Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire
(Hugh Hudson, 1981)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: A timeless British classic, Hugh Hudson's searing period sports drama 'Chariots of Fire' is nostalgic but never dated.
Re-released on the big screen in time for the London 2012 Olympics, Huge Hudson's Best Picture Oscar winner 'Chariots of Fire' is timely indeed. But it's been around for decades and it will remain a constant fixture in true British greats.
You'd think that its 1920s setting and 80s synth and piano score by Vangelis would make for dated viewing. Nostalgic it may be, 'Chariots of Fire' isn't dated. It's timeless.
Like all great sporting films, this isn't just about sports. It's about everything that comes before crossing the finish line. In this case, it's class differences, aftermaths of war, the glory of a nation, personal challenges, tragedy, racism, honour and plenty more. It's a world in deep change.
Firing through a flimsy ribbon after pushing yourself to the limit to get there is the perfect image to sum up these invisible but ultimately breakable demons that the runners are facing. Director Hugh Hudson (who also made the vastly underrated 'Revolution' starring Al Pacino) crafts handsome compositions and pulls out remarkable performances, but its Colin Welland's Oscar winning script that really shines. There is so much to uncover.
This great film gets better with each watch. Fox have done a fantastic job cleaning the print up - it's way better than the DVD even if the famous opening shots look a little soft. However, after the opening credits the clarity is remarkable. Plenty of extras can be found on the Blu-ray as well. Check out the theatrical re-release trailer and stills HERE at Cinemas Online.
The digitally re-mastered version of CHARIOTS OF FIRE is in cinemas and on Blu-ray now.
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