7.6/10
6,563
51 user 19 critic

Brian's Song (1971)

Based on the real-life relationship between teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers and the bond established when Piccolo discovers that he is dying.

Director:

Buzz Kulik

Writers:

William Blinn, Gale Sayers (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,666 ( 534)

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From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Caan ... Brian Piccolo
Billy Dee Williams ... Gale Sayers
Jack Warden ... Coach Halas
Bernie Casey ... J.C. Caroline
Shelley Fabares ... Joy Piccolo
David Huddleston ... Ed McCaskey
Judy Pace ... Linda Sayers
Abe Gibron Abe Gibron ... Abe Gibron
Jack Concannon Jack Concannon ... Jack Concannon
Ed O'Bradovich Ed O'Bradovich ... Ed O'Bradovich
The Chicago Bears Players The Chicago Bears Players ... The Chicago Bear Players
The Chicago Bears Coaches The Chicago Bears Coaches ... The Chicago Bear Coaches
The Chicago Bears Staff The Chicago Bears Staff ... The Chicago Bear Staff
Harold 'Happy' Hairston Harold 'Happy' Hairston ... Veteran Player #1 (as Happy Hairston)
Ron Feinberg ... Veteran Player #2
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brian's Song See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Screen Gems Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

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

The position of Sayer's head changes when he is talking with Piccolo in the hospital. See more »

Quotes

Brian Piccolo: It's all so pointless, Gayle. I mean, I know perfectly well what's wrong with me. Gayle, I uh... I think I'm pregnant.
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Connections

Referenced in Rugrats: Game Show Didi/Toys in the Attic (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
YOU'LL LAUGH, YOU'LL CRY, YOU'LL WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL
5 November 2002 | by brianlionSee all my reviews

I still remember sitting down with my family to watch "Brian's Song", the made for TV movie in 1971. I was 13 years of age, and my 3 brothers and I thought we were going to watch a sports movie. It's funny thinking back to that night, as all the brothers fought back tears during the final scenes. We jumped up at the end, and tried to act macho and pretended we all had colds and runny noses. Watching the movie today, it doesn't have quite the same impact, but it remains touching and dramatic. James Caan and Billy D Williams work well together. They act without any arrogance and tough-guy attributes they picked up later in their careers. The movie score wraps around the scenes to add to the poignancy without disrupting the mood. Shelly Fabarase is the perfect wife. It is a touching tribute to a ordinary football player, Brian Piccolo, who lead a extraordinary life. A updated version of "Brian's Song" attempted to capture the magic of 1971's version, but as is usually the case, the attempt falls short of the goal. The original does the best at mourning Piccolo's death, but most importantly, celebrating his life. It is a touchdown!


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