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Champions [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Gregory Jones, Mick Dillon, Ann Bell, Jan Francis
  • Directors: John Irvin
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Nelson Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: April 26, 1990
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001ZX0NI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,163 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Just as British jockey Bob Champion is in the middle of a vacation in Kentucky, he finds out he has cancer, and, like others before him, submits to the full, painful treatments of multiple injections and radiation, suffering as much or more from the cure as from the illness. Gaunt and nauseous, Champion also endures realistic meetings with his doctors who hold forth no guarantee of a cure. His eventual remission leads to yet another grueling physical schedule to get him back into shape for the Grand National Steeplechase.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By new york girl on October 24, 2007
Format: DVD
In 1992 I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 20. While in the hospital I watched Champions and took strength from the story. Whenever my body felt tired and my mind became despondent I would relive the story of Bob Champion and realize that through pain came hope. I related to the story in many ways as I was/am a rider of horses. When I was well enough to leave my hospital room, even if only for a short time, I would ride my own mare and pretend to be Bob Champion... living his Grand National moments. When my treatments ended and I was declared in remission I returned to college and acquired a position exercising steeplechasers for a training stable in TN. This movie was more than an inspiration for me and to this day I have no idea how it made it's way into my hospital room. I highly recommend watching this story... it will help you to find your own strength within.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By KerrLines on January 4, 2008
Format: DVD
Bob Champion was a point-to-point, or Huntsman Timber rider from Yorkshire,England.He was a success as a teen in this "Steeplechase" circuit and his racing career eventually brought him to America where he rode several winners.In 1979, Champion was diagnosed with cancer and was given six months to live.After enduring grueling chemotherapy in 1980, Champion was "in the clear" and returned to riding.His ultimate triumph was the 1981 Grand National Steeplechase aboard the horse Aldaniti.Such is the true and courageous story as told in the 1983 film CHAMPIONS starring English legend John Hurt as Bob Champion.Though I have seen this film several times since it's theatrical release,the screenplay is still a very hatcheted job of the book "Champion's Story".The screenplay jumps time zones and countries and characters as if it the the Grand National itself.It is an extremely choppy script.What this film does do well is show the wonderfully exciting yet dangerous world of horse racing "over the jumps", and can be viewed for a good,accurate and in-depth look at the dangers that jockeys and horses face.You will be moved by Champion's bout with cancer,but as a film, this movie has better action sequences than it does character development and plot.
Great companion films would be PHAR LAP,SECRETARIAT,NATIONAL VELVET,JOCKEY,BROADWAY BILL,RUFFIAN,BLACK GOLD and DAN PATCH.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By skylarkspur on November 10, 2007
Format: DVD
What a great story of survival and triumph. John Hurt made me laugh and cry. It must be an oversight that he is not mentioned as 'The Star' anywhere on this page. Wait, there is his name in the picture of the DVD cover, look close, squint. It was fun seeing Kirstie all young and beautiful too. I love her.
Bob Champion had an amazing career, winning over 500 races. After his illness he earned great quantities of money for cancer research. You can learn more about him at bobchampion.com
And, of course, the 1981 Grand National and the horse, Aldaniti. What exciting video of the toughest steeple chase in the world. I'm not an expert, but I believe it is over four miles and has more than 22 huge fences. That any horse and jockey can survive this race when young and healthy is remarkable, to do it, both rider and horse, after fighting back from illness and lameness, is unbelievable. Except that they did, and won! Aldaniti plays himself.
Thanks for finally bringing this great movie to us on DVD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By skylarkspur on May 8, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Why isn't this movie available? I saw it in 1984. It made me laugh and cry. I purchased the video in the 90's, but the video could not be viewed. I would really like to see it again. I would really like to add a DVD copy of this movie to my collection. I cannot find it in DVD or VHS.

This movie is available all over Europe. You can buy the DVD from Amazon.com.uk. Of course that is in PAL format, which we cannot use. You'll be amazed if you do a search for 'Champions John Hurt'. It is everywhere.

Hello, is anybody listening? Thanks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Wogaman on October 6, 2007
Format: DVD
We thoroughly enjoyed this "based on a true story" movie. My understanding is that the horse plays himself in it, which really adds an extra dimension. Well enough done movie for any to enjoy, but great for any horse lover like myself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K2inMB on December 28, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw "Champions" as a theatrical release and then owned it on Beta (yep, one of those!). I had a horrible time finding it on VHS, even on Amazon, and the only DVD versions were European. But finally, it's out on DVD on this side of the pond and it's everything I remember. Fine acting (John Hurt, Edward Woodward, a very young Kirstie Alley) and amazing horse riding and steeplechasing, ending with the most exciting race of all time, the English Grand National, 40 tall, wide, dangerous fences over a four mile course, at a full gallop, of course. No horses may have been hurt in the creation of the film, but I'll bet you can't say that for the riders!

The story is a little trite: jockey develops cancer that may kill him and prevents him from riding, his favorite horse comes up lame and may never race again, they both recover at the same time, and well, you know the rest. What's amazing, aside from the racing, is that this is a true story (the horse even plays himself, with full screen credit).

Highly recommended for anyone who likes English movies in general, horse racing in particular, and just a genuinely good, but often overlooked, film.
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