Denzel Washington Coach Herman Boone
Will Patton Coach Bill Yoast
Hayden Panettiere Sheryl Yoast
Gregalan Williams Coach Paul 'Doc' Hinds
Brett Rice Coach Tyrell
Nicole Ari Parker Carol Boone
Kate Bosworth Emma Hoyt
Krystin Leigh Jones Nicky Boone
Ryan Hurst Gerry Bertier (No. 42)
Wood Harris Julius 'Big Ju' Campbell (No. 81)
Donald Faison Petey Jones (40)
Ryan Gosling Alan Bosley (48)
Burgess Jenkins Ray Budds (87)
Craig Kirkwood Jerry 'Rev' Harris (10)
Kip Pardue Ronnie 'Sunshine' Bass (12)
Earl C. Poitier Darryl 'Blue' Stanton (76)
Ethan Suplee Lewis 'Louie' Lastik (73)
Afemo Omilami Mr Campbell
Andrew Masset Colonel Bass
Tim Ware Mr Bosley
Director Boaz Yakin
Producers Jerry Bruckheimer
Produced by Disney Enterprises / Jerry Bruckheimer Inc, 2000
Dolby Digital; Technicolor; 2.35:1 (Panavision)
1. Opening Credits / Alexandria 1971
1. Alexandria, Virginia – 1981: Mourners arrive for a funeral//
2. July 1971: Angry African-Americans demonstrate over the shooting of a Black teenager
3. team practice
2. New Assistant
4. Coach Boone has arrived
5. The Bones move in
6. Dr Day arrives
7. Yoast is told that Boone will be head coach.
8. Boone is persuaded to accept
3. Unwelcome Visitor
9. Boone asks Yoast to stay on as assistant.
10. Yoast announces his plans to take a year off and then move on.
11. Yoast ponders his options.
4. “Zero Fun, Sir.”
12. Boone's first team meeting
13. Yoast insists on a job for Coach Tyrell.
5. “Who’s Your Daddy?”
14. Gerry tries to lay down some conditions and is put in his place.
Boone integrates the buses.
15. Blue starts to sing and is silenced by Julius who is sitting with Gerry.
6. Setting the Rules
16. A fight starts.
17. Boone sets the standards.
18. Training and practice.
7. “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”
