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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    Having watched it again last night I realised that the Paris Olympic games were 80 years ago this year, so thought I would compare times



    Harold Abrahams 100m 10.6secs O/R

    Eric Liddell 400m 47.6secs O/R



    eighty years later



    Gatlin 100m 9.85

    Warriner 400m 44.00



    For all the new track surfaces, advanced technology in shoes and starting blocks and training methods the difference in time doesn't seem that much.



    Colin Welland didn't know what to call the film until he turned on tv and Songs of Praise were singing Jerusalem so courtesy of google and IMDb I give the full explanation for Blakes poem and from the sheer fact that I love it!





    Jerusalem

    from Milton

    Engraved 1804-1809

    by William Blake



    Preface



    The stolen and perverted writings of Homer and Ovid, of Plato and Cicero, which all men ought to contemn, are set up by artifice against the Sublime of the Bible; but when the New Age is at leisure to pronounce, all will be set right, and those grand works of the more ancient, and consciously and professedly Inspired men will hold their proper rank, and the Daughters of Memory shall become the Daughters of Inspiration. Shakespeare and Milton were both curb'd by the general malady and infection from the silly Greek and Latin slaves of the sword.



    Rouse up, O Young Men of the New Age! Set your foreheads against the ignorant hirelings! For we have hirelings in the Camp, the Court, and the University, who would, if they could, for ever depress mental, and prolong corporeal war. Painters! on you I call. Sculptors! Architects! suffer not the fashionable fools to depress your powers by the prices they pretend to give for contemptible works, or the expensive advertising boasts that they make of such works: believe Christ and His Apostles that there is a class of men whose whole delight is in destroying. We do not want either Greek or Roman models if we are but just and true to our own Imaginations, those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall live for ever, in Jesus our Lord.



    And did those feet in ancient time

    Walk upon England's mountains green?

    And was the holy Lamb of God

    On England's pleasant pastures seen?

    And did the Countenance Divine

    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?

    And was Jerusalem builded here

    Among these dark satanic mills?



    Bring me my bow of burning gold!

    Bring me my arrows of desire!

    Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!

    Bring me my chariot of fire!



    I will not cease from mental fight,

    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

    Till we have built Jerusalem

    In England's green and pleasant land.



    Edward Elgar made it into song form in 1922





    best wishes

    Freddy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Australia
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    "Chariots Of Fire" has always been one of my favourite films.

    Recently a two disc DVD special edition of the film was released here.

    There are two documentaries included on the one disc. One about the making of the film and the other a reunion of cast and crew.

    Other special features include deleted scenes from the film. Most were superficial to the story but I was amazed to see that an essential cricket scene had been deleted from the film - because the American's wouldn't understand it!

    God help us!



    Dave.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Europe
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    (David Brent @ Sep 15 2005, 07:31 AM)

    "Chariots Of Fire" has always been one of my favourite films.

    Recently a two disc DVD special edition of the film was released here.

    There are two documentaries included on the one disc. One about the making of the film and the other a reunion of cast and crew.

    Other special features include deleted scenes from the film. Most were superficial to the story but I was amazed to see that an essential cricket scene had been deleted from the film - because the American's wouldn't understand it!

    God help us!



    Dave.
    B***** H*** - they might as well release the forthcoming Ashes dvd on a floppy then!



    I cannot credit the stupidity of people who do that - although they would argue it was a "commercial" decision.



    FELL

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    (Fellwanderer @ Sep 15 2005, 07:00 AM)

    B***** H*** - they might as well release the forthcoming Ashes dvd on a floppy then!



    I cannot credit the stupidity of people who do that - although they would argue it was a "commercial" decision.



    FELL
    Nothing surprises me anymore, and to think that someone could even bring that up as an argument for deleting the scene is not only silly but also an insult to the Americans! Mind you, ask an American who Noah's wife was and they'd probably say "Joan of Ark!", so I suppose they had a point!



    I just wish they'd recipricated and left out all those awful American football and baseball scenes out of the films we've had to endure of theirs over the past few decades "25, 17, left, hutt!" what's that all about?

