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Chariots Of Fire [VHS] [1981]

Ben Cross , Ian Charleson , Hugh Hudson    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Daniel Gerroll
  • Directors: Hugh Hudson
  • Writers: Colin Welland
  • Producers: David Puttnam, Dodi Fayed, Jake Eberts, James Crawford
  • Format: Dolby, PAL, Surround Sound, HiFi Sound
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: 31 Aug 1989
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CIH6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,361 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

The come-from-behind winner of the 1981 Oscar for Best Picture, Chariots of Fire either strikes you as either a cold exercise in mechanical manipulation or as a tale of true determination and inspiration. The heroes are an unlikely pair of young athletes who ran for Great Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympics: devout Protestant Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), a divinity student whose running makes him feel closer to God, and Jewish Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a highly competitive Cambridge student who has to surmount the institutional hurdles of class prejudice and anti-Semitism. There's delicious support from Ian Holm (as Abrahams's coach) and John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson as a couple of Cambridge fogies. Vangelis's soaring synthesised score, which seemed to be everywhere in the early 1980s, also won an Oscar. Chariots of Fire was the debut film of British television commercial director Hugh Hudson (Greystoke) and was produced by David Puttnam. --Jim Emerson

Product Description

Great video, please see alternative image for cover design, 118 minutes running time approx, fast dispatch, UK SELLER

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Barry HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE USA 'BOOK PACK' BLU RAY REISSUE and THE 2 UK VARIANTS ***

Little will prepare fans of "Chariots Of Fire" for this BLU RAY reissue - the picture quality is SENSATIONAL - and for a British film made on a budget in 1981 - that says a lot. Also - re-watching it in 2012 (the year of the 30th Olympiad in England) - it's nice to find that this homage to Sporting achievement and human spirit hasn't lost any of its capacity to stir the soul and bring a tear to the eye. It was nominated for 7 Oscars at the time and won 4 - including Best Picture.

PACKAGING/CONTENT/PICTURE QUALITY:
The first thing to note is that even though the print quality and abundant extras are the same for the UK and US versions - they differ greatly in their 'packaging' and there's actually 3 variants of the BLU RAY to choose from. The UK issue comes in two versions - a simple uninspiring plastic clip-case with just 1 disc at around ten pounds (type in barcode 5039036052344 into the Amazon Search Bar) and a second issue with the music CD as well for a few quid more (type in barcode 5039036051163).

This US Warner Brothers version (at about twenty pounds) that I'm reviewing however comes in a beautifully presented 36-page embossed hardback 'Book Pack' (or Digibook as its sometimes called) with an outer page attached to the rear (type in barcode 883929093946 into Amazon). Regardless of which issue you buy or where you live - ALL ARE 'REGION FREE' - so will play on every machine.