19. Louie sits down with black guys; Boone orders them to meet their team-mates.
8. Tired and Thirsty
21. Practice, another flare up, fight over water.
9. Bertier and Big Ju
22. Gerry and Julius tell each other some home truths.
10. Lesson from the Dead
23. The players are roused from bed at 3 a.m. and taken for a run.
24. Boone makes an inspirational speech at the Gettysburg cemetery.
11. Left Side, Strong Side
25. The team unites.
26. Ronnie Bass, a quarterback, arrives.
27. Petey nicknames him Sunshine; the boys bond with 'momma' jokes and music.
28. Rev told to teach Ronnie the ‘veer’.
13. Too Strong
29. Offensive and defensive players now eat together; Sheryl congratulates Boone.
30. After practice team bonding
31. All sing on the bus.
32. Families are waiting at the bus stop.
14. Back in the Real World
33. White parents protest against integration; Gerry introduces Julius to his girlfriend Emma
34. Dr Day tells Boone that the school board will fire him as soon as he loses a game.
15. Rule Like Titans – T.C. Williams v Hayfield
35. Boone makes an inspirational speech to the team.
36. Game Montage
26. Petey on D
Yoast puts Petey back on in defence
37. They go on the town; Ray and Emma invite Gerry along with them but he refuses.
17. Service refused
38. They are thrown out of a bar.
39. Boone tells Yoast not to treat the black players more leniently than the white.
40. Blacks playing basketball
41. Gerry's mother won't let him visit Julius.
42. TC Williams v Herndon
43. Boone comes to see Yoast; Nicky is with him.
44. Boone has a mathematical analysis of the next team they are playing.
19. Picking Sides
45. A brawl in the hall.
46. Tyrell tells Yoast that a man has to ‘pick sides’.
47. A brick through the Boones' window.
48. The team meets and re-establishes their unity.
49. Yoast suggests to Boone that he be less assertive and more humble.
20. The Singing Titans
50. Game #3: TC Williams vs. Groveton –Rev is injured.
21. Tough Decision
51. Ronnie stars; Ray is cut.
22. Changing Times
52. Julius goes to visit Gerry at home.
53. Montage – 16 mm
54. Yoast is told that there is a plot to get rid of Boone.
55. Opposing coach Taber calls Boone 'a monkey'.
23. Remember Forever
56. Boone accuses the referee of cheating; Yoast tells him to call the game fairly.
24. Winning and Losing
57. Back in town, all is celebration.
58. Yoast tells Sheryl he has lost the 'Hall of Fame'.
59. Boone's neighbours applaud him.
60. Gerry has a car accident.
25. Fallen Titan
61. Gerry is paralysed from the waist down.
62. Yoast accuses Boone of being more concerned with himself.
63. Press conference // Boone reflects.
64. Yoast and Sheryl visit Gerry
26. State Championship – Titans v Marshall
65. Titans are up against the “legendary Ed Henry with over 250 wins in 30 years."
66. Louie has made the grades for college; Petey is on the bench.
27. Worthy Opponents
67. Marshall score early.
28. Trusting the Soul
68. Julius makes an inspirational speech; Yoast asks Boone for help.
29. “Our Time”
69. Petey replaces Alan and scores.
30. Fake 23 Blast
70. Titans win in last minutes.
71. They celebrate in Gerry's room.
31. Making It Work
72. Funeral again.
32. End Credits
73. Split screen – picture on left; bio info on right
"Them Changes" Buddy Miles
"Express Yourself" Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
"Act Naturally" Buck Owens
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" Marvin Gaye
"Call on Me" Bobby 'Blue' Band
"Spirit In The Sky" Written and performed by Norman Greenbaum
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" the Sea Shells
"Quiet Home" the Sea Shells
"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" Leon Russell
"You've Got to Earn It" The Temptations
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Marvin Gaye & Tammi Tarrell
"Time Has Come Today" Chambers Brothers
"The Way You Do the Things You Do" The Temptations
"House Of The Rising Sun" Fruid Pink
"Peace Train" Cat Stevens
"I Want to Take You Higher" Ike and Tina Turner
"Up Around the Bend" Credence Clearwater Revival
"Spill The Wine" Eric Burdon & War
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" Steam
"Superstar" The Temptations
"No Surrender" Chris Goulstone
"Venus" Shocking Blue
"Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)" The Hollies (1972)
"Fire and Rain" Written and Performed by James Taylor
"Let's Go Blue"
Alexandria, Virginia, 1971.
Herman Boone, a black football coach from South Carolina, takes up his appointment as head coach
of the Titans at the newly integrated TC Williams High School. Boone replaces the popular and
successful white coach Bill Yoast, who is offered and grudgingly accepts the position of his assistant.
The Titans depart for training camp, where the imperious Boone works to mould them into a highly
disciplined, and mutually tolerant, winning team. Initially hostile, the black and white team members
grow to respect and like one other; white captain Gerry Bertier and black defender Julius Campbell
form a particularly strong bond.
Returning to school, the unified team is disheartened to find that racial prejudice is still tearing
the community apart. Boone is told he will lose his job if the team loses a game. In spite of early
success, the team is losing its unity but a meeting called by two members re-establishes team spirit
and they continue to win in the Virginia schools tournament. However, Yoast's nomination for the
state Hall of Fame is thrown out when he defies a group of officials conspiring to get rid of Boone.
Success in the regional final turns to tragedy when a road accident leaves Gerry paralysed from
the waist down.
Ending the season undefeated, the Titans become state champions.
In 1981, the players and coaches assemble for the funeral of Gerry, who was killed in a drunk-
Narrative Structure Analysis And Answers
1. From whose point of view is the story told in this film? Is that consistent throughout or are other
points of view shown?
Much of it is seen through the eyes of Sheryl Yoast, a nine year old in 1971, who provides the framing voice
over, and whose reactions often seem to be like a Greek Chorus. Her POV is often used to give the audience a
point of identification, and to help keep the story focused.
Other than that, it is 'eye of God'. We see things from the point of view of both coaches, and of several of
2. What are the conflicts that provide the basis for the plot?
The enforced integration of the two high schools has meant the integration of two football teams. The
replacement of the successful and popular Yoast by a black outsider is a cause of great conflict among the
white players, the parents and between the two coaches. The white community's hostility is also made clear
3. What other conflicts develop as the story develops?
The general racial divide becomes personalised: Julius and Gerry; Blue and Alan etc. Ray remains the
intransigent white team member.
