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Chariots of Fire Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Jim Emerson

The come-from-behind winner of the 1981 Oscar for best picture, Chariots of Fire either strikes you as either a cold exercise in mechanical manipulation or as a tale of true determination and inspiration. The heroes are an unlikely pair of young athletes who ran for Great Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympics: devout Protestant Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a divinity student whose running makes him feel closer to God, and Jewish Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a highly competitive Cambridge student who has to surmount the institutional hurdles of class prejudice and anti-Semitism. There's delicious support from Ian Holm (as Abrahams's coach) and John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson as a couple of Cambridge fogies. Vangelis's soaring synthesized score, which seemed to be everywhere in the early 1980s, also won an Oscar. Chariots of Fire was the debut film of British television commercial director Hugh Hudson (Greystoke) and was produced by David Puttnam. 

Academy Awards

Chariots of Fire won Academy Awards for Best Picture (David Puttnam - Producer), Writing (Best Screenplay written directly for the screen; Colin Welland), Costume Design (Milena Canonero), Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Score; Vangelis). It was also nominated for Supporting Actor (Ian Holm), Directing (Hugh Hudson) and Film Editing (Terry Rawlings).


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"What works best of all in Chariots of Fire is the music score by Vangelis. There are many scenes of competitive track and field, the category that both men enter the Olympics under, and the music set to some of the scenes is worth the price of admission alone."




Buy this VHS movie from! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Hugh Hudson

Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Ian Holm, John Gielgud, Alice Krige, Cheryl Campbell, Patrick Magee, Nigel Havers, Nick Farrell, Lindsay Anderson, Nigel Davenport, Dennis Christopher, Brad Davis

Released: September 25, 1981

Availability: DVD VHS CD

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