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Chariots of Fire (1992) [Import]

3.9 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Daniel Gerroll
  • Directors: Hugh Hudson
  • Writers: Colin Welland
  • Producers: David Puttnam, Dodi Fayed, Jake Eberts, James Crawford
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, French
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 1 1992
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6300271498
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Product Description

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. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase

Chariots Of Fire arrives on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode. A lot of this film was purposefully shot in diffuse light with soft focus, and that may lead some to believe that this transfer is less than exceptional. It isn't. David Watkin's gorgeous cinematography, which more often than not utilized natural lighting schemes, is presented without any noticeable digital tweaking. Grain remains natural. In most cases, this incredibly sharp and pleasing transfer offers abundant fine detail and strong contrast, giving it a commendable filmic appearance. (4.5/5)


The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track supplies clear, nicely nuanced sound that captures all the atmosphere of this rousing and poetic film. Wide dynamic range allows highs to flourish without risking distortion and lows to achieve proper weight without lumbering heaviness. Surround activity is unfortunately limited. The Vangelis score radiates with pulsating power and searing grace as it effortlessly swirls across every channel. The Gilbert & Sullivan music also sounds hearty and robust. (4.5/5)


Chariots Of Fire was the surprising winner of Best Picture Oscar in 1982. Other winners include Best Original Score (Vangelis), Best Screenplay and Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for Best Director (Hugh Hudson), Best Supporting Actor (Ian Holm) and Best Film Editing. Surprisingly, the Number 1 hit Titles, the famous title theme to the movie, was not nominated for Best Original Song. Maybe because there is no singing? I wonder.


Chariots of Fire is attractively packaged in a 40-page lavishly illustrated Warner digibook with embossed lettering and a slightly raised and textured reproduction of the Olympic flame on the cover.
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Format: DVD
Chariots of Fire is an outstanding epic based on the lives of two men (among others), Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams. Eric Liddel, a Scotsman and a missionary believes he can succeed as a testament to his undying faith. Harold Abrahams, a Jew wishes to succeed to prove that Jews are no inferior to others in post WWI England. This movie is one of refinement, ambition, commitment and integrity. In that era, there are tempers when the Masters of Cambridge do not take lightly to Harold being trained by a professional as they pride in the amateur aspect of the sport and the esprit de corps. His interaction with his girl friend when he loses a race is a special point. She says, "He won fair and square. There is nothing you can do about it." Then he retorts, "I do not run to compete, I run to win, if I cannot win, I should not run." She replies, "If you do not run, you cannot win." It ends with her frustration and saying, "Grow up". 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 and sacrifice is the most admirable feat that one can achieve.
I am glad that I have a wide screen edition of this DVD, however this is a region 3 and cannot play in a regular DVD player, as they play only the region 1 version. It is similar to the version released in UK. Even this version does not have a good audio and video transfer. There are dots in the video and the audio should be better considering the outstanding score by Vangelis. The widescreen edition is farbetter than the one released in US though. I am sad that they are not releasing this one here. I got this one in US through another website, thanks to my enhanced DVD player. So, I would give 5 stars for the movie and 4 stars for the transfer (I am being very generous here).
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Format: VHS Tape
It being my father's favourite film, I decided to give it a go. Although at first I thought it to be a quaint little story about British Olympic glory in 1924, after watching it the first time (and many times since) and listening to the superb musical score, I realised it is much more. One of those rare films, with superb acting and a believable and intelligent storyline and screenplay, that has an intangable extra. That extra drives you to view the movie again - and again and again, tirelessly -- only to discover new dimensions to characters, new meanings to the seemingly simple storyline, and of course a little bit about fascinating British history. (Not to mention movie making and acting -- real acting, an alternative to Hollywood -- and a very refreshing one! The characters are well developed -- the movie is only slow moving if you value slap-dash, one dimensional, superficial development. I thought the movie was well-paced and believable. There's a quality to it rarely seen in the mainstream Hollywood movie, and that's precisely what made it special. The cinematography is still breathtaking, the beach scene with complimentary soundtrack being one of those unforgettable moments in movie history. And quite frankly I *liked* the characters' plight, their passions, their individual means and ends, and how each tackles difficulties in his own way while at the same time acting in the name of British sportspersonship, national pride, etc.
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Format: DVD
This movie ranks among my all-time favorites. Filled with the passion of sports and the feats of excellence of the Olympic Games, it remains at its core a story of integrity, loyalty, and idealism. (Forget about relating to this film if these qualities do not appeal to you at least somewhat.)
And the acting, the costumes, the sets and background scenes - every bit of it was elegant and satisfying.
I give Chariots of Fire five stars, wishing I could rate it much, much higher.
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