6.2/10
365
10 user 1 critic

True Blue (1996)

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

Director:

Ferdinand Fairfax

Writers:

Rupert Walters (screenplay), Daniel Topolski (book) | 1 more credit »
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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johan Leysen ... Daniel Topolski
Dominic West ... Donald MacDonald
Dylan Baker ... Michael Suarez, S.J.
Geraldine Somerville ... Ruth MacDonald
Josh Lucas ... Dan Warren
Brian McGovern ... Rick Ross
Noah Huntley ... Nick Bonham
Edward Atterton ... Freddy Prideaux-Jones
Ryan Bollman ... Morrison Black
Andrew Clover Andrew Clover ... Rob Atkins
Jonathan Cake ... Patrick Conner
Tom Hollander ... Sam Peterson
Nicholas Rowe ... David Ball
Patrick Malone Patrick Malone ... Mike Johnson
Alexis Denisof ... Ed Fox
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

To be second is to be last.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The depiction of the race includes real footage of the Boat Race in 1997 - the problem being that the crews are the wrong way round. This can be seen during one of the cuts between actor crew and actual Boat Race footage. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Topolski: Come on Oxford!
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Soundtracks

Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Written by Ed Bruce and Patsy Bruce
Courtesy of Sony/ATV Songs LLC
Published by Tree Publishing (BMI)
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User Reviews

 
From the Coxswain's Seat...
22 August 2006 | by tazioratnayekeSee all my reviews

I do not wish to contradict or to differ with any pundits on the cinematography of this movie and most certainly I have no wish to disagree with the views of fellow brothers of the blade.... yet there is an aesthetic side to this movie.

Rowing, especially highly competitive rowing steeped in tradition, is a concept that can be understood only by those who have actually tasted the bitter gourd of defeat in a race and savoured its hard won victories. That is the essential of this movie.

Indeed the mistakes are fallacious, and sometimes appalling pathetic, especially for those who know their blade work. However despite the blatant technical errors so obvious to a trained eye, as a story that inspires, this fills a much needed void.

As a coxswain, its slightly different to the ones portrayed in the movie. Contrary to popular belief, in some parts of the world where there are traditional races like the Ox-Bridge where old rivals train eleven months of the year for just a single course down, we're not just dead weights in the boat. We actually have to do all the fitness that guys a foot taller and twice our weight have to do, only on one meal a day for weight reasons. Basically everything, ergo, weights, runs etc... except the water training. I found that the camaraderie that I shared with my crews, a thing all coxes will agree with me, was sadly missing in this movie. The 'coxing' in the final race was rather timid to say the least. Although I do confess, in the absence of something better this was a good phyche-up movie to watch before the races.

What I did like about the movie is what it showed. The politics and the desperation to win is universal in every crew. The characters, heroes, villains and bystander can be related to by any oarsman. The best and most profound scene in the whole film, is not on the water, but at the meeting of the boat halls and the priest's take on what rowing for an institution is. That summarises the ethos for many of us. "We are servants to put in, not masters to take out. We owe that to all those before us and those who will come after us." In a Boat Races, to be second is to be last. It is a nightmare from the fall of the flag to the final line. This film shows what an oarsman goes through. Not as brutal as the reality but it is a glimpse never the less. Lines that seem cool yet speak volumes for those who have 'been there' are: "We need good men....not just good oarsmen..." "No one put a reserve sign on your seat...." "You can hear the boat sing...." "....make them feel like they came third...." "It's what we do to win the boat race...." What it shows, what no other film can show is the harmony of a team, and the determination and self sacrifice to win.

For an oarsman who has faced the pain and the exhilaration of victory, this film will break a smile, not a cheer. Yet for the world that has not faced it, its a peek at an oarsman's world.

Remis Insurgite!!!

Tazio Ratnayeke


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1996 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Miracle at Oxford See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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