This film is set during the early 1970s. At the time, the school was just being integrated. Racism became more prevalent in the 1970s. Denzel Washington plays a major role in the movie. He plays Herman Boone. Boone was hired to work as a T.C. Williams High Football coach is chosen over a black coach in Alexandria. Tensions on the team are at their highest point and they must work together to achieve success.
This film is about racism, prejudice and stereotypes. Remember the Titans shows how racial bias was prevalent and acted out during that time in American History. As an example, in Remember the Titans, when Coach Boone replaces Coach Yoast as the head coaching, the players of the film are furious and prejudiced because Coach Boone’s race. White players are afraid of black players getting more playing time due to Coach Boone being the head coaching. Segregation was over and both white and black students could attend school together, but racism did not diminish. This was a pivotal time in American History. Remember the Titans is another film that deals with discrimination. Coach Boone, for example, is told he’ll be fired if the team loses. Emma, Gerry’s friend, was hesitant to shake Julius’s hand. Third and last example, I will use when people refused to let certain characters into the restaurant either because they were black or white and were hanging out and friends with blacks. Stereotypical comments are made throughout the movie, such as blacks being called animals or that “all the head coaches in the team are white”.
But the films reduces prejudice and discrimination. Both are reduced in a variety of ways. Coach Boone makes sure that his team is aware of the fact that those who are deserving of playing time, regardless of race, will get it. When the team boards the bus, Coach Boone tells his team members that their brothers will be their teammates. It is funny. This helps them view everyone equally. In the film, Julius visits the hospital to see Gerry. The nurse tells him “only family members are allowed”. He replies, “but Gerry is my brother”. The line and scene that I liked the most in this movie was “but he’s my brother”. There were several key moments in the film that played a major role in reducing racism and prejudice. Rev and Louie, who both had a passion for music, began singing in their dining room and bus. The entire team ends up dancing and chanting on the pitch. Emma shaking Julius’s hand after initially refusing to do so is the second example. Gerry insisting that Julius play basketball even when Gerry’s mother tells him no, is another example where prejudice and discrimination has been reduced. Last but not least, I will use the example of Petey being beaten up by his friends.
Throughout the movie, everyone faced many challenges. From the team to coach Boone. In the beginning, for example, blacks and whites were both ignored, causing them to not work together as one team. Even though they were able to come together during camp, there was still tension in their “real lives” when they returned home. Gerry, the team’s captain, was also injured in a tragic car accident. Just like his team, Boone had to deal with many challenges in the film. At first, the players of color didn’t really want to follow Coach Boone. He needed to get them to start working together. As I mentioned, he was also threatened with being fired for losing any football matches.
Remember the Titans has to be one of the best sports movies ever made. Not only because it is a football movie, but also for the social issues raised throughout the film and the way a team works together to overcome them. The movie is inspiring, and just writing about it makes me want watch it again. There is only one thing I could change about the movie, and it’s not something I’d do to the story. But I think I’d change Gerry’s paralysis. That tragedy actually brought the group closer. Gerry also didn’t allow that accident to stop him in his life.