Chariots of Fire (1981)

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The true story of two British track athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics. One is a devout Scottish missionary who runs for God, the other is a Jewish student at Cambridge who runs for fame and to escape prejudice.

Director Hugh Hudson's absorbing drama, based on a true story, deals with the personal struggles faced by two very different long-distance runners competing for Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) is a devout Christian who sees victory as a testament to the glory of God, while the other, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), is a Jewish Cambridge student who sees victory as a challenge to anti-Semitism and his ongoing struggle for acceptance by Britain's elite. Eric, a hometown Scottish hero to the people, gives rousing sermons after victory and works at a local missionary. Harold runs wi...
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th a zealous commitment, upsetting Cambridge's educational upper crust (played with enjoyable wit and candor by Sir John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson) while enjoying social life with his university chums and his beautiful showgirl girlfriend (Alice Krige). But when faced with such a competent challenger, Harold hires trainer Sam Mussabini (Ian Holm) to further his dreams of winning the gold. Ultimately, the two runners meet in Paris to run for British victory in a rousing finale. Featuring an unforgettable soundtrack by Vangelis, this Academy Award-winning film is an inspirational story of athletic excellence and spiritual awakening that captures the zeal of post-WWI Britain and the glory of the Olympics.
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Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is the internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a serious Christian Scotsman, believes that he has to succeed as a testament to his undying religious faith. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), is a Jewish Englishman who wants desperately to be accepted and prove to the world that Jews are not inferior. The film crosscuts between each man's life as he trains for the competition, fueled by these very different desires. As compelling as the racing scenes are, it's really th...
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e depth of the two main characters that touches the viewer, as they forcefully drive home the theme that victory attained through devotion, commitment, integrity, and sacrifice is the most admirable feat that one can achieve. (Ian Holm was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in his role as Abrahams' coach), and this powerful film ended up with four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score.
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In the 1924 Paris Olympics, a Jew and a Scotsman run for Britain.

Het ware verhaal van twee Britse atleten die tegen elkaar strijden op de Olympische Spelen in 1924. De ene is een Schotse man die god aanbidt en de andere is een Joodse student die rent voor beroemdheid.

Critic Consensus :Decidedly slower and less limber than the Olympic runners at the center of its story, the film nevertheless manages to make effectively stirring use of its spiritual and patriotic themes.

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