To celebrate the re-release of Oscar-winning classic Chariots of Fire which hits cinemas on July 13th in its digitally restored version, let’s take a look at a handful of the greatest running films of all time!
The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner (1962)
‘The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Runner’ tells the story of a rebellious youth who is sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery. There, however, he rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, dreams and thoughts of his life and times before his imprisonment lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner.
Jericho Mile (1979)
A TV movie but nevertheless deserves to be mentioned after winning three Primetime Emmys. Rain Murphy is a man sentenced to life in prison, choosing to do his time in near-isolation, and when given free-time decides to take up distance running. While his form and speed capture the attention of prison officials who believe he could be a serious contender, Murphy is not interested. But when the one man he has befriended is taken advantage of by political groups within the prison, Murphy decides to pursue the opportunity presented to him in his memory. This action not only has profound changes on him, but also on the atmosphere of the prison, its inmates and their outlook on the accomplishments he can make.
Running Brave (1983)
‘Running Brave’ tells the story of Billy Mills, the American Indian that came from obscurity, to win the 10,000 meter long distance foot race in the Tokyo Olympics. Starring Robby Benson and Pat Hingle, this is an incredible story involving racism, inspiration and the belief in one's self. Mills’ unbelievable race deserves to be told - no one except himself thought he had a shot for gold.
Fire on the Track: The Steve Prefontaine Story (1995)
Narrated by Ken Kesey, ‘Fire on the Track’ looks back through rare footage and the memories of those who knew the legend that was Steve Prefontaine, an international track star! As a freshman, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which hailed him as "America's Distance Prodigy". By the time he died in a tragic accident at the age of 24, Pre held all 7 American records between 2,000 and 10,000 meters. Off the track, he fought relentlessly for the rights of amateur athletes to prosper for their sacrifices.
Chariots of Fire (1981 and re-released in 2012)
As an official part of the London 2012 Festival, ‘Chariots of Fire’ has been digitally restored in all its glory to hit cinemas once again. It has also seen its iconic beach scene reenacted as 13 year old Joseph Forrester led a group of children from Madras College across the beach in St Andrews carrying the Olympic torch. ‘Chariots of Fire’ tells the story of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics: Eric Liddell is a devout Christian who believes that his athletic abilities are a gift from God, and that using that gift to its fullest extent - to win the gold medal - will be his way of repaying that gift.
Harold Abrahams is an English Jew, a student at Cambridge, who dreams of fame and of proving to his anti-Semitic fellow students, and to the world, that Jews are in no respect inferior. Their motives are noble. Their commitment is total. Their integrity is unquestionable. They will both make personal sacrifices to achieve their goals. In the process, through all the obstacles and personal issues they conquer, they prove that striving for victory in their own terms is, perhaps, its own reward. Based on a true story, ‘Chariots of Fire’ was the winner of four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, in addition to receiving nominations for three more.
Fast Girls (2012)
When sassy streetwise Shania (Lenora Crichlow) meets ambitious, middle class Lisa (Lily James), their two worlds collide on the athletics track with explosive results. As the ‘Fast Girls’ strive to qualify for a major world athletics championship, they battle adversity and rivalry on their dramatic, heart-warming and inspirational journey.Directed by award-winning young filmmaker Regan Hall (3 Hours), this is a film you won’t want to miss.
Chariots of Fire is released in cinemas on July 13th. Check out the re-release trailer HERE at Cinemas Online.
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|1.||Star Trek Into Darkness||£8.43m|
|2.||Iron Man 3||£3.18m|
|3.||21 And Over||£0.58m|