The booklet for the US variant is beautiful - featuring articles and pictures on Producer David Puttnam, Director Hugh Hudson and Writer Colin Welland.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BluRay does the job! 18 July 2012
By lizzie TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
The film itself, Chariots of Fire, is an excellent film, as has been mentioned numerous times here. This BluRay version is new, only released in mid July 2012, and is a vast improvement from the old DVD transfer. The picture and sound are excellent. Most of the reviews here are old ones not of the new BluRay version, so check the review date to make sure you are looking at a review of the new release.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT MAKES LIDDELL AND ABRAHAMS RUN? 21 Nov 2002
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
This is a beautiful film, well directed by Hugh Hudson in his theatrical film debut. It features the true life story of two Olympic runners, Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) and Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), who ran for Great Britain in the 1924 Olympic Games and brought home the Gold.
The film tells the story of these two individuals, who are as different from each other as different can be, and explores their personal drive and reasons for running. Eric Liddell is a staunch Scot and a fervid Presbyterian. The son of a missionary and himself a missionary by avocation, he runs because "God made him fast for a reason". His running is a reconciliation of his faith and his passion. He runs for the glory of God. His faith always remains constant and pre-eminent in his life. His devotion to it causes some controversy during the Olympics, as a consequence of the stance he takes when he discovers that the preliminary mete for the 200 metre race would be held on a Sunday. Liddell simply refuses to run on the Sabbath! Luckily for Great Britain, Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers), a gentleman and fellow competitor, graciously steps in and, as he had already won a gold medal in the hurdles, gives him his place in the 400 metre dash, which would take place on a Thursday. This would never happen today in the dog eat dog world of competitive sports, much less in the Olympics of today!
Harold Abrahams is completely different. A secular Jew and Cambridge scholar, he studies in the bastion of upper crust British society, struggling to fit in but always remaining the proverbial outsider. He has a passion for running that is motivated by his passion for winning. In his world, God has nothing to do with it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Duff reproduction 7 Oct 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you want a DVD that plays like a 20 year old VHS tape that's been left in the sun all day, buy this. The worst quality reproduction of any DVD I've ever bought.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great film, terrible DVD 31 Aug 2004
Format:DVD
Film: 5
DVD: 0
The film is, of course wonderful. I will not go over ground covered in the other reviews here, except to say that this is a beautiful, moving and inspiring film. I remember seeing it in my school hall when I was 9 years old and hadn't seen it again until I viewed this DVD. The years have only sderved to improve the film; comparing it to modern movies is a bit like comparing the 1924 Olympiad to Athens 2004- we seem to have lost something wonderful in the interim.
The DVD, however, is terrible. Others have mentioned the sound: this is not an isolated problem. Throughout the film the speech is muddy, the music harsh and distorted. Often there is mismatch between speech and film- an unforgivable offence. For such a beautiful film the picture itself is grainy; although this may be a deliberate cinematic effect (I can't quite believe that!), given that the sound is so bad it is more likely just poor transfer. As for extras, erm... what extras? I'm not usually too bothered but in a film like this, a Best Picture Oscar winner and a historical tale to boot, I would expect a little more, even a short documentary of the true facts, pictures of the athletes or brief biographies of the protagonists would be nice. Particularly galling as that this is billed as a "Special Commemorative Edition" yet is identical to the previous edition bar a cardboard slipcase bearing the words "Commemorative Edition"!; commemorative of what, exactly? 80 years since the events shown? Then why no documentary abut the 1924 Olympics or the development of the Olympic movement? Or perhaps commemorative of this year's (Athens) olympics? I suspect the words "cash" and "in" are involved here.
I can't help but feel that the producers of this DVD have betrayed the ideals which they promote so highly in this film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated forgotten movie
Chariots of Fire seems to have become one of several movies to have one Best Picture at the Academy Awards that has become forgotten over the years. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Gatekeeper197
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very very good
Published 21 days ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ever Green Movie with a Heart - The Greatest of All Sports Movies
2 Kings 6:17 "And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gre4t Moments
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
This is the 2nd copy I have purchased as my family like it too.
Very inspiring with that music by Vengelis. Memorable.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. G. E. Lawrence
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality picture.
Gave a grainy picture on whatever device I used. Great film though, but i think you'd be better off just renting it.
Published 3 months ago by Dominic Harrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Sound volume not loud enough
needed to play at maximum volume for comfortable listening level, so not good enough if a family member is a bit hard of hearing
Published 4 months ago by NMD
4.0 out of 5 stars Smashing film
One of the best British made films - great music and script - and timeless in its appeal to all ages.
Published 4 months ago by Christopher G. Foreman
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia for the good old Britain
The world eloquently depicted in this cinema would never be found in the hustle and bustle of our time. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Charles Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
One of my favourite films of all time, I've seen it probably 7 or 8 times, a real classic as well as being a true story - inspirational.
Published 6 months ago by Hilary Roberts
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
A classic story from the time, when a man was a man, when sports were not run by money alone but by entusiasm and spirit as well.
Published 6 months ago by Anders Knudsen
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