Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Clooney’s newest film recounts inspiring 1936 Olympic crew


“The Boys in the Boat” is rowing its way into viewers’ hearts around the country.

Directed by George Clooney and starring Callum Turner, Joel Edgerton and Jack Mulhern, “The Boys in the Boat” tells the true story of nine young men who row crew at the University of Washington out of necessity to stay in school and make money to survive during the height of the Great Depression. Those young men went on to prove everyone wrong and make history.  

Inspired by the non-fiction book “The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown, the movie follows the main character Joe Rantz, played by Turner, a young man attempting to pay his way through college while suffering from the impacts of the Great Depression. 

He is one of many students who are struggling to find employment to fund their education when an opportunity arises. Coach Ulbrickson, played by Edgerton, takes a chance on any young man willing to withstand the lengthy process of trying out for the small crew team.

Turner, a British actor who made a larger name for himself in the Harry Potter prequel series “Fantastic Beasts,” plays the beaten-down Rantz beautifully, telling the true story of a young man who was abandoned by his family around the age of 14. His performance is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, guaranteed to connect with any person who watches it.

While Turner is the main character, the rest of the actors stand out on their own and truly make audiences feel like they are a team. Mulhern, mostly known for his character in the Netflix series “The Society,” played the character Don Hume. A man of few words but a face that portrays his every emotion clearly, Mulhern stole viewers’ hearts by playing the shy, strong character of Hume so elegantly. 

Edgerton plays the seemingly confident Ulbrickson who takes a chance on these young men. He instantly commands respect from the viewers as the man who is pressured by the university to beat their rivals and make it to the Olympics. Edgerton brings not only star status to the movie but also shows his diversity as an actor to stray from his usual roles and play such a leadership role.

The main complaints about the movie have been that it did not include enough of a personal storyline for other characters. While mentions of other characters’ backstories would have been nice, it did not take away the impact of the story itself. When creating a book-to-movie adaptation, it is nearly impossible to include every detail from the book in the film within the average two-hour run time. 

At this time in history, Americans were attempting to survive during the Great Depression and the world was unknowingly on the brink of a second world war. This is a story of hope and success from a team that beat all of the odds stacked against them and gave the United States a glimmer of hope at such a dark time. 

The film brings this underdog story to screens for a larger audience to experience the pure happiness that is the 1936 junior crew team at the University of Washington. 

“The Boys in the Boat” is currently still playing in theaters.

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About the Contributor
Keely Menyhart, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/her

Keely is a junior from Merritt Island, Florida. She is majoring in journalism with a print/web concentration and a minor in advertising. When she is not writing for the Journal, you can find her walking through museums, listening to music or rewatching her favorite shows. You can also find her exploring record stores and obsessing over new music. Keely plans on continuing her work from the Journal after graduating by covering music and entertainment for news publications.

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