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Chariots of Fire

"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."

1981-05-15 Drama 2hr 4m

In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.

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Storyline

In the class-obsessed and religiously divided UK of the early 1920s, two determined young runners train for the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian born to Scottish missionaries in China, sees running as part of his worship of God's glory and refuses to train or compete on the Sabbath. Harold Abrahams overcomes anti-Semitism and class bias, but neglects his beloved sweetheart in his single-minded quest.

  • Released
    1981-05-15
  • Revenue
    $58,972,904
  • Budget
    $5,500,000
  • Runtime
    2hr 4m
  • Genre
    Drama, History
  • Status
    Released
  • Language
    English
  • imdb-logo
    7.1
  • Production
    Enigma Productions, Allied Stars, 20th Century Fox

Crew

Hugh Hudson
Director
Colin Welland
Screenplay
David Puttnam
Producer

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Cast

Ben Cross

Ben Cross

Harold Abrahams
Ian Charleson

Ian Charleson

Eric Liddell
Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Jennie Liddell
Alice Krige

Alice Krige

Sybil Gordon
Nigel Havers

Nigel Havers

Lord Andrew Lindsay
Ian Holm

Ian Holm

Sam Mussabini
Nicholas Farrell

Nicholas Farrell

Aubrey Montague
Daniel Gerroll

Daniel Gerroll

Henry Stallard
John Gielgud

John Gielgud

Master of Trinity
Lindsay Anderson

Lindsay Anderson

Master of Caius
Nigel Davenport

Nigel Davenport

Lord Birkenhead
Dennis Christopher

Dennis Christopher

Charles Paddock
Brad Davis

Brad Davis

Jackson Scholz
Patrick Magee

Patrick Magee

Lord Cadogan
Peter Egan

Peter Egan

Duke of Sutherland
Struan Rodger

Struan Rodger

Sandy McGrath
David Yelland

David Yelland

Prince of Wales
Richard Griffiths

Richard Griffiths

Head Port-Caius College
John Young

John Young

Rev. J.D. Liddell
Yvonne Gilan

Yvonne Gilan

Mrs Liddell
David John

David John

Ernest Liddell
Benny Young

Benny Young

Rob Liddell
Yves Beneyton

Yves Beneyton

George Andre
Gerry Slevin

Gerry Slevin

Colonel John Keddie
Jeremy Sinden

Jeremy Sinden

President - Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Andrew Hawkins

Andrew Hawkins

Secretary - Gilbert and Sullivan Society
Jack Smethurst

Jack Smethurst

Sleeping Car Attendant
Peter Cellier

Peter Cellier

Head Waiter - The Savoy
Ralph Lawton

Ralph Lawton

Harbour Master
Kim Clifford

Kim Clifford

Sybil's Maid
John Rutland

John Rutland

Caius Porter
Michael Lonsdale

Michael Lonsdale

Garth Jones (scenes deleted)
Ted Robbins

Ted Robbins

Shot Putter (uncredited)
Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh

Cambridge Student at Society Day (uncredited)
Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Cambridge Student at Society Day (uncredited)

Videos and Photos

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Chariots of Fire
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Chariots of Fire

Movie Reviews

Reviews for Chariots of Fire
reviewer avatar

A Review by Geronimo1967 6

Written by Geronimo1967 on 2022-07-02

The opening bars of the Oscar-winning Vangelis score coupled with the shot of the athletes running along the beach, barefoot, at St. Andrews... read more

The opening bars of the Oscar-winning Vangelis score coupled with the shot of the athletes running along the beach, barefoot, at St. Andrews is amongst the most iconic opening scenes from any film, but somehow the rest of this strays all too often into mediocrity thereafter. It tells the story of two British athletes who strove to thrive at the Olympiad in Paris in 1924. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) comes from a Lithuanian Jewish background. who is welcomed to Cambridge University, but never quite accepted. The other is Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a devout Christian who comes from missionary stock and who believes that he must serve God before himself - and that includes not running any races on the Sabbath. Both of these men have considerable athletic skills, and the story intertwines their efforts to get to the Games, whilst both must deal with their differing priorities and challenges. It's this middle portion of the film, the prologued character development phase, that all plods along too slowly. It has too little pace and too many characters, and that just drags the film down. The last fifteen minutes liven up considerably though, not just with the events on the track - but amongst those determined to ensure that the whole team attains success making sacrifices and compromises along the way. It has a classy look to it, the costumes and settings are top drawer, but I found the leading performances rather disjointed and at over two hours long, I did struggle to stay engaged.

Read Full Review (The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewer.)
A Review by CinemaSerf

The opening bars of the Oscar-winning Vangelis score coupled with the shot of the athletes running along the beach, barefoot, at St. Andrews is amongst the most iconic opening scenes from any film, but somehow the rest of this strays all to...

reviewer avatar

A Review by Geronimo1967 6

Written by Geronimo1967 on 2022-07-02

The opening bars of the Oscar-winning Vangelis score coupled with the shot of the athletes running along the beach, barefoot, at St. Andrews is amongst the most iconic opening scenes from any film, bu...

read more