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The patriot, common sense media reviewers.
Exciting Revolutionary War tale has graphic battle scenes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The colonists' fight for independence promotes the
Benjamin is portrayed as a reluctant hero who disp
Frequent, explicit, unrelenting battle violence. F
Kissing. Gentle sexual references in a scene depic
Some use of "hell" and "damn."
Wine and whiskey drinking, but not to excess. A ch
Parents need to know that The Patriot stars Mel Gibson as a South Carolina farmer who joins the cause of liberty in the Revolutionary War. While characters demonstrate courage and sacrifice, the movie is extremely, unrelentingly violent, with many graphic battle scenes. A character shoots himself in the head…
The colonists' fight for independence promotes the value of heroism, courage, and sacrifice. Other messages include the importance of standing up for what you believe in and that you can't escape the wrongs you've done in the past. The film has been called out for ignoring the realities of slavery in the American colonies during this period.
Positive Role Models
Benjamin is portrayed as a reluctant hero who displays tremendous courage and bravery when he feels he ultimately has no choice but to fight. His son Gabriel also displays courage and valor in the face of profound loss and cares enough for the cause of liberty to be willing to die for it. The members of the militia led by Benjamin are citizens from all backgrounds who put their lives at risk for what they believe in. A racist man who initially believes that Black men shouldn't be soldiers, much less earn their freedom by serving in the Continental Army, changes his mind when his life is saved due to the bravery of the Black soldier in his militia. That said, the movie essentially ignores the facts of slavery in the American colonies during this time, including that the real person Benjamin's character was based on was an enslaver (as were many of the United States' founders).
Violence & Scariness
Frequent, explicit, unrelenting battle violence. Fighting with muskets, rifles, swords, hatchets. Blood and gore. A solider is decapitated by a cannonball; other soldiers lose limbs from cannonballs. A man shoots himself in the head after finding his wife and child murdered in front of his home. Black characters are shown hanging dead from a tree. A horse is killed when stabbed in its underbelly with the spear of a flagpole. Dozens of characters are burned to death while locked in a church. Injured soldiers' limbs are hacked off by battlefield surgeons. Talk of eating dogs. The lead character discusses the atrocities he committed while a soldier: He hacked dozens of the enemy into little pieces and kept two survivors alive to bring the dismembered remains to their superior officers. Verbal reference to implied rape.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Gentle sexual references in a scene depicting the colonial custom of "bundling bags" for courting couples.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine and whiskey drinking, but not to excess. A character chews tobacco and spits some of it on the floor.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Patriot stars Mel Gibson as a South Carolina farmer who joins the cause of liberty in the Revolutionary War. While characters demonstrate courage and sacrifice, the movie is extremely, unrelentingly violent, with many graphic battle scenes. A character shoots himself in the head after his family is killed. A solider is decapitated by a cannonball; other soldiers lose their limbs to cannonballs. There's blood and gore throughout, as characters fight with muskets, rifles, swords, cannons, and hatchets. Dead Black people are shown hanging from a tree, and dozens of characters are burned to death while locked in a church. The atrocities committed in a past battle are vividly described. Other than the violence, there's some use of words like "hell" and "damn," and characters drink wine and whiskey and use chewing tobacco. Characters kiss, and there are gentle sexual references in a scene depicting the colonial custom of "bundling bags" for courting couples. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
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- Parents say (22)
- Kids say (84)
Based on 22 parent reviews
Not that bad
A not so historically accurate, revolutionary war film., what's the story.
THE PATRIOT stars Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin, a veteran of the British army who was a hero during the French and Indian War. Twenty years later, he has no love for the monarchy but some skepticism about the alternative. He asks, "Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants one mile away?" and says "I haven't got the luxury of principles." More than that, his memories of the atrocities of war -- his own as well as the enemy's -- and his passion for protecting his seven children won't allow him to fight again. But when Benjamin's son is killed by a British soldier, he throws guns to his younger boys, straps several onto himself, and goes off to fight his own personal war, sort of like Robin Hood crossed with the Terminator .
Is It Any Good?
