The Radio Times logo

Chariots of Fire

  • Drama
  • 1981
  • Hugh Hudson
  • 118 mins
  • PG

Summary

Oscar-winning drama based on the true story of British runners Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, going for gold at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. The two athletes are driven by very different impulses - Liddell is inspired by his devout Christian faith, while Abrahams hopes to triumph over the anti-Semitism he has endured all his life. Starring Ian Charleson, Ben Cross, Nigel Havers, John Gielgud and Ian Holm. Vangelis provides the soundtrack.

Advertisement
Recommended

Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Unfairly dismissed by some as an empty exercise in cheap schmaltz, this has an old-fashioned innocence that celebrates the human spirit with a lot of careful detail. It's a powerful tale about two British athletes - one a contemplative Scottish missionary, the other an anxious Jewish student - aiming for glory in the 1924 Olympics, and it contains a compelling study of their characters and those of their competitors. Their experiences are drawn in thoughtfully by Hugh Hudson's direction and Colin Welland's Oscar-winning script. Indeed, it was Welland who exclaimed at the Oscar ceremony that "the British are coming!". The performances of leads Ian Charleson (as the missionary) and Ben Cross (as the student) prove that, at a time when British cinema had such talent to fall back on, Welland should have been right.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Harold AbrahamsBen Cross
Eric LiddellIan Charleson
Lord Andrew LindsayNigel Havers
Aubrey MontagueNicholas Farrell
Sam MussabiniIan Holm
Master of TrinityJohn Gielgud
Master of CaiusLindsay Anderson
Lord BirkenheadNigel Davenport
Jennie LiddellCheryl Campbell
Sybil GordonAlice Krige
Charles PaddockDennis Christopher
Jackson ScholzBrad Davis
Lord CadoganPatrick Magee
Duke of SutherlandPeter Egan
Sandy McGrathStruan Rodger
Prince of WalesDavid Yelland
Head Porter, Caius CollegeRichard Griffiths
Henry StallardDaniel Gerroll
BuntyRuby Wax

Crew

rolename
DirectorHugh Hudson

Details

Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox Film Co. Ltd
Released on
2012-07-13
Language
English
Guidance
Some swearing and brief nudity.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour

News & features about Chariots of Fire

Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content