Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Prefontaine (Hollywood Pictures Movie)

“Prefontaine” is a biographical sports drama film released in 1997, directed by Steve James. The movie stars Jared Leto as Steve Prefontaine, Ed O’Neill as Bill Bowerman, and R. Lee Ermey as Bill Dellinger.

The film tells the true story of Steve Prefontaine, a legendary American long-distance runner who gained fame during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Prefontaine, often referred to as “Pre,” was a charismatic and determined athlete who became known for his aggressive front-running style and his relentless pursuit of victory.

The movie follows Pre’s journey from his early days as a high school runner to his time at the University of Oregon, where he trained under coach Bill Bowerman. It chronicles his rise to national prominence and his rivalry with fellow runner Frank Shorter.

Despite his tremendous talent, Pre faced disappointments, including his fourth-place finish in the 1972 Olympic Games. The film also explores his passion for running, his outspoken personality, and his impact on the sport of distance running in the United States.

“Prefontaine” is known for its authentic portrayal of Steve Prefontaine’s life and career. Jared Leto’s performance received praise for capturing the spirit and intensity of the legendary runner.

The film received positive reviews from critics, who appreciated its honesty and dedication to portraying the real-life events and characters.

“Prefontaine” serves as a touchstone for viewers seeking a compelling and inspiring sports drama that celebrates the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest distance runners. It remains a moving and authentic portrayal of an athlete who left an indelible mark on the world of running and continues to inspire athletes and fans alike.

Additional Details


  • Jared Leto: Steve Prefontaine
  • Ed O’Neill: Bill Dellinger
  • R. Lee Ermey: Bill Bowerman
  • Amy Locane: Nancy Alleman
  • Breckin Meyer: Pat Tyson
  • Lindsay Crouse: Elfriede Prefontaine
  • Brian McGovern: Mac Wilkins
  • Kurtwood Smith: Curtis Cunningham
  • Laurel Holloman: Elaine Finley


  • Director: Steve James
  • Producers: Mark Doonan, Jon Lutz and Irby Smith
  • Writers: Steve James and Eugene Corr

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and