Is the Boys in the Boat Based on a True Story?

George Clooney has returned to direct his latest film, The Boys in the Boat, which opens in UK cinemas this week.

The film, like his 2008 film Leatherheads, is about a sporting underdog; however, unlike the previous film, which told a largely fictional story, the new one is based on the true heroics of the University of Washington rowing team, who won gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics at the height of the Great Depression.

The film's script, written by Mark L Smith, is based on Daniel James Brown's 2013 nonfiction novel of the same name, which was subtitled Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Joel Edgerton and Callum Turner play coach Al Ulbrickson and team member Joe Rantz.

But how closely does the film follow true events? Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Is “The Boys in the Boat” based on a true story?

Yes. George Clooney's latest film, The Boys in the Boat, is based on a true incident first told in Daniel James Brown's 2013 book of the same name.

In the original book, the action centers on Joe Rantz, who is played by Callum Turner in the film. Rantz, according to Brown, grew up in a little hamlet outside Seattle in an impoverished household. His mother died of lung cancer when he was four, and his father eventually abandoned him.

Is the Boys in the Boat Based on a True Story?

Though the book goes into further depth about his background, from living with his aunt to a stepmother who openly despised him, the Boys in the Boat film emphasizes that Rantz had to hunt, fish, and care for himself at the age of 15, living in an abandoned automobile.

Rantz sought a job while studying in Washington and discovered that a wage was available through the school's rowing team if he qualified.

Both the novel and the film chronicle Rantz's path and those of the seven other young men who made the team and were coached by Al Ulbrickson (Joel Edgerton).

The squad grows from strength to strength, winning national championships on their way to competing in the 1936 Olympics under Adolf Hitler's rule.

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Rantz married his first love, Joyce Simdars, after the Olympics, and the couple remained together for the rest of their lives. After studying chemical engineering, he graduated in 1939 and spent 35 years working for the Boeing Corporation.

By the time Daniel James Brown met Rantz, seven rowing team members had died. Rantz died shortly after in 2007, and his daughter Judy assisted Brown in telling his narrative through recorded cassettes she had preserved over the years.

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