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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.Read more ›
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!
Fortunately, I fall into the first category so I was engrossed with the story of the famed runner Prefontaine. The story improved considerably in the second half, when archival footage and the dramatic events of the Munich Olympic games unfolded.
Jared Leto does a good job, even with all those wigs and spirit gum. Amy Locane seems to be phoning in her performance from a parallel "Melrose Place" universe.
Prefontaine's moving and inspirational story, this proves, should/would be best told through an actual documentary production rather than relying on a dramatization.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This item isn't worth the money. If you are sitting still and shake it it will register as steps. While linking it to my phone It registered 337 steps.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Without Limits is a better movie. This is like an upgraded after school special... But still a decent biopic.Published 3 months ago by Scott W. Earl