Chariots of Fire (1981) Review

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Two British track athletes aim is to compete and win at the 1924 Olympics in France, one from England and one from Scotland who have very different backgrounds.

This is one of those films that I have had on my radar to watch for a long time now, as you are already probably aware I have such a passion for sport and with this being a sports drama it was always going to be something I would enjoy. It won Best Picture and therefore is part of the Best Picture Project as well!

Harold Abrahams a Jew with a privileged life being a student at Cambridge which creates a good training venue to prepare. Then we have Eric Liddell a devout Scot who was born to Christian missionaries and sees this as his future, but really enjoys running he is based in Edinburgh. The methods of training are very different for the pair who must make the best of everything they have available to them.

The opening and closing scene being on the beach and running really is just fantastic, throughly enjoyable and showcasing exactly what the film is going to be about. The passion, determination and dedication it takes to be a top athlete. It certainly highlights how far sport, training and the Olympics have come over the years but also that somethings will always stay the same. That being how much effort you have to put in to be the best you can possibly be.

Performances are very strong from Ian Charleson and Ben Cross in the leading roles with Nigel Havers and Ian Holm standing out in the supporting roles. With Havers and Holm it was great to see them in this film which they received a lot of critical acclaim for having seen them in different films and TV shows over the past few years. This is certainly something that makes the film impressive, being able to really get into the characters who would have pretty much changed the course of Athletics for Britain with the early Olympic wins.

The score is another very impressive aspect of the film and I really do think it has so many different things going for it. I really do recommend catching up with this one if you haven’t already seen it. Currently available on Sky Cinema in the Oscars section, something I was very pleased to find considering I had been looking at buying the Blu Ray. I found it fascinating from start to finish looking at how they were preparing for the Olympics, also a good thing to think about how 1924 was coming off the back of World War I and people needing hope.

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