[Screen It]

 

"PREFONTAINE"
(1997) (Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate Minor Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor None Minor Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A college long distance runner trains to make it to the Olympics and works to bring fair conditions to the world of amateur athletics.
PLOT:
Steve Prefontaine (JARED LETO) is a long distance runner who enrolls at the University of Oregon so that he can train with legendary coach Bill Bowerman (R. LEE ERMEY) and his assistant, Bill Dellinger (ED O'NEILL). He's the best runner either coach has ever seen and his goal is to make it to the 1972 Munich Olympics. Along the way he meets fellow runner and soon-to-be new girlfriend, Nancy Alleman (AMY LOCANE), and fights for fair training conditions for amateur athletes.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Itís not likely unless theyíre already familiar with this athlete or are into the sport of running.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JARED LETO plays the famous runner whose ego begins to rival the large number of races he wins.
  • R. LEE ERMEY plays the legendary coach who trains and inspires the runner.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This movie is based on the true life of famed runner Steve Prefontaine. Filmed in a pseudo- documentary style, the film has a rather odd feel to it since you're never quite sure whether you're supposed to believe everything you see as being "real." The other problem the documentary style creates is that the sudden appearance of "present day" interviews (that come less often as the story progresses) breaks the dramatic flow at odd times. Thus, one never really gets connected with the film. Character development is another tricky issue with this movie. While itís hard to say what dramatic liberties were taken with the truth, itís hard to imagine why Prefontaine loses his confidence before the Olympics while earlier nothing could phase him. Heís presented as such a self-assured, cocky athlete that his sudden nervous quality comes as quite a surprise and is never fully explained. Still, the movie is an interesting look at the life (and tragic death) of this runner. The actors are engaging and good all around, especially Ermey (as the coarse but wise old coach) who delivers his trademark, drill sergeant tough performance. While Prefontaine captured the world's attention in the early 70's, it's doubtful this movie will make his name a household item again. If it had been presented as a straight drama, it probably would have been better. But as a pseudo-documentary, we give it just a 5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    This movie's PG-13 rating comes from the use of several "f" words that appear toward the end of the movie, and beyond them and a few "s" words, profanity isn't too bad. There's a moderate amount of drinking, just a little smoking, and the violence is mainly limited to a dramatization of the hostage crisis that occurred during the '72 Olympics. While some activity is seen, most of the "bad stuff" is relayed to us via the commentators (and thus we don't see anything graphic). Beyond that, Prefontaine's attitude and ego get inflated as he becomes more of a celebrity, and there are a few actions present that kids may imitate. To make sure the film is appropriate for you and your family, we suggest that you check out the category scene listings first.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Steve's roommate states that "back then, everyone had dope or beer. Prefontaine's (drug) was winning."
  • Steve competes in a beer drinking contest using pitchers of beer. Later he appears somewhat drunk.
  • Steve drinks beer with Nancy.
  • Olympic athletes are seen drinking beer on their balconies and in a restaurant.
  • Friends and fellow athletes drink beer in a bar while watching Steve compete on TV.
  • Steve is drunk after losing a race.
  • Steve drinks beer with an old girlfriend in a bar.
  • Steve works as a bartender and serves several people who drink beer.
  • People drink at a party after a track meet.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The bandages on Steve's foot (covering ten stitches) are a little bloody after a race.
  • Steve throws up in a trash can, but it's not too graphic.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Steve's teammates say that he became "cocky" and that he acted like no one else was on the team. His ego also grows along with his celebrity status.
  • Steve lies to his girlfriend about having car problems when he's really at a bar with another young lady.
  • The track administrators make the coaches and the players pay for their own accommodations during the Olympic trials, while paying for their officials in full. After Bowerman says he'll take them to court over that, an administrator says he can either take them to court or he can take the team to Munich.
  • A driver who hits Steve's car speeds away after the accident.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some viewers may find the competition (racing) scenes as tense.
  • Steve is trapped under his car after a car accident and the weight of the car slowly begins to crush and suffocate him.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Stick of Dynamite: Bowerman tapes it to his mailbox to get the person who repeatedly runs over the mailbox.
  • Guns/Machine guns/Grenade: Used during the hostage crisis in the 1972 Munich Olympic camp. While flashes and sounds of the guns being fired are seen and heard, actual use of the guns is not. Later we're told that a grenade was thrown into a helicopter, killing all of the hostages.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Bastard," "Piss ant," "Screwed," "Idiot," "Screw 'em," "Balls" (testicles), "Piss it off," "Jerk," "Shove it," "Loser," and "He's a cocky little mother."
  • Steve, as a boy, walks along the top of a train trestle and then jumps from it into the river below.
  • Steve, in college, runs down the middle of the street and then up and over a car that's in his way.
  • Steve drives down the wrong side of the road to pass slower moving cars.
  • Steve jumps from a balcony into the swimming pool below and cuts his foot in the process.
  • Bowerman gets Steve and Dellinger to block everyone's view as he urinates in the track infield.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 3 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 17 hells, 9 damns, 6 "ass" words, 5 S.O.B.'s, 2 craps, and 9 uses of "God damn," 4 uses of "Jesus," 2 uses of "God," and 1 use each of "My God," "Oh God," "Jesus Christ," and "By God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Steve's girlfriend, tired of his running around behind her back, says, "Go screw all the rich little college girls you desire."
  • Steve is seen in bed with Nancy, but nothing sexual occurs and there is no nudity (but it's implied that they're sleeping together).
  • SMOKING
  • A man is seen smoking in newsreel footage.
  • People in a press box smoke.
  • People in a bar smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of the film.
  • Letting one's ego get too big.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Tear gas is deployed into crowds of protestors in newsreel footage.
  • A truck purposefully runs over Coach Bowerman's mailbox. In retaliation, Bowerman puts a stick of dynamite on the box and we later hear an explosion and cursing from the driver of the truck.
  • The hostage crisis at the 1972 Munich Olympics is played out. While flashes and sounds of gunshots are heard, their actual use is not seen. Later we're told that a grenade was thrown into a helicopter, killing all of the hostages on board.
  • Steve punches a guy in a bar after he refuses to pay for his drink and after he calls Steve a "loser."



  • Reviewed January 20, 1997

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Collateral Beauty] [La La Land] [Manchester By The Sea] [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.