The documentary that is based on the book The Boys in the Boat is called The Boys of ’36. It had some great insights that were not in the book. If you read and loved The Boys in the Boat, I highly recommend the documentary. It brought the book to life. Actually seeing the beauty of rowing that the book talked about so much was something else.
For some reason, I didn’t realize that each person only rowed on one side! I thought they each had two oars!!
The documentary is not complete without reading the book. The olympic races are much more detailed and exciting in the book. Don’t think that if you’ve read the book, the documentary will be boring. It’s not. And don’t think that the documentary covers everything in the book. Not even close. I think the book and movie compliment each other perfectly.
Here’s some of the specific things that stood out to me that were not in the book.
- Joe’s little brother said, “What about Joe?” as they abandoned him.
- They had no scholarships. They had to work part time to support their rowing.
- Joe didn’t really want to go to college until Al Ulbrickson asked him to row.
- A lot of the boys did the rowing for the food which could be hard to come by.
- Don Hume had damaged lungs as a kid.
- Discusses the breakdown of trust and blame with the coach.