  5. #5
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    I watched COF the other afternoon - what a waste! This film should have been shown at peak times, instead of hidden away as filler for afternoon tele! From my lofty perch up here on the scrapheap, I can pick and chose what to watch, and as I have never seen COF before, then I'm glad I did!!



    Are the programmers scarred that it would be TOO British, or are they ashamed of being British? (if indeed they are!)



    An excellent film which I should have seen when it was first released.

  6. #6
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    A film I have not yet seen

  7. #7
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    (arty-dave @ Jan 7 2006, 02:18 PM)

    A film I have not yet seen
    It's a joy to watch!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Chariots of Fire won Best Picture at the 1981 Oscars, the year before Gandhi. Producer David Puttnam casts his mind back to a shining moment for the UK film industry



    Jason Solomons

    Wednesday August 1, 2007

    Guardian Unlimited



    My face in the Oscar-night photo said it all: I was utterly shocked to win and it took me about a year to recover.



    I didn't think we stood a chance, as we were up against Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reds, On Golden Pond and Atlantic City. I'd already been through the experience of losing on Oscar night with Midnight Express. It's not a pleasant feeling and I had no real desire to sit there and applaud someone else again. But my wife Patsy persuaded me - practically ordered me - to get on the plane and in the end, we were quite a clutch of Brits out there, what with [director] Hugh Hudson, [screenwriter] Colin Welland and a few friends among seven nominations.



    You have to remember that Brits were outsiders in Hollywood. Nowadays there are far more of us working out there but back in the early Eighties, no Brit had won an Oscar since Oliver! The next day The Hollywood Reporter called us a 'Cinderella movie', one that had come from nowhere to be the belle of the ball, and I've always rather liked that description.



    There was quite a fuss over the fact that Loretta Young was presenting the award. She hadn't been to the Oscars for 30 years, despite them trying to persuade her but, she told me afterwards, she finally agreed because she was such a fan of Chariots. She was a well-known Christian and clearly the Eric Liddell strand of the story appealed to her.



    She told me about a week later that when she opened the envelope she had to take a deep breath and read the card to herself three times in case she'd willed herself into seeing things, so desperately had she wanted the film to win. She also gave me the card, which is quite rare among winners I'm told, to have both the statue and the card inside with your name on written on it. Do you know, I've even got the envelope. Of course everyone remembers Colin Welland saying: "The British are coming."



    Just a year later, I was there at the Oscars again with Dickie Attenborough, who invited me along as a guest, and Gandhi won. That made it two British films in a row after such a drought, which is remarkable. I suppose things were looking good for the British industry, and it was probably silly to think that but it did give us all a morale boost. Not for long, sad to say.



    Winning the Oscar, however, was madness. It all got a bit out of control. It made me do something simple: make Local Hero - compared to all the things Hollywood wanted me to do, it was a lovely, gentle way to ease back on things. It turned out to be my favourite of all the films I've ever made, and it actually frames the way I now live my life: by the sea in a small village - although we actually found what we were looking for on the west coast of Ireland, not Scotland. I live in a Local Hero world, I suppose.



    I'd been offered jobs in the Hollywood studios before. After Midnight Express, I turned one down at Columbia and then later, before The Mission, I'd been wooed by Paramount, but turned it down again. When The Mission won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in May 1986 and I was coming down the steps afterwards, Patsy whispered to me: 'What are you going to do now?'



    The very next week I was in Hollywood, taking up an offer to be head of Columbia. It seemed like a step forward but as I signed the papers, I knew that it was the worst decision of my life. I was brought up thinking that films altered the way people looked at the world, believing in the power of well-told stories to shape people's attitudes to life. It became an article of faith with me, but it just doesn't look that way any more.



    I keep an eye on films and the industry, but I don't regret not being involved any more. For the past four months, I've been chairing the parliamentary committee on climate change - that's been a steep learning curve for someone who wasn't even allowed to do a science O level!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    One of my favorite films, beautifully made, thoughtful, unsusual in its treatment of faith, courage and honor.



    When it was released, I was very young; I saw it a total of seven times over the course of three months.



    I am interested to read here that some scenes were deleted because Americans would not understand them!



    (How stupid do they think we are...oh, don't answer that!!)



