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

Remember the Titans is a 2000 American biographical sports comedy-drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. The screenplay, written by Gregory Allen Howard, is loosely 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.

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 $136.8 million worldwide. Reception was not so favorable upon release, but has become appreciated over the years.[2] The film is often listed among the best football films.[3][4][5][6][7]

Plot

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

Ten years earlier in the summer of 1971, head coach Bill Yoast of the newly integrated T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, is leading his white players in summer workouts. He is informed that Herman Boone, a black head coach originally hired to coach the city's black high school football team, has been assigned to his coaching staff instead. Then, in an attempt to placate rising racial tensions and the fact that all other high schools in Alexandria are "white only" (despite the abolition of racial segregation in public schools), the school district decides to name Boone the head coach. Boone refuses, believing it is unfair to Yoast, a successful coach who is nominated to the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, but relents after seeing what it means to the black community. When Yoast tells his white players that he will accept a head coach position elsewhere, they pledge to boycott the team if he is not their coach. Dismayed at the prospect of the students losing their chances at scholarships, Yoast changes his mind and decides to accept Boone's offer to serve as his defensive coordinator.

Boone holds his first team meeting with mostly black students in the school gymnasium but is interrupted by the arrival of Yoast and several white students. Yoast informs Boone of his decision, but Boone warns Yoast that the Titans are his team, and he will not tolerate Yoast undermining him. On August 15, the players go to Gettysburg College for training camp. Early on, the black and white team members frequently clash in racially-motivated conflicts, especially between defensive captains Gerry Bertier (white) and Julius Campbell (black). However, through forceful coaching, rigorous training, and a motivational early-morning run to the Gettysburg National Cemetery followed by an emotional speech by Boone, the team comes together and returns as a united group. Before their first game, 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 and slowly gaining support from the community.

Just before the state semi-finals, Yoast is told by the chairman of the school board that they have arranged for the Titans to lose so that Boone will be dismissed and Yoast reinstated as head coach. During the game, the referees make several biased calls against the Titans. Upon seeing the chairman and other board members in the audience looking on with satisfaction, Yoast marches onto the field to warn the head referee that if the game is not officiated fairly, he will expose the scandal to the press. After this, the Titans 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.

That night, while celebrating the victory, Gerry is severely injured in a car accident and is paralyzed from the waist down. Despite the loss of the All-American linebacker, the Titans mount a comeback in the fourth quarter of the state championship and win the title.

Ten years later, Gerry dies in another car crash caused by a drunk driver after having won the gold medal in shot put in the Paralympic Games. It is his funeral the former football coaches and players were attending in the opening scene. Julius, who Gerry's mother formerly disliked, is now holding her hand as he 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 Gerry'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 Gerry until his death.

Cast

Production

Filming

Filming locations for the motion picture included the campus of Dallas, Georgia at Paulding County High School, where the home games were filmed. 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. Additionally, some of the championship game scenes were filmed at the Sprayberry High School football stadium in East Marietta, Georgia.

Historical accuracy

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Remember the Titans" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

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.

Music

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.[14]

Although not included on the soundtrack, "Them Changes" by Buddy Miles is heard playing early on in the film.

Soundtrack

Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 19, 2000
GenreR&B, pop rock
Length46:21
LabelWalt Disney
Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
No.TitleLength
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

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[15] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release

Home media

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

Reception

Box office

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.[20] The film debuted at the number one spot, but was quickly overtaken by Meet the Parents a week later.[21] It eventually went on to gross an estimated $115,654,751 in the U.S., and $136,706,684 worldwide.[1]

Critical response

Among mainstream critics in the U.S., Remember the Titans received generally positive reviews.[22] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 71% of 137 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."[23] 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.[22] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[24]

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."[25] 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."[26] 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."[26]

'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[27]

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."[28] 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".[27]

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."[29] 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."[30] 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."[31] 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.[32]

Accolades

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

AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers - Nominated

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Remember the Titans". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ "washingtonpost.com: Entertainment Guide". www.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  3. ^ "Top 30 football movies of all-time". Fandango.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  4. ^ "Super Bowl 2019: The 25 best football movies of all time, ranked". USAToday.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  5. ^ "Ranking the 20 best football movies of all time". TheScore.com. June 30, 2017. Archived from the original on July 6, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  6. ^ "The 15 Best Football Movies". MensJournal.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "The 25 Best Football Movies Ever Made". Esquire.com. August 24, 2022. Archived from the original on February 22, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Shapiro, Len; Pollin, Andy (December 16, 2008). The Great Book of Washington DC Sports Lists. Running. p. 304.
  9. ^ "Alexandria school plan to be offered". Free-Lance Star. Fredericksburg, VA. Associated Press. May 1, 1971. p. 10.
  10. ^ 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". ChasingtheFrog.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Rose, Tom (November 24, 2002). "This legendary football coach won't forget the Titans". Observer-Reporter. Washington, MA. p. C1. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  12. ^ "Remember The Titans Is A Lie, And This Man Still Wants You To Know It". Deadspin. July 29, 2014. Archived from the original on December 10, 2021. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  13. ^ Huff, Donald (June 2, 1979). "Boone Axed At Williams". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 28, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  14. ^ "Barack Obama Wins Big: 'Change Has Come to America'". Time. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original on November 8, 2008.
  15. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Remember the Titans". Music Canada. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Remember the Titans". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  17. ^ "Remember the Titans (2000) - DVD Widescreen". Barnes & Noble. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  18. ^ "Remember the Titans All Available Formats & Editions". Barnes & Noble. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  19. ^ "Remember the Titans Blu-Ray". Barnes & Noble. Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  20. ^ "Remember the Titans (2000) Weekly". BoxOfficeMojo.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  21. ^ Reese, Lori (October 8, 2000). "Meet the Parents tops the box office". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  22. ^ a b Remember the Titans Archived August 21, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  23. ^ Remember the Titans (2000) Archived February 21, 2020, at the Wayback Machine. Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  24. ^ Cunningham, Todd; Zerbib, Kathy (November 22, 2017). "19 of the Most Loved or Hated Movies: Films That Got A+ or F CinemaScores (Photos)". TheWrap. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2020. Denzel Washington and an inspiring tale of race relations added up to an A+ for "Remember the Titans" in September 2000.
  25. ^ Berardinelli, James (September 2000). Remember the Titans Archived November 19, 2018, at the Wayback Machine. ReelViews. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  26. ^ a b Wilonsky, Robert (September 28, 2000). Clash of the Titans Archived March 4, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Dallas Observer. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  27. ^ a b Ebert, Roger (September 29, 2000). "Remember The Titans movie review (2000)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  28. ^ McCarthy, Todd (September 24, 2000). Remember the Titans Archived April 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  29. ^ Lasalle, Mick (September 29, 2000). Gaining Ground / Sport bridges racial divide with a minimum of cliches in Remember the Titans Archived June 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  30. ^ Grimm, Bob (July 19, 2001). Remember the Titans Archived November 30, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  31. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 6, 2000). Remember the Titans Archived November 5, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  32. ^ Jeff, Vice (June 27, 2002). Remember the Titans Archived November 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Deseret News. Retrieved February 27, 2013.