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Chariots of Fire


Action / Biography / Drama / History / Sport

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO


Top cast

Kenneth Branagh Photo
Kenneth Branagh as Cambridge Student - Society Day crowd
Ian Holm Photo
Ian Holm as Sam Mussabini
Stephen Fry Photo
Stephen Fry as Singer in 'H.M.S. Pinafore'
Nigel Davenport Photo
Nigel Davenport as Lord Birkenhead
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
873.12 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 5 min
P/S 1 / 7
1.85 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 5 min
P/S 1 / 29

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer10 / 10

one of the very best films of the 1980s

This film probably won't appeal to everyone. Some kids and teens and those with short attention-spans will dislike the film's deliberate and sometimes leisurely pace or dislike that the historical context for the film is non-existent unless you are familiar with or care about 20th century history. In other words, those who love Friday 13th part XLV or anything made by Pauley Shore will be bored to death and should avoid this film like the plague (as they might accidentally learn something).

Now, this does not mean this movie is for elitist snobs. Nope--you can be an average bloke and still become mesmerized by the terrific and incredibly realistic acting, gorgeous cinematography, wonderful costumes, brilliant script and lovely music by Vangelis.

The movie is a generally true story about two parallel lives--Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. Both were destined to win the gold medal at the 1924 Olympics but the actual journey there and the lives they led were so different. How they were woven together to form one beautiful tapestry is why this movie is great. See this film and don't worry that it won the Oscar for Best Picture--this is one of the few over the past several decades that both deserved it AND was entertaining (something the Oscar people usually do not consider).

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Brilliant movie

While I do think Raiders of the Lost Ark is the better film, Chariots of Fire is still an brilliant movie. To be honest, I wouldn't have minded which of these two films won Best Picture, they are both as good as each other.

At the time, Chariots of Fire was dismissed as an empty exercise in cheap schmaltz. I personally think that is an unfair distinction. What Chariots of Fire is in my view is a powerful tale about two British athletes aiming for glory in the Olympics with a certain old-fashioned innocence. The whole film is beautifully photographed, and Vangelis's score is suitably triumphant and one of his best. The direction is clever, and the script is wonderful. The story is both powerful and intriguing, and if anything it is a character study and a compelling one it is too. The film rarely drags either, and the characters(particularly the lead characters) are well-developed and credible when they could have easily been clichéd. The acting is excellent across the board, Ian Charleson and Ben Cross are both superb in their roles, likewise with Ian Holm.

All in all, it is a brilliant movie. Maybe not my immediate choice for the Academy Award, but I cannot deny that it is more than good as a movie. 10/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Two Men Who Ran

I'm not sure Chariots Of Fire deserved to be the Best Picture of 1981, I think Reds, Atlantic City, or On Golden Pond deserved that honor. But it's still quite the inspirational story of two men on the British track team of the 1924 Olympics who ran to prove something, but not the same thing.

Ben Cross and Ian Charleson play Harold Abraham and Eric Liddell who are among the survivors of a lost generation to enter college, Cambridge to be precise in 1919, the year after World War I ended. It was called The Great War and the contemplation of another was too horrible to imagine. Cross as Abraham was a veteran of the war, though that fact is curiously downplayed in Chariots Of Fire.

What is emphasized is his Jewish faith. Though Benjamin Disraeli had been Prime Minister and Lord Isaacs as Chief Justice and Sir Herbert Samuel never had to convert as Disraeli did for a political career, the very top of British society was still closed to Jews. I wonder if Ernest Hemingway had known the real Harold Abraham because he could have been a model for Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises. Abraham is not obnoxious like Cohn, but has reason for the chip on his shoulder as the Cambridge dons led by John Gielgud confront him about employing a 'professional' trainer. Gielgud could have been some mossback running the NCAA.

Eric Liddell is running for his faith as well. He was not in the war, he was in China with his missionary father. Today he'd be a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, back in the day he typified what was then called 'muscular Christianity', the idea to show that being a Christian was not something for weaklings.

Of course each in his own way makes his point, that in fact is the sum and substance of Chariots Of Fire. With Ian Charleson as Liddell, he makes an issue out of not running in an Olympic event held on the sabbath. I remember back in the day Sandy Koufax refusing to pitch in the World Series game held on Yom Kippur. Of course since the Dodgers also had Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen available at the time that was hardly a detriment. In fact the sabbath dispute over Liddell's views is solved in much the same manner.

Chariots Of Fire is a nice depiction of the United Kingdom during the Twenties. It was not all the jazz age of partying, there were some very serious folk, even young folk at the time. Cross and Charleson play two such.

There might be dispute over whether it was the Best Film of 1981, but the unforgettable musical score there was no doubt about. The awards that Chariots Of Fire won for Costume Design and Original Screenplay were also deserved.

I think the value of Chariots Of Fire is that not only is it an inspirational film, but it takes place during an age when such things were scorned in some quarters. For that reason the film is both a good historical record and of timeless value.

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