Ronnie v Petey, Gerry (is he gay?) – low key
Sheryl v Nicky – minimal
Mrs Bertier and Emma v Gerry over his friendship with Julius – peripheral
Yoast is forced to choose between his white supporters and Boone and the team.
4. Are these conflicts resolved by the end of the film?
The team becomes one – Ray is cut. Gerry and Julius become great friends.
Boone and Yoast become friends, as do Nicky and Sheryl.
Yoast chooses the team over his supporters.
Ronnie's sexuality becomes a non-issue
The community accepts the winning team - shown by the reaction of Boone's initially hostile neighbours
and by the police officer stopping to congratulate Julius.
Mrs Bertier accepts Julius as Gerry's friend. Emma shakes Julius's hand; Mrs B holds Julius's hand at
5. List the main obstacles and/or problems faced (by the protagonists) in the story.
Boone (initially personal, then public)
his reluctance to take another man's position
The opposition of the white boys and their parents
The hostility between the races
His reluctance to listen to Yoast
He is told that he was appointed with an expectation that he would fail
Cheating referee and unco-operative opposition coach
Very strong opposition in the final game
Yoast (initially personal, then public)
his pride at taking second place
his unhappiness at Boone's methods
the plot to oust Boone
loss of Gerry in defence
6. How much time is covered in this film? Can you work out a timeline?
One football season.
The pre-season camp lasts two weeks (mentioned in dialogue) and starts August 15.
School starts on September 3; the season presumably is over by about March or April.
The bookend sections are 10 years later.
7. What techniques are used in this film to show time passing?
changing light – day to night etc dates or times on screen – games, etc
a montage of brief symbolic or typical images references in dialogue
dissolves (3 a.m. run; not used often)
cuts to the same scene at a clearly later time, e.g. Ronnie with long hair and then short hair.
8. Can you identify the mid-point scene?
Not an action scene but the meeting called by Blue and Louie, where the boys come together again.
How does it affect subsequent action?
They come on to their games singing and they win convincingly. There is no more dissension. Gerry puts the
team ahead of friendship and has Ray dropped from the team.
9. How has suspense been created in this film?
Can this group of mutually hostile boys be moulded into a team? Boone succeeds at this only to find his job is
precarious and dependent on the team's success. Will the team win? Will Boone keep his job? Will Yoast
undermine or support him? etc
The Paradigm: the 3-act Structure
Act II Act III
First Half Second Half
– moulding the team internal threats to unity external threats to Gerry's injury but team's
team meeting in the gym
Plot Point 1 Plot Point 2
the moment of bonding Gerry's accident
Set-up Confrontation Resolution
Creating a team The team faces hostility Success
Racial hostility Boone's job on the line Plot against Boone fails
Boone v Yoast Boone and Yoast reach
A ‘plot point’ = any incident or event that spins the action into another direction.
Plot Point 1 comes at about 34 minutes, rather late for a 103 minute film (109 minutes with tail
credits); the ‘mid-point’ is at 63 minutes – somewhat past half way through.
The classic First Act question is whether to accept or refuse a challenge. Boone's = how to mould
these boys into a team; Yoast's is how to work with Boone. The boys' challenge is to learn to
respect one another.
When Boone's external conflict - the need for success - is no longer an issue, the focus shifts to
the personal relationship between Boone and Yoast. Ultimate success will come only when they can
both swallow their pride and fully co-operate.
The Emotional Curve
the tension should steadily increase as time passes.
ACT I ACT II midpoint ACT III time
Characters and Actors
Herman Boone / Denzel Washington
Screenwriter: I wrote this with Denzel in mind, because Herman has to be a bastard but he must be a lovable
bastard, so there is a very fine line. Denzel is always likable in all his movies; no matter how bad the character is
he might be playing, people like him, so he can get away with more. He can get away with screaming at a player.
And Denzel has himself coached football for well over 10 years, so he knows the game well. Some of Denzel's
dialogue was actually words from the mouth of the real Boone
Much of the success of the film, particularly its transcendence of the schmaltz factor, is a result of
The real Herman Boone was a dictator, who insisted on doing things his way. He was cantankerous, sharp-edged,
intelligent, opinionated – and a driven man who stepped on quite a few toes. Boone came in like a bull at a gate, and
there was quite a bit of conflict between him and Yoast. Their basic approach to the game differed; Boone
believed in a few simple moves done well; Yost liked more fancy moves, what Boone called 'dipsy doodle' plays.
