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Based on a true story, Chariots of Fire is the internationally acclaimed Oscar-winning drama of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a serious Christian Scotsman, believes that he has to succeed as a testament to his undying religious faith. Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), is a Jewish Englishman who wants desperately to be accepted and prove to the world that Jews are not inferior. The film crosscuts between each man’s life as he trains for the competition, fueled by these very different desires. As compelling as the racing scenes are, it’s really the depth of the two main characters that touches the viewer, as they forcefully drive home the theme that victory attained through devotion, commitment, integrity, and sacrifice is the most admirable feat that one can achieve.


Related events:

  • July 11, 1924 – Eric Liddell wins 1st place at 400 metres finals


  • Immodest dress styles
  • Historical Profanity

Runtime: 125 min

Release: 1981

Cast: Ben Cross, Ian Charlesen, Nicholas Farrell

Director: Hugh Hudson

Writer: Colin Welland

3 thoughts to “Chariots of Fire (1981)

  • Julie Hatch

    The last time I watched this is when it had first come out. We watched it again today and I was touched by Eric Liddell’s faith. I was inspired by how he lived the principles he believed in. Because he did, we get to see just how amazing God is and He uses us when we commit to live those Gospel principles. We watched “On Wings of Eagles” right after. If you haven’t watched it, you want to as it follows Eric Liddell’s life. “Chariots of Fire” shows us how he developed those principles and how the Lord tried him but that was only the beginning, you get a much bigger picture when you watch “On Wings of Eagles” too.

  • Sorena Marble

    To learn more about courage and morals this is a good movie to watch. Eric Lundell was a very fast runner and he won a spot at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, the only problem was, the race was on Sunday.
    He was a devout Christian so he would not run on a Sunday. Ben Cross was also a fast runner, he was also going to run in the Olympics. He had a different route. A different coaching style. I was impressed with their determination. They had to sacrifice a lot in their personal life to get there as well. It always amazes me when I watch people that stand up for their morals. It gives me hope and courage. I want to be that way as well.

  • Alexis

    This is one of my favorite movies. We love Eric Liddell around here, he is one of my son’s favorite heroes. We also love the sequel to this one, On Wings of Eagles. We have been talking a lot in our family about consecrating our Sabbath. So this was a fun one to watch together, with that being the theme. I love watching Eric as he has lived the principle and taught it to others and then it comes to a head in his life. It is cool to watch him consider it and then make a choice and stick to it. I also love the impact this has on others. Eric choosing to live his principles was good for everyone around him. His teammate’s sacrifice allowed him to race and His choice and sacrifice allowed for his other teammate to earn a medal. I love that this movie showed that this worked out that way.


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