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Chariots of Fire (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2005)

Ben Cross , Ian Charleson , Hugh Hudson  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige
  • Directors: Hugh Hudson
  • Writers: Colin Welland
  • Producers: David Puttnam
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HBLUA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Chariots of Fire (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Remastered sound and picture
  • "Wings on Their Heels: The Making of Chariots of Fire"
  • "Chariots of Fire - A Reunion" (Filmed during afternoon tea on Lord Puttnam's estate)
  • 16 minutes of deleted scenes
  • Actor screen tests
  • Easter Egg #1 - Director Hugh Hudson, Producer Lord Puttnam, and Actor Nigel Havers relive the famous sprint around the quad
  • Easter Egg #2 - Ben Cross talks about running for the famous open shot
  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Ian Holm. The uplifting story of two men with very different backgrounds who run in the 1924 Olympics. Four of seven Oscar nominations won for Music, Costume Design, Best Writing and Best Picture. 1981/color/123 min/PG/widescreen.

Additional Features

It took 24 years for the 1981 Best Picture Oscar winner to receive a widescreen home video version. Although this is far better looking and sounding than previous versions (especially TV airings and the ho-hum original DVD), the print isn't as flawless one would hope. A second disc includes two documentaries with new interviews from many members of the cast and crew. In 25 minutes, a good deal of the passion behind the project--created by many first-time film talents--is communicated along with pictures of the real-life figures. Director Hugh Hudson gives more insight with an ordinary commentary pointing out where dramatic license works (Liddell's Olympic plight) and keeping silent when it doesn't (the run around the college campus). A 19-minute reunion with two supporting actors plus the director, writer, and cinematographer drop by producer David Putnam's house to reminisce about the making of the film; it's a lot more interesting than it sounds. Eleven minutes of deleted scenes are nice snippets of character development and a cricket scene that was in all cuts of the film except the American version. It's a real curio since it was the original introduction of the athletes and could have been integrated in this DVD. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
268 of 279 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT MAKES LIDDELL AND ABRAHAMS RUN... March 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is a beautiful film, well directed by Hugh Hudson in his theatrical film debut. It features the true life story of two Olympic runners, Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) and Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), who ran for Great Britain in the 1924 Olympic Games and brought home the Gold.

The film tells the story of these two individuals, who are as different from each other as different can be, and explores their personal drive and reasons for running. Eric Liddell is a staunch Scot and a fervid Presbyterian (He would put John Knox to shame!). The son of a missionary and himself a missionary by avocation, he runs because "God made him fast for a reason". His running is a reconciliation of his faith and his passion, which is running. He runs for the glory of God. His faith always remains constant and pre-eminent in his life. His devotion to it causes some controversy during the Olympics, as a consequence of the stance he takes when he discovers that the preliminary mete for the 200 metre race would be held on a Sunday. Liddell simply refuses to run on the Sabbath! Luckily for Great Britain, Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers), a gentleman and fellow competitor, graciously steps in and, as he had already won a gold medal in the hurdles, gives him his place in the 400 metre dash, which would take place on a Thursday. This would never happen today in the dog eat dog world of competitive sports, much less in the Olympics of today!

Harold Abrahams is completely different. A secular Jew and Cambridge scholar, he studies in the bastion of upper crust British society, struggling to fit in but always remaining the proverbial outsider. He has a passion for running that is motivated by his passion for winning. In his world, God has nothing to do with it.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Compromise is the Language of the Devil." July 20, 2005
Chariots of Fire, no matter what I view in the future, will always be in my Top 10 list of movies. The setting, the actors, and the plot are incomparable. However, what I treasure the most are the values intrinsic to the tale. How often does film concern infidelity, murder, hatred, deceit or the pathological need to dominate others? Well over 80 percent of the time I would guess, but here, in this masterwork, man is depicted at his finest. In Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, we are presented with exemplars of our species. These are the adults you dreamed of being when you were a small child. Their lives showcase a grandeur seldom seen in our own.

