Henry Steele is a basketball phenom at his small town high school, but when he matriculates to a big city university on a scholarship, soon realizes that he has few skills outside the sport... See full summary »
In 1944, in Brooklyn, two Jewish kids become friends. One is from a very conservative family, and the other is more liberal. The issues of importance of tradition, parental expectations and the formation of Israel cause constant friction.
This is the true story of a man's triumph over prejudice, pain and himself. Billy Mills, a North American Indian brought up on the reservation, destined against all odds to become the best distance runner in the world. See more »
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.
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