|Index||7 reviews in total|
While there are many films made "based" upon a true story, few come as close to portraying the actual events as Running Brave. Billy Mills' amazing finish to win the gold medal in the 10,000 meters, not to mention announcer Jim McKay's call of this race, have become legendary. Robbie Benson's understated acting style and athleticism made him an ideal choice to play the shy Mills, a Native American who was uncomfortable with the attention and notoriety his Olympic fame caused. Also, watch for veteran character actor, Pat Hingle, who gives an excellent performance in the role of Mills' college coach at Kansas.
Running Brave is a wonderful film. It sends out strong, positive, messages
of life, and pursuing goals. As a Cross-Country and Track runner, Running
Brave gave me the inspiration to continue to work hard and focus to be the
best out there (like the Prefontaine movies did). Billy Mills did not let
the stereotypical attitude towards his origins bring him down, it just
fuelled him even more to showcase his talents.
The last segment of the 10,000 meter final is filmed exceptionally well.
--If your a runner, then Running Brave is for you. If your a person that likes inspirational, good-hearted films, I highly recommend this movie. *** stars out of 4
This would have to be one of the best true sporting stories ever created on the screen. Billy Mills is a Native American Indian who has to fight against the odds to get to the top. A gifted athlete who is very proud of his heritage works his way to the top and wins the 10,000 metres at the Tokyo Olympics. It highlights the ups and downs an American Indian must face to get recognition as a man and athlete. Robbie Benson seems to be born for the part. He portrays Mills very well to the extent that the running style is very alike. The actual race brings a chill to your spine, especially the way he finishes down the straight. This is a great Movie and any budding athlete should watch it just to see how to become a winner and win against all the odds.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robby Benson gives an excellent and engaging performance as Billy Mills, a shy and soft-spoken, yet proud and determined half-white, half-Sioux Native American athlete who has to overcome prejudice and leaving his reservation in order to become a champion runner who competes in the Olympic 10,000 meter race in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Directors Donald Shebib and D.S. Everett and writers Henry Bean and Shiryl Hendryx never resort to either gooey sentiment or crude sensationalism while addressing not only the expected racism and discrimination Billy faced while in college, but also Mills' awkwardness and difficulty with adjusting to the white man's world and his own struggle with acquiring the right hard competitive edge needed to be a winner. The uniformly ace acting from a tip-top cast rates as another substantial asset: Benson simply shines in the lead as Billy, Pat Hingle likewise excels as tough and demanding, but fair and compassionate Coach Bill Easton, Claudia Cron brings great warmth and appeal to her part as Billy's sweet and loyal girlfriend Pat, plus there are sound supporting turns by Jeff McCracken as Billy's friendly college roommate Dennis Riley, August Schellenberg as Billy's loving boxer father, Graham Greene as Billy sour brother Eddie, Denis Lacroix as sad alcoholic ex-con Frank, and Kendell Smith as young Billy. The climactic major race is a genuinely gripping and exciting set piece. Both Francois Protat's sharp, sunny cinematography and Mike Post's twangy, rousing, harmonic score are up to speed. A fine and affecting film.
Based on the true story of Billy Mills, a Native American long distance runner who overcame racial prejudice to compete at the 1964 Olympic Games, 'Running Brave' presents a detailed slice of sporting history. While he is sometimes hard to believe as a Native American, Robby Benson (who played the young priest in 'The End' among other roles) provides a sincere and heartfelt performance as Mills, and Pat Hingle is very good as his charismatic coach. Even with such promising elements, 'Running Brave' has nevertheless fallen into obscurity since its initial release and it is easy to understand why. For all its ambition, the project severely lacks focus. Subplots including Benson courting his wife to-be (who seems to fall for him awfully quickly) and Benson returning home for a brief stint always seem like a distraction from the Olympic training central plot. Sporadic flashbacks to his childhood and sentimental letters written to his sister (delivered by Benson in voice-over) likewise subtract from the immediacy of the story. Most of the racial prejudice scenes come off as rather dated too, genuinely intimidating as one policeman admittedly is. When focused on the running side of things though, the film rarely missteps. The actual Olympic race is filmed with nail-biting intensity, expertly edited by Peter Zinner (of 'The Godfather' fame) and Benson has several good moments as he clashes with Hingle over strategy. It is also interesting to see Graham Greene (from 'Dances with Wolves') younger than ever, cast as Benson's older brother.
Based on the true story of Billy Mills, who went as an American Indian,
in the 1950s on a running scholarship to college, then went on to
become America's favorite runner, is one of the better inspirational
Among the reservation you can spot actors who will later appear in Dances With Wolves, and the film is filled with good performances. The camera work is slightly dated now, but it the running that shines. Shot as a time when jogging was America's national sport this is one of the best running films out there - though not Chariots of Fire it does capture something of the spirit of cross-country and track.
All in all, if social justice and / or sports are your thing then you'll love this - it really is a good watch.
"For world-class distance runner Billy Mills, the toughest competition
often began when he stepped off the track. From life on an impoverished
South Dakota Indian reservation to his phenomenal upset victory at the
1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Mills constantly challenged the barriers
of culture and his own deeply-rooted insecurities. Robby Benson stars
in this true, uniquely uplifting story of an extraordinary quest for
personal excellence," according to the 1983 "Englander Productions" VHS
videocassette. "Running Brave" originally ran with some salty language
and included a shower scene with some fleeting frontal nudity
(honestly, there is nothing to crow about). The 2004 "Trinity" DVD has
reportedly shaved off the pubic hair and incorrectly cites the same
running time. Some mild vulgarities may have also been excised
(strongest expletive used herein is the word for human feces). The
slightly above average film is based on a true story about an athlete
overcoming much to participate in the climactic big event.
****** Running Brave (11/4/83) D.S. Everett, Donald Shebib ~ Robby Benson, Pat Hingle, Claudia Cron, Jeff McCracken
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