Chariots Of Fire Parent Guide
Unfolding at a gentle pace, this Oscar winning production filled with the music of Vangelis and featuring excerpts of Gilbert and Sullivan is worth a weekend run to the video store.
Parent Movie Review
Set in England after World War I, Chariots of Fire is based on the true-life story of two elite British athletes pursuing Olympic gold in 1924. Dark-haired and handsome, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), the son of a wealthy Jewish immigrant, attends Cambridge University while adding to his growing list of achievements on the track. He has used his athletic success to push back against the not-so-subtle anti-semitism he faces and runs undefeated until he falls behind Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a young Scottish missionary with an awkward gait and propensity for winning races. Crushed by the loss, Abrahams struggles to come to grips with the blow and find new purpose for his running. Engaging the expertise of professional trainer Sam Mussabini (Ian Holm), Abrahams refines his stride through ceaseless training which incorporates Mussabini’s analysis.
This is one of those prototypical sports movies like Rocky which completely defines the genre. It’s difficult to imagine a movie more closely associated with the sport it depicts, especially with the absolutely iconic Vangelis soundtrack - the theme has been used in several Olympic games since. It’s hard to do much better than that as a sports movie.
Beyond its place in the cinematic firmament, this movie features some truly excellent performances from Ben Cross (as Abrahams) and Ian Charleson (as Liddell), although neither of them is quite as fun to watch as Ian Holm as Sam Mussabini, Harold Abraham’s slightly deranged running coach. Between the three of them, every character on the screen pops to life, almost erasing the gulf of time between the film’s setting and the present day.
The primary content concern for parents will be the frequent drinking and smoking, although those behaviors are historically accurate. Fortunately, this story doesn’t just see Abrahams and Liddell as athletes, but as men with complex challenges that go beyond the track. This is one of those rare movies that celebrates moral courage - having the courage to live with integrity, whatever the cost. With lessons like that, you’d be hard pressed to find a better family film. Especially not one with such powerful characters and such an unforgettable soundtrack.Directed by Hugh Hudson. Starring Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Ian Holm, Nicholas Farrell. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release October 9, 1981. Updated December 5, 2020
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Chariots Of Fire
Rating & Content Info
Why is Chariots Of Fire rated PG? Chariots Of Fire is rated PG by the MPAA
While the use of tobacco and alcohol among athletes may cause concern, this thought-provoking film succeeds at examining the varied motives that compel men to compete and excel.
Minor characters are depicted with war injuries, starting guns are used at races, character is upset about losing race.
Sexual Content: A-
Men shown without shirts in locker room, brief kissing between unmarried adult couple.
At least: Six uses of mild profanity, name calling among young men, Terms of Deity used as proper noun.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C+
Smoking and drinking is portrayed among college students and athletes, drinking is depicted at social gatherings, man is shown drinking and smoking to relieve stress, men are drunk in bar, Olympic officials are shown smoking and drinking.
Page last updated December 5, 2020
Chariots Of Fire Parents' Guide
Eric Liddell must choose between trying for his Olympic dream or following his conviction to honor the Sabbath day. After the race is over and everyone goes home, do you think it is easier to live with missing an opportunity to fulfill a dream or turning your back on your convictions?
Abrahams feels that his Olympic race is 10 seconds to justify his existence. Although competing at this level is an admirable achievement, does Abrahams puts too much emphasis on that one moment? Compared to a whole lifetime, how important is one event?
Although it is not mentioned in the movie, both Liddell and Abrahams won other medals at the 1924 Games. Liddell won a bronze in the 200-meter and Abrahams won silver in the 4x100 race.
The most recent home video release of Chariots Of Fire movie is July 10, 2012. Here are some details…
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Prefontaine and Endurance are other films that look at the lives of Olympic runners. Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone, is about Rocky Balboa, an Italian enforcer who finds a new career in boxing. But can his street-tough and improvised training give him an edge on champion Apollo Creed? A spinoff series, starting with Creed stars Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creeds son, as he tries to live up to his fathers legacy with the help of the Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa.