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(2004), PG --... this 1981 PG film. Brief but full rear male nudity plus ...
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Warner Bros.
Distribution (US): 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, The Ladd Company, Warner Bros., Warner Home Video
Director(s): Hugh Hudson
Producer(s): James Crawford, Jake Eberts, Dodi Fayed, David Puttnam
Written by/Screenplay: Colin Welland
Cinematography/Camera: David Watkin
Music: Orig9inal: Vangelis. Non-original: William S. Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Film Editing: Terry Rawlings
Casting: Esta Charkham
Production Design: Roger Hall
Viewed on: Warner Bros. Home Video
One would think a movie about Olympic sports would build up and rely upon fanfare and adrenaline. Not so with Chariots of Fire. This 128 minute sports film is less about fanfare and adrenaline than about human nature and character building with the winning of the 1924 Olympics almost as an after-thought or an unavoidable necessity. This "based on a true story" film is one of the those which earns the title a work of art if for no other reason it is not as saturated with sin to make its statement as are most modern films. Don't read that the wrong way. There are sins demonstrated in this 1981 PG film including brief but full rear male nudity plus six uses of foul language plus much drinking and smoking. If the language, the nudity and the drinking/smoking, were left out this film would be equivalent to a G-rated film. While this movie has what you (and God) feel is unacceptable behavior, I doubt that preteens would be able to fathom the story or would be interested in it.
The story opens in 1978 with an elderly 1924 Olympic winner Harold M. Abrahams (Ben Cross) giving an honorary speech to what appears to be a church group in London for legendary Eric Henry Liddell (Ian Charleson) who died on February 21, 1945. This sets the stage for telling the story of the intertwining of the lives of Abrahams, Liddell and other United Kingdom men who participated in the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France.
Runners Liddell, a Scotsman, and Abrahams, an Englishman of Jewish descent plus Aubrey Montague (Nicholas Farrell) and Lord Andrew Lindsay (Nigel Havers) represented the United Kingdom in the 1924 Olympics. This is a story of their lives building up to that event. Indeed, it is a story more of building the relationship of Liddell with Abrahams rather than the Olympics.
Abrahams' self esteem and ego are fragile. To him, losing is devastating. Winning is the only reason he runs. If he loses, he doesn't want to run. However, in contrast Eric's ego is cast in concrete. Rather, his confidence is cast in Rock, the Rock of Ages: confidence that came from a joy and strength possible only in a Godly life. And Eric's sister, Jennie (Cheryl Campbell) worried so that all the fame of being a star athlete would steal Eric away from his duty to God, she would not let him forget that duty nor the danger to it. Eric revealed that God made him fast and that running made him feel God's pleasure. Except on Sunday. One of the heats of the 1924 Olympic games had Eric scheduled to run on Sunday. In honor of his allegiance to God's Word, Eric refused to run on Sunday, even when HRH Edward (David Yelland), the Prince of Wales himself argued with Eric to run, wanting Eric to place king and country before God. Fortunately, compatriot Andrew Lindsay switched events with Eric so Andrew could run the Sunday 100 meter heat for Eric so Eric could run in the later 400 meter heat, a run for which Eric had not been trained. This is not only a story of love of God but of teamwork and sacrifice AND unwillingness to compromise higher standards.
After the speech by Abrahams in 1978, the story leaps backward in time to a scene of the four central players plus a number of extras running the beach to Carlton Hotel, Broadstairs, Kent on June 28th 1924. Then the scene moves to Aubrey Montague writing a letter from his room to his parents, The scene then jumps back in time to Abrahams and Aubrey embarking to report to Cambridge University. After a session of social warfare with the head porter (Richard Griffiths), the four UK freshmen join all other freshmen at Cambridge, first honoring the war dead then welcoming and challenging the 1919 freshman class.
Soon, Abrahams challenges the College Dash. The College Dash is a 188- pace run around the perimeter of the courtyard that must be started on the first of twelve strikes of the courtyard clock and completed by the strike of the twelfth. In all the 700 years of Cambridge, no one has ever made it. Initially, Abrahams is unchallenged but Lindsay pipes up to run the course with Abrahams. Abrahams mentioned something to Lindsay like "I hate to lose. Don't you?" to which Lindsay replied"I don't know. I've never lost." Until now. Abrahams not only beats Lindsay, he completes the course around the courtyard before the twelfth stroke of the clock, the first time in the 700 years history of the University. Remember, Abrahams is the one who lives to win.
The rest of the show up to the Olympics in Paris is spent in quality character-building. We learn that Liddell is destined for missionary work for God in China; that he gave up playing rugby to pursue the Olympics before he undertook his calling in missionary work. We learn also that Liddell is first and foremost true to God. This film is most certainly not ashamed to give reverence and factual credit to the Father in Heaven and His Son. It repeatedly gives glory and credit to God and admits our subservience to him.
This Oscar winner for Best Picture of 1981 is an intricate weave of highly detailed character and story building. It is deep and rich in human nature while not ever losing the ability to keep the attention of the non-adolescent viewer. Faith in Christ and His Word are openly portrayed, upon which much of the film depends. One might go as far to say this might be a Christian film. The only sexual matters to this film were display of excessive cleavage (but not as severe as contemporary films), two instances of gaping face kissing between an unmarried heterosexual couple which were clearly lustful [1Cor. 7:2], and brief full rear male nudity [**]. There are six uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Titus 2:6 - 8] plus two uses of "fool" which God warns against sternly [Matt. 5:22] and two uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Smoking and drinking is rampant [Eph. 5:18]. Though rather short, the listing in the Findings/Scoring section reveals all that was noted.
Also note that if you rent the DVD (I don't know about the VHS), its subtitles (spoken words displayed on-screen) are most often inaccurate.
Regarding the full rear male nudity, to escape suffering it follow these instructions. When the scene shows a train arriving in London in 1923, shortly after that the scene is of Liddell in a locker room. At the first frame of Liddell in the locker room if you look away and fast-forward for about 15 seconds you'll be spared the nudity. For those of you with time display capability on your playback device (VHS or DVD) the nudity occurs (in Chapter 16 for DVD users) at 47 minutes and 31 seconds and is about four seconds long. You won't miss any key information to the plot or story. It is clear the filmmakers engineered that sequence just to get nudity into the film.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Single Christian Network
Kids, Teens and Home Vertical Portal
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|