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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 July 2004
Champions-the film based on the true story of Bob Champion,who beat cancer to win the Grand National on Aldaniti.
A brilliant tearjerker-all the more so because we know it's true.Poignant for me as my own father succumbed to this terrible disease.
Superb performances from 2 of this countrys' best character actors-John Hurt and Alison Steadman. A long time coming out on DVD but well worth the wait
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on 30 April 2005
This is one of my favourite ever movies because it beautifully combines horse racing, and an inspiring story of victory despite overwhelming odds. Whilst seabiscuit- a movie based along similar lines was oscar nominated, this film seems to have recieved very little recognistion, despite the excellent acting by John Hurt as Bob Champion and its beautiful score which can reduce even the most hard hearted viewer to tears.
Liking horses is not a necessary quality to enjoy this movie- it stands on its own like other great sporting movies i.e. Chariots of Fire, as a fantastic piece of art.
So buy it!
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on 11 January 2010
I was a crowd extra at Chelteltenham Racecourse back in 1982 for a 5 day location shoot of the Champions film. Not having been to a race meeting before I was in two minds as to what to wear. Most of the professional extras from the Playhouse AM DRAM Theatre who were picked to "speak" had been supplied with the correct clothes, hats & binoculars etc. I turned up dressed in a tweed jacket & casual trousers + cameras. The other 300 extras all looked the part. I had a feint idea what the film was about, but was determined to meet John Hurt & Edward Woodward and get photos of them. My chance came when during a set-up shot in the Parade Ring as I strolled over to JH & EW who were chatting to each other and casually asked " May I have a "Head & Shoulders" shot? Both said, "No problem". "Which paper do you work for?", asked JH. "I'm a freelance", I nervously replied. "Excellent!", they both said. I got some nice shots of them. Later up in the stands I met the Director John Irvin and got a nice shot of him by one of the cameras. I was now "in his eye" and when a large crowd scene was being set-up in the parade ring, JI said-"That man at the back with the cameras-please come forward and stand next to John Hurt and pretend to take photos of him getting on his horse!" I was down there like a shot-much to the annoyance of the other extras, but I got some more money for those shots! So I later really got into the film story and told all my friends to see it as it was very moving and had some great horse racing sequences. Also it has some great soundtrack music and is a fitting epitaph to the late Edward Woodward who was a pleasure to work with-an absolute gentleman!
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on 10 March 2006
very moving. I'm so glad Amazon recommended this movie to me! Half of it takes place in and out of hospital, where Bob Champion is being treated for cancer, but having known people with cancer, I found that part of the plot just as interesting as that revolving around horses.
The races (steeplechase) are beautifully shot, and I liked the honesty of the filmmaker, acknowledging at the end of the film that 'no horses or jockeys were seriously injured doing this film.'
Aldaniti plays his own part, and he leaps like a leopard!
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on 5 December 2002
The story is powerful - a horse likely to be condemned and put down. A jockey Bob Champion, diagnosed with cancer and uncertain whether he will live.
Bob Champion undergoes chemotherapy to battle the cancer and is involved in encouraging those with the horse to keep it and help it recover.
Bob loses his hair and suffers many of the debilataing side effects of cancer treatment but is supported by his family and friends in his down times.
In a final triumph the horse and the jockey return after treatment to win the highly coveted Grand National race.
A great story made powerful by being based on fact.
A great inspiration to those who are suffering cancer that all is not lost when diagnosed - here is the story of a man who faced the challenge and beat it.A reminder to family and friends of those suffering cancer treatment that their support is as important as the medical treatment.
Recommended viewing.
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on 2 February 2010
I chose this DVD over the other one
No obvious difference according to info given.
Although look at the video cover to remember the distintive riders coloours he wore (white with blue stripe).

I wanted this, because as a horse nut child, I watched the films champions when I was only about 10, 11 or 12, and then bought the book (signed copy!) and got the Aldanti story which has much cross over with Bob's story. (Aldanti was the racehorse he road, and was also lucky to have made it the national!)

The earliest 'against all odds' story that I watched. What was also interesting that until Robin Hood prince of Thieves came out - BBC used the music each grand national! - said I was a bit of a horse mad child.

Trying not to give too much away...
The story starts with a racehorse jockey who finds he's seriously ill, and told he will never ride again (which he takes as the worse peice of news - as in what's the point of living) but he fights to ride again. Aldanti, his promised ride is training well until a nasty moment, when his owners have the worst choice ever to make.
By this time you are picked up and well involved with this story. The rest of it is a rollercoaster ride.

Yes this is filmed in the 1980's, but don't let that detract in any way. the story is solid, the actors very good. Definitely worth at least a watch (or a few)!
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on 23 October 2006
I got this out off here as I had not seen it for a while the last time I watched it was on television a few years ago. The first time I put this one as I reduced to tears by the musical story by Carl Davis which was absolutely wonderful. It had reminded me of what I had been through (although it was not cancer, I have to bounce back from being written off as I am Dyspraxic).

I very much ejoyed the whole film and it was nice to enjoy. It is something that Hollywood could not even write even if it tried. It is one of the greatest sporting movies ever made and one of the most inspirational movies you will ever see in your life.
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on 12 June 2011
I own the book,still have the video even though the player is long gone, and thought all my birthdays had come at once when i spotted the film on dvd.This has to be one of the saddest / happiest films ever. A true story depicting a brave man ( Bob Champion) and an even braver horse Aldaniti who between them beat all the odds to win the biggest horse race on earth the 1981 grand national.I have had the privilage of meeting both the stars of this true story on more than one occasion. Bob is still continuing his charity work for the Bob champion cancer trust. The only thing i recommend is buy some handkerchiefs you will need them i usually need them as the music starts.
This film stars the fantastic John Hurt as Champion, Alison Steadmam plays his sister. Edward Woodward his boss, Jan Francis his girlfriend and Aldaniti of course played himself.
A truly inspirational story and you dont need to be a horsse racing fan to love this film.
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on 23 December 2003
This is a very emotional, but hugely rewarding film. Based on the true story of Bob Champion and his battle against cancer and his will to ride the injured Altaniti in the Grand National - this story is inspirational. It represents the epitomy of triumph over adversity - both in terms of Bob's battle against cancer and the team working on Aldaniti's recovery - not to mention the horse himself.
Champions is well acted (John Hurt is excellent as Bob) and the story is tackled in a very realistic way (no smalz or over-soppy dialogues).
It really is a fantastic film for both lovers of racing and those who like to see a happy ending to a heart wrenching story.
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on 29 January 2007
The true story of Bob Champion who beat cancer to win the Grand National on Aldaniti.

I have seen this film many times and am glad it is finally on DVD.

Forget having to like horses etc, this is a heart warming film about a man and a horse who simply would not give up.

My dad died from cancer, I went through it with him, and know what Bob Champion must have gone through.

The race is very well filmed and boy oh boy can that horse jump!!

Keep the tissues handy because you WILL end up sobbing.

Buy it!!

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