Brian's Song

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Brian's Song Movie Poster Image
Weepy story of interracial pro football teammates.
  • G
  • 1971
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Sensitive treatment of racial issues, especially for the time.


Sad death.


Use of the "N" word.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Brian's Song deals with plenty of racial issues and there's an upsetting death of a main character.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 and 15-year-old Written byMissy003 October 11, 2010

3 Reasons Why Brian's Song is the Greatest Football Movie of All Time

#1. A Family Orientated Movie: Even though this sports movie dealt with how full back Brian Piccolo courageously wrestled with several forms of cancer that woul... Continue reading
Adult Written byBestPicture1996 July 31, 2014

Tearjerker with soul

My folks told me all about this telefilm in the 70s before I watched it. My mom said she cried so hard at the end that her eyes were puffy for her senior pictur... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 8, 2011

Great movie for 7 up!

Great movie! Brian Picollo is my brother`s friend`s grandfather.
Kid, 11 years old February 19, 2011

I Guess It Was OK, But....

This movie was not bad. There was nothing wrong with it. But the thing is, it was so BORING! I don't know, it could be just the comedy/action lover I am, b... Continue reading

What's the story?

BRIAN'S SONG is the true -- and heartbreaking -- story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, players for the Chicago Bears and the first interracial roommates in pro sports. Piccolo (James Caan) isn't as talented as Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) but his dedication is immense and he excels when competing against Sayers. When When Sayers is injured, Piccolo devotes himself to his friend's recovery. Sayers comes back, Piccolo is added to the starting lineup, and all seems fine until Piccolo becomes ill. It turns out that he has terminal cancer. The shy and reserved Sayers must learn to handle a devastating loss by keeping the best of Piccolo inside him.

Is it any good?

This is a touching and inspiring made-for-TV film with an outstanding musical score by Michael Legrand. The friendship and devotion between the two friends (and their wives) in Brian's Song is very moving, as is the treatment of racial issues.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship and competition. Do you have friends you compete with? Is it hard on your friendship sometimes? What are more recent movies  that deal with racial issues? How do they compare with Brian's Song?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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