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Brian's Song
Brian's Song
Actors: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden, Bernie Casey, Shelley Fabares
Director: Buzz Kulik
Genres: Drama, Television
G     2000     1hr 13min

Gale Sayers joins the Chicago Bears and is befriended by Brian Piccolo, an over-achieving running back. Although they compete for the same spot on the team, and despite the fact that Sayers is black and Piccolo white, they...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden, Bernie Casey, Shelley Fabares
Director: Buzz Kulik
Creators: Joseph F. Biroc, Bud S. Isaacs, Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, Al Silverman, Gale Sayers, William Blinn
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/08/2000
Original Release Date: 11/30/1971
Theatrical Release Date: 11/30/1971
Release Year: 2000
Run Time: 1hr 13min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai

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Member Movie Reviews

Ed P. from NOGALES, AZ
Reviewed on 5/14/2014...
I knew both men. Good retell of their story.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 11/5/2012...
good story and some good acting. Enjoyed the true story of friendship.
Pamela A. from WHEELING, WV
Reviewed on 3/26/2011...
A timeless classic,that despite seeing more than 10 times since it came out, still brings me to tears. If there is anyone out there who has not seen this movie, it is a MUST see!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Richard E. Upton | Austin, TX United States | 10/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was fifteen years old when "Brian's Song" premiered as a "Movie of the Week" on ABC-TV. I had no interest in sports then (I still don't), and had no intentions of watching this movie, but my dad persuaded me. "Just watch the first few minutes," he said. He knew that this was NOT a sports movie. He had read Gale Sayers' book "I Am Third" (upon which this movie is partially based), and knew that this was a movie about PEOPLE, not about football. The fact that the two lead characters are football players is almost incidental. This is a movie about friendship, love and courage. Needless to say, I watched it from start to finish, and have watched it many times since. Although its roots as a TV movie are obvious (the production values are nothing more than ordinary), "Brian's Song" is one of the most extraordinary films ever made, a particularly remarkable achievement when you consider its length of only 74 minutes. James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, both virtual unknowns at the time, play Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers with a sense of realism, and with respect for their real-life counterparts. Jack Warden is excellent (as always) as coach George Halas, and Shelley Fabares and Judy Pace turn in fine performances as Joy Piccolo and Linda Sayers. David Huddleston and Bernie Casey make the most of their small parts, and even real-life Chicago Bears provide some fine moments, particularly the "hazing" sequence. The sincere performances, along with William Blinn's beautifully-written teleplay, keep the action from becoming mawkish or sappy, Buzz Kulik's direction brought out the best in his actors, and Michel Legrand's score comments on the emotions in the film with exactly the right tone. (Legrand's penchant for marking musical cues to sudden movement onscreen is notable, and the gorgeous theme is one of the most emotionally charged pieces of music ever written.) The film ends on a freeze-frame of James Caan's face over narration by Jack Warden of William Blinn's words, and when that musical theme pulls out all the stops after Warden's narration ends, well...even the Chicago Bears themselves would be dissolved in tears. It's one of my all-time favorite movies, and I would recommend it without reservation to anyone, sports fan or not. Thanks, Dad.The DVD version includes an exclusive short featurette, "Gale Sayers: First and Goal" in which present-day Gale Sayers discusses the movie and his career. It's interesting, but nothing special. Also included in audio commentary by Williams and Caan. Caan is a cutup and does most of the talking, and little of any real substance is said, but it IS quite entertaining, and definitely worth another viewing.But then, "Brian's Song" is ALWAYS worth another viewing..."
R. Penola | NYC, NY United States | 12/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Brian's Song is one of the saddest movies ever made, based on the too-true story of the black/white friendship between Gale Sayer and Brian Piccolo. James Caan does a credible, if self-absorbed job as Brian -- his sickly scenes definitely do not hold up as well as you might remember, and though this movie definitely looks and sounds dated, it still packs a powerful emotional punch, in the same way that Terms of Endearment does. Beware: you are headed for very rough waters. And that Michel Legrand theme song, a classic for the ages, turns the nozzle to full-tilt. That final still image remains firmly etched in my mind, and the special relationship engendered here carries a special weight as one of the first of its kind ever seen in a film."
Why re make it???
Lee Ann,music lover | Middletown, OH USA | 11/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whe I heard that the folks at ABC were remaking "Brian's song",
I was really upset... Why tamper with success,and why remake one of the most beautiful movies ever! I saw Brian's song during its original broadcast back in 1971, and thought it was one of the best. James Caan and Billy Dee Williams are superb as Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. The supporting cast, including Shelly Fabares as Joy and Judy Pace as Linda are also excellent as is Jack Warden as Papa Bear Halas. If you really want to see this movie go for the original!"