Chariots of Fire

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Released 1981

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Movie Summary

Director:
Hugh Hudson
Released:
1981
Rating:
PG
Chariots of Fire is the 1981 winner for Best Picture and three other Academy Awards for its portrait of two Olympic runners competing for the gold medal. The 100 meter race defines "the fastest man in the world" and in 1924, runners Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) and Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) have the potential to break the world record. Eric, known as the Flying Scotsman, belongs to a family of missionaries, but he also feels "God's pleasure" when he runs. His devout sister, Jennie (Cheryl Campbell), sees athletics as a distraction from serving the church. Cambridge University student Harold faces anti-Semitism in the British upper class and sees the Olympic medal as an opportunity to prove his worth. He also raises the disdain of Master of Trinity (Sire John Gielgud) when he hires a professional trainer, Sam Mussabini (Ian Holm), an unorthodox practice at the time. The musical score won an Oscar and became a popular hit.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

  • 88

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    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 ...

  • 75

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    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 i...

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Drama, Sports

Themes

Historical, Olympics