Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden
Want to see a grown man cry? Show him Brian’s Song, the widely praised 1970 made-for-TV weep-fest about pro football great Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and his Chicago Bears teammate/best friend Brian Piccolo (James Caan). On its surface, Brian’s Song is a rousing football flick, telling the in-depth story of a three-time Pro Bowl MVP; beneath its pigskin exterior, though, it’s an emotional rollercoaster for sports-loving men of all types, specifically any guy who’s ever forged a bond with a fellow athlete. Shoulder pads and Kleenex sold separately.
Sayers and Piccolo were the first-ever interracial roommates in the NFL’s long history, an unlikely living arrangement that established a BFF relationship. Piccolo wasn’t exactly a stud, so Sayers helped him along and helped to turn his white teammate into a contender. But then Piccolo developed cancer, and that’s when the tears will start a-flowing for the toughest of male viewers. Women have Terms Of Endearment, and men have Brian’s Song.
2. Brian’s Song (1971)