It's not perfect, but this is a very enjoyable popcorn movie, sumptuously and excitingly filmed, and rousingly entertaining. The action sequences play well, and Gibson delivers, as always. He's utterly compelling in The Patriot , whether he's grimly dispatching an enemy, looking tenderly at a tiny daughter who won't speak to him, or agonizing over his past sins. Fellow Aussie Heath Ledger is superb as Benjamin's oldest son Gabriel, at first impatient to join the fight and later a brave and mature soldier and an ardent suitor.
There's a long Hollywood tradition of reluctant heroes being forced into violence, thus giving us the best of both worlds: a hero whose heart is in the right place but whose muscles and gun are, too. So Benjamin has to find a reason to fight. It would have been better if that reason had something to do with liberty and democracy, but instead it's about revenge. (The only heartfelt struggle for independence in the movie is teenage rebellion.) It's worth noting that producing/directing team Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich play fast and loose with historical facts here. Not only is villainous Colonel Tavington so reprehensible that he enjoys burning down a church filled with civilians, but the film in no way acknowledges that the character of Benjamin was inspired by a real-life colonist who hunted Native Americans and kept enslaved people. In fact, while one racist character showily learns the error of his ways after being saved by a Black solider, the film pretty much ignores historical race relations and slavery. So The Patriot may be exciting, but it's definitely not an accurate history lesson.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the history of the American Revolutionary War. How accurate do you think The Patriot is to what actually happened? The movie has been criticized for omitting the fact that the real-life person Benjamin was based on hunted Native Americans and kept enslaved Black people (and for ignoring the realities of slavery during this era). What impact does that have on the way viewers perceive the movie's characters and messages?
Do you think the movie's violence is necessary to convey a sense of the reality of the war? Do different types of media violence have different impact?
How do the characters demonstrate courage ? Why is that an important character strength ?
- In theaters : June 28, 2000
- On DVD or streaming : October 24, 2000
- Cast : Heath Ledger , Joely Richardson , Mel Gibson
- Director : Roland Emmerich
- Studio : Columbia Tristar
- Genre : Action/Adventure
- Topics : History
- Character Strengths : Courage
- Run time : 165 minutes
- MPAA rating : R
- MPAA explanation : strong war violence
- Last updated : July 3, 2023
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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, “the patriot” movie review: navigating fact and fiction in hollywood’s vibrant historical tapestry.
- American Revolution , Film Analysis , Movie Review , Patriotism
How it works
Hey there, movie buffs! Have you ever heard of “The Patriot” from back in 2000? While something coming out of the beginning of this century may seem a bit old school, this movie is still worthy of your attention. Do you want an honest take on it? Let’s dive right in and add a sprinkle of historical accuracy – or the lack thereof – to our mix.
The Setting and Plot? A Classic.
The historical veracity: some hits, many misses.
Okay, let’s address the obvious: “The Patriot” won’t win any prizes for historical accuracy. Even though it is captivating and wonderfully shot, the movie does some fact-checking loose. For starters, while Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson’s character) is a compelling protagonist, he’s a composite of several historical figures, notably Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter. While these men did engage in guerrilla warfare against the British, some of the more dramatic events in Martin’s life, like the burning of a church filled with civilians, are pure Hollywood.
The representation of British soldiers, particularly Colonel Tavington, is another disputed issue. The movie portrays the British as one-dimensional monsters, an oversimplification of complex political and military realities, despite undoubtedly horrific moments on both sides of the battle.
It’s important to note: while the movie mentions slavery, it doesn’t go into great detail on the details of the time, particularly the complex ties between the slaves of color and the American colonists fighting for their freedom.
The Film’s Liberties: An Artistic Interpretation
Movies, at their core, aim to entertain. “The Patriot” is no exception. While it’s rooted in the American Revolution’s backdrop, the filmmakers undoubtedly took artistic liberties to craft a compelling narrative. From exaggerated characters to high-octane battle sequences not rooted in documented events, the film melds fact and fiction to draw viewers into its universe.
While purists wince at these discrepancies, one could argue whether such embellishments serve a purpose. They evoke emotions, catalyze discussions, and pique interest in the actual events of the American Revolution. However, it’s essential to recognize one thing: the artistic rendition, while engaging, needs to be a more exhaustive and entirely accurate representation of history. The movie offers a sliver of the vast American Revolution mosaic.
