Winner of Best Picture at the 1981 Oscars, Chariots of Fire is set around the 1924 Paris Olympics and concerns two young British runners who are not only running for themselves and their country but for deeper, more personal reasons. Cambridge Undergraduate Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) has faced anti-Semitism throughout his life and wants to run and win to put that out of his mind and show he is not deterred by the hateful language and attention he receives. Scottish Christian Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) is devoutly religious and believes that his speed and determination is a sign from God that he should run. Both runners along with their friends Aubrey Montague (Nicholas Farrell) and Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers) enter the Paris Olympics with dreams of winning gold.
Chariots of Fire, though now over thirty years old has recently returned to the spotlight thanks to the 2012 London Olympics. The film’s famous opening has been repeated over and over and was even used as the basis for a comedy skit by Rowan Atkinson during the Opening Ceremony. Vangelis’ famous score also featured during medal ceremonies. I’d never seen the film before today and although I think it was worth seeing, I certainly won’t be in a hurry to watch it again.