Chariots of Fire


Runners on the beach at St. Andrews


Winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Chariots of Fire is the inspiring story of Eric Liddell, Harold Abrahams and the Olympic team of 1924, who brought Britain one of its greatest sporting victories. This internationally acclaimed film came back on the big screen in a brand new digitally remastered version in July 2012 as an official part of the London 2012 Festival celebrations.

The values embodied in Eric Liddell’s and Harold Abrahams' successes – their passion, dedication and trust – are explored in a set of free resources from the Damaris Trust, which are available, at no charge, via

Official Trailer: Chariots of Fire. This video was first published on Damaris' Pollard on Film website ( ) © Damaris Trust Wed 27 June 2012.

Resources include:

For schools

  • Assemblies Online. Two free-access assemblies, one for Primary and one for Secondary School students, using clips from the film to explore life issues raised by the film.
  • RE Lessons Online. One free-access RE lesson for Secondary School students using clips from the film to enable an appropriate and curriculum-focussed exploration of the issues.

For the general community

A package of three videos with a leaders’ guide

  • Videos
    • Movie Moments: Passion. A special edition of this video series uses clips from the film to explore the issue of passion. It utilises the familiar and popular Movie Moments format (
    • Reel to Real: Trust. This special edition of the popular Reel to Real series (see focuses on the issue of trust. It links clips from the film with perspectives from key people from the world of sport and the Christian community. 
    • Reel to Real: Dedication. This special edition of the popular Reel to Real series picks up on the final slate of the film and tell the story of what happened to Eric Liddell after the Olympics. It follows Liddell’s life, ministry and death in the Japanese internment camp. It links clips from the film to comments from experts (including the Eric Liddell Centre's CEO, Bob Rendall) and focuses on the issue of dedication as expressed within the film and in his life afterwards. 

      Reel to Real: Dedication. This video was first published on Damaris' Pollard on Film website ( ) © Damaris Trust Wed 27 June 2012.

  • Leaders’ Guide The Leaders’ Guide will provide a framework for using any or all of the three videos in group events. It will contain these sections:
    • Introduction
    • Making the most of (including subject key and suggested programmes)
    • Quizzes
    • About the movie (with discussion questions)
    • Movie Moment: Passion (with discussion questions and reflection)
    • Reel to Real: Trust (with discussion questions and reflection)
    • Reel to Real: Dedication (with discussion questions and reflection)
    • Poster and invites

For the church community

  • Taster.This Damaris Chariots of Fire Taster is a one-minute introduction to some major themes in this inspiring movie.
  • Tools for Talks. A number of free-access illustrations using clips from the film to enable Church leaders and others to speak about each of the three issues in their sermons and talks.


Edinburgh Film Locations for Chariots of Fire

One scene in the film depicts Liddell falling early in a 440 yard race in a Scotland–France dual meet and making up a 20-yard deficit to win; the actual race was during a Triangular Contest meet between Scotland, England and Ireland at Stoke-on-Trent in England in July 1923. Liddell was knocked to the ground several strides into the race. He hesitated, got up and pursued his opponents, 20 yards ahead. He caught the leaders shortly before the finish line and collapsed after crossing the tape.  This scene was filmed at Goldenacre Stadium on Inverleith Row in Edinburgh, the playing fields of George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. 

Other scenes filmed in Edinburgh include:

  • Other International race meet in pouring rain, filmed at Inverleith Stadium on Ferry Road, Edinburgh playing fields of Daniel Stewart's & Melville College in Edinburgh.
  • Preaching in church on the day of the 100m Olympic final, filmed in Broughton St. Mary's Parish Church in Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh.
  • Liddell's chat to his sister Jennie with Edinburgh skyline behind, at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, below East end of Salisbury Crags, close to the end of Holyrood Park Road.
  • Harold Abrahams and Sybil Gordon in restaurant, filmed in The Cafe Royal Bar & Restaurant in West Register Street, Edinburgh.

Filming Chariots of Fire


This photo from the Liddell family photo books shows Iain Charleston (Eric Liddell) with from l-r, Sue Caton, Iain, Jenny, Joan and Roseme Liddell.


Free official community resources for Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire: the Chinese sequel (article) Article from “The Week”, used with permission.



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