‘The Boys in the Boat’ is George Clooney’s directorial triumph movie about nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Based on the # 1 New York Times best-selling nonfiction novel by Daniel James Brown, it tells the real-like story of eight rowing crew who were members of the University of Washington’s rowing team. It was during the height of the Great Depression and most of the boys —many of whom came from lower-class families—competed because they couldn’t afford their college fees. Little did they know that their athletic careers would become a worldwide story televised in the first-ever broadcast of the Olympics – and they’d take home the gold medal, edging out Italy and Germany.
What makes this movie so special is the size of the young men’s hearts. Nobody expected them to win the Olympic gold medal – yet they forged forward against all odds with the greatest resilience and determination. Their ultimate strength was the power of their incredible teamwork.
In a behind-the-scenes featurette, Clooney spoke passionately about the true story behind ‘The Boys in the Boat’:
“It’s about strong, tough kids during the Depression. They were poor and hungry. They’re rowing because it’s the only way they can eat and stay in college to get an education. The stakes were much higher for them, and it gave them an edge.”
This incredible team remained life-long friends after the 1936 Olympics and would get together for informal and formal reunions until one by one, they all passed away. Their story is still told, however, to each new group of freshman rowers at the University of Washington.