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Without Limits (1998)

1998

PG-13 CC

The fiery life and fast times of the renowned distance runner who held every record from 2,000 through 10,000 meters come home in this acclaimed and inspiration-filled movie.

Starring:
Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland
Runtime:
1 hour, 58 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Sports, Drama
Director Robert Towne
Starring Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland
Supporting actors Monica Potter, Jeremy Sisto, Matthew Lillard, Dean Norris, Billy Burke, Gabriel Olds, Judith Ivey, William Mapother, Adam Setliff, Nicholas R. Oleson, Amy Jo Johnson, Lisa Banes, Frank Shorter, Charlie Jones, William Friedkin, David Coleman, Jamie Schwering, Garth Granholm
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John K. Reed on March 19, 2001
Format: DVD
as I have read others reviewers comments. This is a movie about life and the challenges we all face as family members, individuals, students, teachers, and members of society. It's about sacrifice and going the distance. It's about following your own heart in the face of opposition. And perhaps most importantly it's about philosophy. Or more accurately it's about the contrasting philosophies of the films two principals. Bill Bowerman (Donald Sutherland) and Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup). Each wants to win and each is a master at their own particular craft. But the conflict arises out of each one's definition about what winning really is. And there lies the essence of the story.
The film is just flat out entertaining. Particularly the olympic race in Munich is perfectly directed with both staged and actual footing in addtion to being paced so well that I as other reviewers have commented watch the race each time on the edge of my seat hoping for an outcome that I know isn't coming. Not to mention the numerous funny one liners in the film.
Crudup and Sutherland are outstanding as opposite sides of the same coin.
Outstanding!
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Format: DVD
Hollywood has never done sports well. Their movies are usually either cloying, cliched kid flicks or sappy melodramas. "Without Limits" is neither of these. It's a fascinating, exhilarating look at a running legend.
Billy Crudup was superb as "Pre". Cool, cocky, with a running style that sent shivers through me. Donald Sutherland gives another first-rate performance as coach Bowerman. Compared to R. Lee Ermey's portrayal in the lesser movie "Prefontaine", watching Sutherland work was like eating filet mignon after beef jerky.
The highlight of the film for me was the '72 Munich race. Pure sustained tension. I've seen the film 4 times, I know the outcome, but I nevertheless hop out of my chair every time I see Pre/Crudup break from the pack. Excellent, too, how they deftly spliced in the actual footage.
Only two criticisms: the romance was hokey, and there was too much unnecessary fiction woven in (Pre gashed his foot running around a swimming pool, not while having sex upside down, for crying out loud).
But because of this movie, I learned that Pre wasn't just a flashy jock who died young. He was a true working class hero in a sport where there weren't many. He had his own running code, which he also applied in life: run all-out, ahead of the pack, all the time.
As a runner, "Without Limits" actually inspired me to actually chop seconds off my running times, which is not a bad testament. But I don't think one has to be a runner to like this movie.
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By A Customer on September 14, 2003
Format: DVD
It's been a few years since I first saw 'Prefontaine'. I'd seen it several times and I finally saw 'Without Limits' tonight.
Prefontaine:
Acting
I thought the acting in this movie could have been much better. The principle actors were decent, but it was a long drop off to the secondaries as far as acting talent. I felt Leto was more brash, cocky and arrogant. In comparison to Crudup, it made me feel Pre was this way on many occasions more out of fear or a need to be arrogant, as opposed to true belief in himself. More like a prima donna.
Facts
Given that these are movies and not documentaries, I really don't care about the small ones such as how close a race was, etc. But would like to get the truth on the the bigger issues such as personal relationships, how he hurt his foot (there either were witnesses, or there were not), and how directly he was involved in the fight against the AAU. I liked the added details in Munich and his life after Munich, showing his continued successes. These details were great from an informational perspective, but it certainly made the direction seem choppy. Without input from Pre himself, so many aspects of his friendship and love life are skewed by the perspective of the person that is recounting it, and can be questioned in both movies. To observe it is to change it, as they say. I would certainly say if you asked for the story of my uneventful life from 2 different ex-girlfriends, you would probably get 2 completely different stories.
Racing
This movie seemed a little shallow in this area. It seemed like all it did to teach the audience about strategy and Pre's abilities was to say, "You are too slow to sprint, so you have to push the pace faster to make the kickers tired".
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Format: DVD
I really enjoy this film and, admittedly, probably for a lot of reasons external to the film itself. I am a distance runner from Oregon. Thus, the legend of Pre is alive and kicking from where I am from. I read his biography as a high school runner and admired his dedication and commitment to a sport I was only just being introduced. Moreover, I have been to Eugene many times, run on "the track," and seen the spot of his untimely death. This film is an inspiring film; if you are a runner, you must see it. It will make you want to get up off the couch and go for an easy ten.
The acting in this film is better than in "Prefontaine," the other film documenting Pre's life produced a year before this film came out. Donald Sutherland's performance as Bill Bowerman is extremely moving and endearing. His connection with Pre is that of a father to a son. As far as historical accuracy, many will quibble about the details of Pre's life and relationships, but I am not overly concerned by this fact. As in literature, it is not the job of an author to necessarily render everything according to historical accuracy. Rather, he or she must create memorable characters that move and affect us. This film achieves just that.
While its interest will definitely appeal to those of the athletic (and, in particular, running) community, I believe that its message has a more universal appeal as well. Pre set out to conquer the world and ended up finally conquering himself and coming to peace with that fact. If you're looking for an uplifting, heartwarming story-you've come to the right place.
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