Brian’s Song

Brian’s Song (1971)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: James Caan, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Warden, Shelley Fabares
Extras: Commentary Track, Featurette, Trailers, Talent Files

’Brian’s Song’ is a movie about two football players who go through the roughs of live together. Based on real-life events and produced as a TV show, the movie not only shows us football players at the highs and low, but also wraps a nicely human story of friendship and death.

The film material on this disc is a very tricky bag. The filmmakers decided to add actual NFL footage to the film to give the movie a more authentic feel. Since this footage has been done most for newscasts etc. the quality just doesn’t live up to he same quality as the rest of the film. On the other hand, it does indeed add authenticity to the movie and as such is a welcome enrichment. The movie itself is mostly clean and clear without defects. The picture is generally showing some grain but it is never getting distracting. Colors are generally vibrant and strong, although some slight over saturation seems to be evident on occasion. Blacks are deep and solid and the shadows are nicely delineated. The compression of the disc has been done carefully and compression artifacts are not to be found.

The disc contains an adequate monaural Dolby Digital audio track. It sounds a bit dated with a rather narrow frequency response, giving especially the dialogues an unnatural harshness. The audio is without background noise however and always presents itself clear and undistorted. Dialogues are always understandable and never drowned out by the music or sound effects.

The disc contains an informative and mostly entertaining commentary track by actor James Caan and Billy Dee Williams. The two share thoughts and memories of the production, making it an interesting, although very non-technical, track.

’Gale Sayers First And Goal’ is a 10-minute featurette about football with plenty of vintage footage of the real Gale Sayers. For fans of the football star, this featurette is a little treasure trove!

’Brian’s Song’ is a great sports movie with some very emotional moments. With Columbia TriStar’s presentation of the movie on this DVD and the vintage footage that has been added, I can only recommend this DVD to everyone remotely interested in football and the movies.