7.2/10
42,944
220 user 93 critic

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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4,168 ( 152)

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lord Andrew Lindsay
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...
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Henry Stallard
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Master of Trinity (as Sir John Gielgud)
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Master of Caius
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Jennie Liddell
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...
...
...
Lord Cadogan
...
Duke of Sutherland
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Storyline

It's the post-WWI era. Britons Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell are both naturally gifted fast sprinters, but approach running and how it fits into their respective lives differently. The son of a Lithuanian-Jew, Harold, who lives a somewhat privileged life as a student at Cambridge, uses being the fastest to overcome what he sees as the obstacles he faces in life as a Jew despite that privilege. In his words to paraphrase an old adage, he is often invited to the trough, but isn't allowed to drink. His running prowess does earn him the respect of his classmates, especially his running teammates, and to some extent the school administration, if only he maintains what they consider proper gentlemanly decorum, which isn't always the case in their minds. Born in China the son of Christian missionaries, Eric, a Scot, is a devout member of the Church of Scotland who eventually wants to return to that missionary work. He sees running as a win-win in that the notoriety of being fast gives him... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of two men who run...not to run...but to prove something to the world. They will sacrifice anything to achieve their goals...Except their honor. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 April 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carros de fuego  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$58,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brad Davis and Dennis Christopher appeared as a favor to producer David Puttnam, waiving their fees, in order to attract finance from backers who wanted "marquee names." See more »

Goofs

The note that Jackson Scholz hands to Eric Liddell at the Olympics is addressed to Mr. Liddel (only one "L" at the end.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lord Andrew Lindsay: Let us praise famous men and our fathers that begat us. All these men were honoured in their generations and were a glory in their days. We are here today to give thanks for the life of Harold Abrahams. To honour the legend. Now there are just two of us - young Aubrey Montague and myself - who can close our eyes and remember those few young men with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Eric Liddell Story (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Music by Louis Lambert
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User Reviews

 
Still a wonderful film!
2 March 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I loved the soundtrack to this film and I was glad to watch it on Oscar Sunday. It is worthy of its' Oscars and is based on a true story. The music can be haunting and beautiful at the same time. Vangelis is a musical genius. The cast is stellar with some new faces of actors and actresses like Alice Krige and even Ruby Wax if you look closely. The 1924 Olympics is the climax of the film. It's still a beautiful and wonderfully entertaining and educational film to be seen. I loved the cast including Sir Ian Holm, Sir John Gielgud, and the young aspiring Olympic athletes including Brad Davis, Ian Charleson, and Ben Cross. The story is beautifully told in writing and the direction is brilliant to convey the beauty of the story. This is a feel good classic film from 1981.


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