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Gleason (2016)

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After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.


Clay Tweel (as J. Clay Tweel)


Clay Tweel (as J. Clay Tweel)
11 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Gleason ... Himself
Mike Gleason Mike Gleason ... Himself
Scott Fujita ... Himself
Mike McKenzie Mike McKenzie ... Himself
Michel Varisco-Gleason ... Herself
Paul Varisco Jr. Paul Varisco Jr. ... Himself
Vinnie Varisco Vinnie Varisco ... Himself
Ryan Gootee Ryan Gootee ... Himself
Paul Varisco Sr. Paul Varisco Sr. ... Himself
Brendan Weber Brendan Weber ... Himself
Kyle Gleason Kyle Gleason ... Himself
Gail Gleason Gail Gleason ... Herself
Jill Varisco Jill Varisco ... Herself
Kevin Dedmon Kevin Dedmon ... Himself
Rivers Gleason Rivers Gleason ... Himself


At the age of 34, Steve Gleason was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave the former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero two to five years to live. So that is what Steve chose to do - LIVE: with purpose, for his newborn son, for his wife, and to help others with his disease.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »


Live with purpose. Love with purpose.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Site | Official site [Japan] | See more »





Release Date:

29 July 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gleason Project See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$91,583, 29 July 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$576,589, 28 August 2016
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Steve Gleason: All dad's never think that they're annoying their kids like they do... so I have no idea how I will annoy you. I hope it's not the way that my dad annoys me.
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Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 27 July 2016 (2016) See more »


Given to Fly
Written by Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder
Performed by Pearl Jam
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User Reviews

'Gleason' reminds us what it means to feel
12 August 2016 | by loganburdSee all my reviews

On September 25, 2006, the New Orleans Saints returned to their home turf, the Superdome, nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina had turned it into a sad, makeshift refugee camp for thousands of displaced families. On that Monday night, New Orleanians needed a rebirth. Saints safety Steve Gleason, a small, Rudy-esque standout who played his college ball with the Washington State Cougars, gave them just that when he blocked a punt that led the Saints to their first touchdown since Katrina. Gleason had New Orleans' back. Five years later, Gleason needed the city to have his back. In 2011, Steve Gleason was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). And just six weeks after his diagnosis, he discovered his wife, Michel, was pregnant with their first child. Knowing he would be able to see his child grow up, Steve began a video blog to impart wisdom to his son. That, along with interviews with family and friends, became the inspiring and heartbreaking documentary "Gleason."

What can I say? If you don't like wiping tears and snot from your face as you cry your way through half of a two-hour movie, maybe you're better off not seeing "Gleason." And this isn't the work of paid actors overdoing it for dramatic effect or composers calculating which violin at which time will tug your heartstrings most effectively. These are real people struggling to live with their scary new lives. This is a candid conversation between a father and son, or a home video in the hospital after the birth of a child. Steve Gleason isn't afraid to show you himself at his worst— struggling to control his bowels, crying on camera as he tries to record a video message his son can watch when he's old enough. "Gleason" stays on message, a message of resilience in the face of adversity. But as much as it inspires and educates, above all, "Gleason" is a portal for you to access emotions you might have bottled up. But then, when it's over, stop blubbering, wipe away those tears, and contribute some money and time to defeating ALS. Because even though the ice buckets have long since melted, the cause is still very real for many people fighting to stay alive, and for the courageous spouses and family members putting in overtime to keep their loved ones with them. "Gleason" is a call to action. Heed the call.

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