The Student News Site of Bear River High School

The Current

The Current

The Current

Bruins To See Their Family On the Silver Screen

Joe Rantz, great-grandfather of two Bear River students, is the subject of a Christmas Day movie release
Monica Meszaros and Jen Huffman
Joe Rantz, a 1936 Olympian and the great-grandfather of Lucy and Max Rantz. Joe is the subject of a movie that comes out on Christmas Day, ‘The Boys in the Boat’ directed by George Clooney.

Two Bear River students will be able to spend Christmas watching a major motion picture based on the life of their great-grandfather. Lucy and Max Rantz’s great-grandfather, Joe Rantz (the grandfather by marriage of popular BR sub Annie Rantz) is the subject of ‘The Boys in the Boat’, a movie directed by George Clooney.
The movie was inspired by the University of Washington men’s rowing team that won Olympic Gold in 1936. It’s based on the 2013 book of the same name by Daniel James Brown. Callum Turner plays Joe Rantz in the movie. Turner is a British actor and model, and is known for his role as Theseus Scamander in Fantastic Beasts. You can watch the trailer here.
“I am so excited that the movie was made!” said Annie Rantz. “The movie preview looks like it stayed true to the book and to the story of Joe Rantz’s life and his experience at UW and at the 1936 Olympics. Our family is planning to see the movie on Christmas Day.”
Born in Spokane, Wash., Joe Rantz had a harsh childhood in Boulder City, Idaho and later Sequim, Wash. His mother Nellie Maxwell died from throat cancer when Rantz was just 4. His father Harry Rantz remarried in 1921 but Rantz did not connect well with his step-mother Thula LaFollete, who struggled to raise Rantz and her four younger natural children. From age 15 Rantz reared himself in an unfinished house abandoned by his father and step-mother and put himself through high school. He then gained admission to the University of Washington. Rantz rowed for Washington’s senior varsity eights, which won US national Intercollegiate Rowing Association titles in 1936 and 1937 as well as the victorious sophomore eight of 1935 and freshman eight of 1934. Rantz earned a chemical engineering degree from the university and worked for Boeing following his retirement from rowing. He died of congestive heart failure in Redmond, Wash., at age 93.
“Most of what I know about Joe’s life I learned from reading ‘The Boys in the Boat’ when it was released in 2013,” said Annie Rantz, “I had already heard stories about his gold medal and about his crew team, but the book expands on his childhood and all of the hardships that he faced before he became a student at the University of Washington.”
All the family is eager to see a movie about grandpa Joe. “I am pretty excited to see the movie,” said Max Rantz. “I don’t know that much, just what my dad has said about him. Dad said that he was a caring, pretty nice guy.”
The Rantz family are very excited to see it, even with some of them never meeting him.
“I met Joe, and he was very kind and welcoming to me,” said Annie Rantz, “He died in 2007, the same year that our daughter Lucy was born. So, of our four children, our oldest son, Joe, was the only one who was able to spend time with Grandpa Joe, which was special because our son Joe Rantz was named after grandpa Joe Rantz.“
The movie opens in theaters on Dec. 25, and tickets can be bought starting on Dec. 8.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Current

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bear River High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributor
Riley Urke
Riley Urke, Staff Writer
Riley Urke is a 3-year varsity football player for Bear River. He's interested in anything technology, coding and video games. This is his first year in Online MultiMedia.
More to Discover
Donate to The Current

Comments (0)

All The Current Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *