Brian's Song

Brian's Song

John Gray (2001)

PG Certificate


Our Score
The 1971 version of this heart-wrenching true-story sports drama is one of the best TV movies ever made, and it brought James Caan to the public's attention. Director John Gray's remake is better than you might expect, but doesn't match up to the original. Sean Maher (Serenity) takes the Caan role of Brian Piccolo, the American football player who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer back in the late 60s. Mekhi Phifer plays his black team-mate Gale Sayers, with whom Piccolo forged a close friendship at a time when racial integration was not the done thing. Maher is a little too ebullient in the early part of the film, although he does better work later on when terminal illness starts to devastate Piccolo's career. The story of courage and humanity is a gripping one, but Gray's movie attempts to extend some of the original's minor areas, and in doing so loses emotional power.


Sports biopic about the short life of white American football player Brian Piccolo and his close friendship with black colleague Gale Sayers. The two athletes battled for the same position during their time with the Chicago Bears, and became great allies as they faced prejudices and injuries on their path to stardom. Starring Mekhi Phifer and Sean Maher. Includes Sony Movie News at 9.55am.

Cast & Crew

Gale Sayers Mekhi Phifer
Brian Piccolo Sean Maher
George Halas Ben Gazzara
Linda Sayers Elise Neal
Abe Gibron Aidan Devine
Dick Butkus Jeff Ironi
Director John Gray
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Contains some swearing. Available on: video and DVD