Chariots of Fire: Special Edition (Dbl DVD) (O-Sleeve)
Winner of four Academy Awards(R) including Best Picture! The inspiring true story of British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson head a sterling cast of newcomers and veterans. The story, told in flashback, of two young British sprinters competing for fame in the 1924 Olympics. Eric, a devout Scottish missionary runs because he knows it must please God. Harold, the son of a newly rich Jew runs to prove his place in Cambridge society.
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