7.6/10
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Brian's Song (1971)

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
4,589 ( 16)
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 ... Abe Gibron
Jack Concannon Jack Concannon ... Jack Concannon
Ed O'Bradovich Ed O'Bradovich ... Ed O'Bradovich
The Chicago Bears Players ... The Chicago Bear Players
The Chicago Bears Coaches The Chicago Bears Coaches ... The Chicago Bear Coaches
The Chicago Bears Staff The Chicago Bears Staff ... The Chicago Bear Staff
Harold 'Happy' Hairston Harold 'Happy' Hairston ... Veteran Player #1 (as Happy Hairston)
Ron Feinberg ... Veteran Player #2
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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:

Brian's Song 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

Louis Gossett, Jr. was originally cast as Gale Sayers. A few days before shooting began, Gossett tore his Achilles' tendon while working out. Studio executives quickly hired Billy Dee Williams as a replacement, leaving Gossett depressed over missing his "shot". Producer David L. Wolper promised Gossett the first great role that came along. Wolper cast Gossett as "Fiddler" in Roots (1977), the Emmy-winning role that made him a star. See more »

Goofs

The character (and real life player) J.C. Caroline, portrayed by Bernie Casey, was the Bears team captain in the year that Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers joined the team. However, the film depicts Caroline being with the team through the 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 seasons, while he actually retired as a player after the 1965 season, after ten years with the Bears. See more »

Quotes

Brian Piccolo: Hey, Sayers. You know, we're gonna have to stop meetin' like this, my wife's startin' to get suspicious.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Just Shoot Me!: Puppetmaster (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Brian's Song
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand Et Son Orchestre
[Theme]
See more »

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User Reviews

Best football movie ever
15 August 2003 | by john_baurSee all my reviews

It's a football movie, a buddy movie, a comedy and a tragedy, with actual game footage of the inimitable Gale Sayers. It's the one movie (Pride of the Yankees might be one other) that it's all right for guys to get weepy over. Just a great, great film. DO NOT be fooled and accidentally rent the wimpy remake. James Caan and Billy Dee Williams are perfect as the two teammates who become friends and then even more. You WILL tear up and get a lump in your throat during the "I love Brian Piccolo" speech. If you don't there is something seriously wrong with you.


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