I've been curious to watch Chariots of Fire for some time, as the producer is Dodi Fayed who was murdered in a Boston Brakes accident with Princess Diana in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris.
I wanted to know if this multiple Oscar winning film had stood the test of time and the short answer is, it hasn't.
There's some fine DOP and Merchant Ivory style Englishness in the scenes throughout the film with country mansions, Oxbridge colleges and so forth but all the characters are paper thin 'for he's a jolly good fellow' type clichés.
The script is a honker with superficial struggles presented for one character as the trials of being Jewish in England as well as an athlete, or for another character, a Scottish Christian who wont run on the Sabbath. Both are easily resolved as being Jewish places no restriction on running and even elicits significantly less abuse than a Pakistani receives in England today, and running on the Sabbath for the Christian needed only a change of races to the 400 metres to be held during the week. The Sabbath is Saturday anyway but don't let quaint lingo spoil the cricket sweaters plot.
It's hard not to think that Dodi Fayed merely picked up this script because it glorifies Jewish struggles perceived or otherwise because that's the only way to be recognised in Hollywood. Good luck to him if that's why he made the film as it won a fistfull of Oscars, but he never made anything recognised globally after.
I'm just calling it as I see it and don't mind being corrected if the film won awards for any other reason.
The other premise for watching this film last night is because Nigel Havers also stars in it. He has recently come out in defence of his Aunty, Elizabeth Butler Sloss as an excellent choice for the VIP paedophile inquiry even though she covered up the Cleveland Child Abuse inquiry to such an extent that she never asked any of the 121 child victims if they had been sexually abused, and undermined all the evidence put forward by all the professionals apart from a discredited American doctor who defended the paedophiles and not the victims.
In short this film exemplifies that all patriotism is ego stoking and pernicious to the ascendant path.