Writes Roger Ebert: This is strange. I have no interest in running and am not a partisan in the British class system. Then why should I have been so deeply moved by CHARIOTS OF FIRE, a British film that has running and class as its subjects? I've toyed with that question since I first saw this remarkable film in May 1981 at the Cannes Film Festival, and I believe the answer is rather simple: Like many great films, CHARIOTS OF FIRE takes its nominal subjects as occasions for much larger statements about human nature.
This is a movie that has a great many running scenes. It is also a movie about British class distinctions in the years after World War I, years in which the establishment was trying to piece itself back together after the carnage in France. It is about two outsidersÑa Scot who is the son of missionaries in China, and a Jew whose father is an immigrant from Lithuania. And it is about how both of them use running as a means of asserting their dignity. But it is about more than them, and a lot of this film's greatness is hard to put into words. CHARIOTS OF FIRE creates deep feelings among many members of its audiences, and it does that not so much with its story or even its characters as with particular moments that are very sharply seen and heard.
The Complete Review Here.