Race (2016) Movie Script

Mornin'. Anybody
see my shirt?
Mama, you seen my shirt?
It's where you put it last.
- Anyone?
- No.
I got your shirt right here.
Hand it over.
Here you go.
Cut it out, Quincy.
It's my only shirt.
Come on now.
What's the matter?
You too fancy for us now, college boy?
what's that supposed to mean?
I've always paid my way.
You know I send what I can.
Bye, Mama.
Mama, what are you doing?
First boy of mine to go to college
is gonna look respectable.
You like it?
Ma, we can't afford this.
Try it on.
Mama, it's Ohio State.
It's not Sunday school.
Thought I was gonna lose
you at five years old.
Now look at you.
I knew when I cut that lump out of you,
you were born for great things.
God spared you for a reason.
You look handsome.
A man has to present
an image to the world.
You remember that,
James Cleveland Owens.
Yes, Mama. Thank you.
Thank you, Mama.
Bye, Laverne.
Is Dad coming downstairs today?
I hope so.
He knows you're leaving.
So long, Pa.
Things are gonna
turn around, Pa.
You'll see.
That's Ohio State's Ken Seitz in the dust.
It's Charlie Parsons
and Foy Draper
from the University
of Southern California.
And another poor
showing for Ohio State.
Good race.
Hey, there's the coach.
What's up, Dean?
How many is that now?
Sorry, Coach.
This time I really thought I had 'em beat.
Yeah, well,
that's probably why you didn't, then.
That makes it three straight losses
for Larry Snyder and Ohio State.
After two years
without a national win,
you've gotta wonder
if the Buckeyes made a mistake
bringing Snyder back to coach
at his old alma mater.
He was a hell of
an athlete in his time,
but that doesn't
make you a great coach.
If I was Larry Snyder right now,
I'd be worried
about keeping my job.
Here's a man who's no
stranger to winning,
USC coach, Dean Cromwell.
With four Olympic gold
medalists to his credit,
it's no wonder they call him
"the maker of champions."
Thanks for making the time,
Mr. Cromwell.
- It's a pleasure.
- Call me Dean...
No. Please,
switch it back on.
Why? So we can
watch you sit around
all afternoon feeling
sorry for yourself?
How do you know
what I have scheduled?
I know the schedule.
Fresh blood.
Hi. How are y'all doing?
I'm Dave.
Fine weather we're having, isn't it?
Y'all so sophisticated.
Dave, would you quit bothering
every girl you see?
I'm not bothering them none.
They never met a college man before.
They're impressed.
Yeah, well,
you ain't a college man yet.
All right, so,
come on. Let's go.
All right, give me 10 minutes.
Take a cold shower or something.
Can you grab that comb for me in the back?
Gloria. Gloria.
Come here, sweetie.
Give me a moment.
Come to Daddy.
I'm working, Jesse.
You can't come here when I'm working.
You just try and keep me away.
See, that's the kind of talk got
us in trouble to begin with.
Get out of here, you big dope.
Go on, get.
Money's gonna be a little
tight from now on.
Till then,
take this.
I'll send more as
soon as I find work.
You should put some
aside for the wedding.
Are you finally gonna marry me,
Jesse Owens?
Gotta do it right.
Hi. How you doing?
See that,
that way that colored pushed me?
How you doing?
Put a Negro in a suit...
Hurry up, shorty!
I wanna get there
before we graduate.
Good games...
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Now, where do you
boys think you're going?
Just using the showers.
Not until we're through,
you're not.
You niggers can wait your turn.
Yeah. Can you
believe they let these
jiggaboos share
our locker room now?
Let's get outta here.
They won't ever play football.
No, sir.
OSU, what?
OSU, what?
Kick that cracker's
ass is what I should do.
Sounds like a great idea.
Get us thrown outta here
before our bags are unpacked.
Dave, this is our shot.
All right?
Don't blow it.
Hey, Owens.
Coach wants to see you.
Now. Let's go!
Let's go!
What am I supposed to do,
kiss his ass after I wipe it for him?
No, sir.
Look, you just
smile and play nice.
Run every last one of these
peckerwoods off their feet.
That's some outfit.
What's this,
a pickaninny parade?
Slow down, boy!
Well, look at this.
Peggy, who do we have here?
Coach Snyder, I'm Jesse Owens.
Nice jacket.
Think I had the same one
back in Sunday school.
Coming in, or what?
Shut the door.
You can sit down.
Charlie Riley says you can run.
Yes, sir.
Well, says you're a natural,
best he's ever seen.
Well, I guess.
Me personally,
I don't trust naturals,
'cause they think
they don't have to work.
I will say,
you can run.
And, boy, boy, you can jump.
What I wanna know is,
can you win?
And what I mean by
that is, can you work?
You know, your mama might've
taught you how to dress right,
but she sure as hell didn't teach
you anything about manners.
You should look a man in the
eye when he's speaking to you.
Can you work?
I was picking 100 pounds of
cotton a day at six years old.
You ever pick cotton?
The way it cuts you when you,
when you get it off the boll?
Yes, sir, I can work.
Coach Riley's a smart man.
But I was watching you out there today,
I'll tell you this.
Your start's no good,
your rhythm's off and your posture's lousy.
But we can fix all that.
That's easy.
But if you wanna win, it takes more
than a pair of legs, all right?
You win up here.
And that's the part I don't know about
you yet. I don't know if you got that.
I ran 100 yards last year
in Chicago in 9.4.
I mean, it's the same as Wykoff.
It's a world record.
Records don't mean shit!
You know what matters?
Some kid come out of nowhere,
snatch your record from you like that.
But a gold medal?
That's yours for life.
Is that you?
It's the US Olympic team,
Paris games, '24.
Go ahead, take a look.
That's me on the right,
next to Charley Paddock.
You, you went to Paris in
'24 with Charley Paddock?
Well, why not?
You wanna win a gold medal?
Well, sure.
You wanna do it in Berlin?
Well, I mean,
unless you were planning on waiting.
You know, I...
I heard they don't care much
for colored folk over there.
Well, they don't care for
'em much here in Columbus either.
Is that gonna be a problem?
No, sir.
I just came here to run.
Well, then,
for the next 28 months,
you're either in a classroom
or you're on that track,
every hour, every day.
And I don't care about your grades.
I really don't.
And I don't care if your buddies
have a keg they need help with.
