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Brian's Song (1971)

TV Movie  |  G  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  30 November 1971 (USA)
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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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Title: Brian's Song (TV Movie 1971)

Brian's Song (TV Movie 1971) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An inspiring true story of friendship and courage.


Biography | Drama | Sport


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Freunde bis in den Tod  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


As is evidenced throughout the movie, Brian Piccolo's favorite food was pizza. See more »


When Gale Sayers suffers his knee injury, it's during his fourth year on the team, which was the 1968 NFL season. George Halas had retired as the Bears Head Coach after the 1967 season, although he was still serving as the Bears owner, and functionally as Bears general manager. See more »


Brian Piccolo: I think it's working.
Gale Sayers: What is?
Brian Piccolo: I'm getting you overconfident.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

An inspiring story of friendship and love...
12 September 2004 | by (Philippines) – See all my reviews

I just love this movie! It is a story of 2 men--Gale and Brian...2 unlikely people to become the best of friends...The actors were well cast--James Caan and Billy Dee Sayers fit their roles to a tee. It is a film not only of friendship but also of love...a film of triumph of the human spirit. It is a story that transcends time and overcomes barriers to relationships, whatever they might be--racial, religious, or political. It challenges the viewer to assess his/her own prejudices and why it must be overcome. It is as timely as it was when it was first shown. A real winner but be prepared with a box of Kleenex when watching this very touching film. I saw a remake of this film quite recently but I think the original movie was much better than the remake.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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