Synopsis: Life and times of Steve Prefontaine, a young long-distance runner from Oregon who pursued the dream of Olympic gold in Munich and became one of the biggest, yet most tragic sport stars in America.
Director(s): Steve James
Production: Hollywood Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

If he can hold this pace...

Prefontaine will own

the NCAA indoor record.

Here are the 5,000 meter

final results;

First place with a new American

record, Steve Prefontaine.

No one within 60 yards as

Pre wins his 21st straight win.

Pre turned distance running

into a blood sport.

You want to know what he meant

to folks around here?

What was it the hippie kids

used to say back then?

You just had to be there.

We raised Steve the way most

folks in Coos Bay raised their kids.

We just tried to give him the kind of

life that we never had growing up.

But Steve was a

different kind of kid.

Nine, ten, eleven, twelve...

13, 14, 15...

16, 17, 18...

19, 20, 21, 22...

23, 24...

- You go first. - It's Buck's turn.

I went first yesterday.

That was off the

dinky little bridge.

What's the matter?

Are you scared, Buck?

What the hell is Pre doing?

How'd he get up there?

Go ahead, Pre, jump.

- Yeah. Go, Pre!

- Shut up!

Come down, Pre, before you

get yourself killed.

- Cool!

- My God!

Yeah! Yeah!


- You ready to play?

- Yeah!

Okay. Dick's catcher.

Bobby, take second.

Jimmy, center field.

Buck, you're my pitcher.


First sub in.

Jeff, third base.

Joe, right field.

- You'll get in, Pre.

- Let go, Buck.

Let's go, guys.

Take the field, boys.

Let's go!

Pre did love sports, but...

he was like, four-eight.

He weighed 90 pounds.

He had really shaky

hand-eye coordination.

It seemed like the

less he got to play...

the more he felt

he had to prove.


Kickoff team!

Go get 'em, Pre!

Go, Pre, go!

Go, Pre, go!

Once he started running,

I guess he never stopped.

Here is Jim Ryun,

beginning to move up now...

This is the race he's been preparing for

since he was a high school sophomore.

I'm going to Munich.

What's that, son?

The Munich Olympics four years

from now? I'm gonna be there.

- In Munich?

- Relax, Elfriede.

Let the boy dream.

- In Germany? - I'm goin' and

nobody's gonna stop me.

First it was football, now this.

Getting up at dawn

to run before school.

I thought that the neighbors

must think...

I'm a crazy German woman

to let my son do this.

Keep your speed constant, Ellie.

I had an itch on my gas foot.

He was my first real boyfriend.

He was hot stuff.

Hey, don't kill me, now.

Come on.

I didn't have any idea what I wanted

to do when I was growing up.

But he knew.

Steve, grab the level and

check this for me, will you?

Ray, your son sure kicked that

North Bend boy's behind last week.

- How bad you beat him?

- Not that bad. Maybe half a lap.

You let him off easy, Ray.

Not my son. Okay, Steve.

Bring that two-by-four over here.

Yeah, keep runnin, 'kid,

so you don't have to spend your life...

shaggin' two-by-fours

for your old man.

All right, hold it steady.

We heard about this small kid

from Coos Bay who could run.

A kid we had to see.

A real fire-eater.

After he broke all those national

high school records...

- college scouts came like

bees to honey. - Uh-uh.

Thanks, Coach.


Steve tells me you're

quite an architect.

No, actually,

I'm just a carpenter.

I'll be honest with you, Ray.

Architects... they're

overrated in my book.

Have you seen

Steve's scrapbook?

No, ma'am.

Not, uh...

Not lately.


Hello, again, Pre.

- Where's Bowerman? - He sends his

apologies. It's hard for him to get away.

- To make the trip. - Plenty of other

head coaches have gotten away.

- Steve.

- He did ask me, though...

to, uh... give you

a personal letter.

That's all right.

I've got milk crates full of em.

Come on, son.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Prefontaine" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <>.

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