6.8/10
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38 user 25 critic

Prefontaine (1997)

Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine, a long distance runner who lived in Oregon and died young

Director:

Steve James

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Pre" embodied the spirit of athletic excellence. He had a belief in self and sport that transcended all but the outer reaches of human speed and endurance. As a freshman, he appeared on the... See full summary »

Director: Erich Lyttle
Stars: Dana Carvey, Ken Kesey, Phil Knight
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jared Leto ... Steve Prefontaine
R. Lee Ermey ... Bill Bowerman
Ed O'Neill ... Bill Dellinger
Breckin Meyer ... Pat Tyson
Lindsay Crouse ... Elfriede Prefontaine
Amy Locane ... Nancy Alleman
Laurel Holloman ... Elaine Finley
Brian McGovern ... Mac Wilkins
Kurtwood Smith ... Curtis Cunningham
Adrian Amadeus Adrian Amadeus ... Finnish Teammate
Laurence Ballard ... O'Hara
Ryan Brewer Ryan Brewer ... 12 year old kid
Robert Burke ... Young Pre
Kevin Calabro Kevin Calabro ... 3rd Airport Reporter
George Catalano ... Patron #1
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Storyline

Life and times of Steve Prefontaine, a young long-distance runner from Oregon who pursued the dream of Olympic gold in Munich and became one of the biggest, yet most tragic sport stars in America. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He beat the odds... And became a legend!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Префонтейн See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$311,253, 26 January 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$532,190, 2 February 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hollywood Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the film was shot in Washington state. However, there were some scenes that were also shot in Oregon, the home state in which Steve Prefontaine grew up for most of his life. See more »

Goofs

During the running of the 10,000 meter race at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the television shows the Star of David as the decimal point in the time. The Star of David was used after the Israeli hostage crisis, and the race happened before the crisis. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill Bowerman: Pre turned distance running into a blood sport. You wanna know what he meant to folks around here? What was it
[indecipherable]
Bill Bowerman: kids said back then? "You just had to be there."
See more »

Connections

References Speed Racer (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

What You Need Tonight
Written by Mason Daring, Kenny White
Performed by Renn Woods
Courtesy of Daring Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Sports Film
12 July 2002 | by bliss66See all my reviews

I saw this last night on the BBC--I don't think it ever had a theatrical release in Britain--and thought it was excellent. I remember this film and its rival, Without Limits, when they were released in 1997 but never saw them. Users have commented on how much this film resembled the '70's era, right down to the soundtrack and overall style of the film, as if that kind of authenticity is to its detriment. It does remind one of that '70's TV movie classic, Brian's Song, but then, what other era should this film resemble?! It's no surprise that the documentary storytelling style works so well since the director and writer, Steve James, made one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the '90's--the basketball flik, Hoop Dreams (highly recommended as well). But shooting a documentary and recreating the style of one are two different things and though they probably both have their perils, recreating that style in service to drama must have much steeper pitfalls. Steve James (and company) completely succeed here. Jared Leto gives a compelling performance as Pre and forces the viewer to sympathise with him in very unique ways. He's not immensely likable but when he runs...one understands that great athletic performers, like Steve Prefontaine, did not win races on personality alone. But it's the way that the rest of cast responds to him, their admiration completely palpable and on the surface, that moves the viewer to embrace him as well. He's heartbreaking when he asks, "Do I look like a runner?" American sports films usually obscure their central figures by ladling on heavy doses of heavy-handed inspiration. Not so with this film. Pre emerges a gifted, young, confused but determined individual who inspires not through his athletic performances but through the strength of his character and what he did for amateur athletics. The ending doesn't so much jerk tears from the viewer as it allows them to flow freely and copiously. An underrated, lost gem of a film.


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