The Big Picture

  • The Boys in the Boat is a movie based on the true story of an underdog rowing team from the University of Washington who defeated their seniors and the Nazis.
  • Rowing was a popular sport in the early twentieth century, and the team represented their country at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
  • Like other sports movies, The Boys in the Boat celebrates the human spirit and the ability to overcome difficult circumstances to succeed. It is set to release on December 25th.

MGM has unveiled the first images for The Boys in the Boat, directed by George Clooney, a film based on Daniel James Brown‘s #1 New York Times bestselling book of the same name. The movie is based on the true story of the University of Washington’s 1936 rowing team, as the underdogs make a name for themselves by defeating their seniors and eventually defeating the Nazis for the first position, in an event that Adolf Hitler himself attended.

Rowing was one of the most popular and cheered-for sports in the early twentieth century. As the country grappled with the Great Depression, a group of strong-headed and physically fit boys carved a name for themselves. They represented their country at the Summer Olympics in Berlin and faced elite rivals from all around the world. These were underprivileged kids for whom staying on the team was their only chance to remain in the University. “The Boys in the Boat is about strong, tough kids but they were poor and hungry. They’re rowing because it’s the only way they’re staying in college,” shared Clooney.

Hollywood’s Celebration of Sports Stories

The Boys in the Boat is not the first time that audiences are going to see high-octane rowing competitions on the silver screen. The Nicholas Cage-starring The Boy in Blue also followed the journey of Ned Hanlan, a late-19th-century Canadian sculler and world champion rower who later became a national hero and a bootlegger. The industry has long celebrated rowing as a sport in movies like David Fincher’s The Social Network (based on the true story of Facebook) and the Netflix original Wednesday starring Jenna Ortega.

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Similar to The Boy in Blue, Clooney’s The Boys in the Boat is going to be intense. “Every film we’ve ever seen that has an underdog in it whom you are always rooting for — that you can pull yourself up from nothing and succeed,” said Clooney, hinting at the film’s enthusiastic, passionate, and heartfelt themes. “There are lots of times when the human spirit prevails over circumstances that it doesn’t seem that they ought to be able to prevail over. George understood what the story was. It reminds us what we’re capable of,” commented Brown, the author of the story.

The movie stars Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, Peter Guinness, Courtney Henggeler, Jack Mulhern, and James Wolk among others. The Boys in the Boat is coming to theaters on December 25. Check out the images below:

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