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Prefontaine (1997)

Jared Leto , R. Lee Ermey , Steve James  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)

Price: $15.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Prefontaine + Without Limits (1998) + Chariots Of Fire
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer, Lindsay Crouse
  • Directors: Steve James
  • Writers: Steve James, Eugene Corr
  • Producers: Irby Smith, Jon Lutz, Mark Doonan, Pam Dixon, Peter Gilbert
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video / Mill Creek
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068MC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,610 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prefontaine" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Inspirational and entertaining, PREFONTAINE is another acclaimed success from the makers of HOOP DREAMS. It's the true-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, the exciting and sometimes controversial "James Dean of Track," whose spirit captured the heart of the nation! Cocky, charismatic, and tough, "Pre" was a running rebel who defied rules, pushed limits ... and smashed records ... in an incredible against-all-odds quest for Olympic gold! Now a major motion picture, the triumphs and heartbreaks of this unforgettable champion will have you riveted from beginning to end!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Steve Prefontaine, a record setting middle distance runner, won all his races against Americans. He led his race in the 1972 Olympics but faded to fourth by a breath. He died in a car accident (drinking was involved, but to what degree is debated) in 1975 at the age of 24. All admit that he wasn't the perfect physical specimen for a runner, but he was gritty and tenacious and would not give anything less than everything he had.

You would think it would be hard to come up with a full length bio pic about someone who died at 24. Yet, in 1998 there were TWO films that came out about his life. One from Disney and the other from Warner Brothers.

The Disney Film tells the story from the point of view of the assistant coach who was with him day-to-day, Bill Dellinger and Prefontaine's girlfriend at the time of his death, Nancy Alleman. It has a good cast with Jared Leto as Prefontaine, Ed O'Neil as Bill Dellinger and R. Lee Ermy as Bill Bowerman. Siskel and Ebert reviewed it and gave it two thumbs up.

The Warner Brothers release was produced by Tom Cruise and told from the point of view of Bill Bowerman with Dellinger as a minor character and Mary Marckx. In this film there is no Nancy Alleman and Mary is his girlfriend all the way through. Bowerman is played by Donald Sutherland and is given guru status. In both films, Prefontaine is shown as headstrong and difficult to coach. Bowerman did remain active with the Oregon program and with Prefontaine after his retirement.

In both films, Prefontaine is shown as a powerful and hard charging runner who also loved to party too much and had troubled relationships with his young women. The fans love him and his fame is correctly portrayed as is his loss at the '72 Olympics.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, better of the 2 Prefontaine movies June 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I've seen this movie several times. The first time it was just my wife and I. Even though she's not a runner, the movie helped her to better understand where I'm coming from. A few days later we watched it with a few members of the high school cross country and track teams. I'm a volunteer coach at the high school and they really enjoyed the movie. The team members have read the book about Pre, as well as seen both movies, and the head coach at the high school also shows them the documentary that aired on CBS in 1995 a few nights before the state cross country championships. This has become a tradition as our team has qualified for the state meet quite a few times. But, back to the movie the team members agree that Prefontaine was better than Without Limits. I think most runners would agree with us. The movie is about more than just running it's about life, determination. Setting a goal and going for it, running to win, even if it means you lose. Then getting back up, to run another day. Knowing that you'll always leave your race on the track (where it belongs). Not, stepping off and thinking "what if". And that's the way life should be LIVED. I noticed alot of reviews were into what was accurate and what wasn't, but we all know that in the world of Hollywood, accuracy doesn't always sell. I was only a freshman in high school when Pre died. And just finishing my first full year of running when we heard the news. This movie helped answer alot of questions I had back in 1975. I will definitly be adding it to my video library.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adrenaline, Anger, Tears -- Go Pre, Go! November 12, 2002
This movie is great for those interested in running as a competitive sport. My prime running years developed during Prefontaine's peak years, so I was one of those keenly aware of his abilities and influence. I was sad to hear of his untimely death. This movie helped remind me of that time period and how much of an impact he had on long-distance running. It was also good to see Frank Shorter in the movie (another giant from that time).
The actors were good and the cameos by actual characters were really good. The running was realistic and fast-paced. Even some of the true cross-country scenery was included, which is not often seen these days.
The movie keeps flowing, which might have been hard for a topic that is usually laid-back. I was glad that the movie focused on the topic and did not fall for the typical Hollywood glitz that tries to cover up reality. The emotionality (the triumph and the defeat made popular by ABC at that time) is brought into new light for viewers who may have considered running a dull sport. I know it certainly got my adrenaline flowing again. Go Pre, Go!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes the truth hurts�. April 25, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
There has been much fascination with Steve Prefontaine, for his courage, his will-to-win, and for his far too early death. A man who was the ultimate competitor, denied his just due not only by the tragedy in Munich, but an even bigger tragedy on a roadway in Oregon. Such fascination led to 2 movies chronicling the life of Steve Prefontaine were mad ein the 1990's.
For first release, the battle of the PRE-bioflicks was won by this movie, and its release and luke warm reception shelved the Robert Towne-directed `Without Limits' for more than a year.
Perhaps this story would have been better served as a Made-for-HBO film, where one-name titles like "Prefontaine" give stars like Matt Damon a chance for some good work, and media recognition.
This version, directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame is very watchable, with strong support of Jared Leto (Prefontaine) by Lindsay Crouse, Ed O'Neill, Amy Locane, and R.Lee Ermey-excellent in the role of Pre's coach and mentor, Bill Bowerman, the man who subsequently founded Nike.
Maybe not an overly familiar story for the non-runners, this story needed to be told, once...and is told well here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Athlete Story
This is one of the most interesting true life stories I have ever watched. Great acting, great story. I only wish Pre were still living. What an amazing athlete.
Published 22 hours ago by GoGoCamera
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Solid movie!
Published 21 days ago by Tacarra Logan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I like movies about running.
Published 1 month ago by PC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best running motivational movie ever made. One of Jared Leto's best movies!
Published 1 month ago by Shane Hornquist
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was very good!!
Published 1 month ago by Alex Kincaid
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good movie
Published 2 months ago by Miles D. Walz
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD - PREFONTAINE
This is an excellent movie about never giving up or never giving in; a very inspirational movie. Based on a true story.
Published 3 months ago by DJBRUCEK
4.0 out of 5 stars I prefer Without Limits but Prefontaine is pretty good. This one has...
I prefer Without Limits but Prefontaine is pretty good. This one has more the slant from Bill Dellinger and Bowerman is played with a harder edge by R. Lee Ermey. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Daniel Hurley
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite movies of all time, well documented and very...
One of my favorite movies of all time, well documented and very tasteful.
Published 3 months ago by Michael Langman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Inspiration Movie
I actually liked this movie. Admittedly, I pretty much only watched it for Jared Leto, but I thought that it was a great inspirational movie that really delved into the life Steve... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nicole Stefl
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