The Rabbit thinks that the people who were responsible for continuity on this film should have been lined up behind Barnes bridge and shot. The disclaimer at the start of the film hints of some of what comes after, so at least they do give a warning...
The mixture of real boatrace footage from the 1995 boatrace (where Cambridge won) intercut with footage of actors and real rowers recreating the 1987 race leads to numerous strange things going on.
The use of modern plastic boats is common throughout the film but the appearance of cleaver/chopper blades (which didn't make their first outing at the boatrace until 1993) are intermittent, as they repeatedly change to wooden macons and back again. In some clips of the final race, Cambridge suddenly leaps ahead to be a couple of lengths up, only to find themselves languishing behind in the next shot.
Those with eagle eyes will also notice that the tide changes from incoming to outgoing during the course of the 'race' and that the water level is prone to sudden surges both up and down. Also, due to illness one of the Cambridge crew suddenly disappears from the boat somewhere around Hammersmith, to be replaced with someone with different coloured hair... (not sure that's allowed in the rules).
The cast of actors playing the leads (which incidently includes a young Alexis Deinsof, who went on to star in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) were taught to row over the six months of filming, and in the end they were good enough to row in more shots than had been anticipated. Though unsurprisingly (they were novices after all) their bladework is a bit scrappy at times.
One of the most enjoyable scenes for watching rowers must be the bit where the Oxford boys are throwing food at pictures of the "Cambridge" rowers and calling them wankers... as they're actually photos of the IC crew who were playing the light blues and include a few well known faces (see picture above).
there are also lots of extras who were roped in from Oxford, Imperial and Brookes (crowd scene at start)and the 'atmospheric background' was filmed at the 1995 Four's Head.
Steve Austin (these days coach of TRC lightweight women and Duke's Head stalwart), plays the losing Oxford stroke in the 1986 race - Steve's overacting in the role is a treat to watch, but Steve defends himself by saying that after sitting in the cold and wet for two hours, they were told to row against the stream, rating 38, for 30 seconds before crossing the finish line, then to 'look really tired'.
When filming of the start of the 1987 race which was set, in a thunderstorm the 'rain' was pumped straight from the river and then hosed over the actors, so every so often a condom or worse would come flying past...
The work of a rowing extra is not always an easy one.