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'American Experience: The Boys Of '36'
(DVD / NR / 2016 / PBS)

Overview: In 1936, nine working class boys from the University of Washington took the rowing world and the nation by storm, when their eight-oar crew team captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Berlin. This is their incredible story.

DVD Verdict: As you can well imagine, 'American Experience: The Boys Of '36' is a very inspiring story. Well presented and highly recommended, these sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers, overcame tremendous hardships--psychological, physical, economic--to beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast, but Adolf Hitler's elite German rowers.

Taken from the incredible book, "The Boys In The Boat", the film, much like the book, tells the story of the men who came from the poverty of the 30's and the work they did to get on the team, stay on the team, and their lives were not easy. This team was laughed at by the east coast rowers and they thought the UW team never had a chance.

This documentary deals with many issues these men worked through. And going to the '36 Olympics was an amazing thing for these men. Also the book gave the background of what Hitler was doing in Germany in preparation for the games. That was also rather fascinating, but there isn't enough time to tel the whole story in a 60 documentary, in truth. That said, the boy's unexpected victory, and the obstacles they overcame to achieve it, inspired a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Depression.

'The Boys of '36' recounts their remarkable journey and I highly recommend both the book and this film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.