A Historical Foray Beyond The Silver Screen
Wrapping it up historical lens in hand.
Should you watch “The Patriot”? Heck yeah! But it’s essential to view it with a discerning eye. Appreciate the drama, the performances, and the action, but remember to supplement the movie’s narrative with some personal research.
In a nutshell, “The Patriot” offers a visually stunning, emotionally charged glimpse into a pivotal era. Just ensure you’re equipped with a grain of salt and an understanding that history can be as malleable as putty, especially when passed through Hollywood’s lens. Enjoy the ride, but remember to check the map of historical facts occasionally!
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Review of “The Patriot” Movie
The award-winning 2000’s movie “The Patriot” details a man’s life struggles at the time of the Revolutionary war. While far from being a historically accurate portrayal of the events or a real person’s life, the movie still manages to show the general sentiments of the time and tie them to a personal conflict relatable to audiences. The film has received both wide criticism and recognition for its plot, characters, cinematography, and soundtrack. This analysis will focus on recounting the events of the film and highlighting some of its interesting aspects.
To better address the peculiarities of the movie, it is appropriate to discuss the plot first. Set during the Revolutionary War of the 1770-1780s, the story follows Benjamin Martin, a war veteran and a single father raising his 7 children. Living a humble life in South Carolina, he does not own slaves and works in carpentry, fashioning rocking chairs. His two eldest sons have a strong desire to enlist in the military and join the war effort. While Benjamin strongly objects, knowing the horrors of war from personal experience, he is unable to stop the oldest, Gabriel, from joining the continental army. After two years, Gabriel returns to the Martin household amidst fighting and gunfire. It is soon discovered that he and the rest of the soldiers are wounded, with Benjamin taking care of both sides. With the arrival of the British Colonel William Tavington, however, the fragile peace is broken and Benjamin’s house is burned down. With one of his sons taken away and the other mercilessly murdered on the spot, Martin takes decisive action for the sake of protecting his family and vengeance. Freeing Gabriel from captivity during a surprise attack, the main hero and his son join the Continental effort once again.
Working with the other members of the army, Benjamin recruits more people into the military using their shared distaste for the King of England. Their general goal is to disrupt the plans of General Charles Cornwallis while the French reinforcements are on their way. The rag-tag militia is slowly formed, destroying the British supply lines and harassing convoys. Sabotaging the General’s plans and taking possession of his prized dogs, Benjamin and his comrades manage to stall the British army’s progression considerably. In the less action-filled moments of the film, it also explores a romantic subplot between Martin’s son, Gabriel, and Anne, his childhood friend. The two briefly meet after a long period and start to warm up to each other. During the subsequent operation to ambush a supply train, the heroes are tricked by the hidden British soldiers. Unprepared to deal with such large numbers and the approaching cavalry, Benjamin orders the men to retreat. Many are injured, killed, or captured in the process, but the main protagonist and Gabriel manage to escape. Benjamin, knowing that his captured comrades are soon to be executed, strikes a deal with General Cornwallis to release them in exchange for his favorite dogs. With a bit of deception, Benjamin frees his men and successfully regroups. In response to the main hero’s actions, the General authorizes the use of harsh intimidation tactics for Colonel Tavington, leading to the destruction of Charlette’s plantation. After another romantic interlude between Gabriel and Anne, where they get married, Benjamin’s militia moves on. Anne and her family find out that the town they live in has been taken under control by the British, who force all the residents into a church and light it on fire. Learning of the trouble, Benjamin and everyone else also arrives at the town, finding dead bodies in the streets and the burned-down church.
Enraged after finding out about his new wife’s death, Gabriel rushes off with a few of his men. During a tense encounter with Colonel Tavington, he is stabbed with a saber and slowly bleeds out in his father’s arms. After a period of doubt and grieving, Benjamin rejoins the militia to take vengeance on the man during the decisive battle at Cowpens. Managing to stab Tavington through the gut and neck, Martin finally avenges both his sons. The battle ends with the British Army’s retreat, and the ending narration informs the audience that their side has lost the war later that year. Benjamin finally returns to his family and works to build his house back up.
