Without Limits

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Biography, Drama, Sports

Robert Towne takes a crack at the short but eventful life of American track superstar Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup). Pre, as he was known to his admirers, made long-distance running sexy, winning acclaim, scoring chicks and sometimes making an ass of himself. What attracted people to the cocky, preternaturally driven athlete was his stubborn peculiarity,...read more

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Reviewed by Sandra Contreras
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Robert Towne takes a crack at the short but eventful life of American track superstar Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup). Pre, as he was known to his admirers, made long-distance running sexy, winning acclaim, scoring chicks and sometimes making an ass

of himself. What attracted people to the cocky, preternaturally driven athlete was his stubborn peculiarity, which Crudup conveys effectively. A shameless performer and front runner to the last, Pre died in a James Dean-esque convertible accident at age 24. He was beautiful, talented and

charismatic, but his strengths were instinctive, not intellectual, and this insight is at the heart of Crudup's slyly winning performance. The film's central relationship is between Pre and legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman (Donald Sutherland), who later went on to co-found

Nike. Bowerman tries to teach Pre to approach running as a craft and learn strategic tricks, while Pre conceives of his running as art, something akin to Action Painting. The scenes between Crudup and Sutherland crackle with tension, even when they take place in bucolic settings. Towne brings

better, more gripping storytelling to Steve Prefontaine's story than Steve James did in last year's PREFONTAINE, and the brilliant casting is an enormous asset. Except for a few lapses, co-scriptwriters Kenny Moore and Towne allow Pre's aura to remain undisturbed by overdramatization and

psychological speculation. We don't know exactly why he needed run so fast or so hard. Just that when he did, he was a thing of beauty.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Robert Towne takes a crack at the short but eventful life of American track superstar Steve Prefontaine (Billy Crudup). Pre, as he was known to his admirers, made long-distance running sexy, winning acclaim, scoring chicks and sometimes making an ass of h… (more)

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