And I certainly don't care
if you got a girl at home
rolling down her silk stockings
with that look in her eye.
You belong to me.
Do we have an understanding?
Yes, sir.
All right, well, go home and get some rest.
9:00 a.m. tomorrow,
we'll see how good you really are.
Why'd you come here?
I mean, after the noise
you made in Chicago,
hell, you could've
gone anywhere you wanted.
You know, maybe
someplace a little
more progressive.
Yeah, well...
Mr. Riley said
you were the best.
Another one?
Well, the joke on the board is,
they're thinking of renaming us the
"Model T State."
Any color you want,
so long as it's black.
Yeah, well, maybe if
you and Coach Schmidt
let 'em play football, they wouldn't
all choose track and field?
Ready when you are.
Okay, Coach.
Let's see what we got here.
Ready, go!
I don't know why you look so impressed.
This was a second slower
than Wykoff's record.
Frank Wykoff runs
100 yards in 9.4.
Kid just ran 100 meters.
Well, Lynn, you know that meters
are longer than yards, yeah?
There a problem, Coach?
No. No, Jesse.
No problem at all..
You want me to do it again?
Yeah. That'd be great.
Watch your start.
He works on his start,
you're looking
at a 1936 gold
medalist right there.
That is, if they
have a '36 Olympics.
We won't go to Berlin, Brundage!
Get your hands off me!
Americans can't
take part in these games!
Okay, we're here.
Take a seat, Avery.
What's this I'm hearing
about a boycott?
Nothing's been decided yet,
but we're hearing some pretty
ugly reports out of Germany.
they're rounding up Romany Gypsies...
Jewish property.
They're using the sports clubs to
exclude Jewish athletes from trials.
They're putting up two women,
Mayer and Bergmann, both Jewish.
As a token gesture.
Well, maybe the rest
weren't good enough.
Excuse me?
Is this really the point here?
It is not the purpose
of the Amateur Athletics Union
or the American
Olympic Committee
or the International
Olympic Committee
to tell Germans how to
govern their affairs.
So you think we
should just sit back
and take their word that
they're going to play fair?
I'm saying politics
has no place in sport.
The AAU already accepted
the invitation to compete.
You wanna go back on your word?
If they go back on theirs.
There's a lot of hateful
literature coming out of there,
and it is not only
against the Jews.
Now they're saying they don't
want Negroes to compete.
Krauts got kicked in
the balls 20 years ago,
and they're still
catching their breath.
They need these games.
Show they're back on their feet.
Why would they
risk us pulling out?
Maybe they don't
think we have the nerve.
We have had every assurance
they will not discriminate.
And you trust
the word of a Nazi?
I've never met a Nazi.
Have you?
Come to think of it,
when was the last time
you played 18 holes
with a Jew or a Negro?
Come on.
The situation here is hardly comparable.
It's not?
You want to pull out of the greatest
sporting event in the world
because of a few rumors.
It's been a tough
few years here, too.
The American
people need champions
to remind them what
they're capable of.
I'm surprised you can still
see the American people
from all the way up there
in your skyscraper.
Screw you, Mahoney.
These games have
to be inclusive.
If I'm not satisfied
that the Nazis are going to
make good on their promises,
I have no alternative
but to recommend
a vote to boycott.
You can't do that. You can't do that.
You can't do that.
No, but I can urge each athlete
to search their conscience,
and I know a lot of
people on the American
and the International Committees
who feel the way I do.
But that's politics, that's not sport.
We'll send someone
over there to find out.
Keep them in line.
Who do you have in mind?
I propose Avery.
I'm a builder.
Don't you have some
tame diplomat for that?
I think you're
just the diplomat we need.
Gather around.
Okay, we got some new exercises.
You're gonna think I'm nuts,
but we're gonna do 'em anyway.
First, we're gonna start off
with high knees, like that.
You got to lift those legs.
And we're gonna work
on your syncopation.
A lot people think a shorter
stride makes you slower.
Well, a lot of people are wrong.
A shorter stride means more
strides and a faster time.
When your feet are in the air,
you're not moving forward.
So let's get those
legs working double-time.
Let's go! Move it,
move it, move it!
Dear Ruth,
this is all I can send you this month.
Our books cost much
more than you'd think.
But I got a job at
a service station
that's good for
a few bucks a week.
Our coach has his own ideas
about how to get things done.
He's working us pretty hard.
Now, you probably won't believe this,
but guess what I did today?
I applied for
a marriage license.
I'm coming back for you
in style, Minnie Ruth.
Kiss Gloria for me.
I miss you both so much.
Come on. Let's go.
I'm coming.
Missed you at
practice this morning.
Yeah. I, I had to cut
up a frog for lab class.
Okay. What about
this afternoon?
I was at the service station.
What, were you pumping gas?
Look, Coach, I need this job. I got a
lot of people counting on me, all right?
Well, I guess I misunderstood.
'Cause I was
under the impression
when you stood in my office
and you looked me in the eye,
that you made me
a goddamn commitment!
You think you know everything?
Got nothing left to learn,
is that it?
No, sir!
Look, I know I ain't
as fast as I want to be,
but you need to figure out a way
to feed and put
clothes on my baby girl.
Or else, fit your
practices in around me,
'cause I'm all out of options.
Why didn't you tell
me you had a daughter?
You never asked.
Welcome to Germany,
Herr Brundage!
Thank you.
I trust you
had a pleasant flight?
Yeah. Very impressive.
This will be the largest
and most technically advanced
stadium in Olympic history.
326 acres, with
a capacity of 110,000.
A little more, I think,
than your Los Angeles Coliseum.
Every moment is being recorded
by Miss Leni Riefenstahl,
one of our most
talented young filmmakers,
handpicked by
the Fuhrer himself.
This is history, Herr Brundage.
For the first time,
an audience of millions
will experience the Olympics as
if they were there themselves.
I've never had much
time for the pictures.
Herr Brundage...
Let's allow Miss
Riefenstahl to explain.
Sorry, I'm late.
May I present
Dr. Joseph Goebbels?
How do you do?
His ministry is financing
my little film.
Well, I've been
hearing all about it.
It's my hope that Olympia will
stand as the greatest advertisement
for the Olympic ideals
the world has ever seen.
At last, we will be able to honor
the full glory of the games.
And I thought this was all
about the glory of the Nazis.
