Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


Directed by Steve James


He beat the odds… and became a legend! Inspirational and entertaining, Prefontaine is another acclaimed success from the makers of Hoop Dreams. It's the true-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club), the exciting and sometimes controversial "James Dean of Track," whose spirit captured the heart of the nation. Cocky, charismatic, and tough, "Pre" was a running rebel who defied rules, pushed limits and smashed records, in an incredible against-all-odds quest for Olympic gold. The strong supporting cast includes R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket, The Siege of Firebase Gloria), Ed O’Neill (Disorganized Crime), Breckin Meyer (Road Trip), Lindsay Crouse (The Verdict), Amy Locane (Cry-Baby) and Kurtwood Smith (RoboCop). The triumphs and heartbreaks of this unforgettable champion will have you riveted from beginning to end.


This biographical sports drama is the true story of an Olympic runner whose life ended tragically short. Jared Leto stars as Steve Prefontaine, a teen who develops a running talent despite unorthodox physical traits such as a short stature and legs of different lengths. "Pre" is still sufficiently impressive enough on the track field to be recruited by Bill Bowerman (R. Lee Ermey), an Oregon college coach who creates homemade running shoes in his garage. His arrogant attitude vexes even his girlfriend (Amy Locane), but Pre's athletic skills prove to be the real deal, as he wins an NCAA championship and qualifies for the 1972 Olympics. Prior to his event, however, a terrorist attack in Munich leaves several athletes dead, and a shaken Pre doesn't medal. Back home, Bowerman turns his shoe-making enterprise into the global sneaker giant Nike, while Pre chafes under the poverty enforced by Olympic rules. He becomes an outspoken advocate for amateur athletes and tries to organize an exhibition, which leads to criticism by the press. Before he can compete, however, Pre is killed in a car wreck. Prefontaine (1997) was one of two motion pictures made about the runner at the same time; the other was Without Limits (1998).

Excerpt from B&N located HERE



Release: January 24th, 1997

Reviews                                                                                More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews


DVD Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover


CLICK to order from:



Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:48.819

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,972,459,509 bytes

Feature: 21,530,173,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.25 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.




DTS-HD Master Audio English 2146 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2146 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1561 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1561 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None
Features Release Information:


1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,972,459,509 bytes

Feature: 21,530,173,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.25 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by writer/director Steve James
Trailer (0:29)

Blu-ray Release Date:
ly 3rd, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8




NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (June 2018) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray: Another 'athlete-running' drama from Kino this month, what with their The Jericho Mile being released on the same day. Prefontaine was shot on Super16 and, as writer/director Steve James laments in the commentary - the film was constrained by a limited budget. So the image is quite soft, but consistent throughout. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio (although cited on IMDb as presented in 1.66:1.)  It's on a single-layered Blu-ray, and you can't advance beyond the production weaknesses. It actually looks quite acceptable in-motion better than the frequently blurry screen captures below.

Kino offer both a 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo in DTS-HD Master (16-bit) with a few crowd cheers showing minor separation. The score has some very cool, bluesy, guitar riffs and is credited to Mason Daring (Eight Men Out) - it reminds me of Clapton's tracks in Rush and The Hit. There is also sampling of 'period' tunes from Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band etc.. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.

Supplements include an audio commentary by Writer/Director Steve James who gives an honest assessment of his film - and admits some details he can't recall. I appreciated his frankness in the attempt to give a documentary feel to the film, working with the performers - 'Jared Leto is intense - trained a lot in preparation'' Ed O'Neill - 'true professional', how the budget was cut in half etc. He provides details that only a writer/director could give and it is worth listening to. There is also a trailer.

Prefontaine is an excellent sports film - with similarities and obvious differences to The Jericho Mile. with driven athletes who excel battling totally different hurdles.  Leto really makes the character his own - not an especially likeable protagonist - but, presumably, an honest portrayal. I have seen this a few times before - the film is certainly recommended. The commentary adds further value to the Blu-ray package and the price seems like a good deal. Go for it.   

Gary W. Tooze





Screen Captures





















































Hit Counter


Box Cover


CLICK to order from:



Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!