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Prefontaine
Prefontaine
Actors: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer, Lindsay Crouse
Director: Steve James
Genres: Drama, Sports
PG-13     2002     1hr 46min

Inspirational and entertaining, PREFONTAINE is another acclaimed success from the makers of HOOP DREAMS. It's the true-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, the exciting and sometimes controversial "James D...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer, Lindsay Crouse
Director: Steve James
Creators: Steve James, Irby Smith, Jon Lutz, Mark Doonan, Pam Dixon, Peter Gilbert, Eugene Corr
Genres: Drama, Sports
Sub-Genres: Drama, Olympics
Studio: WALT DISNEY VIDEO
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/03/2002
Original Release Date: 01/24/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 01/24/1997
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 46min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Jen H. from ROME, GA
Reviewed on 5/7/2010...
More documentary than Without Limits, but still a must-see for any runner :)

Movie Reviews

A very good bio pick of a great runner who died too young
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 08/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Steve Prefontaine, a record setting middle distance runner, won all his races against Americans. He led his race in the 1972 Olympics but faded to fourth by a breath. He died in a car accident (drinking was involved, but to what degree is debated) in 1975 at the age of 24. All admit that he wasn't the perfect physical specimen for a runner, but he was gritty and tenacious and would not give anything less than everything he had.

You would think it would be hard to come up with a full length bio pic about someone who died at 24. Yet, in 1998 there were TWO films that came out about his life. One from Disney and the other from Warner Brothers.

The Disney Film tells the story from the point of view of the assistant coach who was with him day-to-day, Bill Dellinger and Prefontaine's girlfriend at the time of his death, Nancy Alleman. It has a good cast with Jared Leto as Prefontaine, Ed O'Neil as Bill Dellinger and R. Lee Ermy as Bill Bowerman. Siskel and Ebert reviewed it and gave it two thumbs up.

The Warner Brothers release was produced by Tom Cruise and told from the point of view of Bill Bowerman with Dellinger as a minor character and Mary Marckx. In this film there is no Nancy Alleman and Mary is his girlfriend all the way through. Bowerman is played by Donald Sutherland and is given guru status. In both films, Prefontaine is shown as headstrong and difficult to coach. Bowerman did remain active with the Oregon program and with Prefontaine after his retirement.

In both films, Prefontaine is shown as a powerful and hard charging runner who also loved to party too much and had troubled relationships with his young women. The fans love him and his fame is correctly portrayed as is his loss at the '72 Olympics.

Since the accident occurred while Prefontaine was alone in the car no one can be certain how it happened. Both films have him swerving from a second car, but the Warner film shows the rock face that the car climbed and caused it to flip on top of the runner and crushing him. He was alive when first found, but the person could not flip the car alone and by the time they got back he was gone.

Prefontaine continues to inspire young runners and people who believe that testing your limits and giving all you have is important to living and understanding your life. That these tests are a kind of art that you create for yourself and are a kind of honesty that few actually experience (even though it is open to all).

Both movies are good, and you have to decide if seeing two films about such a short life is needed, but there is certainly much worse fare shown every night on TV and at your local movie house."
Runners will enjoy this bio pic
Nelson Aspen | Los Angeles & NYC, USA | 03/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Running fans will enjoy this Jared Leto bio pic, but other audiences will probably find it an often hoaky "mock-umentary," with some of the worst dialogue and Hair/Makeup effects in modern film drama.

Fortunately, I fall into the first category so I was engrossed with the story of the famed runner Prefontaine. The story improved considerably in the second half, when archival footage and the dramatic events of the Munich Olympic games unfolded.

Jared Leto does a good job, even with all those wigs and spirit gum. Amy Locane seems to be phoning in her performance from a parallel "Melrose Place" universe.

Prefontaine's moving and inspirational story, this proves, should/would be best told through an actual documentary production rather than relying on a dramatization."
This movie got me running, I am so glad I saw it.
Nelson Aspen | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the greatest running film I have ever seen. It Far surpasses such films as "Withought Limits" and "The Lonleyness of the Long Distance Runner" which is now considered a clasic. Prefontaine got me up and running. I will be forever in debt to this film and it will aloways have a very special place in my heart. I am so glad that I have seen this all inspirig true tale of an underdog that defies all odds and sets his own standard for excelence. I watch this film at least 2 times a week."