The legendary British movie took over the years of many fans and also got four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It has surely left an everlasting mark on the movie industry.
It was released back in 1981, and it explores the true tale of two British athletes who were competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924.
The movie was a big success, and its credit goes not only to the storyline but also to the locations where the crucial scenes were filmed. In this article, we are going to take a look at the crucial scenes where the movie was filmed.
Synopsis of the movie
In the early 1920s, the United Kingdom was obsessed with class and religious division. Two focused young runners are training for the Paris Olympics in 1924.
Eric Liddell, played by Ian Charleston, is a Christian born to Scottish missionaries who see running as worship to his god and refuses to train on Sabbath.
Another runner is Harold Abraham, played by Ben Cross, who overcomes class bias and anti-Semitism but ignores his love. Sybil, played by Alice Krige, is in his single-minded, focused quest.
Filming locations of the Chariots of Fire
West Sands Beach, St. Andrew’s, Scotland
One of the most famous scenes of the movie was the opening scene, where Eric Liddell and Harold Abraham’s characters are shown running on the picturesque sandy beach.
This iconic reel was filmed on West Sands Beach in St. Andrews, Scotland. The massive expanse of crashing waves and golden sand gives a perfect background for the movie’s impactful opening.
Eton College, Windsor, England
Eton College is one of the most prestigious colleges in England. It was selected to film a crucial few scenes of the movie.
The historic building and beautiful surroundings were shown as Cambridge University, where the characters went. The grand stature of Eton ideally captures the flavors of the early 20th century.
The Oval Cricket Ground, London, England
The Oval Cricket Ground is in Kennington, London, and is important for the movie’s climax. The cricket ground was used to show the 1924 Olympic Games, where the characters ran in their final race.
The iconic pavilion of the Oval stands tall in the movie as a sign of symbolic victory and determination by athletes.
To make the whole movie a truly immersive masterpiece, the team went to Paris, where the events happened.
Many scenes were shot in locations in the city, like the streets of Montmartre, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and the Seine River. These real locations added to the viewers, which gave it the ideal vibe it needed for the Parisian Backdrop.
Cambridge University, Cambridge, England
The scenes were shot primarily in Eton College, but some of the scenes of Chariot of Fire were filmed in Cambridge University, where the characters were getting their training and studying.
How many academic awards did the movie get?
The movie got four Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Picture, and Best Costume Design.
Is the movie based on a true story?
Yes, the movie Chariots of Fire is based on the true story of two athletes, Eric Liddell and Harold Abraham, who ran competitively in the 1924 Paris Olympics.
The actors did not run in the movie; the running scenes were filmed by professional stuntmen and athletes.
Did the movie have any impact on the running culture and British movies?
Yes, the film is often credited with the rise of running in the 1980s and inspired many young people to take up and practice the sport.
It is also considered the epitome of British cinema, a landmark in the industry that is opening for future movies.
Even after forty years, the movie continues to live up to its set legacy and inspire the audience around the world, making it a timeless film.
It got positive reviews for its memorable soundtrack, performances, and storytelling. It managed to gross over $60 million worldwide.