Now that the plot has been summarized, it is time to take a deeper look into some of the interesting aspects of the movie. Firstly, it is interesting to explore how the events of the film are significant to that period of Colonial History. The story takes place during the time of uncertainty, the revolutionary war between the soon-to-be America and Britain. This was a period where many people united under the same cause to stand for the values they held dear, to protect the people they loved, and to reject the control of the Empire. While the colonies were not a singular entity, conflicts with the British served as a unifying factor for many and were fueled by the principles of freedom and personhood that characterized the early American colonizers. The film highlights both the individual efforts of people during the time of war and the unique motivations driving the characters to fight. Many of them, including the main character, do not participate out of a sense of duty or a higher cause, but just want to help their families or achieve various personal goals. Benjamin first starts his operations as a “Ghost” to free his son, which then transitions to a desire to help Gabriel in the fight against the British, culminating in a revenge-driven murder of Tavington. His motivations are wholly separated from the notions of duty or patriotism, only coincidentally aligning with the war effort. This shows the audience that soldiers are not just faceless killing machines holding the same beliefs as their leaders, but complex people with their own struggles and concerns. The film also shows relationships between various groups of people. For example, the relations between the American people and Colonel Tavington. While being an opposing force’s commander, Tavington enjoys killing American soldiers, cold-heartedly murdering the main hero’s son without a second thought. He generally behaves in an arrogant manner, partially enabled by his high military status, exuding the aura of strong confidence. Tavington, being of a high position compared to other soldiers and civilians, acts boldly and charges into battle with little regard for his comrades, much less innocent civilians. His status and personality give the man the opportunity to oppress, mock, and kill others. The topic of racial groups also gets brought up in this movie, with the character of Occam, a former slave, being one of the supporting cast. The opinions about black people from the characters are different, with the main hero being openly in favor of freeing slaves, and some of his comrades being opposed to it. The movie displays mixed opinions on the subject from the people of that time period. Generally speaking, the movie does a good job of portraying this period of American history as an uncertain and turbulent time. With many people fighting for ideals they may not hold, risking their lives, some questioning their affiliations with either side, these years in colonial history were a signal of rapid change that would lead to the formation of the United States of America.
Further examining one of the exchanges between Dan Scott and Occam leads the audience into a surprising realization about the nature of war and conflict. Occam, a back man, joined the military with the promise of freedom from slavery after serving for a year. Despite having no obligations after that period has passed, the man continues to fight with the others against the British forces. Dan Scott, a racist villager who also joins the war effort, consistently shows disgust at Occam and scoffs at him for not being able to read. Throughout the majority of his on-screen presence, he is portrayed as an unlikeable character, being against black people being freed for serving in the military. Before the decisive battle, however, he finally shows respect towards Occam and attempts to mend his ways, saying that he is honored to fight alongside him. This sudden change in characterization can be jarring to the viewer, and feel out of place. Reading into it, however, one can understand why Dan’s attitudes have shifted. During his time serving alongside a black man, Dan could see him as a fellow human, a person all-too-similar to his other comrades and somewhat bond during the stressful time of war. The fact that Occam stayed and fought in the military after his term has passed, similarly, has been interpreted as a gesture of devotion and patriotism, making Dan gain respect for the man.
The film ends on a hopeful note, with the last lines of the movie being said by the main character. His wish is that the lives and efforts of many that fought alongside him lead to a formation of a better country, a better place for people like himself. He, like many others, personally understands the struggles of war, having killed innocent people in the past and losing two of his children in the Revolutionary war. Benjamin does not take part in the war for a higher cause, he wants to keep the things he cherishes safe and retaliate against those that threaten his way of life. The man sympathizes with the struggles of ordinary people and wants to rebuild his home that was destroyed in the conflict. His last line can be interpreted to mean that the man hopes that the work and sacrifice of other Americans were not in vain, and some lesion can be learned from this war. That the people in the positions of power will be able to recognize and cherish the values of a common man, creating a new nation honoring the wishes of those that died for it.
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Home — Essay Samples — Entertainment — The Patriot — Roland Emmerich’s ‘The Patriot’: A Summary and Review
Roland Emmerich's 'The Patriot': a Summary and Review
- Categories: Movie Summary The Patriot
About this sample
"The Patriot" is a captivating portrayal of the American Revolutionary Wars, with a focus on Benjamin Martin, a principled farmer and former French/Indian War Hero, who initially opposes the war between Britain and the Colonies. As tensions rise, Benjamin's eldest son, Gabriel, joins the colonial military, leading to discord within the family.