However, they soon developed a good working relationship. Yoast said, 'I knew early on that Herman was a
football man." (i.e. one who knows it, understands it, is really good, who eats, sleeps and breathes football.)
Boone: I was just the right person at the right time.
treated everybody the same
helped Louie get his grades up
good family man
a 'race man' i.e. was proud of his race and worked for it
drive to win – a 'winner'
strong disciplinarian, would drive the boys; inspirational
Washington is of course the linchpin; he's a commanding actor in a commanding role, and, as memorable as he was
in The Hurricane, this is ultimately a better film, if not a subtler part. Coach Boone is an enigmatic hero, a self-
made tyrant of tremendous pride and principle, seemingly impassive yet also easily wounded. He will surely seem
familiar to anyone who grew up in integrated public schools staffed by the tough-minded, self-motivated
generation of black teachers and coaches who emerged from the civil rights movement. Boone knows it's not quite
fair to take Yoast's job, but is far too ambitious to refuse. He wants to coach a winning football team, and he
believes that crushing his players' wills with brutal, military-style discipline is ultimately the best thing he can do
for them. (Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com)
Someone who never sets a foot wrong, Washington is an actor it's impossible to remain unmoved by. Even in a
conventional role as one tough hombre of a football coach, a straight-talking, square-shooting 1970s family man
who says things like "you're overcooking my grits" when he's irked, Washington makes us believe no matter how
cornball the situations become. (Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
As played by Washington, Boone is more than tough. He is a man of keen observation and restraint, and some of
the film's best moments provide a glimpse into his inner world. (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)
I admired the way the screenplay doesn't make Boone noble and Yoast a racist, but shows them both as ambitious
and skilled professionals. There are times when Boone treats his players more like Marines than high school kids,
and Yoast tells him so. And times when Yoast tries to comfort black players who Boone has chewed out, and Boone
accuses him of coddling blacks as he would never coddle his fellow whites. These scenes are tricky, and
Washington and Patton find just the right notes to negotiate them. Washington is gifted at delivering big
speeches without sounding portentous or seeming to strain. There's an early morning training run that leads the
players to the Gettysburg battlefield, and his remarks there place their experiences in a larger context.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
With the Titans' on-pitch action disappointingly routine, the film's most rewarding aspect emerges in Denzel
Washington's performance. Following on from The Hurricane, another liberal sports drama, Washington resists
the temptation to sleepwalk the role and laudably offsets some of the picture's preachy worthiness by
accentuating Boone's authoritarianism. Both he and Bruckheimer regular Will Patton lend delicacy to the difficult
relationship between Boone and assistant coach Yoast - although their climactic moment of post-victory
conciliation is marred by an exchange ("You were the right man for the job!"; "You're Hall of Famer in my book!")
that summons up the gung-ho spirit of Bruckheimer's 1986 Top Gun.
Matthew Leyland, Sight and Sound)
Bill Yoast / Will Patton
Screenwriter: Bill is a very sweet, warm man - one of the nicest men I have met. He started out in life wanting to
be a preacher; but became a coach as a way of reaching young people.
He seems laid-back but he wanted to win just as much as Boone did.
a good man, decent, honourable; will not win his job back through cheating
has his pride but is able to subdue it in the interests of the team
strong paternal affection for the boys
treats Sheryl with respect as well as love
Gerry Bertier / Ryan Hurst
Bertier was respected statewide for his ability, his temperament, his never-give-up attitude. He was definitely
heading for pro football; at 18, he was already fast enough.
Starts as a racist but Julius becomes his best friend; he is too decent, too honest, too honourable to accept Ray's
betrayal of the team. Puts the team first.
Most movies have trouble portraying teams, whether they're football players, companies of soldiers or merry
bands of computer whizzes. Titans has its share of walking clichés. There's the obligatory enormous defensive
tackle, for example, and another character whose only personality note is that he likes to sing. Yet for the most
part, the film succeeds where other movies have failed, finding ways to personalise its characters.
Ryan Hurst is particularly memorable as Bertier, a white All-America player who starts off the film loyal to
Yoast and hostile toward Boone. Bertier's inner growth is rendered by Hurst largely without dialogue. It's all in
his face. At first resentful of the black players, he becomes increasingly disgusted at the prejudice around him.
