Best Picture Winners Part 54 (of 90): Chariots of Fire

Title: Chariots of Fire
Year: 1982
Starring: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell
Director: Hugh Hudson
Runtime: 2 hrs 5 mins

Is It Any Good?: Let’s get this out of the way. The film is good, but by no means is it the best film of this year, we’ll get to that! This is a case of the score (which Vangelis won the Oscar for) overshadowing the film it’s associated with. Many know this music but have never seen this film. It’s a well acted, extremely well-paced affair but the screenplay does the overall affair no favors and comes off as very dry and bland. Ian Holm presents as the best performance here and earns an Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor. I mean, it’s a good film but there are certainly other, better options

Memorable Quote: Eric Liddell: I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.

How’s the Competition: Atlantic City tells the story of a woman escaping her past. Susan Sarandon got a Best Actress nod for her role as our Canadian protagonist. One that gets in with an aging mobster (played by fellow nominee Burt Lancaster) they might just make it after all. In On Golden Pond a grumpy old man (Henry Ford) and his wife (Katharine Hepburn) spend their summers at the titular New England spot. Fonda and Hepburn won their corresponding Oscars for Best Actor & Actress with Henry’s real daughter and two-time winner Jane receiving a nod for Supporting Actress. Does Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, a Spielberg classic, really need an introduction? Following the search for the Ark of the Covenant by a cowboy archeologist (played iconically by Harrison Ford) as he attempts to beat the Nazi’s to it. A true classic by any stretch of the word, and a film that beat the door down on both box office and critics top ten lists all over 1981. Lastly is Reds. Warren Beatty writes, directs and stars in this film that centers on the life and career of journalist John Reed and his chronicling of the Russian revolution. Beatty would only take home Best Director, however, but to me, it was a catch-all award for his efforts.

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