Based on the real-life relationship between teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers and the bond established when Piccolo discovers that he is dying.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
J.C. Caroline
...
...
Judy Pace ...
Abe Gibron ...
Himself
Jack Concannon ...
Ed O'Bradovich ...
Ed O'Bradovich
The Chicago Bears Players ...
Themselves
The Chicago Bears Coaches ...
Themselves
The Chicago Bears Staff ...
Themselves
Harold 'Happy' Hairston ...
Veteran Player #1 (as Happy Hairston)
...
Veteran Player #2 (Doug Atkins)
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Storyline

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 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. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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An inspiring true story of friendship and courage.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

30 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freunde bis in den Tod  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real life, James Caan, who had been a football player in high school, was a much better athlete than Billy Dee Williams. In the movie, Gale Sayers, was supposed to surpass Brian Piccolo, in speed and playing ability. When Caan raced Williams on film, Caan was forced to slow down considerably so Williams could beat him. See more »

Goofs

After Gale Sayers makes the announcement in the locker room about Brian Piccolo's illness, and the team visits him in the hospital room, which is supposed to be in Chicago, the exterior hospital establishing shot clearly shows the name of the hospital, the "New North Hospital of Los Angeles." Further, while Brian Piccolo did return to Chicago for the diagnoses, he ultimately transferred to a hospital in New York City, which is where he died. See more »

Quotes

Gale Sayers: I love Brian Piccolo. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 25 September 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Brian's Song
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre
[Theme]
See more »

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User Reviews

Greatest made for TV movie ever made
11 October 2004 | by (Morgantown, WV) – See all my reviews

In times of racial trouble, inner family strife, and complete distrust of your fellow man, this movie showed what the world would really be like if people got rid of "oneupmanship" and lived life for life itself.

I HIGHLY recommend the original version (1971)

The acting was not campy, there was nothing to be really showy about, the football clips were some of the best ever incorporated (they actually became part of the plot), and other male leads were extremely believable in their roles.

The females weren't too bad, either.


27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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