Chariots of Fire
Chariots of Fire is a British film released in 1981. Written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, it is based on the true story of British athletes preparing for and competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.
The title is a quotation from the hymn Jerusalem which is a setting of a poem by William Blake. The film's working title was "Running" until Welland saw the scene with the singing of the hymn and decided to change the title.
Although the film is a period piece, set in the 1920's, the Academy Award-winning original soundtrack composed by Vangelis uses a modern, 1980's electronic sound with a strong use of synthesizer and piano among other instruments. This was a bold and significant departure from earlier period films which employed sweeping orchestral instrumentals.
The title theme of the film has become iconic and has been used in subsequent films and television shows during slow-motion.
The film also incorporates a traditional work: a British choir singing "Jerusalem" at the 1978 funeral of Harold Abrahams, the event which bookends and presumably inspired the making of the film. Gilbert and Sullivan also features heavily.
Academy Awards (1981)
Chariots of Fire was very successful at the Academy Awards. When he accepted his Oscar for Best Original Screenplay Colin Welland famously announced "The British are coming"
Best Picture - David Puttnam, producer - won
Original Music Score - Vangelis - won
Writing Original Screenplay - Colin Welland - won
Costume Design - Milena Canonero - won
Best Supporting Actor - Ian Holm - nominated
Directing - Hugh Hudson - nominated
Film Editing - Terry Rawlings - nominated
Chariots of Fire (1981)
rector: Hugh Hudson
Writer: Colin Welland (original screenplay)
Nicholas Farrell - Aubrey Montague
Nigel Havers - Lord Andrew Lindsay
Ian Charleson - Eric Liddell
Ben Cross - Harold Abrahams
Daniel Gerroll - Henry Stallard
Ian Holm - Sam Mussabini
John Gielgud - Master of Trinity ( as Sir John Gielgud )
Lindsay Anderson - Master of Caius
Nigel Davenport - Lord Birkenhead
Cheryl Campbell - Jennie Liddell
Alice Krige - Sybil Gordon
Dennis Christopher - Charles Paddock
Brad Davis - Jackson Scholz
Patrick Magee - Lord Cadogan
Peter Egan - Duke of Sutherland