Chariots of Fire

• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

 Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell

Summary -  Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Cautions - Some minor language

Commentary - This film was always just OK for me until I watched it while I served as a missionary for my church. My mission president made us all watch it and seeing it though that lens (as a religious film and not just a sports film) made all the difference for me. It stands as one of my favorite films of all time.

"Chariots of Fire is an impeccably handsome film, one suffused with a certain British reticence, but also one that seethes with passion, albeit passion kept nicely tucked just beneath the surface. One might not think that a film this Anglo-centric would have much universal appeal, and yet the film went on to become a box office sensation and ended up winning four Oscars that year, including Best Picture. The film is incredibly heartfelt and manages to craft an engaging story of unlikely rivals who become friends and even comrades, even as they each deal with different kinds of religious prejudice ("prejudice" in its purest sense, as in pre-judging).

"Chariots of Fire is one of the smartest films about athletes that's ever been made. Liddell and Abrahams make for two extremely articulate heroes, and as they comment about their various trials and tribulations, the film manages to work in a whole critique of British society even as it manages rather improbably to be a "rah rah" flag waving celebration of British "superiority". The film is impeccably well crafted and remains one of the most handsome films of its era, full of epic sweep but always staying focused on its main characters." - Jeffrey Kauffman


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