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A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story (1991)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Sport | TV Movie 2 April 1991
In the early 1980s, football star Ricky Bell befriends Ryan Blankenship, a disabled boy.


Richard Michaels


Jeff Andrus

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mario Van Peebles ... Ricky Bell
Susan Ruttan ... Carol
Lane R. Davis Lane R. Davis ... Ryan Blankenship (as Lane Davis)
Lynn Whitfield ... Natala
Adam Faraizl Adam Faraizl
Polly Holliday ... Ruth
Jay Pennison Jay Pennison
John Schuhmacher John Schuhmacher
James Zachery James Zachery
Dennis Letts ... Ed
Woody Watson ... Larry
Marcus Allen ... Himself
Tony Davis Tony Davis ... Himself
Charles White Charles White ... Himself
Rob McKinnon ... Doctor #1


A poignant story in the mode of "Brian's Song" and "Something for Joey". This is the tale of Ricky Bell, an all-pro running back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who died of a rare muscle disease in the prime of his career. The plot centers on Bell's relationship with a father-less handicapped boy, and his efforts to be a big brother to him. The boy ends up being an inspiration for Bell when his disease makes the athlete more afflicted than the boy. Written by Bill Wendel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama | Sport


Not Rated






Release Date:

2 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Força de uma Amizade See more »

Filming Locations:

Houston, Texas, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Please Put this Movie On DVD or on Television again
2 August 2008 | by merenSee all my reviews

This Movie Belongs on ESPN Classic, BET, TV One, they show Something for Joey, Brians Song, The Hank Gathers Story periodically but this movie never saw the light of day again it seems. I remember watching it. I have an NFL Greatest moments on Tape about Ricky Bell he would probably have been a hall of Famer just like Bo Jackson probably would be if their careers had not have been cut short. He used to run in combat boots in the Deep Sand for a workout. The Three Best Running backs in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history are Ricky Bell, James Wilder, and Warrick Dunn. Offensively Bell pretty much single handedly along with Jerry Eckwood, Doug Williams and Jimmie Giles led the 79 Bucs to the NFC Title game along with that Tremendous Defense they had.

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