The Boys in the Boat

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The #1 New York Times-bestselling The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown chronicles the true story of Joe Rantz and his working-class teammates on the University of Washington rowing crew who, against all odds, competed for the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The book was recently made into a movie of the same name, directed by George Clooney, who co-produced the movie with long-time collaborator Grant Heslov.

Amazon MGM Studios is distributing the movie, and this week held a pre-release screening at the SIFF Theater in downtown Seattle. Attendees on the red carpet (it was actually black), include Clooney, his wife Amal Clooney, Heslov, Brown, Joe Rantz’s daughter Judy Rantz Willman and her husband Ray Willman, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee and his wife Trudy Inslee. Also in attendance were numerous members of the Amazon MGM Studios and Amazon leadership teams, including Amazon CEO Andy Jassy and his wife Elana Jassy.

When you are lucky enough to have the book author and the movie producers in attendance, the experience is not about the theater. But the newly-opened SIFF Theater is remarkably comfortable, has an amazing sound system, and it was really enjoyable to lean back with a drink in the wide, comfortable seats and take in the show.

The movie took a very good story, effectively selecting the elements that could fit into a two-hour film while still relating the events with detail and excitement. We found the movie tremendously engaging and, even knowing the outcome, still found it compelling to the end.

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4 comments on “The Boys in the Boat
  1. Dan Dowell says:

    Dear Jennifer & James, Thank you for posting this and the insights as to what the new SIFF Cinema is like. What a perfect movie to be opening there! Happy Holidays!

  2. John Worl says:

    James and Jennifer – how great to get to go to the first showing of this great story! A heart warming addendum to the Seattle opening was the viewing that was put together through the efforts of some Sequim High School students. The reason for the showing in Sequim (actually in the Deer Park cinemas) was to support fund raising for the future Joe Rantz Home for high schoolers that are most often (I understand) who are without a real home. These are the kids of today who are in the same boat (pardon the pun) as Joe Rantz was back in the 30s.

    • Great to hear from you John. It is such an amazing story, and we really enjoyed the movie. Some Sequim high school students attended the screening that we were at as well. It’s great to see the students taking the initiative on issues like this and we hope their fundraising efforts are successful.


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