Hollywood’s propensity to retread the same territory became apparent long before this year’s proliferation of sequels hit theaters. Two biopics of American runner Steve Prefontaine released in the late 90s are a case in point. First up was Prefontaine (1997), which followed the long distance runner (played by Jared Leto) from track meets in Oregon to the 1972 Olympic Games (where he narrowly missed a medal in the 5,000m) to his tragic death in a car crash at the age of 24. The following year director Robert Towne released Without Limits, replacing Leto with Billy Crudup. The movie follows a similar trajectory of the athlete’s life, though a few minor characters from Prefontaine are given more prominent roles. Both films earned generally positive reviews, but Without Limits has a higher ranking on Rotten Tomatoes. The double billing has ensured Prefontaine’s status as one of the best represented Olympic athletes in Hollywood.
Next Personal Best (1982)