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The Boys in the Boat (2023) | Transcript

A 1930s-set story centered on the University of Washington's rowing team, from their Depression-era beginnings to winning gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
The Boys in the Boat (2023) directed by George Clooney

Director: George Clooney
Writers: Daniel James Brown, Mark L. Smith
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, Peter Guinness
Release dates: December 7, 2023

The Boys in the Boat, directed by George Clooney and released in 2023, is an inspiring true story about the University of Washington’s underdog rowing team.

The film opens in the midst of the Great Depression, casting a shadow over the United States and the lives of many young men. We meet Joe Rantz (Callum Turner), a scrawny, working-class teenager living in a makeshift hobo camp. He’s lost his family and struggles to get by, barely surviving on odd jobs. Despite his hardships, Joe has a hidden talent: grit and determination. He stumbles upon the University of Washington’s rowing team, led by the passionate coach Al Ulbrickson Sr. (Joel Edgerton).

Ulbrickson recognizes Joe’s potential and offers him a chance to row. Joe joins the team, which primarily consists of working-class boys facing their own struggles. They’re a motley crew, lacking the polish and pedigree of their Ivy League rivals. Undeterred, Ulbrickson instills in them a relentless work ethic and a sense of unity. They train fiercely, pushing themselves to their limits on the choppy waters of the Washington Huskies’ home course. Facing financial constraints and limited resources, the team scrambles to make ends meet. They live frugally, mend their own oars, and even borrow a used shell from a rival school.

Their dedication pays off as they defy expectations, winning local competitions and eventually qualifying for the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England. This international race becomes their proving ground, a chance to show the world their capabilities. In Henley, the boys face elite crews from prestigious universities, including the formidable Nazis who plan to dominate the upcoming Berlin Olympics. The race is a nail-biter, showcasing the team’s raw power and synchronized rowing. Against all odds, the underdog Huskies clinch a stunning victory, silencing their doubters and earning international recognition.

Buoyed by their Henley win, the boys set their sights on the ultimate challenge: the 1936 Berlin Olympics, hosted by the rising power of Nazi Germany. The Berlin games are heavily politicized, with Hitler aiming to showcase Aryan superiority. The boys represent not just themselves but the spirit of America and its ideals of democracy and resilience. In the final race, the tension is palpable. The Huskies face formidable competition from the German crew, fueled by nationalistic fervor. The race is a grueling battle of wills, testing the boys’ physical and mental fortitude. In a heart-stopping finale, the Huskies dig deep, their synchronized strokes propelling them towards the finish line. They defy expectations once again, achieving a stunning victory and claiming the gold medal.

Parental advisory: The Boys in the Boat is rated PG-13

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The Boys in the Boat (2023)
Transcript

(GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING)

(GENTLE MUSIC CONTINUES)

COXSWAIN: Press.

Legs through.

Stay together.

(GRUNTING)

As one.

In. Through.

In. Through.

(BOAT ENGINE WHIRRING)

Legs through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

(MUSIC PLAYING ON SPEAKERS)

(GIRLS IN BOAT WHOOPING)

BOY: Oh, man!

(DUCK QUACKS)

(GRUNTING)

(GIRLS WHOOPING)

(MUSIC PLAYING ON SPEAKERS)

(GIRL SHOUTS INDISTINCTLY)

(LAUGHING AND WHOOPING)

(GRUNTS) What the heck?

(GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING)

(DOG BARKING IN DISTANCE)

(PEOPLE SHOUTING IN DISTANCE)

WOMAN: I swear that boy’s gonna be the death of me.

Every time I fix it, he rips it again.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYS)

(CAR HORN HONKS)

PROFESSOR: Engineering design is different from other areas of creativity in that, you must be able to actually build what you imagine.

And then make sure it works as you designed.

The design process is structured to help direct your creativity.

Now, uh…

(CHALK WRITING ON BOARD)

What kinda engineer you wanna be?

I’m thinking mechanical for me ’cause I like building things.

Mm-hmm.

You wanna partner up on…

Something you two gentlemen would like to share with us?

Or can I continue?

Sorry.

(STUDENTS LAUGH QUIETLY)

(SNICKERS)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

WOMAN: Thank you.

MAN: Awesome. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

MAN: Okay, I just need one more.

Let’s see.

Uh, you.

That’s all I need today, fellas. Sorry.

(MEN GRUMBLING)

WOMAN: Morning. BOY: Morning.

This was in my box this morning.

Okay, it looks like you still owe a balance on this semester.

Yeah, well, I paid half already and they said I could pay the other half later.

Afraid later has arrived, Mr. Rantz.

Maybe a part-time job would help.

(SCOFFS) I’ve been looking.

Well, there’s a board down the hall.

I can give you two weeks.

After that, you will need to consider other educational options.

Thanks.

It’s a waste of time. I called every number up here.

And that nanny job, all filled before semester even started.

I check every day to get a jump on a new one, but there hadn’t been any.

I’m staying with my aunt till I can afford a place.

I spend half my day pulling cat hair off of my clothes.

I hate cats.

You like ’em?

Cats, I mean.

I, uh, never thought much about ’em.

I hate ’em.

GIRL: Thought I saw you in class.

You remember me?

Mm-hmm.

All right. Then, what’s my name?

Uh, Joyce Simdars.

And you’re Joe Rantz.

Uh-huh.

I remember because you had a huge crush on me in the fourth grade.

No, I didn’t.

Yeah, yeah, you did.

You made me this pretty little card with some flowers stuffed in it.

Right before my family went away to Olympia.

Uh…

Are you one of those people who can’t eat when you’re nervous?

I’m not nervous.

No?

So, what are you doing here, Joe?

I’m trying to learn, uh, engineering.

Hmm.

I’m gonna be a teacher.

Mostly here just to get away from home, though.

You remember my mother?

Sorta. Always had a Bible in her hand.

Yeah. (LAUGHS)

Unless she’s throwing it at you.

(CHUCKLES)

BOY: You like rowboats?

You know, like, paddlin’ ’em.

Who’s this?

I’m Roger.

Hi, Roger. I’m Joyce.

This is Joe, but he’s not real talkative right now ’cause he’s a little bit nervous.

No, I’m not. No, I’m not.

He is a little nervous.

JOE: I’m not nervous.

We might be able to make some money if you can row.

GIRL: Joyce, you ready?

Oh. Gotta go, boys.

Nice seeing you again, Joe.

Roger.

By the way,

did you ever get over that crush?

(GIRLS LAUGH)

GIRL: Come on, let’s go.

(WHISTLES)

She’s a looker, huh?

So, what’s that about making some money?

Yeah, the rowing team.

You’re on it, you get a part-time job including a cheap place to live.

I could get free of them cats.

All you gotta do is make the team.

How hard can that be?

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

How many make the team?

Hey, how many, uh…

How many fellas get picked?

Eight, I think.

Eight?

What’s he say?

He didn’t know.

(DOOR SLIDES OPEN)

All right, listen up.

I’m Coach Ulbrickson.

Well, that’s Coach Bolles, Coach Brown.

Now, you’re all here because we’re looking for the eight most qualified young men to fill out JV boat.

That means most of you will not be chosen.

In fact, the majority of you will most likely walk away on your own within the next few weeks, ’cause your bodies will hurt, minds will tire, and you’ll decide this dream of yours to compete against the greatest crews in the world is just not worth it.

There’s no shame in that.

Eight-man crew is the most difficult team sport in the world.

The average human body is just not meant for such things.

It’s just not capable of such things.

But average is not gonna get a seat on my boat.

So, good luck.

Okay. Fall into two lines.

Registration on the left. Uniforms on the right.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

That was a beautiful speech, Coach.

Name?

Uh, Joe Rantz.

Joe, you ever crewed before?

Uh… Um…

Row. You ever rowed before?

No. No. Uh…

How much does the job pay once you’re on the team?

Go pick up your gear over there.

To your right. Next.

Name?

Roger Morris.

BOLLES: Roger, you ever crewed before?

ROGER: No.

BOLLES: All right.

Pick up your gear across the way.

You’ll be divided into groups and rotate through training stations.

When you hear your number called, follow the coach.

One through 16, you’re with me, 17 through 32 with Coach Matthews,

33 to 48 with me.

Line up. (TAPS BANISTER)

You got any idea what we’re in for?

I don’t know.

Good. Me either.

(PERCUSSIVE MUSIC PLAYING)

One through 16, come on.

BROWN The average adult man is capable of taking in roughly four liters of oxygen per minute.

An oarsman must be able to consume as much as eight.

You have to teach your bodies to do that.

(STUDENTS GRUNTING)

We’ll do 50 push-ups, followed by 50 sit-ups and 50 jacks.

We’ll keep doing sets of 50 till it’s time to change stations.

Eight on each side.

Feet in stretchers.

Lace ’em up.

