Monday, 17 August 2015

Chariots of Fire Review (Updated)

Chariots of Fire

Release Date: 24th September 1981 - Australia 

Production Companies
20th Century Fox Film Corporation (present)
Allied Stars Ltd. (present)
Enigma Productions
Goldcrest Films

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Drama

Rating: PG

Runtime: 118 minutes

Budget: $5,500,000

Box Office Gross: $58,972,904

Plot Summary
England's first athletes 
have begun their quest 
for glory in the 1924 
Olympic games. Success 
brings honour to their 
nation. For two runners, 
the honour at stake is 
personal and their 
challenge one from 

Ben Cross - Harold Abrahams
Ian Charleson - Eric Liddell
Nicholas Farrell - Aubrey Montague
Nigel Havers - Lord Andrew Lindsay
Ian Holm - Sam Mussabini
John Gielgud - Master of Trinity
Lindsay Anderson - Master of Caius
Cheryl Campbell - Jennie Liddell
Alice Krige - Sybil Gordon
Struan Rodger - Sandy McGrath
Nigel Davenport - Lord Birkenhead
Patrick Magee - Lord Cadogan
Peter Egan - Duke of Sutherland
Daniel Gerroll - Henry Stallard
Dennis Christopher - Charley Paddock
Brad Davis - Jackson Scholz

Director - Hugh Hudson
Original Screenplay - Colin Welland
Executive Producers - Dodi Fayed
and Jake Eberts (Uncredited)
Producer - David Puttnam
Athletic Consultant - Tom McNab
Costume Designer - Milena Canonero
Director of Photography - David Watkin
Film Editor - Terry Rawlings
Music - Vangelis


1982 Academy Awards
Best Picture - David Puttnam (Won)
Best Writing (Original Screenplay) - Colin Welland (Won)
Best Costume Design - Milena Canonero (Won)
Best Music, Original Score - Vangelis (Won)
Best Director - Hugh Hudson (Nominated)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Ian Holm (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Terry Rawlings (Nominated)

As I can remember first seeing the 1981 historical classic CHARIOTS OF FIRE on a DVD packaging when I was just a child. I was blown away in my mind by the opening scene of its beautiful images where the runners are sprinting through the beachfront near the waves and the majestic theme tune is playing in the entire sequence. Many years onI have never forgotten this iconic movie and the classical piece of music by Vangelis. I didn't realise that after I was watching the feature, it was going to be my favourite type of film. I understand how it would have been necessary for the filmmakers to add more historical facts of relating the true story of the two characters competing in the Olympics. Especially when parts from history have been altered in the feature to dramatise each of their perspective. I really thought that these pair were going to interact together in a few more scenes before and after the racing, it would have best suited for their upstanding rivalry.

On a positive note, the performances are surprisingly good from lesser-known British actors Ian Charleson and Ben Cross. Cross who after this movie has gotten into more movie roles in later years, most are recently known like Spock's father Sarek in J.J. Abrams' retool of STAR TREK (click here). While Ian did only some for his acting and never got the chance to be a known thespian after his life was cut short tragically of AIDS at the age of 40. 

Overall, CHARIOTS OF FIRE was mostly historical inaccurate. It is a great film with amazing directing, brilliant acting, scenery and musical score. It has very little to be critical of.

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

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