'85: The Greatest Team in Football History

Watch '85: The Greatest Team in Football History

"The untold story of the greatest team in pro football history"
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 6.8  (155)

85: The Greatest Team in Football History is a documentary film released in 2016 that chronicles the journey and the enduring legacy of the 1985 Chicago Bears, one of the most dominant and charismatic teams in the history of the National Football League (NFL). Directed by Scott Prestin, the film boasts an array of interviews with key figures from the 1985 season, including players, coaches, and prominent fans. Even more notably, the documentary features insights from former President Barack Obama, a well-known Chicago sports enthusiast, providing context to the Bears' cultural and social impact on the city of Chicago and beyond.

The 1985 Chicago Bears are often celebrated for their impressive 15-1 regular-season record, their destructive defensive play, and their swagger both on and off the field. They steamrolled through the playoffs and captured their first NFL championship since 1963 with a resounding victory in Super Bowl XX. The team's success was not just on the field; the Bears captured the national imagination with their larger-than-life personalities and cultural endeavors, most famously the "Super Bowl Shuffle" rap video, which became a pop culture phenomenon.

At the heart of the documentary is the Bears' ironclad defense, engineered by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. His revolutionary "46 defense" was known for its aggressiveness and complexity, causing headaches for opposing offenses. The film delves into the intricacies of this system and how it propelled the team to greatness. Central to this defense were Hall of Fame players like linebacker Mike Singletary, whose fierce play and leadership were emblematic of the Bears' approach to the game.

Quarterback Jim McMahon is another focal point of the documentary. Known for his rebellious personality and unconventional style, McMahon defied the traditional image of an NFL quarterback. His competitive spirit and penchant for risk-taking were integral to the team's offensive success, and the film offers insights into how his unique character influenced the team's dynamic.

The documentary infuses these discussions with rare archival footage, giving viewers an inside look at the team's most pivotal moments from the 1985 season. Through these clips and the first-hand accounts of those who were there, the film paints a picture of a team that was as much a social force as a sporting one — a team whose identity was deeply interwoven with the City of Chicago's own sense of self during a time of broader civic and cultural significance.

While the film celebrates the team's victories, it does not shy away from exploring the conflicts and challenges the 1985 Bears faced. These ranged from internal tensions to the enormous external pressure to win. The documentary also grapples with the legacy of physical injuries that players faced long after their careers ended, a topic of increasing concern within the sport.

Off the field, the film touches on the players' lives and the lasting bonds they formed amidst their journey to glory. The human side of these gridiron giants is showcased, illustrating how their camaraderie and team spirit were crucial in forging a championship-winning team. The Bears' impact extended beyond the sport, with discussions around the ways in which they influenced NFL marketing, fan engagement, and the broader cultural landscape of the 1980s.

A particularly poignant element of the documentary is its examination of how the 1985 Bears' success shaped the City of Chicago and its citizens. Through interviews and commentary, including those from Barack Obama, the film explores the sense of pride and unity that the team brought to a city marred by economic and social difficulties during the era. The Bears' championship run offered a form of catharsis, a shared moment of celebration and escape that resonated deeply with Chicagoans from all walks of life.

85: The Greatest Team in Football History celebrates not only the athletic prowess and iconic status of the 1985 Chicago Bears but also reflects on the lasting impact they made on the sport and society. The film serves as a nostalgic trip for those who witnessed the team's triumphs first-hand, and an informative and entertaining account for those looking to understand why this particular team continues to hold such a revered place in NFL lore. It is a must-watch for any football fan and particularly for those intrigued by the unique blend of sportsmanship, personality, and cultural significance that defined one of the greatest teams in football history.

'85: The Greatest Team in Football History is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

'85: The Greatest Team in Football History
Where to Watch '85: The Greatest Team in Football History
'85: The Greatest Team in Football History is available to watch free on Crackle, Plex, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent '85: The Greatest Team in Football History for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (155)