Hurst gives us the beautiful spectacle of a very young man slowly but definitely coming into his humanity.
Julius – angry, brilliant player, respects Gerry's ability, and his ability to change.
Rev - a 'brainiac', deeply religious, a decent, likeable boy; offers to tutor Louie.
Louie - 'white trash', from a poor background, and not a scholar; singer and dancer; open-minded – "I'm with
Petey – oversensitive, self-centred, has to learn to put the team ahead of himself.
Sunshine – has a personality to match his name.
Blue – sees life through music; but also shows grit, determination.
Ray – invented character to represent the intransigent racist.
Mr Yakin . . . paints his characters in vivid, cartoonish colours. There's the fat white guy who's too goofy to be
racist; the beefy black guy who sings, jokes and dispenses inspiration; and the golden-haired hippie, a transplant
from Southern California, with a throwing arm that's also pure gold. Happily, the younger members of the cast
form a loose, funny, heartfelt ensemble; Ryan Hurst as Gerry Bertier and Wood Harris, as his rival and comrade
Julius Campbell, are especially fine. Mr Washington and Mr Patton are strong, complex enough presences to make
up for the script's deficiencies. (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
Film Technique Checklist
Film technique refers to the methods used to make a film. Over the 100 or so years since films began, film-
makers have found many ways of obtaining images that differ from the usual or the ‘normal'. In other words, they
have altered and enhanced the pictures to say something more to the viewer, the way a poet enhances language so
it differs from and is richer than, say, journalistic prose or even an adventure story. Many of the linguistic and
poetic techniques used by writers have their equivalent in film language – not just sentences, paragraphs and
chapters but juxtaposition, contrast and parallel, as well as symbolism and metaphor. The purposes of film
technique are – as in writing – to enhance the storytelling and to create atmosphere or mood. Every image is the
result of conscious choices based on the following:
1. To tell a story, to aid the narrative
different angles: low/high angle /P.O.V./ crane shot / aerial shot /vertical shot etc
different lenses: wide angle/telephoto/zoom; shallow or deep focus
movement: panning /tracking / hand-held/ Steadicam etc.
Contrast (or chiaroscuro) Soft - misty/romantic
Even light ('Hollywood Lighting') 'back-lit' silhouette
Ambient (Foley) – creates naturalism
Music – original or existing
Transition - with image change, dialogue, music or ambient sound carries on so that sound from the
end of one scene may be heard at the beginning of the next or the sound from the next scene
coming up may be included behind the previous scene's final images. Called an aural bridge
Symbols, signifiers, icons, images: the full study of these is called Semiotics, e.g.
bars suggest imprisonment, entrapment flag represents patriotism
towers/spires have phallic connotations heart or red rose can symbolise love
contrast Montage = a series of brief shots.
Eisenstein: "Montage is the supreme gift of the cinema to the art of story-telling."
Not only do 'parts make a whole' but editing is related to 'time passing'. An easy visual transition
from scene to scene is obtained by cutting between like images.
movement in the same direction cuts
some sort of fade/wipe/dissolve point-of-view shot
outpoints/inpoints jump cuts
2. to create mood
eerie, frightening, soothing, romantic. . . Misty can be frightening or erotic
exciting, lively. . . dramatic, bright, hard, soft. . .
exaggerated or enhanced warm or cold, coloured filters, lights
Standard Terminology of Shots
ELS: EXTRA LONG SHOT LS: LONG SHOT
MLS: MEDIUM LONG SHOT MS: MID SHOT
MCU: MEDIUM CLOSE UP CU: CLOSE UP
1. With the exception of Close up, all other terms
apply only to the shot size of a human figure. You
cannot have a MID SHOT of a car, for example.
2. There is no suggestion that these are necessarily
the desired framing for shots; they are just
standard points of reference.
3. Often shots will fall between shots sizes and
could equally be described as say MS or MCU.
4. The ELS is a vague term referring to any shot
wider than an LS.
