The film follows the life of famous 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine from his youth days in Oregon to the University of Oregon where he worked with the legendary coach Bill Bowerman, later to Olympics in Munich and his early death at 24 in a car crash. Written by
Before the NCAA championship the movie shows Pre injuring his foot in a hotel room with "Iowa's Finest" (Amy Jo Johnson). Pre actually hurt his foot jumping into the hotel's pool from the lifeguard post. See more »
I'd like to work it out so that at the end, it's a pure guts race. If it is, I'm the only one who can win it.
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Having run track competitively, I had a special interest in this film and I was not disappointed. This film dramatized the life of Steve Prefontaine, a pre-eminent U.S. distance runner in the 1970's.
Though some of the details of his life were fudged for dramatic purposes, the essence of Prefontaine was preserved, namely his brash egotistical style of running and living. In addition to its realism regarding the sequences filmed on the track, this film gives a good account of the psychology of running.
Robert Towne did a fabulous job overall with this film, but especially with the realism of the scenes on the track. The dramatic element, focusing on character development of Prefontaine as a person as well as a runner was also well done, elevating it above your typical sports documentary and improving its entertainment value.
Billy Crudup gives a fine performance as Pre. He captures the arrogance and the crushing disappointment of his life. He was also terrific in the running scenes.
Donald Sutherland was also great as Coach Bill Bowerman. Sutherland played the part with the perfect balance of patient guidance and frustration as Pre continued to ignore his prudent advice. It was as if he were trying to guide a lightning bolt.
This was an excellent sports story. I rated it an 8/10. Even for those who are not fans of track and field and never heard of Steve Prefontaine, this is an entertaining and absorbing film.
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