Remember the Titans is a movie by the director Boaz Yakin in 2000 (“Remember the Titans Movie.”) and a book written by Steve Sullivan in 2005 (Sullivan, Steve). Both the book and the movie explain the true life event of Herman Boone, an African American football coach. He united the football teams of T.C William High school in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. This paper will compare and contrast between the movie and the book while highlighting the individual scenes that differ from the real event. Bill Yoast was Boone’s coach and the writer of this book narrated the story of Bill Yoast that had been narrated to him personally. The story highlights the concept of overcoming racism.
The real event outlines the integration of African Americans in the football team of T.C William high school. Boone did coaching and moral building of the high school football team to make them win the match. The real events highlight the struggles of American and African American football players with each other while eventually they embrace racial differences among themselves and played the football match with great unity (Hakim, Mohamad). The story gives the lesson of acceptance of ethnic cultures and giving chance to the minorities to show their excellence and expertise.
Most of the characters in the movie were the same as in the real event except for Herman Boone, Gerry Bertier, Bill Yoast, and Sheryl Yoast who were played by Denzel Washington, Ryan Hurst, and Will Patton, and Hayden Panettiere, respectively in the movie. All the characters performed well on the screen, and the direction resulted in an emotional retort from the viewers. The music has been used throughout the movie has a sparkling background effect. The pop song of the 1960s has also been added to the movie. The dialogue, camera, music, camera angles, and the sensational true story appealed to the audience and hence gave an outstanding hit to this movie.
The movie fictionalized some characters that were not in the actual event, this includes the charter of Ray Budds who was seen being disqualified from the team by Captain Gerry. Similarly, the scene where Alan offers the football goal spot to other players Pete is an addition that never happened in the real event and has not been mentioned in the book. Boone seemed to force the players from different ethnic backgrounds over each other in the movie while leaving for the football camp and this resonates with the book.
The team of integrated football players spent almost a week at Gettysburg College. There they used to practice football thrice a day that was a hard part at the beginning of training and both the movie and book mention this fact. The book explains the real tension among the players that was due to the concern of positioning in the team. The struggling and envious attitude was primarily for captaincy, not concerning racism (Leary, Rama). However, the movie shows the primary cause of tension is racism.
Coach Boone delivered many inspirational speeches to his team to boost their stamina and motivation for a game, but he never woke them up for long walks at 3 a.m. as shown in the movie. The book explains that the team used to tour the battlefields on Sunday during camping where the guide used to talk to them. Boone used to highlight the sportsman’s spirit and excellent performance regardless of success in his speeches he always focused on the best performance that eventually guarantees success. Boone was more concerned about the performance of each player, and he worked hard on everyone individually.
The movie shows that Julius Campbell and Gerry Bertier became best friends however the book mentions that there was not so close association between the both they were like all other team members, they were friends but never best friends as shown in the movie. One of the scenes in the movie shows Ronnie kissing Gerry, this scene was an addition as a joke, and this never happened in real life. Ronnie’s character was exaggerated in the movie, however, in reality, he was just another player who came from California.
Unlike the movie, the book does not mention the protest outside the school on the first day. Similarly, the concept of racial tension in Alexandria was highlighted in the movie that was not as severe in the actual story as mentioned in the book. The victory, however, made the association between the ethnic groups better than before (Velez, Elizabeth, and Paul). The scene where Boone tosses a banana to the rival coach Tyrell was an addition to the movie as it doesn’t happen in the real story. Similarly, the movie highlights Sheryl as a football’s biggest fan which wasn’t the truth in reality. The girl never personally liked the game but only for the fact that his father was a coach.
The movie shows that Yoast had only one daughter however he had a total of four daughters, and they all lived with their mother. Yoast was also not happy with this storyline. The scene was Petey Jones and Ronnie Bass faced a racial incident at the restaurant was not real it was an addition to the movie and the scene where somebody threw a brick in Boone’s home was also manipulated where in reality it wasn’t a brick but worse than a brick that is a toilet commode. Similarly, Boone never owned a gun which has been shown in the movie where he comes out of his home with the gun just after the brick-throwing scene.
The movie shows that Gerry gets paralyzed before the championship however in the real story as mentioned in the book he got paralyzed after a traumatic accident after the championship. In the movie Gerry tells the nurse that Julius was my brother when he visited him, this was not the real scene; however, all the team members were given permission to see Gerry after the accident by stating they were a family. Gerry Bertier died after ten years of their championship, and this part of the movie is true. He was a great player and a great handicapped survivor.
Hence, there was a lot of manipulation in the movie that was never part of the actual event. The movie highlighted the ethnic tension and later the integration of both ethnic groups up to the level of a great friendship. The book shows the true depiction of incidents that happened in the real event and has the least manipulations as it has been told by Bill. The manipulation in the movie is added to make it more appealing and emotional. Those additions make the movie interesting and successful. There are always differences between the true story and the one shown in the movie. These fabrications are required for the overall plot of the story.
“Remember the Titans Movie.” YouTube. YouTube, 13 Nov. 2015. Web. 31 July 2017.
Hakim, Mohamad Ihsanul. “Interracial Conflict Between Blacks And Whites In Remember The Titans Film.” (2014).
Leary, Rameca. “Remember the titans: A theoretical analysis.” Journal of Arts and Humanities 2.4 (2013): 11.
Sullivan, Steve. Remember This Titan: The Bill Yoast Story: Lessons Learned from a Celebrated Coach’s Hourney. (2005).
Velez, Jamie, Elizabeth Hughes, and Paul Way. “Remember the Titans-Five Step Analysis.” Retrived on 25th January (2006).