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 » become roommates on the road and very close friends, especially when Sayers is injured and Piccolo helps his recovery. Later, they and their wives must both deal with the harsh reality of Piccolo's cancer.« less
Jean W. from JORDANVILLE, NY 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.
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..."
I DARE YOU NOT TO CRY YOUR EYES OUT
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!"
One of the most emotional and best stories of all time
Matthew Edmundson | Winter Haven, Florida United States | 06/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a huge sports fan. I want to be a sports writer and it's stuff that Brian's Song that makes me want to do it even more.Brian's Song is based on the true story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. Both were rookies when they joined the Chicago Bears. Brian Piccolo(Caan) was the funny loudmouth that everybody loved. He wans't the most gifted athlete in the world and his determination made him the player that he was. Gale Sayers(Williams) was the quiet one. He was the easily the most talented player on the team maybe in the league. The two are paired as roomates and the friendship starts.The two are opposites and don't get along that well at first. Opposites attract and they especially do with these two. They quickly feed off each other though and become the best of friends. They fuel each other and are inspeperable. They become the first white and black roomates in the NFL. They ignore the whole idea of race and are like brothers.When Sayers tears his ACL the next year Brain gets the chance to step up and show his talent. He however feels for his friend and is determined to get Gale back into his form as the best RB in the league. There bond becomes even stronger during this time as does the friendship of there families.The tide changes though when Brian starts not to play well. It's a new season and the two are enjoying finally playing with each other as one of the best backfields in the league. Brians play starts to diminsh though and he's sent to the doctor. What the doctor finds is that Brian has cancer and is terminal. It's now up to Gale to help his friend through this most difficult time of his life.This movie isn't about football. It's about the bond of love and friendship that these two men have for each other. James Caan and Billy Dee Williams play these roles to perfection. Both weren't known all that well at this time in 1971. Caan hadn't delivered his legendary performance as Sonny Corleone and Wiliams hadn't played Lando yet. The two give dramatic performances though that are sure to make anybody cry.This is one of the greatest tear jerkers of all time. I've never wathced it were a member of the audience isn't sobbing at the end of it. I've cried numerous times while watching this movie.You can tell it's a tv made movie. It doesn't take away from the quality though and this movie cleaned the Emmy's out in 1971 and in my opinion is the greatest made for TV movie EVER!I love this movie. It's not about sports but is about life. You won't find a better tale of love and friendship anywhere. Everybody should see this movie at one time or another. It's a cinematic masterpiece. Buy this movie you won't regret that descion."
The Best Ever
Matthew Edmundson | 01/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just need to say I am looking at this movie as I am writing this for about the 100th time, still with tears running down my face. I have loved this movie every since it came out when I was 10 years old. With the lost of my father the year before the movie really touched me and made my mother never want to look at it again. Then growing up with old timeer stopping me to tell me I looked so much like the real Gale Sayers made me love the movie even more. Now with what is running through my blood and not knowing what will happen to me all I can think of now is my best friend of 25 years and him standing by my side. As you can see this move has really been a part of my life almost all my life."