Brian's Song
  • Brian's Song
  • Brian's Song

Brian's Song

3.6 3
Director: Buzz Kulik

Cast: Buzz Kulik, James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden

     
 

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The popular made-for-television biopic Brian's Song comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original bradcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Thai subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentarySee more details below

Overview

The popular made-for-television biopic Brian's Song comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original bradcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Thai subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by Billy Dee Williams and James Caan, a featurette about Gale Sayers, production notes, talent files, and trailers. This is a superb release from Columbia/TriStar.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Pete Segall
Football is not an emotionally tender game. Almost nothing in pigskin mythology compares to baseball's halcyon "Boys of Summer" glow, or Lou Gehrig's sad farewell to the Yankees. Football is the sport of trench warfare, and the trenches are no place for crybabies. Unless you bring up Brian's Song. Historically speaking, Brian Piccolo was not a very good player. A stellar running back at Wake Forest University in the '60s, Piccolo rarely stood out during his pro career with the Chicago Bears. But Brian's Song isn't really a story about the game of football. It is the story of the very powerful friendship that developed between Piccolo (James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), the Bears' All-Pro running back, the superstar behind whom Piccolo rides the bench. Piccolo is white, and Sayers is black, but the two bond; when Sayers suffers a debilitating knee injury, Piccolo supports him through his recovery. Sayers, whose book I Am Third served as the basis for this revered TV movie, is helpless to watch as his friend is stricken with and slowly succumbs to malignant cancer. Veteran TV director Buzz Kulik, whose work here earned a Director's Guild Award, does not hold back on sentiment, giving us lingering scenes of the two friends struggling mightily to overcome their ailments; and the Michel Legrand score can raise a lump in the sternest of throats. Caan and Williams are appropriately sober, but neither is too exuberant in victory or too pitiful in defeat to degrade the movie to schmaltz. Although it is an unabashed tearjerker, Brian's Song remains a profoundly moving story of two brothers in arms; noble warriors who find life's cruelest blows are struck outside the trenches.
All Movie Guide - Ryan Shriver
At 74 minutes, Brian's Song is one of the most effective and efficient television movies ever made. Documenting the true and tragic friendship between legendary Chicago Bears stars Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo (played by Billy Dee Williams and James Caan, respectively), the film also manages to overcome the trappings of a typical buddy film or sports drama of this sort by also addressing some of the larger social issues -- primarily racism -- of the time period. That said, director Buzz Kulik simply doesn't have enough time to adequately explore these topics -- considering the ground he attempts to cover over the course of the film's spartan running time. Instead -- and rightly so -- emphasis is given to the unique, socially defiant relationship the two men had, the success of which rests squarely on the performances of Williams and Caan. And both actors rise to the occasion and then some with amazing portrayals layered with a tremendous psychological depth, as well as a profoundly touching camaraderie. While far from a superior film, Brian's Song is still a moving dramatic document that holds a special place in the hearts of American-style football enthusiasts everywhere.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/08/2000
UPC:
0043396048638
Original Release:
1970
Rating:
G
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:14:00
Sales rank:
2,882

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and video; Full-screen presentation; Audio: English mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai; James Coan and Billy Dee Williams audio commentary; Featurette: "Gale Sayers First and Goal"; Bonus trailers; Talent files; Interactive menus; Production notes; Scene selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Caan Brian Piccolo
Billy Dee Williams Gale Sayers
Jack Warden Coach George Halas
Bernie Casey J.C. Caroline
Shelley Fabares Joy Piccolo
Judy Pace Linda Sayers
David Huddleston Ed McCaskey
Ron Feinberg Veteran Player 2
Ji-Tu Cumbuka Roommate
Jim Boeke Veteran Player
Doreen Lang Nurse 1
Allen Secher Hotel Man
Stu Nahan Speaker
Mario Machado 1st Reporter
Jack Wells Toastmaster
Dick Butkus Himself

Technical Credits
Buzz Kulik Director
Joseph Biroc Cinematographer
William Blinn Screenwriter
Michel Legrand Score Composer
Tony Thomas Associate Producer
Paul Junger Witt Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [3:59]
2. Coach Halas [2:12]
3. Brina's song [3:03]
4. Training begins [1:28]
5. Night practice [1:23]
6. First cut [:58]
7. JC's idea [2:37]
8. Roommates [3:48]
9. "Sayer's speaks!" [2:18]
10. Rookie of the Year [4:00]
11. Knee injury [2:05]
12. Good to be home [1:38]
13. Brian's rationale [3:13]
14. Getting back in shape [5:04]
15. Number one fullback [2:06]
16. Ten pounds lighter [2:15]
17. Halas' policy [1:31]
18. Going home [2:15]
19. "Brian has cancer." [1:51]
20. Telling the team [2:40]
21. Visiting day [2:26]
22. "Patty's dead." [1:20]
23. Detour [1:58]
24. Hanging in there [1:23]
25. The cancer spreads [1:39]
26. Breaking the news [4:35]
27. Courageous Player Award [3:55]
28. Final down [6:24]

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