the team with a request; they could either learn things from every other member of the opposite race, or they would have to continue with three-a-day practices, this being a gruelling challenge for any athlete.
In the final few days of the camp, I feel that we arrive at the film’s dramatic climax; this is where the captain of the blacks and the captain of the whites come together and finally make peace with each other in what looks to be the newfound friendship. With the two captains now becoming close, it sets the tone for the rest of the teams. After all that they have gone through together, they become able to look beyond the race and now concentrate on winning as one team.
The main characters in this film were played by Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst and Donald Faison; Denzel has starred in over 40 films and also has two academy awards too his name he could be seen as one of the veteran actors of the film, some other movies that he has starred in are, Training Day, Man on Fire, one of these films is him playing a role as a bodyguard for a little girl who when she goes missing unleashes a trail of devastation to find those responsible. The other film is him as a crooked cop, this shows the wide variety of characters that he can adapt to, but by far this is different to the usual motion pictures that he has starred in.
Will Patton arguably another veteran actor of this movie has starred in over 60 films such as The Punisher, Gone in 60 seconds, also being able to play a variety of characters, within The Punisher he plays as the right-hand man for the kingpin of crime, and in the second film, he plays a part in having to steal 50 cars in one night if added together with the films that Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst and Donald Faison have starred they don’t add up to as many as either Denzel Washington or Will. The director of this film Boaz Yakin, however, isn’t too well known and has only produced a few films none being blockbuster hits, in comparison to the producer of this film Jerry Bruckheimer who has produced over 70 films with many films bound to be huge hits still in the making, for example, Pirates of the Caribbean 2&3.
Some films which he has produced making were extremely big productions worldwide for example Top Gun starring Tom Cruise, Bad Boys 1&2 starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett, to name a few of his 70 titles, this isn’t the first film that Jerry Bruckheimer has made that has been brought upon by real events some of the other films that he has made that had been based on true stories are King Arthur and Pearl Harbor, however, Remember the Titans is in a different genre to these two films because it is the only film out of the three films that haven’t been based around war.
After watching this film, it instantly became one of my favourite films of all time. Although, I found it a truly inspiring film; my reason for this being such a good film, in my opinion, is because it highlighted issues that, although not as blatant, can still be found today 35 years on; my only problem with the film is that like all sports movies it is highly predictable, but in contrast to this, a positive point on the film is that although a racially motivated film, they have toned down the racial epithets and no highly regarded racial word is used in the film against either the blacks or the whites.