Mar 292012

Director: Steve James

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 106 Minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1997

Genre: Sports, Biography, Historical, Running

Cast: Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), Bill Bowerman (R. Lee Ermey ), Bill Dellinger (Ed O’Neill ), Pat Tyson (Breckin Meyer ), Elfriede Prefontaine (Lindsay Crouse ), Nancy Alleman (Amy Locane ), Elaine Finley (Laurel Holloman ), Mac Wilkins (Brian McGovern ), Curtis Cunningham (Kurtwood Smith )

Synopsis: Biopic of Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), an up and coming Oregonian distance runner in the 1970s. He is an impressive collegiate runner, that competes in the ill-fated 1972 Munich Olympics. Despite being in the lead until nearly the end of his last race, pushes himself too hard, is passed and does not win a medal. In 1975, as he is training to make his comeback and compete in the 1976 Olympics he is killed in a car accident.

Analysis: Before I had seen Prefontaine, I often heard his last name without any context except for it being related to running. For some reason I assumed that it was related to a time before Fontaine.

I was never very physical during high school or college, but over the past few years I have taken up running as my main method of exercise. I have always been a pretty slow runner and am easily discouraged. One day, I randomly caught Prefontaine when it was on HBO.  As I watched it, the life of Steve Prefontaine really touched me. Even though his life story is a tragedy in the end, the aggressiveness of his running and the attitude that the only way he would give up is if his body physically would not let him go another inch has really helped my attitude towards being discouraged in things I do.

As for running, I am only marginally faster, but I have a much better attitude for when I am getting mentally tired and will often be able to go much farther!


  • Always makes me want to run.
  • Some of the outdoor running locations are beautiful.
  • The soundtrack is great including “Baba O’Riley” by The Who and “Crosstown Traffic “ by Jimi Hendrix.
  • The sadness after the terrorist attack at Munich was very moving.
  • Reenactment of film of running events is very well done.


  • The film is a bit choppy at times when long periods of time are skipped over.
  • When the actors are being interviewed in documentary style, it might have been nice to have the real people instead.
  • I would have liked to see more viewpoints from Prefontaine’s competitors.

Conclusion: This movie is very inspiring and sad. It is one of the only movies that it is alright for a guy to cry during, but he really should also have a bowl of onions to chop nearby in case anyone catches him!


Frank’s Ratings






Special Effects


Would Watch Again?





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