Chariots of Fire

1981 PG 2h 4m DVD

Chariots of Fire

1981 PG 2h 4m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Two very different runners -- hotshot Jewish Cambridge scholar Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and rigid Presbyterian missionary Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) -- compete for the British team in the 1924 Olympics, facing intense pressure and complex personal tests of faith. Hugh Hudson directs this edifying 1981 Best Picture Oscar winner, which is based on a true story. Ian Holm co-stars as Abrahams's mentor, Sam Mussabini.
Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Daniel Gerroll, Alice Krige, Cherly Campbell, John Gielgud, Lindsay Anderson, Ian Holm, Richard Griffiths
Hugh Hudson
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital Mono
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 11+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 11+
age 11+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this true story of British Olympic runners has very little mature content -- drinking and smoking mostly -- but may be too hard to follow for younger fans of sports movies. The two runners it features are worth discussing with kids, though. One runner is Jewish and fights prejudice through competition. The other is a Scottish missionary and refuses to run an Olympic race on Sunday, even when the Prince of Wales tries to appeal to his love of country. As a side note, a lone Lipton Tea billboard shows up along a racetrack -- a great reminder of just how littered with advertising most sporting events are today.

Sexual Content

Some kissing and a mention of a performer at the Savoy Theatre who gets pregnant and has to quit.


Tense moments of competition. A mention at the end of the movie that Eric Liddell was killed in China during World War II. Former runners attend Abrahams' funeral in 1978.


The French are called "frogs" more than once by the British, plus "bloody" and "hell."

Social Behavior

High ideals are explored here through the athletic achievements of two men: sticking to principles (most notably here, religious ones), honoring family and country, and overcoming prejudices to make your mark on the world.


Lipton Tea is the only billboard visible at a race.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Lots of social drinking plus smoking of cigarettes and cigars, even by athletes before races. Glasses filled with champagne are propped on hurdles.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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