We hope to present a favorable
image of ourselves, that's all.
Well, then, let me
ask you something.
Do you want to be remembered
as the guys who held the
Olympics without America?
The minister hopes
you are impressed
by the facilities
here at our sports club.
Yeah, the facilities are great.
No problem with the facilities.
But the one thing
that puzzles me
is you don't allow
Jews to be members,
and that's the only way they
can qualify for the games.
We have several, very promising
Jewish athletes we
expect to compete.
Look, I'm not here to tell
you how to run your country.
I walk in a man's house,
I'm not gonna piss on his rug.
But I don't expect him to feed
me manure and call it foie gras.
You wanna use these games to sell
your nasty little ideas to the world,
and I'm here to tell you no
one is gonna stand for it.
You gotta clean up your act.
Would you like me to
translate or interpret?
Avery, what did
you have in mind?
Gotta take down those posters.
Put a leash on your press.
I don't wanna hear about anymore
rounding up of undesirables.
And I want your word,
here, today,
that you will not exclude Jews
and Negroes from the games.
So long as they're
American citizens,
we'll bring Martians
if we want to.
If the minister agrees,
he can count on your support?
There you go.
What, what's this?
An identity
and registration card
for the Ohio state legislature.
All the pages
there gotta have them.
What's a page do?
Takes home 60 bucks a month,
plus expenses.
All right. But what
does he gotta do?
Nothing. He's got the Big Ten
Championships coming up. He trains.
Thanks, Coach.
See you at
9:00 a.m. sharp.
Ten seconds. Okay?
I want you to count that to yourself.
Ten seconds, fellas.
That's all you
get to run the 100.
Sixty strides,
and every single one of them counts.
There's no margin
for error, all right?
You could fall down in the 400,
pick yourself up and
still place. Not here.
Now, if you're over-striding,
if your cadence is too slow,
it can cost you a quarter
of a second the whole race.
Every fraction of
every second counts,
but it's your start that
counts the most of all.
I'm looking at you, Jesse.
You come off the gun like you're
slamming into a brick wall,
and it pains me
to watch it, okay?
You gotta start low.
You gotta glide into
it like an airplane.
Any of you fellows ever seen
an airplane take off?
The lower you are,
the longer you stay there,
the less resistance you get,
the faster you are.
It's that simple.
And we're gonna keep working
on that over and over, okay?
You gotta stay low all the
way through the hurdle, okay?
Wow. The great
Jesse Owens.
Jesse, let's get back to basics.
Why don't you swing from those
bamboo poles over there, boy?
That's right, jiggaboos!
Let's see you
hang off those bars!
Hey, Jesse, get set.
Hustle to it fellas. It's just like
being back in the jungle?
Come on, porch monkey, swing!
Yeah, do it!
One more thing.
Jesse, you wanna tell me
what was so interesting about
the goddamn football team?
I don't know, Coach.
I just got distracted.
You got distracted?
See, that's what I'm talking about.
You can't get distracted.
You understand?
What the hell is this?
All right, Larry. Finish this up now.
I got boys who need to shower.
Yeah, one sec, Coach.
I'm not quite through yet.
Sit down. Everybody,
sit down. Sit down!
Larry, hustle these niggers out of here.
You hear me?
Get 'em out!
If you get your head turned by a few
gorillas in warm-up pads here at home,
how are you gonna
hold up in Michigan?
Who the hell is he calling
"gorillas," Coach? Coach Snyder!
Hey, look at me!
Coach Snyder.
A lot of people show
up for the Big Ten meet.
Coach Snyder!
Not all of them are gonna be on our side,
you understand?
Do you? Do you?
You gotta learn to
block it all out!
It's just noise!
That's all, all this is!
All it is, is noise.
You hear me?
They will love you
or they will hate you.
Does not matter.
'Cause either way, when you're out there,
you're on your own.
Do you hear me?
Yeah. Yeah,
Coach, I hear you.
About time.
All right, come on. Let's go.
You heard Coach.
They need the locker room.
Come on! Move it!
Let's go!
Jesus Christ, Snyder.
Why you always have
to complicate everything?
Thanks for your patience, Coach.
Locker room's all yours.
What in the hell
was that, Coach?
Okay, Dave.
All right. Let's see it.
That was for you.
No, that was for you, shorty.
No, I'm good, Mel.
Come on.
You believe it?
Yeah, I saw.
You jump like my sister.
Like your sister?
Matter of fact,
my daughter can make that jump.
She's three years old.
Yeah, she's three inches taller than you.
Come on now.
Hey, shorty,
show us what you got.
Come on, Jesse.
Hey, what would Ruth say?
Come on, Jesse.
Make her proud now.
Yeah, shorty!
One jump.
One jump!
You better lower that.
I don't think...
No, pick it up.
Pick it up now.
Come on now.
Higher. Don't be shy.
I don't know what
he was thinking, though.
Who's that?
I think that's his coach.
I'm fine. Two days,
and I'll be right as rain.
You've got three days.
Three days from now, we go to Ann
Arbor with or without you. Got it?
Goddamn it.
What were you doing?
Fell down some steps.
Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to Ferry Field
here in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
for the finals of the Big Ten
track and field conference
of 1935!
Hey, go get dressed.
I'm scratching you.
You can't run.
Coach, I'm fine.
I'm good.
For God sakes, you can barely walk, Jesse.
Come on.
Coach, just let me do the 100.
You wanna pull me after that, then fine.
What? No.
No, no, no.
No, you run with an injured back,
you could be out for months.
All right?
Forget it.
Coach, let me do this.
The three days did the trick.
I'm good.
It'll only be 10 seconds.
Better be faster
than that. Go.
Ladies and gentlemen...
The first sprint
final of the day,
the 100-yard dash!
They will love you
or they will hate you.
Does not matter.
'Cause either way, when you're out there,
you're on your own.
Hey, kid, you did it.
You did it.
I was slow off the start.
No, no, no,
no. 9.3 seconds.
That's a record, kid.
9.3 seconds!
What are you talking about?
9.4, Larry.
No, I clocked it myself at 9...
You know the rules.
What rules?
We have to go with the higher time.
What are you talking about?
What do you mean,
"the higher time"?
We got two out of three agree.
Okay, then, what's the problem?
Will you calm down?
Do you understand? I'm not gonna calm
down till you come to your senses
and give us the record!
