True Blue

1996 film by Ferdinand Fairfax

True Blue is a 1996 film based upon the book True Blue: The Oxford Boat Race Mutiny. The story is centred around the 1987 Boat Race, and the disagreement within the Oxford team, as told by Daniel Topolski.

Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax. Written by Rupert Walters, Daniel Topolski, and Patrick Robinson.
To be second is to be last

Daniel Topolski

  • There is no joy in coming second, because to be second is to be last.
  • (to Dan Warren) Shut it, Dan!
  • (to Dan Warren) I don't give a shit what you think, all I care is that you are on the water in five minutes.
  • (to Rick Ross) Nobody put a reserved sign on your seat.
  • I believe you're turning into a great rough water crew. So we're going to start betting on shit weather.
  • I've also increased the gearing slightly. You may not notice, but it should give you cleaner finishes.
  • You can hear the boat sing!
  • Devastate them at the start.
  • I want Cambridge to feel like they came third.


  • Freddy Prideaux-Jones: The thing about rowing machines is, you put them on water and they tend to sink...
  • Jack Garnet: There's something difficult...troublesome about most talented rowers.
  • Donald McDonald: I need good men, not simply good oarsmen.
  • Ruth McDonald: That schedule...what about our schedule?
  • Rick Ross: Summer? This is Oxford, it never gets hot here.
  • Rick Ross: (to Donald McDonald) Don, we have to be careful not to confuse business with friendship.
  • Michael Suarez: My name is Michael Suarez. I'd like to speak on behalf of the Campion Hall Boat Club......But Yes, we finally formed a Boat Club. Only took us 400 years or so. Who knows we might have a guy in the blue boat someday. The missionary position perhaps. Bowside, number three. But not this year. So why my Boat Club. I'll tell ya. You see, it's important. I've got a £25 bet riding on an Oxford victory. I gotta make some money out of this. Yeah. So when I over the sound of laughter. Cambridge laughter, the news that the president has been thrown out of the crew because some of the guys don't like him, because he was rowing in the seat where they wanted Rick Ross to row, I wonder what's going on. This isn't how decent Americans behave. In the assessment tests so far, all of Donald MacDonald's results are up from last year. All of Rick Ross' are down. In the overall placings Macdonald finishes first. Ross Ninth.(Black: 'No, I'm sorry. Ross is a winner') Yeah, you guys keep saying that. Tell me what he's won. Not so far, not at Oxford. Again and Again Macdonald produces winning results, this commitment is total. This is a President who leads by example by being the best. And, of course, dropping Ross and keeping MacDonald does raise a problem, a conflict of interest. Is MacDonald the President favouring MacDonald the oarsmen? So it is fair that Ross and his friends should appeal the decision. Except MacDonald's decision is supported by the coaches. Should we contest their opinion as well? Would that also be fair? The rebels have pledged to abide by the coaches decisions, and now they threaten to walk out. Is that fair? And now they question the integrity and fitness as President of Donald MacDonald. How can that possibly be fair? Seems to me that if MacDonald and his coaches are to be censured, it's for putting up with Ross in the crew for so long. You and your friends have done some serious damage to this Boat Club. You are an embarrassment to your sport, to your club and to your country. I'm sure when you came here you thought how great it would be to go home with a winning oar to hang on your wall. Well I suggest you go ask Cambridge for one of theirs. Donald MacDonald is a friend of mine. That's not why I'm here tonight. Nor is it for the money from my wager although God knows I could use it.It's for something a whole lot more important. You. Us. This Boat Club. Our Boat Club. For all of us. We are here as servants to put in, not as master to take out. This race means everything to us. It has alway meant the thousands of oarsmen who have come before us. To the thousands who will follow. Let's remember them when we vote tonight. I ask you to give your total and unqualified support to our President, Donald MacDonald and his team of coaches. With them we can and, God willing, shall win.
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