What is 'Chariots of Fire' About? A Look into the Inspirational Story Behind the Iconic Film

What is ‘Chariots of Fire’ About? A Look into the Inspirational Story Behind the Iconic Film

What is ‘Chariots of Fire’ About?


‘Chariots of Fire’ is a critically acclaimed film that was released in 1981. It is an inspirational historical drama that tells the story of two British athletes who compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics. The film was directed by Hugh Hudson and written by Colin Welland. It received widespread praise for its compelling storytelling, beautiful cinematography, and memorable musical score.

The Plot

The film primarily focuses on the lives of two athletes, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, and their journeys to the Olympics. Harold Abrahams, a Jewish sprinter, faces discrimination and prejudice as he strives to prove himself in the world of athletics. Eric Liddell, a devout Christian and son of Scottish missionaries, struggles to balance his religious beliefs with his passion for running.

As the athletes prepare for the Paris Olympics, their personal stories intertwine with their shared goal of representing their country and achieving glory on the track. The film highlights the determination, sacrifice, and perseverance required to succeed in the face of adversity.

Inspiration Behind the Film

‘Chariots of Fire’ is based on true events, providing an insight into the lives of the real-life athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell. The film draws inspiration from their personal experiences, capturing the essence of their struggles and triumphs.

One of the main sources of inspiration for the film is Harold Abrahams’ quest to overcome anti-Semitism. In a time when discrimination was widespread, Abrahams defied the odds and became a symbol of hope for those facing similar challenges. His determination to prove himself on the track and break down barriers serves as a powerful message of resilience and perseverance.

Eric Liddell’s story, on the other hand, revolves around the clash between his faith and his passion for running. Liddell’s refusal to compete on Sundays, due to his religious beliefs, adds depth to the film’s exploration of the athletes’ commitment and sacrifices. His unwavering devotion to his principles resonates with viewers and reinforces the film’s underlying themes of faith and integrity.

Key Themes and Messages

‘Chariots of Fire’ delves into various thought-provoking themes that resonate with audiences even today. Some of the key themes explored in the film include:

1. Overcoming adversity: The film emphasizes the importance of perseverance and determination in the face of obstacles. Both Abrahams and Liddell face personal and societal challenges, but their unwavering belief in themselves allows them to overcome these hurdles.

2. Pursuit of excellence: ‘Chariots of Fire’ showcases the athletes’ relentless pursuit of excellence and their commitment to constantly push their limits. Their dedication to their craft serves as a reminder of the rewards that come from hard work and dedication.

3. Faith and values: The film explores the conflict between personal beliefs and societal expectations. Liddell’s refusal to compromise his religious principles demonstrates the power of staying true to one’s values even in the face of external pressures.


‘Chariots of Fire’ is a timeless classic that continues to inspire audiences with its powerful storytelling and profound messages. The film’s exploration of perseverance, overcoming adversity, and staying true to one’s beliefs resonates with viewers of all ages. By shedding light on the inspirational true story behind the film, viewers can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lasting impact of ‘Chariots of Fire’.


1. Who directed the film ‘Chariots of Fire’?

The film ‘Chariots of Fire’ was directed by Hugh Hudson.

2. When was ‘Chariots of Fire’ released?

‘Chariots of Fire’ was released in the year 1981.

3. What is the main theme of the film?

The main theme of ‘Chariots of Fire’ is the pursuit of personal and religious convictions.

4. Who are the main characters in the film?

The main characters in ‘Chariots of Fire’ are Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell.

5. Is ‘Chariots of Fire’ based on a true story?

Yes, ‘Chariots of Fire’ is based on the true story of Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams.

6. What are the significant achievements of the main characters?

Harold Abrahams became the first British sprinter to win gold in the 100 meters at the Olympics, and Eric Liddell won gold in the 400 meters at the same Olympic Games.

7. What challenges do the characters face in the film?

The characters in ‘Chariots of Fire’ face challenges related to their faith, societal pressures, and personal setbacks.

8. What is the iconic musical score associated with the film?

The iconic musical score associated with ‘Chariots of Fire’ is composed by Vangelis.

9. What awards did ‘Chariots of Fire’ win?

‘Chariots of Fire’ won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Music Score, and Best Costume Design.

10. How has ‘Chariots of Fire’ left a lasting impact?

‘Chariots of Fire’ has left a lasting impact by inspiring generations with its story of determination, loyalty, and overcoming obstacles.