We're going with
the higher time!
That's ridiculous!
You gotta be kidding me, Phil!
I see it, Coach.
Up next, on the broad jump,
we have from Ohio State University,
Mr. Jesse Owens.
What's he doing?
What do you mean?
He's getting a feel for it.
Excuse me, sir.
How far did you say
that Chinaman could jump?
What, whoa.
Mr. Nambu is,
His world record
stands at 26 feet and two inches.
Do you have a handkerchief
I could borrow?
Now he's just showing off.
Ladies and gentlemen,
we have a new world record.
Twenty-six feet, eight and
one quarter inches!
Twenty-six feet, eight and
one quarter inches!
Here you go.
Mr. Jesse Owens sets a new world record
with a time of 20.3 seconds!
20.3 seconds!
This is unbelievable!
Jesse Owens has smashed
another world record...
With a time of 22. 6 seconds!
Three world records set
and another tied
in just 45 minutes!
Is there anyone who
can beat Owens now?
Jesse! Jesse! Jesse!
It's okay.
You can say it.
- Say what?
- Whenever you're ready.
Long ride back to Columbus.
Take your time.
Yeah, you're gonna have to
help me out here, Jesse.
I don't know what
you're talking about.
How many other natural
speed men you trained
just set three world records in
a single meet? Injured.
Four, if you count the 100.
I'll tell you what.
It gets worse than that.
You also shattered
the Ohio State record
for most points in
a single year, so congrats.
Yes, really.
Which cracker did
I take that off of?
This cracker.
I had that record for 11 years.
Eleven years, and you
left me in the dust.
Yeah, well, you know what they
say about records, don't you?
No. What do
they say?
Some kid, come out of nowhere,
snatch the record off of you,
just like that.
That saying. Yeah.
No, you did good.
Real good, Jesse.
That was something to watch.
Yeah, well, I'll tell you what.
You stick with me,
I'll make a great coach out of you.
Frank Wykoff took gold in Amsterdam in '28,
and again in '32
right here in LA.
Him and Draper,
they're the best Cromwell's got,
which make them pretty much
the best in the country, so...
Are you listening to me?
Yeah. Yeah.
Coach, I already took Wykoff.
Yeah, well, this...
That's Eulace Peacock.
Peacock took the 100 meters and
the broad jump in Philadelphia.
He's a driver,
not a floater like you.
It's ugly to watch,
but he goes down that track
like a freight train on fire,
and he's got a hell of a finish.
Him, you need to watch out for.
He clocked at 9.5
against Villanova.
There you go.
He's slower.
A tenth of
a second slower, Jesse.
Two-tenths, Coach.
I won't let you down
in front of Cromwell.
Mr. Owens.
One picture, please!
Mr. Owens,
we have a couple of questions for you.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Easy, easy, easy,
easy, easy.
Come on, let us through.
How does it feel to be the
world's fastest human?
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Good afternoon,
and welcome to Los Angeles,
where the great Jesse Owens,
no doubt, hopes to make good
on his unprecedented streak
of four world records.
I'm telling you,
the skirt in LA...
They must be putting
something in the water.
Who drinks water?
Forget it, shorty.
You might get a girl like that to dance,
but you'll never
get her into bed.
You're Jesse Owens.
Yes, yes, ma'am.
Like to dance?
Come on, Jesse. Go!
No, I, I got a girl.
Where is she?
I'll dance with her too.
She's in Ohio.
I like her already.
Go, Jesse.
Go on, shorty!
So, how come it's Jesse?
Excuse me?
You're The Buckeye Bullet.
Born James Cleveland Owens,
September 1913, in Oakville, Alabama.
You've won eight out of eight
events since you got here,
and there's nobody that can
touch you in the west coast,
east coast,
or straight down the middle.
What I don't know is, why Jesse?
it's actually "JC."
My elementary school teacher,
she misheard on account of my accent.
I never had the heart
to put her right.
That's too bad.
How so?
A big heart can get in the way.
Of what?
All kinds of fun.
Allow me to say
how pleased we all are
we have met your expectations.
Everything looks swell.
Let's keep it that way
through next summer?
The AAU is set to decide on
US participation in the games
at its December convention.
That's right.
I wonder, Avery,
do you really think
America will withdraw?
Well, we have to vote.
That's what a democracy is.
Yes, of course.
The minister Goebbels
merely asks for reassurance
we can count on your support.
I've made my position clear.
In the meantime,
might we ask that you
grant us the benefit
of your considerable
experience in construction,
and review these plans of our
new embassy in Washington?
You know, last time I looked,
I was worth close on
$15 million.
You tell him I can't be bought.
You can't afford me.
A bribe? No. No.
A business proposal.
The minister would be
greatly obliged to you.
There aren't many
companies like yours
that could handle
a project of this size.
The architect is Albert Speer.
But these towers won't
pass DC zoning laws.
You can't build
higher than 130 feet.
You see, this is exactly the
kind of expertise we need,
if you're interested.
I am beat.
You look beautiful.
Just be glad we
weren't on the bus.
My daddy didn't buy me this car
to watch me take no damn buses.
Mr. Owens,
sir. Telegram.
She can't sue you, Jesse.
How is she gonna sue you?
And for what?
Breach of promise?
What does it even mean?
It's a threat.
That's all.
She's just angry.
Mr. Solomon?
It's Jesse.
Jesse, what you want, boy?
Well, can I speak
with Ruth, sir?
She don't wanna talk to you...
I understand that, but if you
just give me one second to exp...
Don't call here no more!
If she would just...
Go, Jesse!
You can do it!
Take your mark.
I'm gonna beat you, boy,
like I was your daddy.
Eulace Peacock has beaten
the world's fastest human,
Jesse Owens,
with an incredible
time of 10.2 seconds.
You alone?
So, you,
you wanna tell me why you lost today?
I thought that was your job.
I know how you lost.
You looked for him at 90 meters,
and it cost you the race.
He's got no goddamn
business beating you.
Who, Peacock?
Yeah, or Metcalfe.
Yeah, well, it happened.
All right?
I had a bad day.
Look, I'm tired, Coach.
We've got a 15-hour
ride back to Ohio.
I just wanna drink my
beer and get some rest.
if you keep losing like you did today,
that boat's going to leave
for Berlin without you.
You know what, Coach?
If this is going
to be another one
of your sob stories,
then, if it's all
the same to you,
I'd rather just
hear it tomorrow.
Miss Nickerson seems like a...
Nice enough gal.
I don't judge what you do,
just as long as you
feel all right about it.
The choices you're
making right now
won't even feel like choices,
until it's too late.
You ever been married, Coach?
Our little girl's
all grown up now.
Turns 18 next year.
My wife and I are
taking some time off.
She told me,
"You can't have two families.
"There's no room
on the team for us."
Think track and field's hard,
you should try marriage.
I'd like to give it a shot.
Good for you, kid.
You never told me
you had a daughter.
You never asked.
Hurry up.
I wanna get to Des
Moines by morning.
Look, Quincella.
You are, you're
an amazing girl, truly.
And it's, it's been a real...
Screw you, Jesse Owens!
I hope she's worth it!
I've got to see Ruth.
I've got some explaining to do.
Good luck with that.
I'm so sorry,
Ruth. I...
Look, I swear I'm gonna...
Do you remember
the day we first met?
I carried your
books home from school?
And the whole way, we was...
We was talking about this and
about that,
and what we wanted out of life,
and what we didn't.
Do you remember what I
asked you at your door?
You asked me to marry you.
And do you remember
what you said?
I said we should wait.
Well, I'm done waiting.
I wanna marry you,
Minnie Ruth Solomon.
I did then and I want
it twice as bad now.
I'm a fool.
When that boy
asked me to marry him,
I should've said yes.
But you ain't him no more.
Now, go on and get out of here.
Get out of here!
You keepin' all these people waiting.
Just get out, Jesse.
Get out!
Whoo! Look at
all this rain.
What do you think you're doing?
Waiting to walk you home.
You been out here all day?
Yeah and I'll be out here all day tomorrow,
all week if I got to.
Then you'll just
miss your damn races.
I don't care about that.
I just wanna run,
I can do that right here in Cleveland.
Jesse, you wanna work in a service
station the rest of your life?
Well, if it means I
get to be with you.
You're smooth.
Yes, you are.
Marry me.
You crazy?
Right now, let's do it.
My parents hate your damn guts.
You left me with
our daughter, Jesse.
It's a little late to make
an honest woman out of me.
Look, I'll square with your parents.
Just say yes.
Say you'll marry me.
Where are we gonna
get married, Jesse?
You think there's a decent Christian
minister in this town who'll do it?
I haven't thought
about that yet,
but I'll find a place, I swear.
It's just us, Ruth.
It's always been just us.
All right.
I'll marry you.
Where you going?
I gotta go find a guy to do it.
I'll see you later!
today we make a profound decision.
It is a complicated decision.
For all of you, I know.
A vote today
against our American athletes
participating in these Olympics
is a vote against tyranny.
Anybody who competes,
in any event, any level,
knows that
on any given day, you're going
to win or you're going to lose.
What matters
is you were there.
When it's all over,
everybody goes home.
History remembers the winners.
Every man or woman on that field
is grateful for
the chance to be there,
to meet in the spirit
of friendly competition,
man against man,
nation against nation,
to test themselves
without fear or rancor
against the best the
other side has to offer.
Surely we all
agree the Olympic code
is a direct antithesis
to Nazi ideology.
They're who we ought
to be thinking about.
Our athletes,
those putting their sweat,
their blood,
their heart into
getting that chance.
I don't feel I have the right
to take it away from them.
I know when I was competing,
I wouldn't have wanted it taken from me.
And whether they
bring home medals or not,
they'll all have
won that chance.
I urge you to vote today
not with your
hearts as sporting men.
...to tell their children...
...but with
your conscience...
...and their
children's children...
...as members of
the human race.
"I was there."
What happened to you?
Is that the, Citizen?
Come here. Let me see it.
Fifty-eight to fifty-six.
I respect their decision...
...but in all conscience,
I can't be the one to carry it out.
Go get us that
gold medal, you hear?
Hey! How about
Hope you win, Jesse!
Go, Jesse!
Good evening, y'all.
Jesse, this is Representative
Davis of the Ohio State legislature.
He's here on
behalf of the NAACP.
The what?
The National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People.
Well, hello.
This is my wife, Ruth.
Have a seat.
Our secretary,
Mr. Walter White,
has asked me to deliver
this to you personally
with his best wishes.
All right.
What's this about?
I want to congratulate you on
your many recent successes.
I've been following them
with great and
particular interest.
As all of us in
our community have.
Well, thank you.
And, the Olympic trials,
well, they're coming up soon.
Yes, sir.
A little under five weeks.
Well, no doubt you hope
to qualify and take part?
Well, yeah.
I mean, yes, sir.
Even under the Hitler regime?
On behalf of Mr. White
and his organization
and the Negro
community across America,
I hope you don't go.
But this is the Olympic games.
I mean, Jesse's been training
for this his whole life.
Look, Jesse, you're the best.
You have a chance to
strike a powerful blow.
I know that it must
sound hypocritical
for any American
to talk about racial bigotry
in other countries,
but that is the whole reason
we must not go to these games.
We've got a chance here
to show our solidarity
with the oppressed
people of Germany.
It's all a part of
the same great hatred.
We can make those in power
aware of their moral obligation
to fight against the wrongs
that we Negroes
suffer right here at home.
You think it's gonna make
a damn bit of difference?
He stays,
they ain't gonna notice.
He goes,
he can come back with a
drawer full of medals,
and they will hate him
even worse than before.
Do what you want, now.
You understand me?
It ain't gonna make
no difference no how.
Do you run, Mr. Davis?
Do I?
Well, um,
not competitively, no.
'Cause you know, out there on that track,
you're free of all this.
The moment that gun go off,
can't nothing stop me.
Not color,
not money,
not fear, not even hate.
There ain't no black and white.
There's only fast and slow.
For those 10 seconds,
you are completely free.
Now, here you come
telling me I can't do it,
that I'm letting
down my race if I go.
What's that supposed
to do for me?
God gave you
a great gift, Mr. Owens.
Maybe he can tell
you what to do with it.
You don't have to tell
them what's on your mind.
He's my coach.
I gotta say something.
Joe is ahead as we go into round four
of this 15-round bout between Joe Louis,
the Brown Bomber,
ad ex-heavyweight champion
Max Schmeling...
Hey. Hey! Guys, come on.
You're missing the fight. Get over here.
