The story of professional football players Gale Sayes and Brian Piccolo, and how their friendship on and off the field was affected when Piccolo contracted a fatal disease.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Ironi ...
Dick Butkus
Bill Filbert
Bruce Gooch ...
Craig Eldridge ...
Doctor Beattie
Michael Millar ...
Doctor Fox
Doctor O'Conner
Erika Cohen ...


American football players Brian Piccolo, of Italian descent with the gift of the gab, and Gale Sayers, black and a social cripple, both join the Chicago Bears. They don't get along, but coach's plan to mix races as roomies forces them to do so. When Gale is about to give up with a knee injury, Brian kicks and helps him till he gets back, and they become friends. Just when Brian gets off the bench in a new position, he's diagnosed with embryonal carcinoma, and when that's cured other dangerous cancers: his career is over, and his life a painful struggle for survival at best... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Greatest Victories In Life Don't Always Happen On The Field.


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Release Date:

2 December 2001 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie shows the Bears playing the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta during the 1965 season but the Falcons didn't start playing until 1966. See more »


Remake of Brian's Song (1971) See more »


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User Reviews

Comparing this to the original is like apples & oranges..
14 January 2002 | by (Urbandale, IA USA) – See all my reviews

Because they're so different. James Caan and Billy Dee Williams WERE Pic & Gale. These two new guys, well, they just don't cut it. It'd be like re-casting "Star Trek" with total unknowns as the Enterprise bridge crew. Oh, wait. That already happened, and IT actually worked. This remake, however, didn't.

The main reason the original "Brian's Song" was so good was the way that Billy Dee Williams (Sayers) & James Caan (Pic) interacted, with Pic bouncing racist remarks off Gale left & right. This new, PC version waters the racism down almost to the point of non-existence.

Also, scenes that made the original so funny were completely omitted; for example, early in the film, the Piccolos & Sayers were at a pizza parlor, & Brian described a play gone wrong, ending with, "So, anyway, all the linemen go this way, and it's like I am lookin' at a team portrait of the Los Angeles Rams....Hey, Deacon! Merlin? How's the family, Rosie?" Then Gale pipes up, "It's like, I'm roomin' with a colored player again!" Again, I'm sure this scene was omitted due to its racial undertones, but it took away from the humor of the film.

I found this new version to be much darker, focussing more on Brian's illness and the consequences than on the relationship between he & Gale Sayers, which was the main thing that made the original so special. If you can find the original on VHS or DVD, get it. But, stay away from the remake.

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