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.




  • Cheryl Campbell and Ian Charleson in Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Alice Krige and Ben Cross in Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Ben Cross and Ian Charleson in Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Ben Cross and Nigel Havers in Chariots of Fire (1981)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

19 May 1999 | nomercy
Engrossing and humbling
'tis been said that this movie is loved or hated, no middle ground.

I believe I know why.

It touches the most fundamental instincts and feelings in all of us.

The question it compels us to ask is, "Do I have a piece of greatness to offer to the world"?

Those of us who would answer yes, whether we believe is achievable or not, would love this movie, because it epitomizes the potential of our dreams, not just in running, but in any walk of life.

Those of us who would answer no, would hate this movie, because it highlights our acceptance of mediocrity, and of surrendered dreams.

Also, this movie touches those who have succeeded also.

It shows that there are two ways to succeed, the one not shown in the movie, and the one shown.

The one not shown is the one that motivates most truly successful people today. win at any cost, in sports, business, etc. and the consequences be damned.

The way to succeed shown in Chariots of Fire is probably naive by today's standards, but nonetheless noble and uplifting.

It tells us that success achieved through dedication, commitment, honesty and sacrifice is the noblest achievement a person can attain, and provides examples for others to emulate.

Liddell and Abrahams are not examples for runners, they are examples for people, true heroes of the spirit, not sport.

An unforgettable phrase, a torch to some and a knife to others,

" So where does the power to succeed come from?... It comes from within"

Those of us who have it, love it, those of us who do not have it, hate it.

If I live to be 100, I will still have my dreams stirred back to life by the message in this film

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Did You Know?


In the bar scene after winning the gold medal, Harold says to his trainer, "let's go home, Sam." Sam Mussabini was played by Sir Ian Holm. In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Frodo Baggins said those exact words to his friend Samwise Gamgee. In that movie, Sir Ian Holm played Frodo's uncle, Bilbo.


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 ...


Eric momentarily loses the crumpled paper from his hand during the 400m race at the Olympics.

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.


The Lord's My Shepherd
Text: Psalm 23
Music ("Crimond") by Jessie Seymour Irvine
(playing as Eric Liddell tips his cap to the statue of John Knox at New College, Edinburgh, and runs up the church steps)


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Biography | Drama | Sport

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