Chariots of Fire (1981)

PG   |    |  Biography, Drama, Sport


Chariots of Fire (1981) Poster

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


7.2/10
53,691

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


16 February 2002 | phalsall
Sheer Beauty
I was a student at Edinburgh University in 1981 and was actually lodging with one branch of Eric Liddell's family.

My friends and I all went to see this movie repeatedly -- and I mean five, six, or seven paid entrances. Why?

Personally, I don't think it had anything to do with the plot, character development, the music, or moral virtue. It was simply that the film was so utterly beautiful.

The men were beautiful in a clean, non-glamorous way that we had never seen before. Not in British films, and certainly not in Hollywood movies.

The social and educational expectations shared by all were beautiful. I know it is fashionable to decry the British class system, and in principle I agree with all the criticisms. But it also seems that erasing class-by-birth leaves little else but crass meritocracy and the sheer vulgarity of the uneducated masses. Abraham's fellow students at Cambridge and Liddell's at Edinburgh participated in a social and educational system not driven by concerns about jobs, and not pathetically challenged by students who saw themselves as consumers and professors as entertainers.

Britain was beautiful. Of course some parts still are, but Nazi bombs, post-war architecture, and modern cars have destroyed much. This was a Britain where people at the time might have decried "Victorian" architecture, but we in 1981 were just coming to realize how great it was. And this was a Britain where, for good or ill, middle class people kept their houses tasteful, and working-class door-steps were white-stoned each week.

In all this movie was a connection to the beautiful aspects of the British past. That past might never have existed in reality, but in 1981 we could just about touch it, above all in Edinburgh, spared by German bombs and still one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



Did You Know?

Trivia

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


Quotes

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 ...


Goofs

At the end of the montage "He is an Englishman" Harold is cheered for by the audience, presumably as the soloist. But the solo from HMS Pinafore is for the boatswain, and Harold is dressed in superior officer's clothes.


Alternate Versions

There is at least one slightly different version of the movie, issued in Europe on homevideo. The beginning is different - shorter - and introduces Harold Abrahams while playing cricket with his colleagues. The scene in the train station, where Monty meets Harold is absent, as well as the loading of the baggage in the taxi they share. We simply see Monty writing a letter to his parents, mentioning that "Harold is as intense as ever" (cut to the cricket scene, maybe 30 seconds long), and then continues with "I remember our first day... we shared a taxi together" (cut to the two students unloading their stuff from the car). This alternate version also have slightly different end credits, and does not mention Harold marrying Sybil. The differences are minor (the U.S. version provides a more shocking memento of WWI, when it shows crippled baggage handlers in the station); one of the reasons the cricket scene was dropped in favour of the station one was due to the distributor's worry that the American market would not understand it.


Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by
John Stafford Smith

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | Sport

Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$68,907 27 September 1981

Gross USA:

$58,972,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$59,303,359

Contribute to this page

2020 Emmy Nominees In and Out of Character

Check out our gallery of the nominees in the leading and supporting acting categories in real life and as the characters they so brilliantly played.

View the full gallery

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com