Come on, let's go.
...just a warm-up for Louis.
Louis hardly seems to
know what he's doing.
He's dazed, hurt,
fighting mechanically.
Come on, come on.
Louis is down.
Get up.
The official timekeeper is counting
the seconds across the ring.
That's it.
It's a knockout.
- What happened?
- The Nazi beat him.
He beat Joe Louis.
I don't believe it.
there's only one
thing to do now, right?
We go over there in
three weeks to Berlin,
we get some payback in their house.
Am I right?
That's right.
Alvin Kraenzlein.
Alvin Kraenzlein.
The greatest athlete that
this country's ever produced.
Kraenzlein's the only
track and field athlete
to ever bring home four
medals from a single games.
Now, me personally,
I may not get to beat Alvin Kraenzlein,
so I guess I'll just settle
for coaching the guy who does.
Shorty won't get four.
You seen the way he go over them hurdles?
I'm not going.
Like a bullfrog
with his ass on fire.
What did you say, kid?
I said I don't know if I can go.
To Berlin?
What the hell are
you talking about?
I mean, well, think about it.
I go down to Berlin,
it's like telling them Nazis it's okay,
like I don't care nothing about
what's going on over there.
Hey, I get it.
You're nervous, kid.
No, Coach.
Look, I've thought this through.
Now, come on.
You're going, okay?
Trust me. Believe me.
You're going. That's it.
All right?
You've worked too hard.
And if you don't go over there,
you're gonna feel awful.
All right? If you were
to pull out now, you...
Yeah, I know. I'll regret it
for the rest of my life, right?
Exactly. Yes, sir.
And my wife,
she'll walk out on me,
'cause she realizes
what a loser I really am.
And I'll probably end up
drinking myself stupid
until my coach,
he gets so sick of the sight of me
that he gives me a goddamn job!
You get a chance to
be a part of history,
and you're gonna
walk away from it?
Throw it away?
Look, I got people looking
at me for an example.
What do you mean, people?
What people? Black people?
Come on. I don't give
a shit about any of that!
Yeah, well, you're white!
You don't have to!
Come on.
It's okay.
What happened to you?
Look, you're right to be angry.
never been good at listening.
They're asking too much of you.
A man competes to prove
something to himself.
That he's the best
he knows how to be.
Nothing else matters.
It just...
Jesse, I don't know
anything about the kind
of pressure that's being
put on you right now.
But I do know what it's
like to be an athlete.
And I know that if you don't go,
it's gonna feel like the biggest
mistake you ever made in your life.
But you gotta let
me make it on my own.
All right.
You don't have to decide anything just yet,
but at least do the trials.
Give yourself the option.
It has been quite a day
for you here
in New York, Mr. Owens.
You have qualified
in three events,
the 100 and 200 meter
sprints and the broad jump.
I'd like to ask the coaches,
who are the guys you've gotta beat?
Well, Carl Long,
the broad jumper.
We're keeping
a real close eye on him.
And, you know, I mean,
the guy's got every damn record in Europe.
Mr. Glickman, Mr. Stoller,
as Jewish Americans,
did you ever feel pressure not to
take part in these games in Germany?
For the record,
the only pressure
they're under is
winning their races.
We don't discriminate
on the US Olympic team.
I think we've heard
enough about politics today.
We're here to talk about medals.
They need to
answer the question.
Mr. Owens, so,
does this mean you're going?
How can you justify taking part in Germany
when there's so much
discrimination here at home?
You know, that's a very good point.
When we get our
own house in order...
Whatever you need from me,
wherever you need me to be,
whatever you need me to do.
I just wanna help.
Well, that's,
very nice of you to
offer there, Larry,
but, you're not
an official American coach.
Yeah, but you don't
know Jesse like I do.
Now, Mr. Owens is not the
only runner coming with us,
and this isn't our first games.
Jesse Owens can beat any
sprinter over any distance,
and you know it.
You can't afford to
have him off his form.
So you're saying
he needs the best coach.
Is that what
you're saying, Larry?
Thanks all the same.
You should know he may not
get on that boat tomorrow,
and there's nothing
anybody can do about it.
I couldn't believe when I
heard you got injured, Eulace.
How's the leg holding up?
It's good!
It's loose.
Yup, tore the
hamstring right up.
But I'm training again,
so a couple months...
It's shot.
It's over.
For me.
I read the papers.
All them people yelling
and screaming at you.
It can really get in the way
of a man's concentration,
but all that means is there's a
lot of people counting on you.
To do what?
To get on over there to Berlin
and stick it up Hitler's ass!
of Eulace Peacock.
What'll she think
of me if I don't go?
You're her daddy.
She gonna love you no matter what.
And what'll you think?
Don't put this on me, Jesse.
I promised you a better
life than what we have now.
I mean, how else am
I supposed to get it?
I like our life just fine.
You're the only damn person in the
world whose opinion matters to me,
and you ain't got one.
I ain't gonna tell
you what to do, Jesse.
That's why you love me.
Say I go.
What if I lose?
You're the fastest
man on the Earth.
But you won't be there.
My family won't be there.
My coach won't even be there.
Larry's not going?
He tried, but
they won't let him.
I'm gonna be
there all by myself,
the whole world watching.
And if I lose...
If I lose,
it'll mean those
Nazis were right.
Quit thinking so much, Jesse.
It's not what you're good at.
You was put here to run.
Don't listen to any of them.
Listen to you.
You listen to your heart,
all right?
Ruth, I have everything,
all right?
I'm sure.
Now, I'm always
saying goodbye to you.
Yeah, well, that just makes it
that much sweeter saying hello.
Now, here you go, sweet talker.
So you remember
where to keep looking.
Give Daddy a hug!
I love you both.
I love you.
You get your sea legs yet?
Coach? What the hell
are you doing here?
I mean,
someone's gotta keep an eye on you.
Can't have you laying around
all week getting fat.
No turning back now.
I'm gonna go find my room.
Coach. You're headed
the wrong way.
Everybody's in first class.
Yeah, not on my own dime.
No, I,
be staying down in steerage
with you and Dave.
See you in the morning.
You're kidding me!
How do you do?
Let's go, Jesse!
Ladies and gentlemen,
on behalf of Reich
chancellor Adolf Hitler
and the German Olympic Committee,
welcome to Berlin.
Here, take a flower!
Thank you!
