Brian’s Song (1971)


“It’s all so pointless, Gale. I mean, I know perfectly well what’s wrong with me. Gale, I uh… I think I’m pregnant. ” – Brian

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Mar 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Tells the story of the bond formed between two pro football rookie players as they deal with racism and friendship.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve heard about for years but never really had the opportunity to see.

James Caan and Billy Dee Williams are both great actors and we can easily believe the bond that their characters experience in this film.

It was a bit difficult watching Lando Calrissian without a mustache, but….

They give us the opportunity to watch these characters bond over numerous issues and ideas and we get to see them experience love, hate, bigotry, competitive life of athletes, marriage, family and death.

This is alll done in just about 75 minutes and as good a job as they do, this film feels a bit too short.

If they had expanded the runtime a bit more, I think it would have been near perfect.

The fact that this is based on a true story is great because we know that such a friendship can truly exist even among men from varying backgrounds who sought out similar goals in life.

Bottom Line – Quite a moving story that works really well. We can easily believe the bond between the characters played by Caan and Williams.  We get to see how they deal with love, hate, bigotry, life and death as their bond grows on and off the field.  The fact that we know it’s based on truth raises the level of enjoyment because we know such a friendship did actually exist between the characters portrayed here. The story itself  feels a bit too short here and it might have been even better had it been a longer movie. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In real-life, James Caan, who had been a football player in high school, was a much better athlete than Billy Dee Williams. In the movie, Gale Sayers, was supposed to surpass Brian Piccolo, in speed and playing ability. When Caan raced Williams on film, Caan was forced to slow down considerably, so Williams could beat him. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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8 thoughts on “Brian’s Song (1971)

  1. This was a made for TV movie back when most of the broadcast networks (pre-cable) had movies of the week. This was one of the best. I saw it on the night it was broadcast (in 1971?) Really good. A tear-jerker for men. I think both Caan and Williams were nominated for Emmys – may have canceled one another out. Neither won. I’m a football fan (although not the Bears) and I knew the story about Brian Piccolo – so the ending was not a surprise – but still – massively affecting. A classic amongst the made for TV genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1971 |

  3. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

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