7.6/10
6,435
51 user 18 critic
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
1,957 ( 2,211)

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From $2.99 (SD) 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 ... Himself
Jack Concannon Jack Concannon ... Jack Concannon
Ed O'Bradovich Ed O'Bradovich ... Ed O'Bradovich
The Chicago Bears Players The Chicago Bears Players ... Themselves
The Chicago Bears Coaches The Chicago Bears Coaches ... Themselves
The Chicago Bears Staff The Chicago Bears Staff ... Themselves
Harold 'Happy' Hairston Harold 'Happy' Hairston ... Veteran Player #1 (as Happy Hairston)
Ron Feinberg ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freunde bis in den Tod 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
See full technical specs »
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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 the coach comes in the room to talk to Brian and Gayle to let Gayle know he will become number one full back, the boom mic's shadow shows above Gayle's head in the shot when the camera focuses on coach and Gayle. See more »

Quotes

Brian Piccolo: Well, on uh, Fake Draw Screen Right I uh, pick up the linebacker if he's comin, 'less of course it's Butkus, then I simply notify the quarterback to send for a preacher.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rita Rocks: The Crying Game (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
The Ultimate "Guy" Movie
2 February 2001 | by Popeye-8See all my reviews

The TV show "Just Shoot Me" once had a sub-plot involving the primary male characters being drawn to watching BRIAN'S SONG...and dissolving into tears by the conclusion--as well as commenting on why "men don't cry", although they should. The use of the movie is a brilliant move, as this truly is the ultimate Guy Picture, and worthy of its unofficial recognition as the greatest television movie ever made.


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