    I am bewildered by this. It seems to me that any Americans who enjoyed the film (and there are many of us - it's a favorite among family and several friends) would not have difficulty grasping aspects or references that are uniquely English or Scottish (and if we do - than a bit of homework will not exhaust us....



    It is to be expected - after all, the entire film is set in Britain and deals specifically with the lives of two men whose stories are (I think) uniqely British. That is - the story of Olympians in the US would be quite different. Any American who is going to enjoy the film at all will have to have some very basic understanding of British life. Since that is the case, why bother removing scenes? Interesting.



    My point is that the producers were being condescending to the American audience. I am interested to read that there is a version with additional scenes. I will certainly look for it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: United States TimR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkydd
    Nothing surprises me anymore, and to think that someone could even bring that up as an argument for deleting the scene is not only silly but also an insult to the Americans! Mind you, ask an American who Noah's wife was and they'd probably say "Joan of Ark!", so I suppose they had a point!
    Hmmm....I thought at first that I agreed with you.....but Joan of Ark....





    I just wish they'd recipricated and left out all those awful American football and baseball scenes out of the films we've had to endure of theirs over the past few decades "25, 17, left, hutt!" what's that all about?
    Baseball is a great game. But that's another story....

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    As a little aside In the 90's there was a legendary Wigan and GB international Rugby League player named Martin Offiah. The fans called him 'Chariots'.



    Regards



    Freddy

  12. #12
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    Watched 'Chariots' again this week and thoroughly enjoyed it as much as ever. However, I then spent a couple of minutes reading the IMDB comments and I was hugely disappointed to read that Jackson Scholz apparently did not give Liddell that note encouraging him.

    I don't know why I am upset, as far as I am aware no-one ever said the film was a verbatim(?) account of events in Paris, but the fact is I AM disappointed - the act of kindness fits perfectly with the mood of the film and characters.

    Is my attitude totally irrational, or are there some films that improve on real life events?



    Regards - Bernard

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringsider
    Watched 'Chariots' again this week and thoroughly enjoyed it as much as ever. However, I then spent a couple of minutes reading the IMDB comments and I was hugely disappointed to read that Jackson Scholz apparently did not give Liddell that note encouraging him.

    I don't know why I am upset, as far as I am aware no-one ever said the film was a verbatim(?) account of events in Paris, but the fact is I AM disappointed - the act of kindness fits perfectly with the mood of the film and characters.

    Is my attitude totally irrational, or are there some films that improve on real life events?
    Surely the biggest liberty Chariots of Fire takes is that Liddell knew several months in advance that the 100m heats were on a Sunday so he was never entered for the event. Which is rather less dramatic that not having him find out until he's on the boat.

  14. #14
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    Very good point Captain.

    I am no athletics expert but I don't understand the dynamics of Liddell's performances in Paris. I believe he was the British champion at 100 and 200 metres, but not 400 metres. And yet he fails to win the 200 in Paris, but does win the 400, and in record time.

    I realise that sport is not an exact science, but isn't this odd?



    Regards - Bernard



    P.S. Still a great film though.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringsider
    Very good point Captain.

    I am no athletics expert but I don't understand the dynamics of Liddell's performances in Paris. I believe he was the British champion at 100 and 200 metres, but not 400 metres. And yet he fails to win the 200 in Paris, but does win the 400, and in record time.

    I realise that sport is not an exact science, but isn't this odd?



    Regards - Bernard



    P.S. Still a great film though.
    He spent the few months before the Olympics training for the 400m rather than the 200m though I know not why. The 200m final was actually the only time he raced against Abrahams.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    It's thirty years this year since Chariots of Fire was released. And it is still a marvellous film whether you are interested in it from an athletics or a religious angle. The performances of Ben Cross (last seen playing Prince Charles in that hideous TV movie about William and Kate) as Harold Abrahams and the late Ian Charleson as Eric Liddell are nothing short of perfect.

    I know Ian Holm got an award and lots of plaudits but I can't think of a more perfect cast than was assembled for this film. Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige, Nigel Havers, David Yelland, the late Brad Davis, the late Jeremy Sinden, Dennis Christopher, Nicholas Farrell, plus small roles for the wonderful Sir John Gielgud and Lindsay Anderson, and a blink and you miss her shot of Ruby Wax, a close friend of Charleson's from his time at the RSC. (You also see his real life father and brother in the same scene -when Eric Liddell wins the 400 metres at the Paris Olympics).

