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Chariots of Fire

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  • Trailer for Chariots of Fire

Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Eric Liddell is a devout Christian who believes that his athletic abilities are a gift from God. Harold Abrahams is an English Jew, a student at Cambridge, who dreams of fame and of proving to his anti-Semitic fellow students, and to the world, that Jews are in no respect inferior. In the process of achieving their goals, through all the obstacles and personal issues they conquer, they prove that striving for victory in their own terms is, perhaps, its own reward. Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire was the winner of four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Cast

  • Nicholas Farrell
  • Nigel Havers
  • Ian Charleson
  • Ben Cross
  • Daniel Gerroll
  • Ian Holm
  • John Gielgud
  • Lindsay Anderson
  • Nigel Davenport
  • Cheryl Campbell

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • Extras in the Olympic crowd scenes were told to wear dark colors so they would not stand out. Extras who managed to wear actual Edwardian clothes were paid twenty pounds sterling, while those in normal dress were paid ten.
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Goofs

  • Houses at the end of the track at the Scotland-France meeting have modern double-glazed windows.
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Quotes

    • Eric Liddell: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe your dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

100

Chariots of Fire is one of the best films of recent years, a memory of a time when men still believed you could win a race if only you wanted to badly enough.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
88

There's barely a whiff of melodrama in Chariots of Fire, which makes the film-watching experience all the more effective -- director Hugh Hudson shows respect for the integrity of his material and the intelligence of his audience. The absence of mawkish moments provides the narrative with a genuine quality that supports its factual background.

Metacritic review by James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
75

The beautifully told but predictable story of two athletes who competed in the 100-meter dash for England in the 1924 Olympics...The film has received choruses of praise prior to its nationwide opening this week. Although it is extremely well made, I frankly don't understand what the shouting is about. Good, yes; great, no. [25 Dec 1981, p.56]

Metacritic review by Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune