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March 30, 1981 (Royal Command Film Performance)
May 15, 1981 (United Kingdom)

Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama sports film directed by Hugh Hudson, produced by David Puttnam, and written by Colin Welland. It tells the fact-based story of two 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, respectively, alongside Nigel Havers, Ian Holm, Lindsay Anderson, John Gielgud, Cheryl Campbell, and Alice Krige in supporting roles.

The film's title was inspired by the line, "Bring me my chariot of fire," from the William Blake poem adapted into the popular British hymn "Jerusalem"; the hymn is heard at the end of the film. The original phrase "chariot(s) of fire" is from 2 Kings 2:11 and 6:17 in the Bible.

The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. It is ranked number nineteen on the British Film Institute's list of the top 100 British films, and is also noted for its memorable theme song composed by Vangelis, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.


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