We started our weekend movie club “One Movie, One Philadelphia” to give people something to do during the COVID-19 shutdown, and for the first several weeks, it’s helped fill the void left by reduced entertainment options.
But this week we have the NFL Draft, which is providing a much-needed fix for sports junkies, and three days of entertainment for even casual fans. So we decided to complement rather than compete with the national (and certainly regional) football fixation.
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For this weekend’s movie to watch and weigh in on, we’ve chosen a football movie — Remember The Titans — that’s inspirational, upbeat, and not about NFL players dying of cancer in a way that makes grown men weep. Watch it anytime this weekend, and leave your comments here before midnight Sunday.
On Monday at 6 p.m. Inquirer sports columnist Marcus Hayes and WIP radio host and personality Glen Macnow will join me in a livestream video where we discuss the movie and highlight your best comments. Macnow is coauthor (with Ray Didinger) of The Ultimate Book of Sports Movies, where Remember the Titans ranks No. 19 on the all-time Top 100 list.
The (somewhat) fact-based movie stars Denzel Washington as a man hired, in 1971, to coach a newly integrated T.C. Williams high school in Alexandria, Virginia, quelling racial tensions and leading his team (including Ryan Gosling) to a state championship.
Watch it this weekend and tell us what you think. What’s here that you think makes Remember the Titans worthy of a Top 20 spot? Or should it be higher? Lower? Where does it rank in the Denzel Washington canon?
Do we care if the movie isn’t as fact-based as it was initially purported to be? Is the movie’s portrait of racial reconciliation too saccharine?
Titans hits a high point when Washington takes his team to football camp at Gettysburg College and gives a memorable speech about the Civil War battle, asking the team to think about the men who fought and died, imploring players to “listen to their souls.”
When you listen to your soul, where does that rank among sports-movie moments? And what is your single favorite moment from any sports movie, ever, excluding the run up the Art Museum steps in Rocky?
After this, we’re building our schedule for a long stretch of movies set in Philly, with more high-profile guests in the wings. Where should we start, sportswise and otherwise?