August 28, 1971 - Brian's Song Filmed During Bears Preseason Game

While Notre Dame acknowledges they have given permission for only two films to be filmed on campus (Knute Rockne All-American and Rudy), there was a third movie filmed on campus. Perhaps Notre Dame does not acknowledge it as a movie since the 1971 Brian's Song was the ABC Movie of the Week (premiering on November 30, 1971). The Chicago Bears played their first of three exhibition games at Notre Dame Stadium against the Cleveland Browns. Disguised as Bears' players, James Caan and Billy Dee Williams wore #40 and #41 along the sideline to film their scenes. Fans were unaware of what was going on with the excess of lights on the sideline. James Caan supposedly also ran one play for the Bears during the actual game.

Below are some screenshots of the film. Take note of the press box before a series of renovations, the old Longines clock scoreboard, and the blue & gold benches on the sideline that were present until the stadium renovation.

The Bears won the game 20-19 in front of a crowd of 43,568.

Keywords: chicago bears, brians song, cleveland browns, knute rockne all american, rudy, james caan, billy dee williams

Posted On: 2013-12-27 00:15:01 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: Michael at 2014-11-14 21:05:28[#3]
I was at the game with my Dad. I still have pictures of the game.
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   Posted By: Dooley at 2014-07-28 11:34:12[#2]
One more thing, James Caan asked my father if he could run one play. He didn't, Dad said no. Back to mute...
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   Posted By: Dooley at 2014-07-28 11:29:39[#1]
No lie, that's me (water boy) in the photo with Billy Dee Williams. My father (Jim Dooley) was coach at the time. An interesting note, Jim Grabowski had about a 50 yard run for a touchdown to win the game.
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