The film paints a vivid picture of the British's mistreatment of the Colonists and their struggle for independence. When tragedy strikes, with Gabriel's capture and the death of another son, Thomas, Benjamin embarks on a relentless pursuit of revenge, earning him the nickname "The Ghost" for his ruthless tactics against British officers.
Benjamin eventually assembles a militia, learning military tactics from a French Ambassador and emphasizing the importance of adhering to the Code of War. The film climaxes with a dramatic battle that combines elements of the Battle of Cowpens and Yorktown, resulting in American victory and Britain's surrender.
Overall, the film provides a compelling glimpse into the American Revolutionary War and the quest for independence.
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- User reviews
Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.
- Roland Emmerich
- Robert Rodat
- Heath Ledger
- Joely Richardson
- 1.2K User reviews
- 178 Critic reviews
- 63 Metascore
- See production info at IMDbPro
- 9 wins & 23 nominations total
- Benjamin Martin
- Gabriel Martin
- Charlotte Selton
- Col. William Tavington
- Col. Harry Burwell
- Jean Villeneuve
- Reverend Oliver
- Anne Howard
- Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis
- John Billings
- Capt. Wilkins
- Peter Howard
- Thomas Martin
- Margaret Martin
- Susan Martin
- Nathan Martin
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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Colonel William Tavington : Kill me before the war is over, will you? It appears that you are not the better man.
Benjamin Martin : You're right. My sons were better men.
- Alternate versions In the extended edition, Benjamin Martin's youngest children get their first taste of the horrors of war prior to the death of Thomas. This comes just before the evening when Gabriel stumbles home after being wounded in a nearby battle. Something (the viewer is unaware) catches the attention of the Martin children and they stride over to a nearby creek/river to investigate. What they discover are the bodies of several soldiers floating downstream. Martin then comes over and ushers the children back into the house.
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- June 28, 2000 (United States)
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- Nhà Ái Quốc
- Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA (Revolutionary War Re-enactment battles)
- Columbia Pictures
- Centropolis Entertainment
- Mutual Film Company
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- $110,000,000 (estimated)
- Jul 2, 2000
- Runtime 2 hours 45 minutes
- Dolby Digital
- Dolby Atmos
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In 'Next Goal Wins,' former local resident Thomas Rongen offers lessons about soccer, life
Whatever else might be said about former Sewall's Point resident Thomas Rongen , he's not afraid of taking on a challenge.
After all, he agreed to coach the American Samoa men's national soccer team at a time when the South Pacific island was notorious for its futility in that sport.
Then again, if you believe one of the hilarious trailers for " Next Goal Wins ," a movie from Searchlight Pictures due out in theaters Nov. 17, Rongen might not have had much of a choice.
American Samoa or unemployment line
After being fired as coach of the U.S. under-20 team, Rongen was given the option of unemployment ... or coaching a team that had never won a World Cup qualifying match and had experienced the worst defeat in the event's history , 31-0, at the feet of Australia in 2001.
The Dutch-born Rongen took the assignment, even though he admitted to knowing next to nothing about American Samoa.
"I didn't know where it was," he told me in an interview a few weeks ago.
Even though his initial reaction to the job offer was incredulous ("Are you serious?" the actor portraying him in the movie says), Rongen saw the potential to make something positive of the experience.
"It's a unique and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Rongen said in a 2011 interview with TCPalm prior to his stint with the team. "If you look in your own particular profession, coaching a senior national team is once-in-a-lifetime. Actually being a head coach in qualifying games to get to Brazil (site of the 2014 World Cup) is pretty special."
Building bridges across the Pacific
It was a bit of culture shock, on more than one level. In addition to coaching the U.S. under-20 team, Rongen had previously coached four Major League Soccer teams. He led one of them, D.C. United , to the MLS Cup in 1999.
While rugby and American football were popular in American Samoa, Rongen told me there was little interest in soccer. The island is small, with high rates of poverty, obesity and alcoholism.
"There aren't too many ways out," said Rongen, who now works as a color commentator for the Inter Miami MLS team.