Let’s take Old Nero out.

All right, on my count, straight backs, use your legs.

Twelve! Don’t just slap the water. Roll your wrists.

BROWN: Up, down.

Up, down.

(STUDENTS PANTING)

(DISTANTLY) Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Stroke, two, three, four.

Catch, drive, finish, recovery.

Next station. Everybody out.

BROWN: Up, down.

Up, down.

Switch!

All set?

MATHEWS: Up, down.

Up, down.

(PANTING)

BOLLES: There’s four parts to a stroke, gentlemen, not three, okay?

Catch, drive, finish, and recovery.

You can’t skip any of ’em.

And you know why we’re not going in a straight line?

‘Cause number 22 here is the only one that’s listening to me.

Catch, drive, finish, recovery.

That’s better.

All right. Let’s pick up the pace to 18.

Lot of tall timber in this bunch, Coach.

Few boys there could even push your varsity crew.

It’s hard to judge off one day.

Still, you had to see enough to make you almost finally crack a smile?

Yeah, I’ll let you know at the end of the season, huh?

Olympic year, this year, so ideally, they’ll stretch longer than most.

Olympic year? I didn’t realize.

(CHUCKLES)

MAN: I spoke with Coach Ebright down in Cali.

He’s sure aware of it.

Feels good about his chances, too.

ULBRICKSON: Oh, yeah?

MAN: Any first impressions you’d like to see in print?

ULBRICKSON: You know I don’t read the paper, Royal.

JOE: Excuse me, Coach.

If you’re looking for tips, you’re gonna have to get ’em in practice like everybody else.

No, sir. I was just wondering how much this paid.

Say again?

They said there was a job included if you make the team?

I just need to know if it’s gonna cover the rest of my tuition.

Yeah, I’m sure it will.

Hey, you just concentrate for now on making the squad, son.

Thank you, sir.

Now, there’s a question I bet those Ivy League coaches never get.

Speakin’ of,

I sure hope this year goes better than the last.

No one’s rooting for your boys more than me.

Good luck, Coach.

And you, Royal.

Did you go grab some food?

Ah, I’m not hungry.

I got enough for us both if you want it.

Not that hungry.

I’ll see you later.

MAN: I appreciate it.

(MAN 2 COUGHS)

BOY: There you go.

Here you go, sir. Thank you.

(GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING)

(CUTLERY CLACKING)

WOMAN: How’s your chicken?

ULBRICKSON: Hmm?

Great. Thanks.

Yeah, that’s a pork chop you’re eating.

Ah.

Sorry.

So, I saw Royal Brougham today.

And he made sure to tell me that Ky Ebright’s squad is strong this year.

Cal is always strong.

And you always worry.

(CHUCKLES)

How’d your new boys look?

Well, it’s too early to say.

There’s definitely a lot of ’em.

That’s good. Nice big stable to choose from.

If enough of them last.

The best ones will.

Just like you did.

Mm.

(GRUNTS)

(GRUNTS)

(GROANS LOUDLY)

(GRUNTS, SIGHS)

What’s wrong with you?

Nothing, just a little stiff.

Yeah, looks it. How come?

Rowed boats till it almost killed us.

What?

PROFESSOR: Page 43 in your texts.

So, in solving the framework, what does it mean to reflect?

(STUDENT SNORING)

(GIRL SNICKERS)

(SNORING CONTINUES)

(JOE GASPS)

(SMACKS LIPS)

Excuse me, young man.

Would you like me to speak quieter so you can rest?

I feel like that’s maybe a trick question.

(LAUGHTER)

Quiet!

Pay attention or go home to sleep.

You can’t do both in here.

(WHISPERS) You’re welcome, Joe Rantz.

Thank you.

(LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

BROWN: Three.

Four.

Push, then pull. Push…

Up, down!

BOLLES: 48 and 12 on the bow.

Yeah. I’m thinkin’…

(ALL GRUNTING)

What about Morris in the six behind Rantz?

(ALL GRUNTING)

(WHISTLE BLOWS)

(PANTING)

(RETCHES)

Keep time with me.

Stroke, two, three, four. Stroke, two…

(PANTING)

(LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC CONTINUES)

Come on, boys! Who wants it more?

Keep driving those legs!

Do not let 22 beat you!

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

You still remember me?

Mm-hmm.

Wasn’t sure.

Haven’t seen you much lately.

I just been busy with stuff.

Rowing stuff?

Mostly.

JOYCE: Hmm.

I heard Roger say that they’re announcing the team today.

Are you gonna make it?

There’s lot of guys tryin’.

You wanna take me on a boat ride when you do?

Sure.

ULBRICKSON: Gentlemen, I wanna thank you all for comin’ out and giving your best effort.

Every single one of you left standing has performed admirably.

Unfortunately, only a few of you can be chosen to continue.

Coach Bolles.

Hume.

Hunt.

McMillin.

Day.

Morris.

(GASPS SOFTLY)

White.

Adam.

Rantz.

Coy, you’re the reserve.

We thank the rest of you for your time and your effort.

All right, then.

Go and celebrate.

I will see you on the water tomorrow.

Well done.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

(STUDENTS CHEERING AND LAUGHING)

That’s my favorite part.

Come on, boys.

Let’s go.

Now lift ’em up.

DAY: It’s all this guy talks about, his Dodge.

(LAUGHTER)

ADAM: Hey, listen, I’ve done so much rowing.

I knew you’d made it.

I’m glad one of us did.

Ah, you were always in the bag.

When Coach called my name, my knees almost buckled.

I wonder what seats they’ll put us in.

I just want the stroke.

That’s Hume’s seat. Guaranteed.

Hey, you’re not a mute, are you?

‘Cause I’ve never once heard you say nothin’.

No.

He doesn’t need to talk, the way he pulls that oar.

Yeah, Chuck, maybe you should pull more and talk less, you want that stroke seat.

I don’t care where they put me, as long as I’m in there somewhere.

We’re all in there somewhere.

Yeah.

(SINGING) Bow down to Washington

(LAUGHTER)

Bow down to Washington

Mighty are the men who wear the purple and the gold

Joyfully we welcome them within the victor’s fold

We will carve our names in the Hall of Fame

To preserve the memory of our devotion

So, heaven help the foes of Washington

They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington

Our boys are there with bells

Their fighting blood excels

It’s harder to push them over the lines than pass…

(SOFT CLACK ON WINDOW)

(SOFT CLACK ON WINDOW)

JOE: Hey.

Hi.

You, uh…

You wanna go for a boat ride?

Now?

Yeah.

Yeah, okay.

JOE: Catch, drive, finish, recovery.

(GIGGLES)

You gotta do all four before you can start again.

That’s better. You gotta feather next.

Feathering? What’s feather?

Here, look.

You roll your wrists

to spin the oar.

You see?

Mm.

Now, try again.

(WATER SPLASHING)

You’re a natural.

(CHUCKLES)

I thought you said you were gonna take me on a boat ride.

All right, scooch over.

All right.

Do you like it? Rowing?

Well, gettin’ a job out of it.

And a room. So, I guess.

Who else made the team?

Roger, Shorty, some others.

You know, they put the races on the radio.

Everybody listens.

Yeah, they took, uh, some photos.

Asked a bunch of questions.

What kinds of questions?

It’s just, you know, where we’re from, stuff like that.

Did you tell them the truth?

Mm. Mostly.

(CHUCKLES)

You’re all gonna be famous.

Then you really will forget about me.

I don’t think I could if I tried.

(ROMANTIC MUSIC PLAYING)

You get to row us back to shore.

We have class in the morning.

Which bed you want?

Couldn’t care less.

(GRUNTS)

(EXHALES)

Oh, nice.

We get to keep these, right?

Long as we stay on the team.

ULBRICKSON: Each seat on the boat has its own purpose.

Like eight separate parts of one great racehorse.

Morris in one, Day in two, and Adam in the three.

Your technique will keep the boat on its proper course.

And four, five, and six are like the engine room.

That is the power.

White, McMillin, and Hunt.

Now, Rantz is our seven.

So, you set the pace with Hume, the stroke.

And every good racehorse has a jockey.

Glenn Morry…

Come on, Glenn.

Is our coxswain.

Now, he calls the strategy set up by myself and Coach Bolles.

He’ll give you rein when he wants you to run, he’ll pull you back to slow you down.

And when the time is right, he’ll get out his whip.

Hey, fellas.

(CREW GREETS)

ULBRICKSON: Okay, time to get in the water.

(ROUSING MUSIC PLAYING)

(IMPERCEPTIBLE)

(ROUSING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(WHISTLE BLOWS)

Let’s go again!

(SHOWER RUNNING)

BOY: Hey, junior boat,

you tired after your first day?

(LAUGHTER)

BOY 2: He’ll never make it.

BOY 3: Don’t take it so hard.

