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.
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