Chariots of Fire Reviews
There is a big problem with these characters. They don?t have distinctive personalities, so it was difficult to care about them. Part of it was the acting, but I also think it was the script. I mean, I tried hard to get invested in them. In fact I found myself so emotionally detached that I actually restarted after watching the first 20 minutes to get to know the characters better. This helped me at least to be able to identify what the main characters looked like so they didn?t get lost in the crowd (which still was a struggle from time to time.) However I never connected with them.
There is so little actual running in this film, and what there is wasn?t shot well. I could never keep track of where people were in the race or who was winning until it was done. In fact the most exhilarating race is the one on the beach with that amazing iconic music, which isn?t part of the plot of the film! There wasn?t even much training or practicing of running shown, so we don?t really see them improve. The editing was fairly weak, because they lacked connecting scenes to keep the narrative flowing. And they never even closed the framing scene that started the film. Chariots of Fire wasn?t terrible, but it was a huge disappointment.
In summary the film is set after World War One in the period before the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris and follows the rivalry of two British sprinters.
Harold Abrahams (played by Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell (played by Ian Charleson).
The sprinters not only demonstrate great athletic prowess but have rather devout religious beliefs.
Abrahams is Jewish and Liddell is devoutly Christian.
The degree of Liddell's religious stubbornness some might say is refusing to compete in the Olympic heats on Sunday.
The film follows the pattern of other sporting films in that it follows the ultimate triumph of the underdog.
The religious angle adds another story arc to the screenplay.
Other athletes in the periphary of the screenplay includes a young Nigel Havers.
The only other relative 'big' name was Ian Holm as an Italian Arab athletics trainer Mussabini.
Costume, 5 stars. Had to watch as an adult to appreciate good acting.
Could easily be remade today, too...
Decent, but not brilliant. Story is fine but not really astonishing or that profound, unless this is the first time you've ever heard of someone remaining true to their faith and convictions. Really only memorable for the running on the beach scene, with the anthemic Vangelis theme playing over it.
Won the Best Picture at the 1982 Oscars. Was a fairly weak year, as other nominees included Reds, On Golden Pond and Raiders of the Lost Ark.