Hey, where you going? Come back.

I hate those assholes.

BOY 4: You gotta learn to pace yourself.

(DOOR OPENS)

It’s Joe, isn’t it?

Mm-hmm.

Most of you boys don’t have an interest in a boat until you can sit in it.

You like to work with wood?

Yeah, my father did some.

He used to make things.

Nothing like this, just porches and stuff.

I helped him fix up an old canoe once.

I’m sure he and your mother must be very proud of you now.

Making the team.

(CHUCKLES QUIETLY)

This is for you boys.

Your racing shell.

Always welcome to give me a hand with it.

If you find some free time.

(CHUCKLES) No, I didn’t mean right now.

You should rest up tonight.

I’m okay.

ULBRICKSON: Technique is more important than power.

You have to be able to pull a perfect oar, stroke after stroke.

It’s called swing.

When all eight are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action is out of sync with the rest of the boat.

Then you aren’t fighting each other.

You’re moving with less effort.

Each one of your strokes is worth one and a half of the other boat’s.

Most crews never find it.

But when they do, rowing is more poetry than sport.

White and Day, switch.

Rantz, Adam, switch back.

Row!

Row!

Row!

Come on!

Row!

Come on!

MORRY: Row!

BOLLES: Row through the lake!

MORRY: Row! More!

ULBRICKSON: What, did you forget everything you learned in the last three years?

Brown, you’re still skying.

Billings, are you the stroke? You’re rushing.

You have seven men behind you, all chasing the boat.

34 strokes.

You’re fine at 34 strokes.

Anything higher and you fall apart.

34 strokes, you don’t beat Cal.

34 strokes, you don’t win at Poughkeepsie.

You certainly don’t get to Germany.

You know who you beat with 34 strokes?

The JV boat.

Maybe.

What are you guys waiting for? Get back in the boat.

You guys, you’re gonna get back out there and you’re gonna do it again until you get it right!

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

Hope I’m not intruding, Al.

Not at all, Ben. Come on in. Take a seat.

Great timing.

Just going through the equipment budget to send over to your committee.

Nothing unreasonable.

Some pieces for the gymnasium.

And the five-year-old uniforms are startin’ to look a little ragged.

Ah, we’ll see what we can do.

Committee’s meeting next week.

More wins usually means more money from the alumni.

(CHUCKLES)

Sure.

So, how are our boys doing, Coach?

Early to say, but solid.

Oh, they’ve been workin’ hard.

My boy, Bo, had ’em training all off season.

Hmm.

Think they’re gonna make a real run at Cal this year.

I hope we can.

We got a good junior boat to push ’em, too. You should…

It’d be nice to finally hang a banner up at our place instead of letting Cal have ’em all.

We’ll do our best, sir.

And an Olympic medal to go with it.

Bo says his boat’s got a shot.

If we work hard.

And catch some breaks.

Winners make our own breaks in life, Coach.

And we need this.

It’s now or never.

Hmm.

MCMILLIN: “If we shadows have offended

“Think but this, and all is mended.

“That you have but slumbered here…

“While these visions did appear.”

Thank you.

(MAN 2 COUGHS)

It’s some fella called Shakespeare, right?

You know, music people should have to take care of their own trash.

MCMILLIN: Better than the cafeteria last night.

I mean, God, I almost couldn’t eat today.

You see that old food, all mushed around like that?

Eugh!

You ever notice how under the girls’ tables, it’s always the worst?

When you look close, girls are nasty.

You don’t realize it ’cause of their nice dresses and their hair’s all fixed up.

But I’ll clean under 10 boys’ tables before I do one…

(PLAYING GENTLE MUSIC)

Oh, Don, there anything you can’t do?

Keep goin’.

(RESUMES PLAYING GENTLE MUSIC)

(SINGING) Ain’t we got fun?

The rent’s unpaid, dear

BOYS: We haven’t a car

In any way, dear

We’ll stay as we are

(BOYS SCATTING)

Even if we owe the grocer

Ain’t we got fun?

What about Morris in the six behind Rantz and Hunt in the one?

We tried that last week.

(SIGHS) I don’t know.

On paper, this should work.

BOLLES: Better than just work.

You put them in singles against 100 other kids, I’d bet on that being the top eight finishers out there.

ULBRICKSON: That’s the problem.

They have a hard time remembering they aren’t in sculls, especially Rantz.

They’re a strong a group as I’ve ever seen come through here and they might also be the worst crew I’ve ever seen.

It’s a bad mix.

It’s my fault.

Well, maybe those names aren’t the problem.

Sometimes young horses need a louder jockey.

(KNOCKING)

You wanted to see me, Coach?

ULBRICKSON: Close the door.

Sit down, Bobby.

You know why I called you here?

My guess is you need someone to help you beat Cal.

(SIGHS) Let me explain something to you.

I’m giving you a second chance.

You’re gonna drive the JV boat.

JV?

Yeah, that’s right.

Now, listen to me.

You’re gonna do what I tell you, when I tell you.

And if I see you goin’ off on your own, then you’re out.

For good this time. You understand?

Yeah, I do.

All right.

Get out.

(ROUSING MUSIC PLAYING)

Come on!

(ROWING)

Your hands are too high!

Fix the catch.

One catch, let’s go.

Look like a team, fellas.

Legs through, eyes up.

Legs through.

You guys are out of sync. Find Hume.

Take it off Hume.

Watch those blade heights.

Hey, Rantz, you with us? Get with Hume.

Legs through.

Legs through. Come on!

Day, you’re catching too high. Lower.

Morris, you’re late.

Enough! Way-nuff! Way-nuff!

(CREW GASPING IN EXHAUSTION)

(COUGHING)

(EXHALES)

Yeah, good ride.

And my favorite part is how my nuts vibrated when you guys were all hitting the water at different times.

We were moving slow as shit, but the sensation was nice.

Screw you, Moch.

BOBBY: No, dandy, you’re the one screwed.

Coach told me if you guys don’t get yourselves figured out, you’re not only missing the regatta, you’re not racing at all this year.

That’s a whole hell of a lot of work to just do nothing with.

So, feel like trying it again?

I’m ready.

(CREW PANTING)

That’s good.

Always with the grain.

How’s the crew coming along?

Lot harder than I expected.

Well, that’s what practice is for.

Coaches will have you ready for the regatta.

Your folks gonna make it?

My mother, she passed when I was young.

And my pop, he had to move off several years ago to find work.

Kinda lost touch.

Who brought you up?

Pop figured I was okay on my own.

Hmm.

How old were you?

Almost 14.

Him and my stepmom, they had two young boys to care for.

There was no work around Sequim.

Worked out best for everybody.

BOBBY: Legs through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

Legs through. Soften the shoulders.

Eyes up.

Stay loose.

Shoulders down, Joe.

Stay low.

Stay loose.

Eyes up.

BOLLES: Better?

(PENSIVE MUSIC PLAYING)

BOBBY: As one.

As one.

As one.

Put the pressure in the footplate.

Drive!

Drive!

Here she is, boys.

Maybe the finest George has ever made.

Now, this is your new home.

Treat her that way.

Care for her. Protect her.

(WHISTLES)

Most of all, you better respect her.

All right, suit up and get out there.

You race against Cal in a week.

Won’t let you down, Coach.

(STIRRING MUSIC PLAYING)

Welcome to a beautiful day at Lake Washington for the annual showdown between the Washington Huskies and the Cal Bears of Berkeley in the Pacific Coast Regatta.

And just as it has been for the past 30 years, the two-mile race will extend from Sand Point up to Sheridan Beach.

We have 100,000 race fans gathered here for what is sure to be another maritime battle the likes of which we haven’t seen since New Orleans.

And in the purple and gold, Washington Huskies coach, Al Ulbrickson, is bringing back a strong senior team and an inexperienced junior boat, in hopes of reversing a devastating season last year.

Without a doubt, he’s facing stiff competition.

Legendary Coach Ky Ebright has once again brought two strong boats.

He’s called his junior crew possibly the best young oarsmen he has ever had.

(WHOOPING)

(EXCITED CHATTER)

(INDISTINCT CONVERSATION)

MAN: Let’s go, Washington!

(GIRLS SQUEAL)

GIRL: Hi, Roger.

Don’t try and do too much. Listen to Moch.

Stay close, and we’ll hope Cal makes a mistake.

BOBBY: Stay calm with the body.

Hold your hands up…

Inspiring.

Hmm?

Uh, you missed the part where I told ’em just to try not to tip over.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats.

Five minutes till the start.

(CROWD CHATTERING AND CHEERING)

Hey, uh, my boys are feeling a little under the weather, Al.

I hope you take it easy on us.

Not even if I believed you, Ky.

ANNOUNCER: Both teams are in position.

(ALL CHEERING)

Winds are out of the north at five miles an hour.

The temperature is a mild 71 degrees.

(CHEERING)

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

(EXHALES SHARPLY)

BOBBY: All right, boys. You heard Ulbrickson.

Stick close and hope they make a mistake.

That’s his way of saying don’t embarrass him ’cause that’s what he thinks you’re gonna do.

I say the hell with all that.

All these people didn’t just come to see you stick close.

(BREATHES DEEPLY)

Let’s show Ulbrickson what’s in this boat.

Ready?

(ALL ROWING IN UNISON)

(WATER SPLASHING)

ANNOUNCER: The oarsmen are at the ready.

Row!

BOBBY: Row!

ANNOUNCER: And they’re off!

(WATCH TIMER TICKING)

ROYAL: Washington is slow off the block.

(CHEERING)

Step on ’em early! 38!

Let’s go! Good.

Yeah, we got ’em.

All right. Give me a nice, easy 28.

In and through.

And pull!

ROYAL: Washington’s JV boat is racing for the first time in competition.

ANNOUNCER: Cal breaks early. COXSWAIN: Easy work.

ANNOUNCER: Cal has half a boat on Washington.

Easy, boys. Nice and easy.

ROYAL: Cal jumps out to an early lead.

Washington is struggling to keep pace.

That’s right. Just keep them in sight.

BOBBY: Don’t sky the blade, McMillin!

In, through.

In, through.

Shoulders loose.

In the legs!

ANNOUNCER: Cal opening up a full boat on Washington.

And at the quarter mark, it’s Cal up a full boat.

Come on! Come on, Washington!

COXSWAIN: We got this, boys! Come on.

BOBBY: Through.

In, through.

Don’t panic, Bobby.

BOBBY: Don’t rush.

ROYAL: Cal still showing no signs of slowing down.

Washington is getting its first taste of competition.

Something Coach Ulbrickson can hope to build on.

(CROWD SHOUTING ENCOURAGEMENT)

Through! In, and through!

Push! Push!

All right, here we go, boys.

Give me 35.

Let’s show ’em what we got.

Build! Build it!

What are they doing? I said let Cal come back to them.

ANNOUNCER: Now at the halfway mark.

The Huskies with a burst.

Just passing the halfway point and Washington is surging.

Oh, you better be right, Moch.

In, through!

In, through!

ROYAL: Here they come.

Here comes Washington.

Eyes up.

Eyes up!

Push!

ANNOUNCER: They’re past the three-quarter mark.

Cal and Washington are neck and neck!

Go!

BOBBY: Row!

Stay loose!

Push! Push!

ROYAL: Cal is falling back.

BOBBY: Let’s go!

ROYAL: Washington is picking up the pace!

ANNOUNCER: Washington’s passing Cal!

ROYAL: And look at this.

The Washington boat has taken the lead!

(EXCITED CHEERING)

Washington by half a boat!

Row! Let’s go!

Come on!

ROYAL: Two hundred meters to go!

Washington is pulling ahead!

Twenty more strokes!

Come on, come on.

(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

Come on! Go!

ROYAL: Washington by a full boat!

BOBBY: In and through!

ANNOUNCER: One hundred meters!

Fifteen more!

(CHEERING)

Come on! Come on!

Through! Ten more!

ANNOUNCER: Fifty meters!

(ALL GRUNTING HEAVILY)

ROYAL: Fifty meters!

Washington is going to do it!

BOBBY: You got this! In and through!

Push!

ANNOUNCER: Twenty-five meters!

(WATCH TIMER TICKING)

ROYAL: And there’s the flag!

Washington has done it!

Washington’s junior boat has won their first competition!

Yeah!

ROYAL: What a promising start for these young men!

Jesus!

I got nine seconds under the course record.

Same.

And the final third is faster than the first.

Where the hell did that come from?

(CHUCKLES)

I guess that little runt knew what he was doin’.

Yeah!

Yeah!

It’s all you, boys!

All you!

Yeah!

(WHOOPING)

(LAUGHING)

(ALL CHEERING)

(WHOOPING)

One!

Two!

Three!

(LAUGHING AND CHEERING)

I like your hat. Thank you. Thank you.

MAN: Come on!

Washington!

Come on!

HUNT: Oh, my God.

Hi.

I could get used to this.

How did your first win feel?

Great.

Next one’s gonna be even faster.

(LAUGHING)

(BIG BAND MUSIC PLAYING)

GIRL: How did you go so fast?

HUNT: Oh, we just rowed as quick as we could.

It must have been hard, even though you’re strong.

You get tired?

Yeah, yeah, it was pretty rough.

Too tired to go someplace quiet and show me how you did it?

Oh, hell no.

You know, this might make all the times Morris puked on my back worth it.

I got this today.

Some fellow in a suit just gave it to me.

Said us winning made him so happy, he wanted me to have…

Shoot, we all made him happy, Gordo.

Kid in my algebra class offered to do my homework for me.

I let the sap do it.

You should.

We keep on winnin’, we’re gonna have it made in this place.

You did so good today.

Huh?

I said you did so… I said you did so good today.

Thank you.

It was… It was fun.

What?

(BIG BAND MUSIC CONTINUES)

Come here. I said it was fun.

Do you wanna go someplace quiet?

(SIGHS)

(BIG BAND MUSIC CONTINUES)

Watcha doin’?

I’m watching.

Why aren’t you talking to anybody?

I’m not much of a talker.

Ah.

Hey, look over there.

You see that beanpole in the glasses?

Yeah.

He’s studying Latin.

Oh.

Latin.

You don’t have to say much.

Listen, Hume.

Tonight, not tomorrow night, or next week.

Tonight is your best shot.

You go on. I think I’m okay.

(GROANS) Christ sake.

(BIG BAND MUSIC CONTINUES)

(MUSIC STOPS)

Hey, listen up!

We got a musician in our midst.

With a little encouragement, we might just get him to give us some live music.

Don Hume!

Get up here. Get up here.

ADAM: Come on, Don!

(CROWD APPLAUDING)

No. No.

Hey, watch out.

No, no, no, no, no.

Bobby, get the stool.

The piano man.

John, John, John, John, John, John, John, John.

No, no, no, no, no.

There we go.

All ready for you there, maestro.

Let’s hear it for Don!

(CROWD CHEERING)

Don Hume.

GIRL: Come on, Don!

GIRL 2: We know you can do it.

(CHEERING SUBSIDES)

Come on, Don.

Come on, Donnie.

(BREATHES DEEPLY)

(PLAYING UPBEAT MELODY)

(JOYCE GIGGLES)

I don’t think that I should be here.

He can’t be in here.

Oh, shut up, Carolyn.

I saw you smoking at your window last week.

(JOYCE GIGGLES)

It was too loud in there.

JOE: Yeah. (CHUCKLES)

People are happy. They’re having fun.

Yeah, because of you.

Okay, I’m changing.

Eyes on the wall.

Right.

Did you know you were gonna win?

JOE: No. My arms, they were shaking.

I was so nervous.

JOYCE: We were all screaming so loud.

The radio said it was the fastest ever.

Yeah, that’s what Coach told us.

(SWITCH CLICKS)

I bet you win every race.

Just don’t get all stuck-up and everything.

(SOFT MUSIC PLAYING)

I just kept that in case I ever ran into you again.

And had to, um… prove that you had that crush on me, like I said.

(SOFT MUSIC CONTINUES)

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

WOMAN: Miss Simdars, open this door.

You… You should go.

You should go. You need to go. You need to go.

Miss Simdars, open this door right now, young lady.

If you have a male visitor in there, well, you know the consequences.

One minute! (SQUEALS SOFTLY)

JOE: What?

Is that too far?

No.

You’re fine.

Miss Simdars!

STUDENTS: (SINGING) Ain’t we got fun?

Tax collector’s getting closer

Still, we got fun

There’s nothing surer

The rich get rich and the poor get poorer

In the meantime, in between time

Ain’t we got fun?

(ALL CHEERING)

Well done!

Okay! Yeah!

BOBBY: Don Hume, ladies and gentlemen.

(CHEERING CONTINUES)

(PROJECTOR WHIRRING)

Harvard, Yale?

Mm-hmm.

Both have put up times we haven’t gotten close to.

That’s how it usually goes.

Kids back East are in boats before they’re in shoes.

Schools just have more talent to choose from.

That’s what money buys you.

(SMACKS LIPS)

We need an edge, Tom.

(WISTFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

(RIVETING MUSIC PLAYING)

BOBBY: Through. In and through.

In and through.

And through!

Eyes up!

In and through!

Stand tall.

(WATCH CLICKS)

Legs through.

In and through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

In, through.

In, through.

In, through.

In, through.

In, through.

In, through.

In and through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

Way-nuff!

Everybody else tires and they just get stronger.

(WHOOPING)

That’s the third time they beat the varsity squad.

ROGER: Maybe next time.

BOLLES: I just think it’s too big of a risk.

Poughkeepsie is more than just the championship this year.

It’s for the Olympics.

I know what the race means, Tom.

Experience counts for something in big races.

Half those guys on varsity

competed at Poughkeepsie last year.

And they lost.

They’re better this year.

If you didn’t know their ages, you didn’t know how long they’ve been rowing, you’re looking at both boats for the first time…

A time trial in the backyard does not count.

That is not the same thing as a race.

Look at the competition times.

It’s not that easy.

Come on, you know that.

Yes. Yes.

Yes, I know.

You’re acting like the varsity boat is scrappin’.

You know that boat hasn’t lost a race either.

And it wasn’t that long ago you were just hopin’ the JV boat was gonna make it to the finish line without sinking.

Now, Al, now you’re talkin’ about putting all our chips on ’em.

Do you think varsity could medal in Berlin?

We’re not talkin’ about a medal.

We’re talkin’ about a shot at gettin’ there.

If they got there?

I don’t know.

We need a win this year, Al.

The people who pay us, they need a win.

You send a boat full of kids down there and they trip up, you’re sticking your neck way out there.

Makes it a real easy target. And mine, too.

I need this job.

What do you think, George?

Hmm.

When you were in a boat, you rowed like no one else that’s ever come through here.

I remember watching you, wondering how fast one of my shells could go if there were eight just like you in it.

That bunch of kids might be as close to that as I’ll ever get.

And if I send them out there and they aren’t ready?

Then it’s like Tom said.

The axe will likely fall, and fall hard.

Now you’re starting to sound like my wife.

Well, Hazel’s a smart woman.

I’ll take that as a compliment.

(CHEERING)

Good morning, everybody.

Thank you.

Now, as we all know, uh, the Poughkeepsie Regatta is always the most important race of the season.

(SHOUTS OF ASSENT)

(CHEERING)

This year, there’s even more riding on it, because the winner will qualify for an Olympic spot.

(WILD CHEERING)

Yes!

It’s also a race that the University of Washington has not won in almost two decades, but… but…

(CROWD MURMURS)

…we have a boat this year that I believe could change all that.

(CHEERING)

A boat that could not only win at Poughkeepsie, but is strong enough to have a real shot in Berlin.

(WILD CHEERING)

And, uh… that boat is our junior boat.

(SCATTERED APPLAUSE)

(GASPS OF AMAZEMENT)

Yeah, you heard me.

(LAUGHS)

(JOYCE WHOOPS)

Listen, I understand that that’s unorthodox.

Unorthodox? It’s insane.

I’m doing everything I can…

You can’t do that.

In the best interests of our team and the University of Washington.

Thank you.

(MURMURS OF ASTONISHMENT)

BO BILLINGS: This is bullshit!

(CLAMORING)

(CHEERING)

Have you lost your mind?

What about those boys who spent the last four years working for this?

My job is to put the best boat in the water, Ben.

Your job? I pay for your job.

Without the boosters, where do you think the money for your boats comes from, huh?

For your goddamn salary?

How about you let me do my job?

JAY: Let’s just settle down and talk about this calmly. Come on.

There’s nothin’ to talk about, Jay.

My team, my decision.

Then it’s not your team anymore.

I’ll make sure your ass is fired before the train leaves for Poughkeepsie.

Ben, we’re not gonna get…

All right.

Bolles is just as capable as you.

Better even.

I’d do the same as Al.

I hope you know what you’re doing.

Ben!

ULBRICKSON: Do I?

BOLLES: Sure you do.

I can’t believe you’re going to the Olympics.

We gotta beat those other schools first, but Coach says we have as good a shot as anybody.

(LAUGHS)

You can’t flirt with any of those New York girls.

(JOYCE GIGGLES)

What’s wrong?

Be back in a second.

Joe?

(GRUNTS)

(PENSIVE MUSIC PLAYING)

Saw your picture in the paper.

Harry Junior clipped it out.

When did you get back from California?

Couple of years.

You know, things weren’t much better down there.

So, you’ve been here all that time?

Down the road a bit.

Were you ever gonna tell me?

You’re doin’ all right.

I was 14 when you left.

I went to war when I was that age.

So, what do you wanna do, Joe?

Huh?

Move home?

I mean, I could use the help.

Tell you what, I’ll pay you a dollar a day if you still remember how to cut a tree.

Or maybe you’d rather just keep rowing your boat.

You don’t owe me a thing, Joe.

I don’t owe you.

You’re doing just fine.

I’ll pass on regards.

(PENSIVE MUSIC CONTINUES)

(TRUCK DOOR SHUTS, ENGINE STARTS)

(PENSIVE MUSIC CONTINUES)

I’m sorry.

Works out for the best.

Yeah, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Maybe.

I gotta go.

You should come get some sleep before the sun rises over that.

I’ll be in there soon.

I sure love that view.

I know.

I just wish I could enjoy it the way I used to.

Why don’t you come see if there’s another view you can enjoy?

Okay.

(WISTFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

(PLAYING CHEERFUL MUSIC)

(CHEERING AND CLAMORING)

Thank you.

We’re gonna be the fastest crew the world has ever seen.

Bring home the championship, Al!

And a gold medal!

We’ll try.

Oh, boy.

We might wanna try and win this thing, huh?

No pressure.

GIRL: Good luck!

Bring it home, boys!

I’ll be listening on the radio.

Say hello if they interview you.

This might be a good time to tell you that I’m in love with you, Joe.

ANNOUNCER: All aboard!

All right. I gotta go.

ROGER: Hey! Hey!

HUNT: Yeah, she looked at me.

(CHEERING CONTINUES)

(SENTIMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING)

(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS)

Rantz!

(TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

DAY: I’m busted. Someone give me a penny.

Lucky, I’ll let you watch.

Hey, Joe, give me your jacket.

That’ll get me halfway to ante.

Joe, stick around.

DAY: Hey, don’t run away, Hobo Joe.

(CLAMORING)

ROGER: He’s playin’.

He’s playin’. He’s playin’.

He’s playin’.

Jesus, Chuck.

Was just jokin’.

Yeah, well, your jokes are lousy.

(SIGHS)

(WISTFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

I didn’t mean anything by it.

Truth is, my old man went bust years ago, so…

Any new clothes I wear, I swipe from Woolworth’s.

Doesn’t matter.

Just sayin’ we’re not different.

You and me.

Except you’re not a thief.

(ROUSING MUSIC PLAYING)

One! Way-nuff!

Drop it.

Again! Need to get sharper.

Come on.

You guys are out of sync. Find Hume.

Take it off Hume.

Look like a team, fellas.

As one.

You’re out of sync.

Okay, no, no. Way-nuff.

Where are we off?

BOBBY: Hey, Joe, you with us?

Me?

Yeah, lock in on Don.

What are you talkin’ about? I’m not the problem.

(HUNT GRUNTS)

ULBRICKSON: Go again.

Come on.

BOBBY: In and through.

In and through.

All right, give me three more. Three, two, one. Way-nuff!

That’d get us a solid sixth.

It’s new water, they’re still getting comfortable.

First times were faster. They’re getting less comfortable.

What is the matter?

Not in tune yet. I’ll get ’em there, Coach.

Let’s do it before the race, Bobby.

Go again.

BOBBY: All right, fellas. Port side, back it down.

Starboard, tap on. Ready?

HAZEL: Probably nervous.

They’re just kids, Al.

ULBRICKSON: That’s why everybody told me I was wrong for bringin’ them.

I just can’t afford for them to be kids.

Not anymore.

(ROUSING MUSIC RESUMES)

(IMPERCEPTIBLE)

(IMPERCEPTIBLE)

(WATCHES CLICK)

It looks like they…

I know what’s wrong.

Bring it in.

You have 500 perfect meters.

And then another five, where it looks like you’re rowing eight different boats.

BOBBY: The timing’s just a little off.

Joe, where is your head at, son?

It’s in the boat.

No, it’s not.

You’re setting your own pace.

Your catch is higher than the rest.

I’m trying to…

Don’t interrupt me.

You’re rowing like you’re in a single.

We’ve been doing this too goddamn long to forget you’re in an eight-man shell.

Now, do you wanna be in the boat or am I’m gonna put someone else in your seat?

I don’t care.

Coy!

You’re in Rantz’s seat.

Get out. You don’t care? Get out.

Coy, come on, let’s go.

Looks like you’re racin’ tomorrow.

(OAR RATTLES)

Now, maybe we can row as a team.

And just go talk to Coach, tell him you want back in.

I’m not beggin’ him to give my place back.

I’m done with that.

Where you gonna go?

Ain’t like you got money enough for a train ticket.

I’ll figure somethin’ out. I always have.

Are you gonna live in a car in Poughkeepsie? (KNOCKS SOFTLY)

Hello, Roger. Hello, Joe.

I need to put another coat on the Husky Clipper.

I could use a hand.

My grandfather would let me help oil the shells he built.

Most hate it because of the smell.

I catch the scent of whale oil and immediately hear his voice telling me to, “Keep putting it on “until you can see your freckles in the reflection.”

That’s how I’d know it was good and slick.

So it would cut through the water like a knife blade.

How it didn’t matter how fast someone rowed if the water didn’t flow across the hull in the exact right way.

If the weight wasn’t balanced just right.

Every piece working with the other.

It’s the same with the crew.

So much that there’s really no difference between the two.

They’re connected by all the hours spent together.

Sweat and pain bleeds into the grain as they become one magical thing that moves across the water like it was born to be nowhere else.

I’ve built a lot of good boats, but the best ones, the boats where every part fits exactly as it should, where every man trusts the one behind him, they are the boats people remember forever.

That’s what this boat could be.

Be a shame for anyone to miss seeing how fast it could go with all the right pieces.

Joe, your dad gave up on you. He quit on you.

All you know is quitting.

But it seems to me you’re not him.

Or are you?

(LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING)

(LAUGHTER AND CHATTER)

Yes.

Yes, it’s very nice.

If I can get you two to just stand together.

Just for one. And perfect.

I’ll, uh, see you over there.

What can I do for you, Joe?

I want my seat back.

Why?

All that time I spent in it, the work we all did together…

(EXHALES) That boat… it’s all I got. The boys and… (EXHALES SHARPLY) It’s all I got. I can’t lose that.

You know, one of the first things I said to you boys was there’s no shame if your body can’t hold up to this.

The same goes for the mind.

Listen, I know it isn’t easy to trust every other person on that boat as much as you trust yourself.

But it’s not about you.

As good as you are, it’s not about you, Joe, or me, or anybody else.

It’s about the boat.

Yes, sir.

It’s where I wanna be.

Okay.

Well, you better get dressed.

Thank you.

Really, thank you.

ROYAL: Today’s regatta is as much a social experiment as it is a race.

A clash of character.

Of old money versus no money at all.

Six boats of want-to’s against one filled with have-to’s.

These nine working-class boys arrived from the American West on the shoulders of a country that sees itself in their determined young faces.

Sees their struggles, their grit, their spirit.

And they’ve claimed the Husky Clipper as their own.

Because it’s a boat full of underdogs representing an underdog nation.

A nation of people who have been beaten down but refuse to go away.

Refuse to stop working hard, ’cause that’s all they know.

All they have ever done.

So, find your place, by the river or the radio.

And cheer for guts and heart and brawn to beat privilege and prestige to the finish line today.

Cheer for the boys from Washington.

(ROUSING MUSIC PLAYING)

Listen up. We’re in lane seven.

Navy and Cal are gonna wanna jump to a lead.

We just let ’em.

This is it, boys.

Nice, strong start.

We’re gonna keep a 42 count coming out, right?

California’s gonna go out hard, okay?

You gotta stick with them.

As long as you’re within two lengths, stay under a 30 stroke.

How’s your shoulder?

Are you okay?

I’m good.

I wanna see you push yourself through that pain.

Then go to a 35 at the halfway mark.

You’re gonna slow down and ease into a nice, steady 34.

Keep going, keep pushing.

Keep pushing all the way through.

All the boats out in front will start to tire and you’ll just be getting started.

You know the plan.

We’ll save something for the end.

Four miles in a boat should be nothing to you.

This is your race, all right?

This is our time.

We know what we’re doin’. We’ve been here before, boys.

Now better get out there and show ’em what I already know.

(ROUSING MUSIC CONTINUES)

(BOAT WHISTLE BLOWS)

ROYAL: The Poughkeepsie Regatta.

Today’s regatta is the greatest one-day rowing event in America.

Watch your step.

Coaches like Ky Ebright, Rusty Callow and Al Ulbrickson are not only hoping for a win, but a chance to compete in Berlin.

As rowing fans board observation cars and crowd the shores of the Hudson River, seven shells take their places at the starting line.

(CROWD CHEERING)

Syracuse, Navy,

Cornell, and Columbia,

Penn, Cal, and Washington ready themselves for what could be the most important race of their young lives.

A chance to compete in the Olympics.

(ROUSING MUSIC CONTINUES)

Let’s go.

Good luck, Jack.

You, too.

(EXHALES)

ROYAL: The starting gun is up.

Oars to frontstops.

(ROUSING MUSIC FADES)

Nearly 100,000 spectators hold their breath in anticipation.

A hush falling over Crum Elbow.

(GUN FIRES)

Row!

ROYAL: And here we go.

Washington Huskies are now rowing against the seniors of Cal.

Huskies are the only junior boat in the competition.

Give me a nice, easy 28.

Fall in with Don.

In and through.

ROYAL: These seven finely trained crews are churning the waters of the Upper Hudson in a supreme rowing test of power, speed and coordination.

(CROWD CHEERING)

Hold that pace, Bobby.

And at the quarter mark, we have California, Penn and Navy out in front with a half-boat lead on the rest of the field.

BOBBY: All right, your stroke rate is perfect.

Save your power.

Let ’em get tired.

Wear ’em down.

ROYAL: Washington is falling back to last place.

Four lengths behind the leaders.

Now, Bobby.

Save!

Save power.

Wear ’em down.

What’s he doing?

It has to be now.

Come on, boys.

BOBBY: Wait for it.

Wait for it.

All right, Don, give me 36. Go!

Legs through.

Legs through.

Legs through.

ROYAL: And here they come.

Looking for freshwater, Bobby Moch is steering right into Syracuse’s lane.

In and through.

SYRACUSE COXSWAIN: Let’s go.

Legs up.

Jab! Jab!

Get off us!

Hey, go to hell, Syracuse!

SYRACUSE COXSWAIN: What the hell is that?

ROYAL: Washington is passing Syracuse.

And with a mile and a half behind them, teams are falling away but no one is gaining on California and Navy.

Attaboy.

Row! Row!

ROYAL: Holding a four-length lead,

Cal and Navy are in a two-boat race.

All right, give me 10 big ones for Ulbrickson. Go!

ROYAL: Washington has picked up the pace.

Bobby Moch finally getting his crew in this race.

The Huskies sweeping by Cornell.

Headed for Penn and Columbia.

Navy and Cal still ahead by four lengths.

BOBBY: All right! Give me 40!

Let’s go!

In, through!

ROYAL: Washington is quickly gaining on Columbia’s Lions.

Better not be too late.

ROYAL: The Husky Clipper bustles by Columbia…

Come on!

And into third place!

Come on!

Push! Extend!

Now, give me 10 more for Pocock!

ROYAL: With 400 meters to go, here comes Washington!

In and through!

In, through!

Through!

Twenty more strokes!

Nineteen!

(ALL GRUNTING)

ROYAL: Washington has taken second place!

Do they have enough left to catch Cal?

Legs through!

GEORGE: Come on, boys.

Come on.

You got this, boys.

Look at Washington!

I don’t believe what I’m seeing.

Can the Huskies do it? Can they do it?

Give me 10 big ones for all the people who didn’t believe in you!

Go!

Give me Cal!

I want Cal!

Yeah, we’re workin’! Whoo!

MAN: They’re making their move!

MAN 2: Boys, come on.

BOBBY: Legs through!

(SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT)

ROYAL: With 200 meters left, Washington is passing Cal!

In, through!

Eyes up!

With 100 meters to go, Washington is going to do it!

Washington is going to do it!

BOBBY: Through! In and through!

Eyes up! In!

Come on.

(WILD CHEERING)

(YELLING)

ROYAL: Washington has won the race, folks!

Washington has won the race!

(LAUGHS)

Washington has won!

(ALL SQUEALING)

What a race!

Coach Ulbrickson’s big gamble has paid off, ladies and gentlemen.

The Washington Huskies are going to Berlin to compete for gold.

What a race indeed!

Yes!

Oh…

I do love your smile.

You should do it more often.

(CREW CHEERING)

We did it, boys!

I think that you were trying to give us all a heart attack.

I just didn’t want to break their rhythm till I had to.

I honest to God didn’t know there were this many shrimp in the entire world.

Do you mind sharing with our listeners, what was the feeling in the boat when you were four lengths back?

Was there any panic?

Uh, there was no panic.

All of us, we knew we could make up the ground when we needed to.

And, if I could, could I say hello to my girl Joyce back home?

I’ll let you wear the gold medal when I get back.

ROYAL: That’s right, folks.

They’ll be bringing the gold medal home for all of us back in Washington.

JOYCE: Oh.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

ULBRICKSON: This is great.

So, you guys all knew about it when?

And I’m hearing about it tonight?

You know what this sounds like to me?

