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OSCARS REVISITED, 1981: CHARIOTS OF FIRE

As best-picture Oscar winners go, "Chariots of Fire" is both typical of the kind of Anglophile, prestige film the Academy favors and a rare, accurate biopic with an above-average script (indeed, it won the best screenplay Oscar as well). This inspirational 1981 film tells the true story of the track team Britain sent to the Paris Olympics in 1924. Tellingly, it concentrates on two runners who stand apart from the upper-crust Cambridge men who, for the filmʼs purposes, comprise a major chunk of the team. The first is Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), a hard-driving law student at Cambridge who uses running, specifically, winning races, as a cudgel against anti-Semitism. The second is Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson), the son of a Scottish missionary who intends to follow in his fatherʼs footsteps, but has earned the nickname “The Flying Scotsman” for his prowess as a rugby player and sprinter.
  • By Marilyn Ferdinand
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  • February 3, 2012 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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