Chariots of Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chariots of Fire Reviews

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½ May 21, 2017
Okay, I admit to never having watched this 1981 Oscar winner. However it is synonymous with its music score by Vangelis. The electronic chords themselves winning Best Music Oscar for the film.
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.
½ February 28, 2017
You would think a movie about fast runners wouldn't be this slow.
February 20, 2017
I wasn't too particularly fond of this movie. Maybe if I had watched it when it frst came out, things would be different. But that's an impossibility, so let's forget about that. Overall I liked it.
February 4, 2017
I grew up on this. My mom still has the soundtrack on vinyl record. The score alone gets 5 stars. Vangelis is a genius!!

Costume, 5 stars. Had to watch as an adult to appreciate good acting.

Could easily be remade today, too...
January 31, 2017
The story of two British athletes, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, their determination to succeed and how their faith and convictions sustain them. It will all come to a head at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

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.
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2017
By the time the movie gets to the Olympics, it unfortunately jettisons the complex motivations of the characters in favor of a more inspirational narrative. It's not all bad, but this could have been so much more.
December 23, 2016
Shockingly no chariots or fires. Would have been better if you could tell the two guys apart and if they spent a lot less time talking.
October 28, 2016
I always like it when movies transport you to another age and I liked spending time in 1920s Britain - so atmospheric. There's also something about the time of their lives that it portrays - those young university years of hope and optimism when there's a world to conquer and the strength and fire to conquer it. All that infuses the movie with a wistful nostalgia. I enjoyed the faith of Eric Liddell and how it was portrayed, and that was what brought the real emotion to the climactic scene. And then of course the slight melancholy that comes with the juxtaposition of hearing how both Abrahams and Liddell died while cutting back to their youth, seeing them running along the beach, young and free, underpinned by the iconic theme music. A nice watch.
½ October 21, 2016
An exceptionally well-made movie with amazing backdrop of the 1920s Europe and beautifully acted even with somewhat weak story. Music - as well known - one of the best all time.
September 16, 2016
One of my all-time favorite movies. I"m not at all sure why.
½ September 12, 2016
Incredibly dull. The only thing it has going for it is the inspirational instrumental theme music. Otherwise it is very overrated. (First and only viewing - 1/23/2011)
August 20, 2016
UK classic, the film you watch during the Olympics, And that damn song you hear, but can't remember the name! Oh, Chariots Of Fire makes you feel like Jesus walking on water
½ August 8, 2016
Why is one of cinema's greatest scores attached to such a boring film?
June 19, 2016
People in the 1980s and 2010s have different taste in movies
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2016
It is certainly overrated and doesn't justify the many Oscars it won/was nominated to, but still it is technically competent (especially Vangelis' music and the film's editing) even if it is also a bit too conventional and slows down in its second half almost to the speed of a turtle.
½ April 12, 2016
When a film is criticised by one of its actors, who called it 'propagandist' and expressed disbelief that it won the Best Picture Oscar, you can't help but be tempted to see it for yourself. Chariots of Fire was very much the Forrest Gump of its year, in that it certainly wasn't the best film, but its unabashed sentimentality won over those who voted with their hearts rather than their heads. The opening and closing shots of athletes running on the beach to a legendary musical score are great, and the fact that the leads use sprinting as a means of expressing themselves and fighting for what they believe in is very relatable, but the whole thing is too slow, too ponderous and too insubstantial to receive such acclaim, or warrant repeat viewing. Vast stretches of it play like a lacklustre TV soap episode, and drawing it out over the span of 2 hours make it a chore to get through. We're supposed to be on the side of the main character, but when he is on the verge of giving up when he gets beaten once, it undermines how much of a fighter he's supposed to be. Watch it once if you must, it's all you'll need.
½ March 26, 2016
False advertising. There were neither chariots nor fire.
½ March 26, 2016
Chariots of Fire is a well made film with good directing and great acting. The musical score is the best part of the film and this is an entertaining film with lots of great British actors, with the stand out being Ian Holm. The problem is this is a very slow paced film and it does get quite boring at times, also this isn't a very memorable movie. While the opening scene is an iconic scene in all of cinema the rest of this film is very forgettable. I don't hate this movie, it's a good movie with some tense running scene but this is an overrated movie that didn't deserve to win best picture at the oscars over Raiders of the Lost Ark. Chariots of Fire is a good film with some great elements but is overall very forgettable and fairly overrated. B
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