In this Academy Award winner for Best Picture, two very different men on the same team vie to win Olympic gold to demonstrate to the world the worth of their deeply held-and strongly opposing-convictions. Yet a friendship builds between the two in this true story that is as strong as their desire to win in Chariots of Fire. Paris Olympics, 1924. Scotsman Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson--Gandhi) competes to prove the superiority of this Christian faith, while his teammate, Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross-Exorcist: The Beginning), a Jewish Englishman, is driven to win to show the world that Jews are not inferior people. But as different as they two competitors are, the bond that develops between them reveals to both how complex their true motives are... and how much they really have in common.
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Cast & Crew
BEN CROSSActorBen Cross was born Harry Bernard Cross on December 16, 1947, in London, England. He began acting at a very young age and participated in grammar school plays -- most notably playing "Jesus" in a school pageant at age 12. Ben left home and school at age 15 and worked various jobs, including work as a window washer, waiter and carpenter. He was master carpenter for the Welsh National Opera and property master at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, England. Driven by his desire to be an actor, Ben accepted and overcame the enormous challenges and obstacles that came with the profession. In 1970, at the age of 22, he was accepted into London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) -- the alma mater of legendary actors such as Sir John Gielgud, Glenda Jackson and Sir Anthony Hopkins. Upon graduation from RADA, Ben performed in several stage plays at Duke's Playhouse where he was seen in "Macbeth", "The Importance of Being Earnest", and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman". He then joined the Prospect Theatre Company and played roles in "Pericles", "Twelfth Night", and "Royal Hunt of the Sun". Ben also joined the cast in the immensely popular musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and played leading roles in Peter Shaffer's "Equurs", "Mind Your Head" and the musical "Irma La Douce" -- all at Leicester's Haymarket Theatre. Ben's first big screen film appearance came in 1976 when he went on location to Deventer, Holland, to play "Trooper Binns" in Joseph E. Levine's World War II epic A Bridge Too Far (1977), which starred a very famous international cast -- namely Dirk Bogarde, Sir Sean Connery, Sir Michael Caine and James Caan. In 1977, Ben became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in the premier of "Privates on Parade" as "Kevin Cartwright" and played "Rover" in a revival of a Restoration play titled "Wild Oats". Ben's path to international stardom began in 1978 with his extraordinary performance in the play, "Chicago", in which he played "Billy Flynn", the slick lawyer of murderess "Roxie Hart". During his performance in this play, he was recognized and recommended for a leading role in the multiple Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire (1981). The major success of Chariots of Fire (1981) opened the doors to the international film market. Ben followed up Chariots of Fire (1981) with strong and successful performances, most notably in the Masterpiece Theatre miniseries The Citadel (1983), in which he played a Scottish physician, Dr Andrew Manson, struggling with the politics of the British medical system during the 1920s, and his performance as "Ash Pelham-Martyn", a British cavalry officer torn between two cultures in the Home Box Office miniseries The Far Pavilions (1984). During the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, Ben appeared in a commercial for American Express with Jackson Scholz, a sprinter for the 1924 American Olympic team whose character was featured in the film Chariots of Fire (1981). He subsequently replaced James Garner as the featured actor endorsing the Polaroid Spectra camera in 1986. Ben was also featured in "GQ Magazine" as one of the annual "Manstyle" winners in January, 1985, followed by a featured photo shoot in March, 1985. Having stuck by his desire to choose quality roles over monetary potential, Ben has enjoyed long-term success in the film industry, currently over 30 years. Over the years, Ben has played several outstanding roles including his portrayal of "Solomon", one of the most fascinatingly complex characters of the Bible, in the Trimark Pictures production Solomon (1997) in 1997. Other outstanding roles included his "Barnabus" in the 1991 MGM remake of the miniseries Dark Shadows (1991); "Sir Harold Pearson" in the 1994 Italian production Honey Sweet Love... (1994) (Honey Sweet Love); "Ikey Solomon" in the Australian production The Potato Factory (2000) in 2000; and, most recently, his role as Rudolf Hess in the 2006 BBC production Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial (2006). Ben is a director, writer and musician, as well. Among many of his original works is the musical "Rage" about Ruth Ellis, which was performed in various regional towns in the London area. He also starred in it and played the part of the hangman. Ben's first single as a lyricist was released by Polydor Records in the late 1970s and was titled "Mickey Moonshine". Other works include "The Best We've Ever Had" and "Nearly Midnight", both written by Ben and directed by his son, Theo Cross. In addition, the original soundtrack for "Nearly Midnight" was written, produced and performed by his daughter, Lauren Cross. These works were performed in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2002 and 2003, respectively. "Square One", directed by Ben, was performed at the Etcetera Theatre in London in 2004. Ben has lived all over the world, including London, Los Angeles, New York, Southern Spain, Vienna, and, most recently, Sofia. He is familiar with the Spanish, Italian and German languages and has enrolled in a course studying Bulgarian. When he's not filming, he can be found writing music, screenplays and articles for English language publications.More
