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

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

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Language:

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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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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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

When Brian and Gale are talking at the Sayers' staircase, Brian is standing at the base of the stairs holding a towel. After a quick shot of Gale, Brian is suddenly over by the wall with no towel in sight. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: We Got Us a Pippi Virgin (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
It was an honor to cry at such a fine film
18 April 2003 | by (Wilton, NH) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best football films ever made. Yes, it's not that long, but it is great. Billy Dee Williams and James Caan were just starting out their careers and TV movies were still fairly new. This is a story of two opposites, one who was shy and kept to himself and the other who was cocky and confident. There would eventually see past their differences and become the best of friends. I like the chemistry that Williams and Caan had in this film. They made you belive they were Sayers and Pic. What was the part that made me cry? It was the scene where Gale has to tell the team before a game that Brian has cancer. Even if I have to force it, I love to cry at that scene. It's the best part of the film. The musical score is also great. The theme has a tone to it I can't describe. I tried watching the remake when it came out, and couldn't make it through the first 15 minutes. It was Disneytized for my viewing displeasure. In my heart, Williams and Caan will always be Sayers and Pic. No doubt about it.


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