Come on, Marty.
Sir, where are
the colored dorms?
There are no colored dorms.
We're with y'all?
Now, don't worry.
We'll keep the noise down!
Well, well, well.
Food's good too.
Maybe these Nazis just
got a bad reputation.
We'll see.
That's Luz Long?
The man can jump.
He's got a hell of a home-field advantage,
What do you think this is?
Mardi Gras?
Get back to work!
You got something
you wanna say to me, boy?
Now, hold on a second.
"You're not fit to
train fleas on a dog."
You actually said
that to Dean Cromwell?
Hey, you hear
the mouth on this boy?
Now, Dean, hold on a second.
Don't know what
you're teachin' him,
but it sure as
hell isn't respect.
All right, all right.
Now, what's this about?
What is it you want?
I want a goddamn apology.
That's what I want.
Jesse, what do you want?
I wanna be able to
train the way I'm used to.
For God's sake.
And I want my coach back.
You're out of your mind. No way.
That's out of the question.
Mr. Snyder is not
a registered Olympic trainer.
All right.
Well, I hope you know all the words
to the German national anthem,
because you'll be
hearing it every time one
of those Nazis win
a medal I would've won.
You wanna quit?
You go ahead, because no Negro
is gonna talk to me that way...
Hey, hey.
Now, what the hell's that got to do with...
That's got everything
to do with it.
Come on.
You're making it about that.
You weren't there.
You didn't hear what he said to me.
Jesse, you don't mean that.
You're not about
to walk out now?
Okay, fine.
Look, if we can get a pass
for Mr. Snyder here,
we can put all
of this behind us.
Hey, Jesse?
You better keep
your boy on a leash.
What the hell
was that all about?
I figured you couldn't afford a decent
seat. I thought I'd help you out.
And here I am thinking this
is your way of thanking me.
I wouldn't even
know where to start.
Bring me three gold medals.
That's the only way.
Come on.
Hey, how are the new shoes
I ordered you from England?
They never showed up.
Hi. You know
where this is here?
Hello, hello.
Never mind. Sorry.
Excuse me.
I... Whoa.
No, I, I'm American.
I'm American.
I'm from the US Olympic team.
Hey! Hey, hey, hey!
- I got it, okay?
- I've got papers.
Yes. Here.
Here, here, here.
US Olympic team.
I'm, I'm looking for, Dassler.
Adi Dassler.
Dassler, yeah.
Yes. Yes.
Shoe. Yeah.
Don't push.
Okay. Okay.
Here we go.
It's gonna be damp out there.
The track's gonna be heavy.
How are the shoes?
They're great.
Good, good, good.
Gosh, I wish you would've had
more time to break them in though.
I don't know
what happened there.
I'm gonna get to the bottom of that.
That's another...
Coach, I said they're all right.
You gonna keep fussing
like an old hen,
or are you gonna let me
get out there and run?
Mr. Owens,
I'm expecting great things.
Anything less than a gold,
we will consider a disappointment.
I'm sure he was joking.
Thanks, Coach.
You're a lot of help.
...Reichskanzler Adolf Hitler.
Sieg heil! Sieg heil!
Sieg heil!
Sieg heil! Sieg heil!
The winner of the
men's 100-meter finals
is Jesse Owens in first place
with a time of
10.3 seconds.
Come on, let me see it.
Mr. Owens.
Thank you, sir.
Now, there's somebody
I want you to meet.
All right.
Herr Brundage.
Chancellor Hitler has been
forced to leave early today,
and won't be able to
congratulate the winners.
The traffic, you understand.
You let the chancellor know
he congratulates all of the
gold medalists or none of them.
Herr Brundage...
Regrettably, it is impossible.
Then he's...
Come on.
Time to go over the
rules here for tomorrow.
You should know they're very
particular about their attempts here.
So none of that showboating you
tried to pull in Ann Arbor.
You listening to me?
We're here at the 11th Olympiad,
bringing you
the qualifying round
of the men's broad jump event.
Up first, the German,
Luz Long, reigning
European champion.
And he's making it look easy!
Now it's time
for Jesse Owens of the USA.
We've seen this
before from Owens.
He wants to examine the track...
...before his first attempt.
Owens, kneeling
on the run-up.
Jesse, no!
It's a foul!
I don't believe it!
They've recorded it as a foul!
Owens questioning the officials.
He's not going to
be happy about this!
Still, he has two more attempts.
Owens makes his
second attempt to qualify.
Come on, Jesse!
Another foul!
He stepped over the line!
This event looks like it might be
over for Owens before it begins.
Here's something you
don't see every day.
Long seems to be
offering Owens advice
on where to jump from.
Owens, making his third and final attempt.
Owens, Owens...
He's done it!
And Owens is through
to the final!
Sieg heil! Sieg heil!
The men's broad jump final.
German chancellor Adolf Hitler
takes his seat for the event.
And after a close-run
qualifying round,
the great athlete
Jesse Owens of the USA
faces up against Luz Long.
Each competitor will
have three attempts,
with his best score
determining the winner.
Long's first jump.
The reigning European champion.
It's a white flag.
7. 54 meters!
His, too, a white flag!
7. 74 meters!
Long again.
The white flag is up.
7. 87 meters.
It's a new European record!
Yeah! Whoo!
The white flag is up!
7. 94!
Owens has beaten the European
record set only moments ago!
Let's see what Long
can produce to match it.
t's a foul!
A foul from Long on
his final attempt.
But it means Owens has done it!
He's secured a second
gold medal of the games!
That was a great match.
Please, take your last jump.
What's this?
The competition is over,
but the German
Long seems to share
the interest of
the crowd here in Berlin,
in seeing the best the
amazing Owens has to offer.
This is the true
spirit of sportsmanship
we're seeing here between
these two athletes today.
The white flag is up!
8.06 meters!
It's a new Olympic record!
Let's make the lap of honor.
Okay, sure.
Have you seen this before?
You beat me, square and fair.
It's "fair and square,"
and you gave me the chance.
I wanted your best.
Otherwise, what is the point?
Is that your girlfriend?
She's very pretty.
Thank you.
Do they have any
ugly girls in Germany?
They prefer to keep
them out of sight.
There are a lot of things
they want to keep hidden.
You think I'm joking.
I love my country,
but it's no secret my
government's going insane.
They don't bother to hide it.
I don't even think
they are ashamed.