    And the music by Vangelis. So out of period, and so perfect.

    I love this film. It is just ... great. Happy birthday Chariots.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK didi-5's Avatar
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    Incidentally re the 'deleted' cricket scene. This is always in the version shown on TV and was in both the VHS and laserdisc versions released in the UK. But when it comes to DVD for some reason it gets relegated to an additional piece of footage. When I realized this on buying the DVD I was absolutely fuming. I'm glad I copied the laserdisc version to video before our machine went kaput.

    There are also two caption endings. One says that Harold married Sybil and is the version most likely to be shown now. The other says more about Harold as a broadcaster. Does anyone know the reasons behind the two versions?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK Freddy's Avatar
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    How we made: Hugh Hudson and Nicholas Farrell on Chariots of Fire
    'We had to do a running audition. One poor chap bent over and brought up his breakfast'
    Interviews by Jack Watkins
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 9 July 2012 20.00 BST

    Hugh Hudson
    I think David Puttnam [the producer] chose me because he sensed I'd relate to the themes of class and racial prejudice. I'd been sent to Eton because my family had gone there for generations, but I hated all the prejudice. The scriptwriter, Colin Welland, a working-class boy from Merseyside, understood it perfectly, too. So it was a personal story for us.

    We cast relative newcomers as we wanted the audience to be with them all equally right from the start, to run with them. Everybody remembers the opening jogging scene along the beach. It was key to establishing character: Harold Abrahams, gaunt and determined; Eric Liddell, Scottish, blond, open and free; Aubrey Montague, the amiable, faithful old dog; Lord Andrew Lindsay, the aristocrat, running for the fun of it.

    We'd been filming in Edinburgh so shot these scenes at St Andrews since it's close, although it's meant to be Broadstairs in Kent. There was no wind, the light was totally flat, but we didn't have time or money to wait. As luck would have it, though, a grain of sand got into the camera and scratched the negative so we had to go back and redo it. This time the wind was up, creating all those white horses on the sea. We did it in just two shots, one wide and one close. The cinematographer, David Watkin, managed to create an extraordinary, almost strobe-like effect.


    Much of the filming was done in Liverpool. We used the town hall for the ball scene and, at Birkenhead, we found an old cinder track – there weren't many left – that looked very like the old Paris stadium used for the 1924 Olympics. We didn't want to make a "heritage film", though, so Vangelis was asked to compose the score to make it feel more modern.

    The film was used by Thatcherites to boost morale around the time of the Falklands conflict. But people also queued around the block to see it in Buenos Aires. They related to what it was really saying: stand up for yourself in the face of the establishment hypocrisy.

    Nicholas Farrell, actor

    I was barely out of drama school when I was cast as Aubrey Montague. I thought a whole career's worth of luck had arrived in one day. All the shortlisted actors had to do a running audition – sprinting 200 yards round a cinder track while a coach cast his eye over us, checking we were fit enough and had a running style that could be accommodated by the camera. Towards the end, one poor chap bent over, hands on knees, and brought his breakfast up.

    Although my character starts out as a narrator figure – using material from letters his family gave to Welland, almost verbatim – his main function is to provide a sympathetic ear to Abrahams, played with great intensity by Ben Cross. I relished every day of the shooting. How could I not? Just like those real athletes, we were young men on an adventure together.

    After filming the opening sequence, one of the crew said my running had a period feel to it. Others have suggested, rather unkindly, it was more of a lollop. I certainly didn't research middle-distance running styles of the 1920s. It was just my natural gait.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Interview with Eric Liddell's daughter about new exhibition

    Neither her father nor her aunt Jennie were as fierce and dogmatic as portrayed in Hugh Hudson's 1981 film, she said. "My father was a man of deep faith, but he would never force it on anyone else. He would not run or play ball on a Sunday, but he would never have stopped anyone else from doing it."

    When Jennie saw the film, she rang the family in Canada and said sadly: "They've made me out to be a right proper primmie".
    (People of faith might want to ignore the somewhat curmudgeonly comments )

  20. #20
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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