It sounds like you guys are changing the rules because you’re trying to steal this from us.

No one is trying to steal anything, Coach Ulbrickson.

I’m just speaking to you as the U.S. Rowing Olympic Chairman and telling you the facts.

U.S. Rowing does not have the money to fund your trip to Berlin.

And how is that even possible?

It’s not just rowing.

Swimming, fencing.

There are many other sports that are dealing with…

Exactly how much are we supposed to come up with?

(SIGHS)

$5,000.

Five?

In a week?

In a week.

And what if we can’t come up with it?

Well, the committee would have to find a suitable replacement to compete in Berlin.

Suitable like who, Henry? Like your Penn squad?

If necessary, yes.

We’d of course give California the first opportunity.

Either team is a better option than not sending a team at all.

This is bullshit, Henry. It’s bullshit.

You didn’t expect us to win, and we won.

Yeah, you couldn’t win on the water. None of you.

I don’t like this situation.

Now, you’re makin’ up the rules. Bullshit.

HENRY: I don’t like the situation any more than you do.

Yeah, sure you don’t.

Bullshit.

We’ll figure this out.

How are we supposed to come up with $5,000?

Our university will reach out to alumni and boosters.

See if they can scrape anything up.

And if they can’t find enough?

Then it’d be Cal or Penn.

ROGER: We beat those guys.

ULBRICKSON: I know.

BOBBY: No way we let those rich pricks go instead of us.

Then we better find some money.

(SIGHS) Yeah.

Al, where you goin’?

(LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING)

BOBBY: Help us get to Berlin.

HUNT: Help send the Huskies to Berlin.

Thank you. You have a nice day.

Thank you, sir.

Sure.

Hey, guys.

The Olympic rowing team needs your help to get to Berlin. We only got a couple days left.

Fellas, I got a dollar.

Spare a couple dollars. Help us beat the Germans.

All right.

Thanks. My name’s Roger.

Hey, I’m Chuck.

WOMAN: Oh, please.

RADIO ANNOUNCER: Well, you’re running out of days, Coach.

You have what, four left?

Three.

And we’ve only gotten halfway to what the Olympic Committee says we need.

RADIO ANNOUNCER: So, if you don’t raise the money, you go back to Seattle while some other team goes to Berlin?

ULBRICKSON: Correct. And that goes against everything sports should be about.

Athletes should be rewarded for performance.

No politics, no adjusted scoring or selection based on wealth and standing.

May the best man win.

That’s what they say. That’s what it should be.

These boys, Washington’s boys, this country’s boys, my boys, they have proven themselves to be the best.

WOMAN: Help us send the Huskies to Berlin.

A reminder, folks, every little bit helps.

Thank you so much.

WOMAN 2: Come on, support our boys.

All right. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much. (INDISTINCT)

Thank you so much. Thank you.

(LIVELY JAZZ MUSIC CONTINUES)

We got $92 from Tacoma in honor of Roger Morris.

$75 more from Sequim for Joe Rantz.

$90 from Olympia for Don Hume.

Every hometown of these boys has given somethin’.

Pacific Telegraph just sent $250 this evening.

BOLLES: Where does that put us with everything else we’ve got?

JAY: Eh, close.

But?

Well, close is just close, Al.

And we’re out of time.

(EXHALES)

BOLLES: (SOFTLY) Come on.

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

Mrs. Ulbrickson, I’m looking for your husband.

We still got four hours, Ky.

(CHUCKLES) Racing the clock as usual.

I can’t lie to you, Al.

My boys would love to go to Berlin.

How short are you?

JAY: $300.

Give or take.

EBRIGHT: Hmm.

May I?

(SOFT MUSIC PLAYING)

This is from the Cal Bears.

An IOU for $300.

Give or take.

(EXHALES)

ULBRICKSON: Ky.

(ULBRICKSON EXHALES)

No one deserves to go but your boys.

Gentlemen.

Mrs. Ulbrickson.

And if there’s any extra, you can bring me back a souvenir.

(LIGHT LAUGHTER)

(MUSIC RISING)

(LAUGHTER)

NEWS ANNOUNCER: Aboard the SS Manhattan, a shipload of American athletes sails for Hamburg.

The Olympic Games, their goal.

Here is Jesse Owens, the one-man track team from the University of Ohio.

Some say, “The greatest ever.”

More than 300 athletes will march ashore on German soil, ready to fight for gold.

Among the participants are the University of Washington’s junior varsity eight-man rowing crew.

The boat is ready to do battle with the likes of Italy, Great Britain and Germany, all favorites in this most grueling of events.

In Berlin, the preparations for the Games are complete, and the German people are ready to welcome athletes from 52 countries.

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler has promised a spectacle like no other, and plans to attend a variety of events.

In Hamburg, thousands of cheering Germans welcome the Americans as they ready to disembark.

These amateur athletes have sacrificed so much to represent their country, and as the opening of the Games is just days away,

Americans at home and abroad look forward to rooting for these dedicated athletes.

(AUDIENCE CHEERING)

(CROWD CHEERING)

(CROWD WHOOPING)

(MAN GREETS IN GERMAN)

(GREETING IN GERMAN)

Hi.

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

HUNT: All right.

Get changed, we’ll go look over the course.

This is great.

Not bad.

This’ll do.

It’s better than back home.

GERMAN CREW: Heil Hitler.

Remember the Alamo.

Joe, opening ceremony.

Come on, you’re gonna be late.

I think I gotta skip.

I’m just too tired.

Why, what’s the problem, Don?

Don doesn’t feel so great.

Go join the rest. I’ll, uh… I’ll stay.

I’ll hang back. You need to walk with your team.

Thanks, George.

All right, get some rest.

Try and eat somethin’.

(CROWD CHEERING)

(FANFARE PLAYING)

ANNOUNCER: Ungarn.

You’re Jesse, right? Jesse Owens?

I am.

You really the fastest man in the world?

I don’t know.

Folks around here say you’re gonna win every race you’re in.

Well, I hope so. (CHUCKLES)

Show those Germans what for, all right?

JESSE: No.

No?

Not the Germans.

The folks back home.

ANNOUNCER: United States of America.

(CROWD CHEERING)

RADIO ANNOUNCER: The Hungarian team offering their respect to the German leader.

And here come the Americans.

(CROWD CHEERING)

With no salute from the United States.

Sounds like the boys are making friends.

(ROUSING MUSIC PLAYING)

ULBRICKSON: All right, the winds are up.

That’s good for us. You’re protected in lane two.

Let all the other boats farther out deal with the gusts.

Bobby, the tighter you hold the line, the smoother the ride.

Now, three prelims.

The winner of each gets an automatic berth in the finals.

That is what you want. You want a day off and let the other teams wear themselves out with an extra race.

So, do not hold back.

Great Britain’s the team to watch in our heat.

Bobby, not another Poughkeepsie.

They won’t fade like Cal, so never let them get more than two lengths up.

ULBRICKSON: Fellas, you’ve earned this.

They don’t give gold medals for style.

All that matters is how fast you are on the water.

And nobody here is faster.

(STARTER SHOUTS IN FRENCH)

(COXSWAIN SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

BOBBY: Legs through!

RADIO ANNOUNCER 1: And the Americans are already leading by half a boat over Great Britain and looking for more.

Followed by France and Czechoslovakia.

(RADIO ANNOUNCER 2 SPEAKING FRENCH)

BOBBY: In, through! In, through!

RADIO ANNOUNCER 3: Stroke Ran Laurie is digging furiously for the British boat.

But the Americans are pouring it on now, extending their lead.

BOBBY: Eyes up. In, through!

And through!

RADIO ANNOUNCER 1: And with only 100 meters to go, the Americans could be closing in on an Olympic record.

Eyes up!

RADIO ANNOUNCER 1: Six minutes point eight seconds.

A new Olympic record!

The United States has won!

(CHEERING)

You all right? Hey, you know we won?

BOBBY: Don, are you okay?

You know we won, right? Huh?

BOBBY: Hey.

Come on. Come on.

ULBRICKSON: Good race.

Olympic record’s a nice start.

But all that does is get us into the race that matters.

Nobody is gonna remember you set a record at a preliminary.

Now… let’s go see what we’re up against.

Good job.

BOLLES: Way to go. Way to go.

ULBRICKSON: Good work, boys.

(COXSWAIN DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

(COXSWAIN DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

Singles, doubles,

fours, they haven’t lost a race yet.

(COXSWAIN DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

(CROWD CHEERING)

Fast.

Don, come on.

Hey, come on.

You all right?

Coach! Coach!

You okay?

Mm-hmm. I’m just worn out.

Thank you, Doctor. Thanks for your help.

What’s the word?

Some kind of bug. They’re not sure what.

Right now, he’s very dehydrated.

He needs rest.

And y’all stay away from him for the next 24 hours.

We can’t afford losing anybody else.

