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True Blue [DVD]

29 customer reviews

Price: £3.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Johan Leysen, Dominic West, Josh Lucas, Dylan Baker, Geraldine Somerville
  • Directors: Ferdinand Fairfax
  • Writers: Rupert Walters, Daniel Topolski, Patrick Robinson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2008
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015N2YPK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,431 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Based on the true story of the 1987 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. Following the previous year's defeat by Cambridge, American Oxford student Rick Ross and Brit Donald Macdonald vow revenge. Oxford coach Daniel Topolski initiates a harsh training schedule for the team, only to face a rebellion from the American students. Topolski is ready to resign, but stays on after an appeal from Macdonald.

From Amazon.co.uk

On one level, True Blue is a distillation of the brutal physicality and unique focus demanded of participants in the annual University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. Based on legendary oarsman and Oxford coach Dan Topolksi's book about the 1987 race, it is also a tale of revenge; dominant Oxford had been defeated the year before and wanted the title back. More than that, though, it is a story of sporting obsession and the Machiavellian resources required to last the course in an event shrouded in ritual. When a clutch of lantern-jawed American international rowers muscle in on the Oxford team and threaten, quite literally, to rock the boat with their disregard for any of the tradition surrounding the race or Topolski's coaching methods, the fragile concept of team spirit is splintered.

Ferdinand Fairfax's film, full of fine performances, builds the tension through a series of confrontations and a constantly shifting balance of power over the year leading up to the race. The intuitive relationship between the besieged Topolski (the excellent Johan Leysen) and the President of the College Captains, Donald McDonald (the quietly impassioned Dominic West) is particularly well drawn. With more than a hint of Chariots of Fire, not least in the Vangelis-like soundtrack, this is a moving and beautifully observed film about sporting passion.

On the DVD: True Blue is presented in widescreen with a 16:9 anamorphic video aspect ratio that makes excellent use of the sweeping vistas of the Thames for the racing and training scenes which dominate the film. Stanislas Syrewicz's brooding score underpins the action at every stage and, thanks to the quality of the Dolby Surround soundtrack, helps to bring an appropriately epic, theatrical feel to your home viewing. --Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Oct. 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This film is not just for rowers, or fans of rowing! It depicts the relationships, occurrences, troubles and strains the Oxford crew underwent during their arduous preparation for the Boat Race. Although clearly made for a more global market, rather than *just* those more familiar with the race, this an excellent dramatisation of the book by Dan Topolski. All the problems and difficulties experienced by all boat crews and International rowers are shown and explored with the traditional, historic and amazing background of Oxford and the Boat Race. It is an athletes race, but one very much affected by human interaction. This film explores this problematic aspect of sport. There is a focus on a couple of key characters, but no claustrophobic concentration on them. This is not just for rowers, but is of interest to anyone who enjoys a good drama - even if they remember the race and know how it ends! A very good dramatisation and an uplifting film.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adam Thornton on 19 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
All I could think adout was Chariots of Fire while watching this film. Perhaps is was just my imagination. Did the director say to the score composer "think 'Chariots...'?"
The acting is good and it's always great to see the most beautiful sport on film.
It's in the nature of many rowers to scrutinise anothers technique from the bank as they row past and as an ex-rower it's impossible not to see that most of the actors, although doing a fine job on the water, are not rowers which does detract from the believability somewhat. But then, no-one said rowing was easy. All in all a good film. I would recommend it, especially before race-day, though do read the original book by Dan Topolski.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Aug. 2004
Format: DVD
I first watched this film as part of an VIII crew on the eve of Henley Royal Regatta and I still get pumped up watching it now (as a 'slightly' more weighty non-rower).
The action sequences are well shot in picturesque locations around the Thames Valley, and the close-ups do show that some work was done with the actors to actually learn (albeit very basically) the rowing technique - to add an aspect of reality that could easily have been missed out.
The film is constantly accompanied by an extremely cheesy score, but this adds to the film and definitely works with the climax during the race itself.
All in all a very entertaining film - it's great that one has been released about the sport of rowing.
One to watch before taking part in any competition.
Must rank up there with the Rocky films as a classic underdogs-overcome-adversity epic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ALbert on 14 May 2013
Format: DVD
The great thing about this film is that it isnt a holyywood epic and whilst their may be a bit of license it, IMHO, does capture the tension and the feelings of the time. This was a low budget film that contained people who have gone on to be great actors such as Dominic West, Tom Hollander et al. I left Oxford the year before, but knew some of the characters and Dan was and is a rowing legend, so the book carries his view, albeit I don't think its that biased. Having captained a boat club, all oarsmen can be prima donnas, the training drives you to that - so tensions are always there. It also shows -certainly in those days, that wanting to win really could be the difference between success and failure. It is a good movie, well acted. Oh and for older oarsmen the sight of those beautiful sutton wooden blades....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FreddieG on 18 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
I don't want to write too much as it will simply dilute the value of my comment - True Blue is a great film. For anyone who has even been close to water, let alone been an oarsman or coxswain, this is a complete must. It makes you feel good, it's inspiring and it's utterly cool. Buy it now, you will not regret it.
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By CazzieJ on 31 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My sixteen year old daughter who rows and is completely mad about her sport asked for a copy of this DVD for her birthday. I sat and watched it with her the whole way through and although not a rower myself found it to be a really good watchable film about the Oxford and Cambridge 1987 boatrace. It doesnt matter if you know who won that boatrace it is about the drama leading up to the very day itself, the physical and mental pains and the struggle between the coach and the oarsmen to dictate who should have a seat and where. I would watch it again quite happily. A plus for us was that one of the rowers in the film used as extras was coached by my husband during the 1980s!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "wiseowlofcambridge" on 23 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
This is one of my favourite films despite the fact that I'm not a rower and I have lived in Cambridge all my life where I am now a student at that university! The emphasis is completely one-sided towards the other place but that is the point: this race is war, there is no second place. The leading characters are all well acted: Dominic West manages to secure all your sympathy as the beleagured and wronged president of the boat club, and Josh Lucas is the perfect manipulative villain of the peace. Don't worry if you can't tell one end of a boat from another you really don't need to be able to, as everything is simplified enough for a large market, none the less this remains a very good drama that has been all too often overlooked. There is a balanced combination of the physical pain that these rowers have to go through to be the best and the human emotional tension of sacrifice and justice just to get to the race day itself.
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