Trying to bridge the cultural gap between Rongen and his players took a lot of work. For example, the coach went to church with his players "to show that I cared" even though he wasn't particularly religious himself.
"From a human standpoint, that was huge," Rongen said.
There were other mountains, literal and metaphorical, to overcome. To serve as the team's goalkeeper, Rongen turned to Nicky Salapu, who had been in goal during the team's infamous loss to Australia.
Salapu was working in Seattle as a lineman for AT&T when Rongen approached him about returning to the team. For Salapu, it was a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his son, who held him in low regard following the Australia loss.
"There were some real scars," Rongen recounted.
The team had other colorful characters, including Jaiyah Saelua, a transgender athlete who was transitioning to womanhood while she was playing. (When I asked Rongen how he thought that part of the movie was going to play in Florida's current political climate, he offered only a wry chuckle.)
To help inspire the team, Rongen took players to Matafeo Peak, site of a famous military battle where American Samoa had repelled an invasion by Tonga.
'Ted Lasso' meets 'Cool Runnings'
Coincidentally or not, Tonga was the team American Samoa needed to beat to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. No spoilers here, but Rongen says he's hoping everyone in the audience will cheer when the winning goal is scored in the movie.
For his part, Rongen seemed pretty stoked about the movie when I spoke with him. He described the film as "like ' Ted Lasso ' meets ' Cool Runnings '." Rongen is portrayed in the movie by Michael Fassbender , whose previous film credits include " 12 Years a Slave " and " Inglourious Basterds ."
"It's one of those bad-ass moments when you find out who would play you in the movie," Rongen quipped.
Rongen lived in Sewall's Point from 2006 to 2013, which coincided with the time he spent coaching American Samoa.
While he lived in the area, he lent his coaching expertise to local youth teams, including FC Florida and Treasure Coast United , as well as The Pine School .
Kelly Hilton-Green, assistant head of school at The Pine School, said Rongen helped build a foundation for soccer success there, which has led to the boys' team winning back-to-back state titles.
"As a small school does, you take the help where you can get it," said Hilton-Green, head coach of the school's girls' team. "He (Rongen) was incredibly knowledgeable and had a way of passing that knowledge on to the kids."
Hilton-Green said he's planning to take his team to see the movie when it comes out.
"It's a great underdog story, which is what we have been for a while," Hilton-Green said.
A commanding presence on the sidelines
Tom Power, director of coaching for FC Florida, said Rongen was very enthusiastic and had a way of commanding attention with a loud whistle and a booming voice.
"He just had the kind of voice where people would stop and listen to what he had to say," Power said.
Paul Gibbons, former director of coaching for Treasure Coast United, echoed comments about Rongen's enthusiasm, and noted the coach's reluctance to accept mediocrity.
"He wouldn't suffer fools," Gibbons said. "He separated the wheat from the chaff. It was appreciated, if not at the time."
Which made me wonder how Rongen handled dealing with American Samoan players who weren't considered world class.
"He leaned on me a little bit," Gibbons said. "He asked, 'How do you deal with kids who can't kick the ball?' "
Gibbons' advice was straightforward: "Be yourself. Tell it like it is."
Gibbons said it was always easy to be completely honest with Rongen, because he's the type who's completely honest with others.
"He was a big inspiration to me," Gibbons said. "He still is. He's just a great guy. You don't meet many Thomas Rongens in life."
Handling a fictionalized version of reality
Although Rongen is a serious-minded coach, the movie will play him for a lot of laughs, if one of the trailers is any indication. As ABBA's hit song " Take a Chance on Me " plays in the background, the trailer alternately depicts Rongen slinging back drinks and slinging around chairs and coolers on the sidelines as he copes with the frustrations of working in a place where he's regarded as "a little lost white kid" at the mall who needs directions on how to get home.
I asked Gibbons how his old friend might feel about being portrayed in such a fashion.
Gibbons said the coaching stint was a learning experience for Rongen as much as it was for the American Samoan players.
"He became more empathetic," Gibbons said.
But can he handle being the butt of a few jokes?
"He doesn't have much choice, does he?" Gibbons replied.
This column reflects the opinion of Blake Fontenay . Contact him via email at [email protected] or at 772-232-5424.