ALICE KRIGEActorAlice Maud Krige was born on June 28, 1954 in Upington, South Africa where her father, Dr. Louis Krige, worked as a young physician. The Kriges later moved to Port Elizabeth where Alice grew up in what she describes as a "very happy family", a family that also included two brothers (both of whom became physicians) and her mother, Pat, a clinical psychologist. Interestingly, Alice also grew up without television, something which the actress calls a "huge black hole in my education" (South Africa did not start getting television until 1976, a year after Alice left the country to pursue an acting career in London). While growing up, she had no dreams or aspirations of pursuing an acting career, in fact as a child she had wanted to become a dancer, but her father disapproved. Instead, she prepared to follow in the footsteps of her mother by attending Rhodes University in Grahamstown where she pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology and literature (graduating in 1975). However, as luck or fate would have it, Alice decided to "take up a bit of timetable" by enrolling in a drama class in order to make use of a free credit. This decision would prove to be a life-altering one, resulting in an honors degree in drama from Rhodes, a move to London and a new career path. As Alice explains, "I really got into it and it took over my life... it became my life-calling, all consuming." After arriving in England, she began three years of study at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Her first professional acting performance was a tiny television role in a 1979 BBC Play for Today. In 1980, Alice made her feature film debut as Sybil Gordon in the Academy Award winning Best Picture, Chariots of Fire (1981). She then appeared in the television adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (1980), which was followed by her memorable, dual role as the avenging spirit in Ghost Story (1981). Also in 1981, she debuted in a West End theatre production of Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, for which she received the honors of both a Plays and Players Award and a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer. It was this early success in theatre that she decided to focus her career on next by spending some time working with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company. During her two seasons with the RSC (1982-83), Alice performed in such productions as "King Lear", "The Tempest", "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Cyrano de Bergerac". After her stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company, she returned to work in film and television. Her career could best be described as an eclectic mix of both mediums. She appeared in a diverse range of films, such as King David (1985), Barfly (1987), Haunted Summer (1988), Spies Inc. (1992) and See You in the Morning (1989). Her work in television included critically acclaimed miniseries, such as Ellis Island (1984) and Wallenberg: A Hero's Story (1985), as well as a healthy dose of what Alice herself calls, "kitchen sink dramas". This eclectic trend continued into the 1990s. In addition to numerous roles in television (including appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990) and Becker (1998), Alice also appeared in the films Sleepwalkers (1992), Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life (1995), Donor Unknown (1995), Amanda (1996), Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997), Habitat (1997), The Commissioner (1998) and Molokai (1999). However, one notable standout was the film Star Trek: First Contact (1996) for which she won a 1997 Saturn Award for her portrayal of the Borg Queen. This is without a doubt the most commercial, mainstream film with which she has been involved. However, due to the amount of make-up and prosthetics that the role required, Alice claims that even today she is still most recognized from her role in Ghost Story (1981). One obvious and lasting impact of her experience with Star Trek: First Contact has been her initiation into the world of Star Trek/sci-fi conventions. These weekend-long conventions take place all over the United States and Europe (primarily in the United Kingdom and Germany). They feature "guests", such as Alice, who give presentations, sign autographs, etc. The new millennium finds her with several new projects to her credit, which include such works as The Little Vampire (2000), the Star Trek: Voyager (1995) series finale "Endgame", Attila (2001), Dinotopia (2002), Reign of Fire (2002), Children of Dune (2003), The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004) and a recurring guest role in the HBO series Deadwood (2004). Current projects include a film about the life of Julius Caesar, the horror film Silent Hill (2006), Lonely Hearts (2006) and The Contract (2006). In addition, she continues to make sporadic convention appearances and was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in literature from Rhodes University. Alice Krige is married to writer/director Paul Schoolman, and lives what she describes as an "itinerant" lifestyle. Although she and her husband maintain a permanent home in the United States, they spend much of their time living and working abroad.More