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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Release Date:

30 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freunde bis in den Tod  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sayers always referred to Piccolo as "Pic." Piccolo referred to Sayers as "Black Magic". See more »

Goofs

There is one moving camera shot on the football field with James Caan and Billy Dee Williams watching the action, but the view shows no players on the field. The crowd also roars as if a good play was made. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Ernest Hemingway once said "Every true story ends in death." Well, this is a true story.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friends: The One Where Old Yeller Dies (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
YOU'LL LAUGH, YOU'LL CRY, YOU'LL WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL
5 November 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I still remember sitting down with my family to watch "Brian's Song", the made for TV movie in 1971. I was 13 years of age, and my 3 brothers and I thought we were going to watch a sports movie. It's funny thinking back to that night, as all the brothers fought back tears during the final scenes. We jumped up at the end, and tried to act macho and pretended we all had colds and runny noses. Watching the movie today, it doesn't have quite the same impact, but it remains touching and dramatic. James Caan and Billy D Williams work well together. They act without any arrogance and tough-guy attributes they picked up later in their careers. The movie score wraps around the scenes to add to the poignancy without disrupting the mood. Shelly Fabarase is the perfect wife. It is a touching tribute to a ordinary football player, Brian Piccolo, who lead a extraordinary life. A updated version of "Brian's Song" attempted to capture the magic of 1971's version, but as is usually the case, the attempt falls short of the goal. The original does the best at mourning Piccolo's death, but most importantly, celebrating his life. It is a touchdown!


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