Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Towne|
|Produced by||Tom Cruise
|Written by||Robert Towne
|Music by||Randy Miller|
|Cinematography||Conrad L. Hall|
|Editing by||Charles Ireland
Robert K. Lambert
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||117 minutes|
Billy Crudup plays Prefontaine and Donald Sutherland plays Bowerman. The film is written and directed by Robert Towne. It also stars Monica Potter, Jeremy Sisto, Judith Ivey, Matthew Lillard and William Mapother.
Without Limits was produced by Tom Cruise (Cruise and Mapother are cousins) and Paula Wagner, and released and distributed by Warner Bros. Cruise originally wanted to play the role of Prefontaine, but it was decided he was too old. Tommy Lee Jones reportedly turned down the part of Bowerman.
- Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine
- Donald Sutherland as Bill Bowerman
- Monica Potter as Mary
- Jeremy Sisto as Frank Shorter
- Judith Ivey as Barbara Bowerman
- Dean Norris as Dellinger
- Billy Burke as Kenny Moore
- Frank Shorter as Fred Long
Without Limits met with positive reviews from critics, with a Rotten Tomatoes consensus of 78% and the site's consensus stating: "This drama about American track star and hero Steve Prefontaine intelligently looks at the character of this oft mythologized athlete and features a fantastic performance by Donald Sutherland as Prefontaine's trainer." 
Comparison to Prefontaine
Without Limits is often compared to Prefontaine, a similar movie on Prefontaine's life that was released a year earlier by Disney. While the two films both focus on the same events, the Disney film tells the story from the point of view of Bill Dellinger, the assistant coach who was with him day-to-day, and Nancy Alleman, Prefontaine's girlfriend at the time of his death. Prefontaine also explores American athletes' amateur status and the conditions and lack of resources these athletes had to endure in their attempts to compete with the world's top athletes, who were provided all they needed to train and compete at a top level, while dealing with the pressure from their American fans who expected nothing but the best from them. It includes a cast of Jared Leto as Prefontaine, Ed O'Neill as Bill Dellinger and R. Lee Ermey as Bill Bowerman. Siskel and Ebert reviewed it and gave it two thumbs up.
Without Limits is told from the point of view of Bill Bowerman (played by Donald Sutherland), with Dellinger as a minor character and Mary Marckx, who was a previous girlfriend of Prefontaine while at the University of Oregon. In this film there is no Nancy Alleman, and Mary is his girlfriend all the way through. Bowerman is given guru status, whereas Ermey had portrayed Bowerman as more of a hard-line general-type.
In both films, Prefontaine is shown as headstrong and difficult to coach. Bowerman did remain active with the Oregon program and with Prefontaine after his retirement.
- Official website
- Without Limits at the Internet Movie Database
- Without Limits -vs- Prefontaine at Movie Smackdown