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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, (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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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

Taglines:

An inspiring true story of friendship and courage.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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

Piccolo's arm changes position when asking Sayers if the woman in the picture is his wife. See more »

Quotes

Brian Piccolo: So, Concannon calls this trap play, and it's just beautiful... 43 yards, wasn't it 43? Ah. So, Halas sees he's tired, and sends me in, so I go in, he comes out. Concannon then figures he's gonna get REALLY foxy... you know, Concannon is... So, he says, "Um, same play. VERY SAME PLAY." Now, a trap play is also called, a SUCKER play, because it makes the defense look REAL bad when it works. Now, defenses DO NOT like to look real bad, see... it makes 'em kinda surly... So, anyway, all the linemen ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Satan's School for Girls (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Brian's Song
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre
[Theme]
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User Reviews

A Standard After More Than 30 years
22 October 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

After more than 30 years, this movie has earned its place as the standard for all television movies that followed it. A great score, a great cast............it just does not get any better than this. That remake (2001) does not measure the quality or the warmth of this 1971 standard bearer.


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