This movie about the real-life integration of a Virginia high school football team teeters on the brink of cliché and stereotype but manages to come down on the side of archetype. That's thanks to a sure script, solid direction, and another sensational performance by Denzel Washington. Remember the Titans is the kind of movie that begins with all the characters attending a funeral under a bright autumn sun and then takes us back to where it all began. This is the kind of movie in which people say things like, "Is this even about football anymore or is it just about you?" and where the supreme bonding moment is singing Motown songs together. In other words, no surprises here. If everyone hadn't achieved a sense of brotherhood that transcended race and it hadn't all turned out pretty well, Disney would not have made a movie about it. But that just leaves us free to enjoy the movie's appealing characters and special moments. And that's all right. There is a reason for the classic structure of the sports movie -- we like to watch raw recruits learn honor and loyalty out there on the field when it's done right, and here it is done very nicely.
Suburban Virginia schools have been segregated for generations. One Black and one White high school are closed and the students sent to . Williams High School under federal mandate to integrate. The year is seen through the eyes of the football team where the man hired to coach the Black school is made head coach over the highly successful white coach. Based on the actual events of 1971, the team becomes the unifying symbol for the community as the boys and the adults learn to depend on and trust each other. Written by LMN13
Description: This film chronicles true events that occurred during1971 in Alexandria, Virginia, when the school board came under court order to integrate both faculty and students in the public schools. At the time, high school football was the city's most popular sport. The Titans become a model of integration for a city in troubled times.
The film combines four stories: (1) the time-tested formula of the triumph of an underdog sports team; (2) the friendship between the two coaches, the black head coach and his white assistant, despite the fact that many thought that the white coach's experience and years of service meant that he should be the head coach; (3) the friendship of two players, Gerry Bertier, the white team captain, and Julius Campbell, a talented black player; and (4) the story of a racially divided team coming together and playing as a unit despite the racial hatred roiling the community around it. The story of the underdog sports team is an invention of the filmmakers. Once the team coalesced at training camp, they were favored and had only one close game in their regular season. The important stories, those of the two coaches and the two players are true although many specific facts may have been supplied by the script writer. The two coaches were lifelong friends, as were the two players. The team pulled together despite the racial tensions.