ECU: EXTREME CLOSE UP
Close Analysis – Opening Sequence
sound camera / action comment
theme music FADE IN ECU autumn leaves + head credit crisp shots – reflective, thoughtful
// CU leaves move in breeze red-gold colours – autumnal
// WIDE tombstones, falling leaves + head credit mood of melancholy
// CU bowl on statue; leaves fall in water
// WIDE high angle cemetery; falling leaves establishing shot – cemetery strikes
head credit : name of star sombre note
// leaf-littered ground; BCU car tyre rolls across to pale gold with fallen leaves
fills screen; Funeral gives weight, sense of
head credit; significance to story
tyre stops; backlit shoe steps onto gold leaves
// MCU Boone gets out of car; holds door for his wife Intro star/main character /
(or Nicky?) (in black); protagonist
screen text: 'Based on a true story'
TRACK Boone following her (shallow focus) late afternoon sun adds to mood
// MCU Yoast gets out of car; holds door for his All one shot; tracking connects
VO begins daughter Sheryl - CU; Sheryl to VO;
TRACKS Sheryl – CU & BCU
// WIDE and Sheryl, Yoast, Boone, Carol walk in to fill Establishes a rapport, a sense of
shot; other figures behind them – mixed race, dark unity.
suits – backs to us
music swells // same group walking towards camera, slightly uphill: The film title doubles as a caption
for the group, which includes nearly
title: Remember the Titans all the characters.
"Murderer, Abrupt CUT to protest placard, photo of teenager, Strong contrast between sombre
murderer." angry black faces, voices; PAN across protesters to but peaceful mixed-race group at
VO continues; police with batons, past flashing red light to police funeral and the protest.
holding back whites
song begins "Well, my mind was going through the changes. . . "
"You caused // CU handgun, shop owner moves to door and is blocked This is the man who shot the boy
enough damage." by a policeman; TWO SHOT in front of window; wooden because "he looked dangerous".
crash; crate is thrown through shop window. Foreshadows brick through Boone's
aural bridge – window later
shouts Confrontation of policeman and
owner juxtaposed with literally head
to head confrontation between
football // BCU head in football helmet; fast PAN to facing Trees remind of cemetery but
practice; song head fresher, brighter (July).
// row of players in confrontation Motif that will recur
// MCU Sheryl – much younger, seen through the players / Sh: Come on, She is passionate, critical –
Kurt. Don't let Ray back you down like that. You're twice his size. //dialogue contrasts with her father's more
between Yoast and Sheryl relaxed, laid back style
// TWO SHOT CU, over the shoulder, of Yoast and a player he addresses Naming characters important
// reverse shot – Gerry: With the schools integrating and all, some of the Intro major character
guys are worried about losing their starting positions.
// Yoast: Well, that's something we're just gonna have to figure out. But don't
you worry about all that now.
[ // Gerry ] You just keep at it. // CU Yoast – looks troubled
ELS Alan running down steps // WIDE Gerry, Ray and four others
BCU Alan, behind wire fence: It's comin' down at the store. //Sheryl, Tyrell;
// CU protesting blacks, camera holds shot as figure moves to reveal ELS He names the other two boys who
white boys running down road; truck pulls across in front of them // CU will feature in the film.
Yoast: Gerry, Alan, Ray. Get in the truck.
// CU Three shot – Ray/Gerry/ Alan //CU Yoast clear identification of faces
(video: only Gerry and Alan are in
// door opens, Yoast enters, TRACK him and boys along the corridor. M: opening door
Tyrell: Gerry, son, your heart's in the right place but you oughta know Yoast, Tyrell and boys all wearing
better than to embarrass the coach like that. Hammond H. S. shirts.
Gerry: I don’t want to play with any of those black animals.
aural bridge –Gerry continues with
// Boone by window, holding ball // Boone's POV – aggressive Tyrell and camera on Boone
the boys: T: Who are you? // MCU Boone – half shadowed
// MCU Yoast while Tyrell talks OS; Yoast looks down, TILT down to MCU Emphasises Tyrell's unpleasantness
Sheryl; her eyes on Boone // MCU Tyrell, boys behind him – shallow focus same shot of Boone as before
// MCU Boone – half shadowed; squeezes ball
// BCU ball - Nth Virginia Regional Championship - on desk; Boone OS The Titans will achieve more.
// Boone's POV of room and the white players and Tyrell; filmed from Tyrell's stance is cocky
behind him with the shadows of the windows across his back like bars;
moves slightly and Yoast is revealed.