What do you mean, “losing”?

If he’s still like this in two days, he’s not racing.

Lane assignments for the finals.

ULBRICKSON: You can’t change the rules in the middle of a competition!

The fastest qualifiers earn the favored lanes.

That is the way it’s always been.

And we posted the best time, and you’ve gone and stuck us on the outside.

This was the lane formula the committee decided on.

When? Right after your squad posted the slowest qualifying time?

Be careful of your accusations, Coach Ulbrickson.

You’ve seen the winds on that course and you know there’s a two-length disadvantage when it blows.

I’m sure your crew will manage.

The forecasters expect a calm day.

Well…

We’ll protest this.

Noted. And good luck.

(SOLEMN MUSIC PLAYING)

(IMPERCEPTIBLE)

(SOLEMN MUSIC CONTINUES)

(CROWD CHEERING)

(ANNOUNCER SPEAKING GERMAN)

ULBRICKSON: All right. Listen up, boys.

It’s a tough lane, so you gotta start quick.

You gotta keep them in sight.

That wind will be blocked for the last 500 meters.

And that’s your shot.

That’s where you’re gonna take ’em, but only if you keep ’em in sight.

Listen, every one of those teams have trained their whole lives for this moment.

They’re all legacies.

We’re not.

Row for your country.

Row for each other.

Row for that one moment when everything that’s stacked against you can take a back seat.

(PENSIVE MUSIC PLAYING)

For what it’s worth, I’m proud of you boys.

All right, push off.

What?

Nothin’.

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

(ANNOUNCER SPEAKING GERMAN)

(ANNOUNCER SPEAKING ITALIAN)

ROGER: They might as well have stuck us out on the North Atlantic.

ANNOUNCER 2: Thousands of people are taking their seats, gathered for the Men’s Eights finals.

The world’s six best rowing teams in one last race for the gold.

Germany, Italy, Hungary.

Germany has taken gold in singles, doubles, and fours,

and they’re looking for a sweep.

Switzerland, Great Britain, and the United States round out the six.

The boys from Washington so close to bringing an Olympic title back to Seattle.

CROWD: (CHANTING) Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland!

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC CONTINUES)

(EXHALES HEAVILY)

Don, you okay?

(BREATH SHUDDERS)

You got this, Don, all right?

(STARTER SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

Hey, what’d he say?

All right. Come on, let’s win this.

Oars ready.

(COXSWAIN SPEAKS ITALIAN)

Come on.

All right, we got two lengths of wind to make up on this bunch.

(STARTER SHOUTS IN FRENCH)

So, we start at 38.

Bobby! Bobby!

Shit! Row! Row!

(ANNOUNCER SPEAKING GERMAN)

Come on.

(TENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

Oh, God! He couldn’t hear him.

ANNOUNCER 2: The Americans have stumbled out of the gate, already a full boat behind.

(COXSWAIN DIRECTING IN HUNGARIAN)

Legs through.

All right, now move to 30.

Go! In, through.

Legs through!

In, through! In!

(COXSWAIN SHOUTS IN HUNGARIAN)

(COXSWAIN SHOUTS IN ITALIAN)

BOBBY: All right. We got 38!

Give me 40!

In, through!

In, through!

In, through! Go!

Come on, Don, pick it up.

In the legs! In, through!

In, through!

In, through!

It’s time to move!

Come on, Don.

Go, Don!

Come on, boys.

(SPEAKS GERMAN)

(COXSWAIN DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

(DIRECTING IN ITALIAN)

(SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT)

ANNOUNCER 2: Germany is just behind Italy, followed by Great Britain.

The U.S. still in last, well behind Hungary.

Give me more! Gotta have more!

(VOICE CRACKING) Come on, Don. Give me 40.

In the legs.

Push it, Don.

BOBBY: Come on, Don!

Now would be a good time, Hume!

Come on, Don! Pick it up!

Don, come on.

Come on, Don.

Come on, Don.

Gotta give me 40. You have it.

Give it to me.

Come on, give me 40.

Come on, Don.

Come on!

Don!

Don! Come on!

(SINGING) Every morning, every evening

Ain’t we got fun?

Not much money, oh, but honey

Ain’t we got…

That’s right, Don! Give me 40!

Go! Through!

Legs through!

(HUME BREATHING HEAVILY)

Eyes up!

Stay low!

Stay loose!

ANNOUNCER 2: And here comes

the United States with a burst.

BOBBY: Row!

As one!

(COXSWAIN SHOUTS INDISTINCTLY)

ANNOUNCER 2: Nearing the 500-meter mark, the Americans have caught up to the Hungarian and Swiss teams.

Stay!

(COXSWAIN SHOUTING IN HUNGARIAN)

And through! In, through!

ANNOUNCER 2: The Americans have overtaken the Swiss and the Hungarian boats.

Germany and Italy share the lead, with Great Britain trailing.

BOBBY: Legs loose!

In, through!

In and through!

COXSWAIN: Four! Five!

BOBBY: In, through!

Give me 42!

Now!

In, through!

Breathe!

Legs through!

BOBBY: In, through!

Fifteen more! In!

Come on.

BOBBY: Through!

Ten more!

Shoulders down and loose.

Stand tall!

(TENSE MUSIC CONTINUES)

In, through!

ANNOUNCER 2: And the Americans continue strong, moving past Great Britain and headed for third.

The U.S. is moving into medal position.

Through! Eyes up!

(DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

In, through!

(DIRECTING IN GERMAN)

(COXSWAIN SHOUTING IN ITALIAN)

(SHOUTS IN GERMAN)

(SHOUTING LOUDER)

(GRUNTING HEAVILY)

Give me 46!

Go!

ANNOUNCER 2: 300 meters, and the Americans have pulled even!

The boats are three across now. 250 meters to go.

(MOUTHING) Come on, come on, come on.

Legs through!

ANNOUNCER 2: It’s a three-boat race.

Who’s going to break?

(SHOUTS IN GERMAN)

It’s Germany, Italy.

Italy, Germany.

(SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY)

The U.S. and Italy.

It’s just too close.

BOBBY: Stay low!

ANNOUNCER 2: 100 meters to go.

It’s neck and neck.

(EXCITED CHEERING)

(TENSE MUSIC CONTINUES)

Come on.

CROWD: (CHANTING) Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland!

Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland! Deutschland!

In, through!

In, through!

(CREW GRUNTING HEAVILY)

In, through!

Give it everything! Go!

(SHOUTS IN GERMAN)

BOBBY: Stay central!

Eyes up!

(SHOUTING IN ITALIAN)

BOBBY: As one!

As one!

Off the man in front of you!

In, through!

Go! In, through!

Eyes up!

In the legs!

CROWD: (CHANTING) Deutschland! Deutschland!

ANNOUNCER 2: Germany, Italy, America.

CROWD: Deutschland! Deutschland!

(CROWD CHEERING)

ANNOUNCER 2: And that’s it!

That’s it!

The results are just too close for this reporter to tell.

(UNSETTLING MUSIC PLAYING)

Come on.

(ALL PANTING EXHAUSTEDLY)

Who won?

ANNOUNCER 2: The German fans believe they’ve got their sixth win of these 1936 Olympics.

We can only sit and wait for the results.

Did you see?

(UNSETTLING MUSIC CONTINUES)

America.

(CROWD CHEERING)

ANNOUNCER 2: The United States has won the gold!

(WILD CHEERING)

(SLOW TRIUMPHANT MUSIC PLAYING)

(LAUGHTER)

JOE: Good job, Johnny.

ROGER: We did it, boys!

MCMILLIN: Come on!

JOE: One hell of a stroke.

(LAUGHTER)

(SNIFFLES)

(EXHALES)

(CHUCKLING)

(ALL CHEERING)

ANNOUNCER 2: America has done it!

They’ve won the gold!

(LAUGHING)

(LAUGHTER)

Hell of a race.

You did it, Al. You did it.

I’m proud of you.

We did it.

(CROWD CHEERING)

ROYAL: How about this, huh?

ULBRICKSON: Mm-hmm. How about this?

Anything you’d like to say about those boys, Al?

They are the finest I ever saw seated in a shell.

(SLOW TRIUMPHANT MUSIC CONTINUES)

Not bad, huh, fellas?

(LAUGHTER)

(LAUGHS)

(SIGHS IN RELIEF)

(BOY GRUNTING)

Did you see that?

Boat pushed me right into the bank.

Look at this.

Don’t worry, we’ll fix it.

(GENTLE MUSIC PLAYING)

Hey, Grandpa?

You think someday I can row crew?

Well, you gotta keep at it.

Did you like rowing eight-man crew?

Eight?

Yeah.

We were never eight.

We were one.

(CHUCKLES QUIETLY)

(GENTLE MUSIC CONTINUES)

(SOFT MUSIC PLAYING)

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