Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Boaz Yakin
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Chad Oman
Written by Gregory Allen Howard
Starring Denzel Washington
Will Patton
Donald Faison
Nicole Ari Parker
Music by Trevor Rabin
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Michael Tronick
Walt Disney Pictures
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • September 29, 2000 (2000-09-29)
Running time
113 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $30 million[1]
Box office $136.7 million[1]

Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports drama 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 follows Coach Boone as he tries to introduce a racially diverse team at the T. C. Williams High School in the city of Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. Actor Will Patton portrays Bill Yoast, an assistant coach making a transition to help out Boone. The real life portrayal of athletes Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell, played by Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris, appear within the harmonized storyline; while Kip Pardue and Kate Bosworth also star in principal roles.

The film was co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and released by Buena Vista Pictures. Remember the Titans explores civil topics, such as racism, discrimination and athletics. On September 29, 2000, the film's soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records. It features songs written by several recording artists including Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Hollies, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor and Cat Stevens.

Remember the Titans premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on September 29, 2000, grossing $119 million in domestic ticket receipts. It earned an additional $21 million in business through international release to top out at a combined $136.7 million in gross revenue. The film was considered a financial success due to its $30 million budget. Preceding its theatrical run, the film was generally met with favorable critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas.


In 1971, at the desegregated T. C. Williams High School, a black head coach, Herman Boone is hired to lead the school's football team. Boone is assigned to the coaching team under current coach Bill Yoast, nominated for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame. But, 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. At first, he refuses as he thinks it is extremely unfair to Yoast, but accepts when he sees what it means to the black community. Yoast is then offered an assistant coach's job 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.

The black 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 white students interrupt. On August 15, 1971, the players gather and journey to Gettysburg College, where their training camp takes place. As their days of training camp progress, black and white football team members frequently clash in racially motivated conflicts, including some between captain Gerry Bertier, and Julius Campbell. But after 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.

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 over his race. 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 they've rigged the game and warns the head official that he will go to the press and expose the scandal unless the game is officiated fairly. The Titans nonetheless win, but Yoast is told by the chairman that his actions have resulted in his loss of candidacy for induction. Gerry has his best friend Ray removed from the team because of his racism.

While celebrating the victory, Bertier is severely injured in an automobile 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 by a drunk driver, after winning the gold medal in shot put in the Paralympics. His family, coaches, and other former teammates reunite to attend his funeral.

In the epilogue, descriptions show about the players and coaches activities after the events in 1971.




Filming locations for the motion picture included Atlanta, Georgia,[2] including Henry Grady High School and Druid Hills High School which both filled in for T.C. Williams High School.

Historical accuracy

While this movie is 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. Boone may not be the coach that 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.[3] The Titans had a solid football team for many years and most of their games were large victories. By the end of the 1971 football season they were ranked second in the nation, and nine out of thirteen games were shutouts.[4] 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.[4] The team did go on a tour in Gettysburg, although it was not as dramatic as portrayed in the film. Sunshine (Ronnie) was far from being the only one with long hair at the time. Even Gerry (Ryan Hurst) had long hair.


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 as with the final closing credits montage for their 12-year run with the NBA 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, and Martin Brodeur,

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.[5]


Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Various Artists
Released September 19, 2000
Length 46:21
Label Walt Disney
Remember the Titans: An Original Walt Disney Motion Picture Soundtrack
1."Ain't No Mountain High Enough"  2:29
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


Home media

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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]


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.[9] It eventually went on to gross an estimated $115,654,751 in the U.S., and $136,706,683 worldwide.[1]

Critical response

Among mainstream critics in the U.S., Remember the Titans received generally positive reviews.[10] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73% of 132 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 6.3 out of 10.[11] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, the film received a score of 48 based on 32 reviews.[10] CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.[12]

Writing for The New York Times, A. O. Scott said that "aside from a handful of tense showdowns at the line of scrimmage, there's not much else to see — is washed in on the flood tide of a thousand violins."[13] 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."[14] 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."[15] 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."[15]

'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[16]

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."[17] 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".[16] 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."[18] 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."[19] 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."[20] 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.[21]


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:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Remember the Titans". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
  2. "Remember the Titans Production Details". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. McKenna, Dave (2014-07-29). "Remember The Titans Is A Lie, And This Man Still Wants You To Know It". Deadspin. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
  4. 1 2 "Remember the Titans True Story - Real Gerry Bertier, Bill Yoast, Herman Boone". Retrieved 2016-07-10.
  5. "Barack Obama Wins Big: 'Change Has Come to America'". Time. November 4, 2008.
  6. "Remember the Titans (2000) - DVD Widescreen". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  7. "Remember the Titans All Available Formats & Editions". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  8. "Remember the Titans Blu-Ray". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  9. "Remember the Titans (2000) Weekly". Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  10. 1 2 Remember the Titans. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  11. Remember the Titans (2000). Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  13. Scott, A.O. (29 September 2000). How the Goal Line Came To Replace the Color Line. The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  14. Berardinelli, James (September 2000). Remember the Titans. ReelViews. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  15. 1 2 Wilonsky, Robert (28 September 2000). Clash of the Titans. Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  16. 1 2 Ebert, Roger (29 September 2000). Remember the Titans. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  17. McCarthy, Todd (24 September 2000). Remember the Titans. Variety. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  18. Lasalle, Mick (29 September 2000). Gaining Ground / Sport bridges racial divide with a minimum of cliches in Remember the Titans. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  19. Grimm, Bob (19 July 2001). Remember the Titans. Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  20. Gleiberman, Owen (6 October 2000). Remember the Titans. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  21. Jeff, Vice (27 June 2002). Remember the Titans. Deseret News. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  22. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
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