"I never miss an appointment." // CU Yoast // MCU Boone – slightly allows for reactions to be seen
brighter // reverse shot Yoast; Boone speaking OS
// MCU Boone: I come to win. // MCU Tyrell + boys
T: Coach Yoast here's been nominated to the Virginia High School Hall of significant exposition
Fame. 15 winning seasons. // Yoast while Tyrell continues OS; looks down
// Sheryl still watching // Boone: Well I won a couple of titles down in Boone is calm, controls any
North Carolina // Tyrell: That's Double-A ball. This here's Virginia. We legitimate anger he may feel at the
play Triple-A. // Boone: Well, what an opportunity for me then – to learn way he is spoken to, is diplomatic.
from the best. // Yoast Strong contrast with the hostility
directed at him.
Song begins – "O I bet you wonder how I knew. . . " - aural bridge to next
Text of Voice-over
In Virginia, high school football is a way of life; it's bigger than Christmas Day. My daddy coached in
Alexandria. He worked so hard my momma left him, but I stayed with coach, he needed me on that
field. Up until 1971 in Alexandria, there was no race mixing. The school board forced us to integrate.
They combined the white school and the black school into one, called T.C. Williams High School. That
summer a black teenager was killed by a white storeowner and the city was on the verge of exploding.
VO an easy and efficient way of giving vital information:
basic conflict = race,
situation = high school football;
her unusual role.
By the end of scene 4
all main characters have been seen, introduced
white players' concerns have been spelled out (Do the black players have similar worries? We are
antagonism between Yoast and Boone, and Tyrell and Boone established
some basic character information given
background of the two coaches is contrasted
Boone's authority with the white boys is already undermined
Sheryl’s role is clear
Links between beginning and end
same scene, situation – the funeral
Voice-over continues and completes story; links Gerry’s hospital room to funeral
the rioting in scene 2 has become this peaceful scene
triumph of the success of the team lessened by Gerry's injury – mood of melancholy undercuts the
success in the final 1972 scene
The antagonism of opening scenes - Yoast/Boone; Gerry’s racism - resolved into friendship – Julius
holds Mrs Bertier’s hand
Essay or Discussion Topics
Its ambitions to be a serious, thought-provoking social-conscience film are fatally undermined by the incessantly
feel-good aspirations of its script.
Remember the Titans is a parable about racial harmony, yoked to the formula of a sports movie.
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 - to improve on life, and give it the illusion of form and purpose.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
The movie is heartfelt, yes, and I was moved by it, but it plays safe. On the soundtrack we hear lyrics
like "I've seen fire and I've seen rain" and "Ain't no mountain high enough," but not other lyrics that
must also have been heard in Alexandria in 1971, like "We shall overcome."
This is a film for boys. Even by sports movie standards, there aren't a lot of women on the scene. Boone's wife
barely speaks, and white women show up principally as opponents of the trans-racial bonding that comes relatively
easily to the football players.
With signpost dialogue, characters of a single dimension and more male bonding than a Super Bowl's worth of beer
commercials, this story is no less predictably clichéd for being unconcerned and easygoing about it. It's almost as
if the more honest Titans tries to be, the sillier it gets.
As Titans goes along on its predetermined way, crowded with familiar types like overweight white lineman Lewis
Lastik, no racist because he was raised in New Jersey, and can't-keep-from-singing Blue, it's hard not to wish
that life was as, shall we say, black and white as it is portrayed here. It's not that these problems don't occur in
real life, it's that things always seem so wonderfully, naively simple in Bruckheimer movies.
(Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times)
Sheryl [V.O.] In Virginia, high school football is a way of life; it's bigger than Christmas day. My daddy
Yoast: coached in Alexandria. He worked so hard my momma left him, but I stayed with coach, he needed me
on that field.
Boone: This is no democracy. It is a dictatorship. I am the law.
Boone: . . . once you get on that bus, you ain’t got no momma no more. You got your brothers on the team, and
you got your daddy. Now, you know who your daddy is, don’t you? Gerry, if you want to play on this
football team, you answer me when I ask you, who is your daddy. Who's your daddy, Gerry? Who's
Boone Uh huh. And whose team is this? Is this your team? Or is this your daddy’s team?
Boone You look like a bunch of fifth grade sissies after a cat fight! You got anger? That's good - you're
gonna need it, son. You got aggression? That's even better - you're gonna need that, too. But any
little two year old child can throw a fit! Football is about controlling that anger, harnessing that
aggression into a team effort to achieve perfection! We will be perfect in every aspect. You drop a
pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You make a fumble, I will take you
and break your John Browns and then you will run a mile. Perfection.
[after Petey makes a fumble]
Boone: Petey Fumble, fumble, fumble. What’s wrong with you? Why are you fumbling my football?
