7.6/10
6,490
51 user 18 critic

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
3,651 ( 675)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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 ... Himself
Jack Concannon Jack Concannon ... Jack Concannon
Ed O'Bradovich Ed O'Bradovich ... Ed O'Bradovich
The Chicago Bears Players The Chicago Bears Players ... Themselves
The Chicago Bears Coaches The Chicago Bears Coaches ... Themselves
The Chicago Bears Staff The Chicago Bears Staff ... Themselves
Harold 'Happy' Hairston Harold 'Happy' Hairston ... Veteran Player #1 (as Happy Hairston)
Ron Feinberg ... Veteran Player #2 (Doug Atkins)
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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:

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:

Freunde bis in den Tod 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

As is evidenced throughout the movie, Brian Piccolo's favorite food was pizza. See more »

Goofs

After Gale Sayers makes the announcement in the locker room about Brian Piccolo's illness, and the team visits him in the hospital room, which is supposed to be in Chicago, the exterior hospital establishing shot clearly shows the name of the hospital, the "New North Hospital of Los Angeles." Further, while Brian Piccolo did return to Chicago for the diagnoses, he ultimately transferred to a hospital in New York City, which is where he died. See more »

Quotes

Brian Piccolo: I said thank you.
Gale Sayers: I know.
Brian Piccolo: Well, usually when someone says thank you you're supposed to say you're welcome or How's Your mother?
Gale Sayers: How's your mother? ?
Brian Piccolo: She's doin' fine, thanks for asking.
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Guy Cry Movies (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
I cried......
20 December 2002 | by grahamsj3See all my reviews

Yes, I did. Anyone who doesn't the first (and probably second) time they see it is not human. The film does a fantastic job of establishing a strong bond between the two lead characters, played by James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. Then, at the end, when Billy Dee says "I love Brian Piccolo..." I lost it! Blubbering! This is one outstanding film. If you decide to watch it, have your tissues handy towards the end!


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