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True Blue (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  15 November 1996 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 318 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

The story of the year the Oxford and Cambridge boat race changed from a gentleman's race to one where winning was everything.



(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: True Blue (1996)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Topolski
Donald MacDonald
Michael Suarez, S.J.
Ruth MacDonald
Dan Warren
Rick Ross
Nick Bonham
Freddy Prideaux-Jones
Morrison Black
Andrew Clover ...
Rob Atkins
Patrick Conner
Sam Peterson
David Ball
Patrick Malone ...
Mike Johnson
Ed Fox


The story of the year the Oxford and Cambridge boat race changed from a gentleman's race to one where winning was everything.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To be second is to be last.


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 November 1996 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Miracle at Oxford  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Cambridge crew in this film were played by members of the rowing squad from Imperial College, London, including several members of the British international squad. See more »


The Cambridge crew used "cleaver" blades, which weren't invented for three years after the film was set. See more »


Morrison Black: So tell me something - what is it that makes Topolski such a hot shot?
Nick Bonham: I don't know, I've never understood it... Maybe he's hung like a horse?
See more »


Two Tribes
Written by Holly Johnson, Mark O'Toole and Peter Gill
Performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Published by Perfect Songs Ltd
Courtesy of ZTT Records and Warner Music UK Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent film of an exciting human story, marred by some complexity
23 February 1999 | by (Shrewsbury, England) – See all my reviews

Quite definitely the best film ever made about rowing (admittedly out of a poor field of competitors), 'True Blue' vividly conveys the striving for physical perfection and the stress of selection and training for the hardest rowing race in the word. The sheer bloody-mindedness, obstinacy and ambition needed to do well in such a sport spill over into the vicious personal relationships of this story, where the harsh sacrifices made mean that little quarter is given to those with whom you disagree and rival strongly opinionated tribes grow up, all with some right on their side. The bleak mood of the film is set straightaway with the picture of a lonely sculler training on a remote, snow-swept wind-blown loch. The film is visually poetic, using the real and truly beautiful venues used for the training in a matchless mix of colours and varying weather. Fairfax uses a good script, which nonetheless could have done with one more re-write to clarify the large cast of characters involved. The spectator comes away wondering also if some of the film's faults may not be due to back-pedaling over the real details of story to avoid legal action, which led to the changes of name of all but the two main characters. The soaring triumph of the spirit shown the final race in savage racing conditions is well worth waiting for, ably urged on by the sound track music. Some good cameo parts add to the overall pleasure of this film.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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