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Chariots of Fire (1981) Poster

Quotes

Eric Liddell: You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.

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

[first lines]

Lord Andrew Lindsay: Let us praise famous men and our fathers that begat us. All these men were honoured in their generations and were a glory in their days. We are here today to give thanks for the life of Harold Abrahams. To honour the legend. Now there are just two of us - young Aubrey Montague and myself - who can close our eyes and remember those few young men with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels.

Harold M. Abrahams: You, Aubrey, are my most complete man.

Harold M. Abrahams: You're brave, compassionate, kind: a content man. That is your secret, contentment; I am 24 and I've never know it.

Harold M. Abrahams: I'm forever in pursuit and I don't even know what I am chasing.

Lord Cadogan: Hear, hear. In my day it was King first and God after.

Duke of Sutherland: Yes, and the War To End Wars bitterly proved your point!

Eric Liddell: God made countries, God makes kings, and the rules by which they govern. And those rules say that the Sabbath is His. And I for one intend to keep it that way.

Lord Cadogan: That's a matter for the committee!

Lord Birkenhead: We *are* the committee.

Duke of Sutherland: A sticky moment, George.

Lord Birkenhead: Thank God for Lindsay. I thought the lad had us beaten.

Duke of Sutherland: He did have us beaten, and thank God he did.

Lord Birkenhead: I don't quite follow you.

Duke of Sutherland: The "lad", as you call him, is a true man of principles and a true athlete. His speed is a mere extension of his life, its force. We sought to sever his running from himself.

Lord Birkenhead: For his country's sake, yes.

Lord Birkenhead: No sake is worth that, least of all a guilty national pride.

Harold M. Abrahams: If I can't win, I won't run!

Sybil Gordon: If you don't run, you can't win.

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Sam Mussabini: Eric Liddell? He's no real problem...

Harold M. Abrahams: [Eric has already beaten Harold once] You could have fooled me.

Sam Mussabini: Yeah, he's fast! But he won't go any faster. He's a gut runner, digs deep! But a short sprint is run on nerves. It's tailor-made for neurotics.

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Sam Mussabini: Do you want to know why you lost today?

[Harold nods]

Sam Mussabini: You're over striding.

[Sets coins in a row]

Sam Mussabini: Now these coins represent the steps in your sprint.

[Pushes coins together]

Sam Mussabini: Can you find me another two coins, Mr. Abraham?

[Harold looks up]

Sam Mussabini: Remember, over striding. Death for the sprinter

[shakes his head]

Sam Mussabini: . Knocks you back.

[Slaps Harold across the cheek. Harold winces]

Sam Mussabini: Like that!

[Slaps Harold again]

Sam Mussabini: And that!

[Sam laughs and grabs Harold by the arm]

Sam Mussabini: .

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Harold M. Abrahams: That was the miscalculation of my life.

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Henry Stallard: [the athletes are playing cricket in the ballroom of their hotel. Henry Stallard is the umpire; Aubrey Montague bowls a delivery to Eric Liddell, batting] No ball!

Harold M. Abrahams: [desperate to get into bat] Come on, Aubrey, the old leg-break!

Harold M. Abrahams: [Aubrey bowls another delivery, which deceivingly appears to have gotten Eric out] HowZAT!

Henry Stallard: Not out!

Harold M. Abrahams: What do you mean, not out? You could've heard it from bloody Bournemouth! Come on, Liddell, my innings.

Eric Liddell: I didn't touch it, I swear it, must've been the crack of my wrist!

Harold M. Abrahams: He's out I tell you, you're all deaf - deaf and bloody blind! Aubrey I ask you, for God's sake!

Harold M. Abrahams: [No response from Aubrey, dramatic pause]

[punching the air]

Harold M. Abrahams: It's not FAIR!

[the athletes break into laughter, Abrahams eventually joining them]

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Harold M. Abrahams: And now in one hour's time I will be out there again.

Harold M. Abrahams: I will raise my eyes and look down that corridor; 4 feet wide, with 10 lonely seconds to justify my whole existence. But WILL I?

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Harold M. Abrahams: Aubrey, I've known the fear of losing but now I am almost too frightened to win.

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Lord Andrew Lindsay: Protocol, Monty, Protocol, he is here to show us what may be done and more essentially what may not be.

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Lord Birkenhead: Ah, Liddell! I was afraid you weren't here.

Eric Liddell: I'm afraid I am, sir.

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Lord Birkenhead: Liddell, he is your future king, are you refusing to shake his hand? Does your arrogance extend that far?

Eric Liddell: My arrogance, sir, extends just as far as my conscience demands.

Lord Birkenhead: Fine, then let's hope that is wise enough to give you room to maneuver.

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Lord Cadogan: Don't be impertinent, Liddell!

Eric Liddell: The impertinence lies, sir, with those who seek to influence a man to deny his beliefs!

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HRH Edward, Prince of Wales: There are times when we are asked to make sacrifices in the name of that loyalty. And without them our allegiance is worthless. As I see it, for you, this is such a time.

Eric Liddell: Sir, God knows I love my country. But I can't make that sacrifice.

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Sybil Gordon: [about running] Do you love it?

Harold M. Abrahams: I'm more of an addict. It's a compulsion with me, a weapon I can use.

Sybil Gordon: Against what?

Harold M. Abrahams: Being Jewish I suppose.

Sybil Gordon: [laughs incredulously] You're not serious! People aren't like that, people don't care. Can it be as bad as all that?

Harold M. Abrahams: You're not Jewish, or you wouldn't have had to ask.

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Reverend. J.D. Liddell: You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don't compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil. Run in God's name and let the world stand back and in wonder.

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Master of Trinity: ...name after name which I cannot read. And which we, who are older than you, cannot hear without emotion. Names which will be only names to you, the new college, but to us summon up face after face full of honesty and goodness, zeal and vigor.

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Master of Trinity: Life slips by, Abrahams, life slips by!

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Harold M. Abrahams: [making a toast] To Sam Mossabini, the greatest trainer in the world.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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