Mario Van Peebles stars as football play Ricky Bell in this made-for-TV biopic. The film touches upon Bell's gridiron accomplishments, then concentrates on the athlete's final years, when he falls victim to a terminal illness. As Bell's physical state deteriorates, he forges a strong friendship with a young handicapped man, played by Lane Davis. Their relationship provides courage and determination for both men, encouraging Davis to make the most of his life after Bell dies at age 29. Substituting bathos for pathos, Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story is not the Brian's Song it desperately wants to be.
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