Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire (1981), directed by Hugh Hudson.

Some people seem let down by this film; one magazine listed it as one of the "20 Most Overrated Movies of All Time".

I suspect that it violates too many screenwriting rules. Everyone in it is a good chap, no one is a backstabber, there is no love triangle or shady gangster trying to fix the races. In the end our two competitors don't even face each other at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

It is a fine period presentation of two young men: a devout Scots missionary and a Jew determined to overcome his detractors and make a place for himself. Both struggle with inner doubts, but other than that it's all about racing. This is just after WW1 and we have the vivid contrast of the young athletes, full of life and hopes and even frivolity, against the recent memories of the war.

It is somewhat fictionalized but based on real events.

Available on Blu-ray with a very pleasing image and fine natural color (given that England is usually overcast).