Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical sports drama film directed by Hugh Hudson, written by Colin Welland and produced by David Puttnam. It is based on the true story of two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice. Ben Cross and Ian Charleson star as Abrahams and Liddell, alongside Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, John Gielgud, Lindsay Anderson, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige, Brad Davis and Dennis Christopher in supporting roles. Kenneth Branagh makes his debut in a minor role.


During a 1978 funeral service in London in honour of the life of the Jewish Harold Abrahams, there is a flashback to when he was young and in a group of athletes running along a beach. In 1919, Harold Abrahams enters the University of Cambridge, where he experiences antisemitism from the staff but enjoys participating in the Gilbert and Sullivan club. He becomes the first person ever to complete the Trinity Great Court Run, running around the college courtyard in the time it takes for the clock to strike 12, and achieves an undefeated string of victories in various national running competitions. Although focused on his running, he falls in love with Sybil Gordon, a leading Gilbert and Sullivan soprano.