A few nights ago, they sent a
girl to my room to wish me luck.
She wanted to sleep with me.
Governor Davey sent me a telegram
and a case of Coca-Cola.
I should emigrate.
This girl,
she wanted to get pregnant.
I think she was
ordered to get pregnant.
I suppose I should be flattered.
I think all things considered,
you're actually better off in America.
I don't...
I don't know if there's
much difference deep down.
Are you gonna
get in any trouble?
You made quite a scene today.
They want to use us to prove
something to the world.
I'm happy to show
them they're wrong.
Believe me,
I would have preferred to beat you,
but it wouldn't
have been for them.
If they want to make
these games a weapon,
they can't complain
when it's used against them.
Maybe now they see how
stupid it was to even try.
You are entered for
one more event, right?
200 meters.
I very much hope you win.
Not to prove anything
to any government.
Just to make me feel a little
better about losing to you.
Conditions have been damp
and overcast all
morning here in Berlin,
as the competitors
take to the field
for the men's final
of the 200-meter dash.
This is it.
It's been 36 years
since a track and
field athlete brought home
three individual gold
medals from a single games.
Taking their lanes are Wil van Beveren,
and Tinus Osendarp
of the Netherlands,
America's Jesse Owens
and Mack Robinson,
Paul Hanni of Switzerland,
and the Canadian, Lee Orr.
And they're
off to a clean start.
Owens has gone off.
And so has Robinson.
Owens is flying around the
top bend into the straight.
Mack Robinson in second place.
Owens and Robinson
ahead of the field.
Osendarp is challenging.
And it's Owens!
Owens sprints it in
20. 7 seconds.
Owens! Owens! Owens!
When we first met,
we spoke of hospitality.
When you are a guest in somebody's home,
you abide...
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I understand.
What time they serve dinner,
the brand of cognac they prefer.
It's, it's good manners.
The Jews, Glickman and Stoller,
are competing in
the 400-meter relay.
It would show a great deal of
sympathy and understanding
on your part if they did not.
Thanks for the drink.
He says you have
a business arrangement.
That was business.
That has nothing
to do with this.
How would it look for your
American Olympic Association
to have collaborated
with us before these games?
There are reports the krauts
have been holding back
their best runners
to spring a nice little surprise
on us in the 400-meter relay.
With that in mind,
we've got some changes to the lineup.
All right. So, Foy,
guess you'll take third leg.
Frank, you're now
going to run anchor.
Marty, Sam,
I'm sorry, but we gotta cut you.
Who's gonna run
first and second?
You mean we came all the way here,
we're not gonna get to race?
No, no, no.
That's a load of crap.
Marty and me, we both licked Foy
in the speed test yesterday.
I'm sorry, believe me.
It's not been an easy decision...
Hey, hey.
You're gonna cut somebody,
you cut him.
Foy's got more experience.
Any team the krauts got out there,
we can win this by 15 yards.
Come on!
You know what this is all about.
We're the only Jews.
This has nothing to
do with the Jewish question.
If you do this...
If you do this,
you'll catch hell
for it back home.
That's not your problem.
We want to field
our strongest runners.
And that's gonna
be Ralph and Jesse.
Come on, that's perfect.
No, look.
Coach, you gotta run Sam and Marty.
I mean, I can't speak for Ralph over here,
but you gotta give 'em a shot.
I've never even ran the relay. I don't
even think I know how to pass a baton.
You do as you're told, Owens.
Press have copies of the lineup.
You change it now and we lose,
they'll wanna know why.
That's a lot of pressure to put
on one race, don't you think?
Would you remind me
who you are again?
Ralph, you do what you want.
I'm not running.
Not unless Sam and
Marty say it's all right.
You ever fly in an airplane?
Nothing in the world
like flying your own plane.
A girl down in New Jersey,
waiting for you.
See, an airplane gets
people excited the same
way they come out
and watch a man race.
But what they really want,
what really gets them worked up,
is to see you crash.
To see you fold up that Stearman
biplane like a piece of paper.
Watch the ground
crew drag you out
like a rag doll
before it blows up,
explodes into flames.
Now, that's exciting.
Well, is...
Is that why you
didn't go to Paris?
Because you crashed your plane?
April, 1924.
Three weeks before
the opening ceremony.
I heard Paddock
win on the radio.
You were some kind of idiot.
That's exactly
what my father said.
I woke up in the hospital,
and he gave me this.
Yeah, I had my shot, but I didn't know it.
Just threw it away.
A Stearman's a
beautiful little plane,
but I don't imagine it compares
much to running at the Olympics.
You're right, you know.
It's not your race.
If you lose,
it's for nothing.
Sam and me would've
been shafted for nothing.
All the world will see is another
Nazi waving another medal.
What are you trying to say?
He means don't lose.
Come on, Jesse!
the world's fastest sprinter
sets a terrific
pace from the start.
Owens passes Mariani,
hands off to Metcalfe.
Faster, passing the Canadian.
The second change!
Go, Frank!
America in first
place with a new world record
of 39. 8 seconds!
All right!
Thanks, Larry.
All right.
Go! Go!
Go ahead.
Take a look.
No, it's okay.
You sure?
Last chance.
Bring it to me.
Excuse me.
Mr. Owens, my name is
Leni Riefenstahl. Um...
I have a favor to ask you.
Would you mind one more?
Last time, I promise.
Well, sure,
but isn't that cheating?
I'm just saying that's not
the actual jump I made.
You did make that jump.
We all saw it.
You made history out here.
All I'm doing is making sure
years from now, those people who
weren't there can see it too.
So they never
forget what you did.
One more?
All right. One more.
Danke. Danke.
Here we go.
Good evening.
Hello, sir.
Not bad?
Not bad at all!
I'm sorry, sir, but your friends
will have to use
the service entrance.
Are you kidding me?
You know who this is?
Yes, sir.
I mean,
they're holding the dinner for him.
Yes, sir.
I'm sorry, Mr. Owens, sir,
but those are the rules.
Yeah? Yeah, well,
your rules are bullshit!
You know that, yeah?
How about you go inside and get your boss
or someone that can actually help us out...
Coach, Coach.
It's all right.
Go ahead.
I'll meet you in there.
Jesse Owens!
Jesse Owens.
I think that's Jesse Owens!
Mr. Owens?
Um, would you mind?
Thank you!