Boone My blockers were bad.
Your blockers? Your blockers ain’t got nothing to do with you holding the ball. Did your blockers
Petey fumble the football or did you fumble the football?
Boone I did, sir.
Petey All right. How many feet are in a mile? How many feet are in a mile?
Boone I don’t . . . I don’t . . .
5,280 feet! You pick this ball up and you run every single one of them! You’re killin’ me, Petey! You’re
Louie I’m just down-home, no-good, never-goin’-to-no-college white trash, man. All right?
Blue Boone Coach, we need a water break - we been out here all day!
Blue What did you say?
Boone I said, we need a water break.
You need a water break? Water is for cowards. Water makes you weak. Water is for washing blood
off that uniform and you don't get no blood on my uniform. Boy, you must be outside your mind! We
are going to up-downs, until Blue is no longer tired and thirsty.
Gerry Honesty? You want honesty? All right. Honestly, I think you’re nothing - nothing but a pure waste of
God-given talent. You don’t listen to nobody, man, not even Doc or Boone. Shiver push on the line every
time and you blow right past ‘im. Push ‘im. Pull ‘im. Do something. You can’t run over everybody in this
league, and every time you do, you leave one of your team-mates out to dry. Me in particular!
Julius Why should I give a hoot about you, huh? Or anybody else out there? You want to talk about waste.
You the captain, right? Captains’ supposed to be the leader, right? . . . You got a job? . . . You been
doing your job?
Gerry I’ve been doing my job.
Julius Then why don’t you tell your white buddies to block for Rev better? ‘Cause they have not blocked for
him worth a plugged nickel, and you know it. Nobody plays, yourself included! I’m supposed to wear
myself out for the team? What team? No. No, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna look out for myself and
I’m gonna get mine.
Gerry See, man, that’s the worst attitude I ever heard.
Julius Attitude reflects leadership, Captain.
Coach Boone: This is Gettysburg. This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died
right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This
green field right here, painted red, bubbling with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring
right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. “I killed my brother with malice in my heart.
Hatred destroyed my family.” You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come
together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care
if you like each other or not, but you will respect each other. And maybe - I don't know, maybe - we'll
learn to play this game like men.
Sheryl Coach Boone, you did a good job up here. You ran a tough camp from what I can see.
Boone Well I'm very happy to have the approval of a 5 year old.
Sheryl I'm 9 and a half, thank you very much.
Boone [to Yoast] Why don't you get this little girl some pretty dolls or something, coach?
Yoast I've tried. She loves football.
Boone: I'm not gonna talk to you tonight about winning and losing. You're already winners 'cause you didn't kill
each other up at camp. Tonight we got Hayfield. Like all the other schools in this conference, they’re
all white. They don’t have to worry about race. We do. But we’re better for it. Let me tell you
something – you don’t let anything, nothing, come between us. Nothing tears us apart. In Greek
mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power!
Well, that football field out there tonight, that's our universe. Let's rule it like Titans!
Boone: You think you’re doing these boys a favour, taking ‘em aside every time I come down on them,
protecting them from big bad Boone. You’re cutting my legs from under me.
Yoast Some of the boys don’t respond well to public criticism. I tell them what they need to know but I don’t
humiliate them in front of the team.
Boone Which boys you talking about? Which one’s you talking’ about? I come down on Bertier, I don’t see you
coddle him. Come down on Sunshine, don’t see you grab his hand, take him off to the side. Which boys
you talking about? Now I may be a mean cuss. But I'm the same mean cuss with everybody out there
on that football field. The world don't give a damn about how sensitive these kids are, especially the
young black kids. You ain't doin' these kids a favour by patronising them. You're crippling them.
You’re crippling them for life.
Boone: I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be
intimidated. That's just the way it is.
Yoast: You make sure they remember, FOREVER, the night they played the Titans!
[Julius visits Gerry in the hospital.]
Nurse Only kin's allowed in here.
Bertier Alice, are you blind? Don't you see the family resemblance? That's my brother.
Yoast We don't need to talk about football right now, Gerry. I think this is a good time for reflection and
for prayer -
Bertier Coach, I'm hurt. I ain't dead.
Older Sheryl People say that it can't work - black and white. Well, here we make it work, everyday. We have our
disagreements, of course, but before we reach for hate, always, always, we remember the Titans.