Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire
Chariots of fire.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHugh Hudson
Written byColin Welland
Produced byDavid Puttnam
Starring
CinematographyDavid Watkin
Edited byTerry Rawlings
Music byVangelis
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 30 March 1981 (1981-03-30) (London)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5.5 million (£3 million)[1]
Box office$59 million (U.S. and Canada)[2]

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical sports drama film directed by Hugh Hudson, written by Colin Welland, and produced by David Puttnam. It is based on the true story of two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson star as Abrahams and Liddell, alongside Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, John Gielgud, Lindsay Anderson, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige, Brad Davis, and Dennis Christopher in supporting roles. Kenneth Branagh makes his debut in a minor role.

Chariots of Fire was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Score for Vangelis' electronic theme tune. At the 35th British Academy Film Awards, the film was nominated in eleven categories and won three, including Best Film. It is ranked 19th in the British Film Institute's list of Top 100 British films.

The film's title was inspired by the line "Bring me my Chariot of fire!" from the William Blake poem adapted into the British hymn "Jerusalem"; the hymn is heard at the end of the film.[3] The original phrase "chariot(s) of fire" is from 2 Kings 2:11 and 6:17 in the Bible.

  1. ^ Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p28
  2. ^ Chariots of Fire at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ Dans, Peter E. Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners. Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. p. 223.

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