Rent Chariots of Fire (1981)

3.6 of 5 from 213 ratings
1h 58min
Rent Chariots of Fire Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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The poignant true story of two British sprinters vying for gold in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a driven athlete of Jewish ancestry, runs to overcome prejudice and to achieve personal fame; his rival, Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a devout Scottish missionary, competes for the glory of God. An inspirational story of spirit and strength in the face of enormous odds, the film combines the finest elements of athletic competition and human drama to create a compelling and timeless cinematic classic.
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Gordon Hammersley
David Puttnam
Colin Welland
Colin Welland, Vangelis, Milena Canonero, David Watkin, Jim Shields, Clive Winter, Bill Rowe, Vangelis Papathanassiou, Terry Rawlings, Roger Hall
20th Century Fox
Classics, Drama, Sports & Sport Films
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1982 BAFTA Best Costumes

1982 BAFTA Best Film

1982 BAFTA Best Supporting Actor

1982 Oscar Best Picture

1982 Oscar Best Costume Design

1982 Oscar Best Music Original Score

1982 Oscar Best Original Screen Play

1981 Cannes Best Supporting Actor

Release Date:
Run Time:
118 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Czech, Danish, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Release Date:
Run Time:
123 minutes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
  • Commentary by Director Hugh Hudson
  • Composer's Isolated Score
  • 1924: Birth of the Modem Games
  • David Puttnam: A Cinematic Champion
  • Hugh Hudson: Journey to the Gold
  • Wings on their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire
  • Chariots of Fire: A Reunion
  • Reliving the Sprint
  • Filming the Opening Shot
  • Screen Tests
  • Additional Scenes

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Reviews (1) of Chariots of Fire

Great British Drama - Chariots of Fire review by GI

Spoiler Alert

Based on real events and people although it plays fast and loose with history this remains an inspiring story of dedication and the power of the human spirit. Starting in 1919 during the national trauma following the First World War it tells the story of Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a young Cambridge undergraduate of Jewish heritage and a talented speed runner, and Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a Scottish rugby player, devout christian and very fast runner who both have ambition to win gold medals at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. Abraham's driven by the need to overcome racial prejudice and Liddell believing his talents come from God become gentle rivals as they prepare for the final contest. This is a period drama that won four Academy Awards including best picture and famously had writer Colin Welland heralding this as the start of a new British New Wave of cinema. Sadly that didn't happen but this is an example of contemporary British film at its very best. Wonderfully recreating the 1920s and with scenes filmed in Cambridge (my home town) this also has a great support cast including Nigel Havers as a fellow athlete and Ian Holm as athletics trainer Sam Mussabini, whom Abrahams employed much to the chagrin of his college masters. As well as the fantastic story of athletic brilliance its also a story of the times with class and religion being key issues. If you've never seen this then it is one of those films everyone should see at least once.

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