Remember the Titans is a 2000 American sports film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman and directed by Boaz Yakin. Inspired by real events, the plot was conceived from a screenplay written by Gregory Allen Howard. The film starts as a new coach of the Titans, a football team previously coached by the white Bill Yoast, begins coaching the team. The new coach, Herman Boone (portrayed by Denzel Washington), is a black person, and his team is a mixture of black players and white players. The struggles that arise from the racial diversity are profound. Actor Will Patton portrays Bill Yoast, making a transition to help out Boone as an assistant coach. The portrayal of real life athletes Gerry Bertier and Julius Campbell (played by Ryan Hurst and Wood Harris, respectively) appears within the integrated storyline. Kip Pardue and Kate Bosworth also star in principal roles.
A joint collective effort to commit to the film’s production was made by the film studios of Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. It was commercially distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. Remember the Titans explores civil topics, such as racism, discrimination and athletics.
Remember the Titans premiered in theaters nationwide in the United States on September 29, 2000 grossing $115,654,751 in domestic ticket receipts. It earned an additional $21,051,932 in business through international release to top out at a combined $136,706,683 in gross revenue. The film was considered a financial success due to its $30 million budget costs. Preceding its theatrical run, the film was generally met with positive critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas.
In 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia, at the desegregated T. C. Williams High School, African American head coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is hired to lead the school’s football team. Coach Boone takes the coaching position from current head coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton), who has been nominated for the Virginia High School Hall of Fame, and who also later decides to move on to other coaching opportunities. In a show of respect and in an attempt to ease racial tension, Boone offers an assistant coaching position to Yoast. Yoast at first refuses Boone’s offer, but is then tempted to join after the white players pledge to boycott the team if he doesn’t 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. The black and white athletes of the football team frequently clash in racially motivated conflicts at their football camp, including those between captain Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) and Julius Campbell (Wood Harris). However, after forceful coaxing and rigorous athletic training by Boone, the team achieves both racial harmony and triumph. In one scene, Coach Boone wakes the team up around 3:00 AM and takes them to a cemetery where Battle of Gettysburg was fought and delivers a speech about hatred. 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 fired. 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 a member of the school board that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame after the Titans lose their game, implying that the game has been fixed to ensure Boone gets fired over his race. During the game, when it becomes apparent that the referees are engaging in biased officiating against the Titans, Yoast warns the head official that he will go to the press and expose the scandal unless the game is called fairly. The referees yield and the Titans ultimately win the game, but Yoast is told afterward that his actions have resulted in his loss of candidacy for the Hall of Fame.
Later, while celebrating after the victorious game, Bertier is paralyzed in a car accident, when he is hit by a truck while accelerating into an intersection. Despite the fact that Bertier is no longer able to play, the team goes on to win the championship. Ten years later, the coaches and athletes from the team reunite to attend Bertier’s funeral, as Cheryl reiterates the message of racial equality taught by the Titans.
In the epilogue, it reveals what many of the Titans are doing, ranging from getting married to going to college.