Based on the true story of an African American football coach and his struggle to overcome prejudice and racial tension. “Remember The Titans” is the chronicle of racial conflict and discord experienced before the 1971 championship win of Virginia’s T.C. William’s football team. Coach Herman Boone and Coach Bill Yoast overcome their differences and instil in a group of determined players how to work through their differences.
“Remember the Titans” premiered in 2000. The movie was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Boaz Yakin. This movie is any football fans dream. Even those of us who are not football or any major sports fan will enjoy the plot of this very real experience as it was brought to the screen as a major production.
“Remember the Titans” was one of those movies that revived the realization that there was a time in America when racism was at its worst. Even disguised, this black hole in our nation’s crust continues to rear its ugly head even today. Some fight religiously against it while others then and now continue to wanted to push it under the bed and act as if it never existed. Nevertheless, with the determination of some and a strong front, racism was then challenged and trampled.
Denzel Washington portrayed legendary Coach Herman Boone. During the tense times of racial tension and disharmony of the 70’s, the school board and staff hired Coach Boone as head coach at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The team was integrated, but in most aspects was still struggling with a segregated mentality. Even at the time Boone is hired, he struggled with the preconceived notions of the students, their parents and the staff. He extends his hand and offers the assistant coach position to the original head coach, Gary Yoast who is played by Will Patton.
Initially, Yoast declines, but later retracts and accepts the offer based on his love for the school, the team and his daughter. Yoast daughter is a major football fan and while she is very aware of the game, she is a challenge to her father and coach Boone. She finds her opposition in Coach Boone’s daughter.
After coming to an agreement, Boone and Yoast work hand in hand to gain control of their team making them champions and a winning combination that finally takes them to the state championship.
After taking the team to football camp and a series of clashes combined with rugged training tactics, the team finally comes to terms accepting each other. They begin to accept the combined effort of their head and assistant coach.
With a series of clashes due to the actions of other coaches and unfair calls by referees, Yoast calls down the actions of the referees by threatening to take their tactics and actions to the media. When this occurs, Yoast name is removed as an Inductee into the Football Hall of Fame.
While fighting racial prejudices, team challenges and other indiscretions, two of the major team players begin to accept each other and gradually grow to respect their individual strengths and weaknesses. Team captains Gerry Bertier played by Ryan Hurst and Julius Campbell played by Wood Harris became friends. They then worked together to instil teamwork in the other team members and made a combined effort to move their team into the number one spot. The T.C Williams football team then went on to become to the state championship undefeated. After winning the state championship, the team and all its members return to their hometown with admiration and acceptance from the entire district.
Sadly, after the last major home game, Bertier is involved in a car accident that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. A young player from California who has a throwing arm legends are made of steps in. With his ability, he begins the fill the void left by injured team mate Bertier. Ronnie ‘Sunshine’ Bass, played by Kip Pardue, is an amazing player with determination, a great ability to run and throw. “Sunshine” replaces another injured player as quarterback and is instrumental in leading the team to victory.
“Remember the Titans” received low scores from movie critics. However, as with most, the critics can be wrong. In this case, their scores did not diminish the movie’s popularity. It went on to rake in over $132 million at the box office: Well above its production cost. It continues to be a must see for every football fan and non-fan alike.
The movie demonstrates what can be accomplished when there is strong leadership, determination, acceptance and the will to succeed.
Remember The Titans