The film is set in the years immediately following the first world war, when feelings of grief and despair were ubiquitous. Upon their arrival at Cambridge, Abrahams and Montague are assisted by two former wounded soldiers, and one of them could best be described as "mutilated." Such a fate, the two young athletes were quite lucky not to have shared.

Societies that experienced the caldrons of the Somme and Paschendale were not as quick to dismiss the existence of God as we are today with our spoiled affluence and inflated life expectancies. To be saved from the carnage raging around you is not something to take lightly. Given the solemnity of their era, the seriousness and devotion integral to Liddell and Abrahams is not surprising. Competition was undertaken for more important reasons than money or fame.

Eric Liddell eventually concludes that missionary work in China will have to wait until he fulfills his athletic promise. He believes that God did not give out gifts without a purpose. The Lord's intention was that what Liddell was given must be used.
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105 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With hope in our hearts and wings in our heels! July 7, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The athletes of the British running team who went with hope in their hearts and wings in their heels in the VIII Olympiad in Paris in 1924 is the focus of this movie, but there's also the dynamics of what it means to be English, and the reconciliation of one's soul and religious convictions in the Modern Age. Three of them are students from Cambridge. There is the quiet and soft-spoken Aubrey Montague, Lord Andrew Lindsey, and Harold Abrahams. As the head of Caius (pronounced Keys) College tells them when they first attend in 1919, they are the first post-war generation who have inherited the dreams of a generation that perished on the fields of France, a generation embodying "goodness, zeal,...and intellectual promise."
The two main athletes here are a contrast from one another. One is Harold Abrahams, a Jew who wants to be seen as English as the fellow next to him. Hence his enrolling in all these clubs and fraternities in Caius College, from track, tennis, and even the Gilbert and Sullivan glee club-he wants to enter the Christian, Anglo-Saxon corridors of power, i.e. the old school tie. He succeeds in getting to an English girl in the form of Sybil Gordon, who doesn't mind he's Jewish. He can run like the wind, and nothing would fulfill his dream of being English more than winning so he'll be accepted, but he's so driven, hinging so much of his success on his winning, that he acts like its his own funeral when he loses in a race. He engages Sam Mussabini, a private and professional coach, which is contrary to the implied rules of Cambridge.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Serious Minded Only
Here's a story (truth is always better than fiction, and a bit stranger, too!) that never ceases to fatigue nor fade! Read more
Published 4 days ago by American
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome, understated and classic. Hard work triumphs.
Published 6 days ago by Mouffette
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie!
Published 10 days ago by Carol L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait towatch under the stars at a trailhead at our next ...
Purchased this for a running club meeting. Can't wait to watch under the stars at a trailhead at our next gathering.
Published 13 days ago by Brooke Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Not enough stars!
Not enough stars! This movie is with out a doubt one of the top 5 stories in modern history. "..... When I run, I feel God's pleasure! Read more
Published 15 days ago by Lenox58
5.0 out of 5 stars The movie shows all the best runners in the world
This movie really inspires me because I'm an athlete. The movie shows all the best runners in the world.
Published 19 days ago by Raymond Lawrence Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great timeless movie!!
This is one of my favorite movies of all time and it is edifying to boot. I don't care about what day of the week anyone worships, but he did and he stuck by it and was willing to... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jean
5.0 out of 5 stars : ): ):
:) :) :)
Published 29 days ago by J. Schlaak
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Movie
One of the most inspiring movies I have ever seen!
Published 1 month ago by Lois M. Rosenberry
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Life!
Just the way we remembered it! Good service and perfect gift to ourselves to remember a great story with God receiving the Glory!
Published 1 month ago by Patti
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Topic From this Discussion
Chariots of Fire Blu-ray? When available?
2oth Century Fox is releasing it on October 5 in France, so we should see a US release around that time.
Jul 5, 2011 by Steven Aldersley |  See all 3 posts
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