6.6/10
506
14 user 2 critic

Champions (1984)

The true story of Bob Champion, a British steeple chase jockey who, in the late 1970s, was diagnosed with cancer. Rather than succumb to the disease, however, Bob stages a miraculous ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Turtle Diary (1985)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Richard Johnson
Freefall (1994)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Wildlife photographer Katy is sent to Africa by her fiance Dex, the CEO of the international company that publishes the magazine she works for, to take photos of a rare bird of prey ... See full summary »

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Eric Roberts, Jeff Fahey, Pamela Gidley
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young swordsman comes to Paris and faces villains, romance, adventure and intrigue with three Musketeer friends.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain
Legal Eagles (1986)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A New York district attorney works and flirts with his adversary and her kooky artist client, who is on trial for a murder she didn't commit.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars: Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Daryl Hannah
Highway to Heaven (1984–1989)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A probationary angel sent back to earth teams with an ex-cop to help people.

Stars: Michael Landon, Victor French, James Troesh
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The mother of a severely traumatized daughter enlists the aid of a unique horse trainer to help the girl's equally injured horse.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Robert Redford, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Neill
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

John and Max resolve to save their beloved bait shop from turning into an Italian restaurant, just as its new female owner catches Max's attention.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Ann-Margret
Seabiscuit (2003)
Drama | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks
Hart to Hart (1979–1984)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The globe-trotting adventures of amateur detectives Jonathan and Jennifer Hart.

Stars: Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An ex-convict, after spending six years in prison, tries to re-establish a relationship with the son he hasn't seen in all that time.

Director: Sam Firstenberg
Stars: John LaMotta, Marvin Flint, Kirstie Alley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Poland is under communist rule. An exiled Polish theater director is in England, enthusiastically preparing an abstract play which will criticize the authoritarian Polish government. His sons might not share his political views, though.

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Stars: Michael York, Joanna Szczerbic, Michal Skolimowski
Infidelity (TV Movie 1987)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man comes home to see his wife window washing and he is surprised to find out that she is a latin scholar. She has been dropping hints that she has been cheating with another Latin ... See full summary »

Director: David Lowell Rich
Stars: Kirstie Alley, Lee Horsley, Laurie O'Brien
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bob Champion
Gregory Jones ...
Peter
Mick Dillon ...
Snowy
...
Valda Embiricos
...
Jo Beswick
...
Nick Embiricos
...
Josh Gifford
...
Burly Cocks
...
Barbara
...
Mary Hussey
...
Ceri Jackson ...
1st Nurse
Francesca Brill ...
2nd Nurse
...
Graham
...
Dr. Merrow
Edit

Storyline

The true story of Bob Champion, a British steeple chase jockey who, in the late 1970s, was diagnosed with cancer. Rather than succumb to the disease, however, Bob stages a miraculous recovery and goes on to win the 1981 Grand National steeple chase on the horse Aldaniti. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story [International]


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bajnokok  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$54,262 (USA) (22 April 1984)

Gross:

$174,445 (USA) (29 April 1984)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The lucky horseshoe, given to Champion by Jo, and later carried in his boot during the Grand National, was the original one once worn by Bob Champion, who was an advisor on the film. See more »

Goofs

In the big race, the leading horse is shown to unseat its rider at the third fence (jockey with pink and black spots) A few minutes later, the same horse and jockey combination are back up with the pace. See more »

Quotes

Bill: You're a lucky man.
Bob Champion: So they said.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Demons (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Sometimes
Music by Carl Davis
Lyric by Norman Newell
Sung by Elaine Paige
(Deleted from general release print)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Lovely true story which serves as an inspiration to us all.
13 February 2005 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Cinema audiences have always enjoyed sporting dramas in which the underdog triumphs against the odds. Champions goes one step further in that it takes its plot from the true story of Bob Champion, an English jockey whose quest to win the Grand National was jeopardised by health problems to himself and his horse. The film is very conventional and workmanlike in its approach, but it tells such a remarkable story (if it wasn't a true story, you'd accuse it of being too far-fetched) that it's hard not to find it alternately absorbing, moving and inspiring.

Bob Champion (John Hurt) is a successful jockey who learns that a swollen bruise picked up in a horse fall has turned cancerous. Initially believing that he will be treated quickly and painlessly and back in the saddle in next to no time, Champion soon finds his plans in tatters as the illness is diagnosed as much more serious than originally thought. After months of chemotherapy and drugs, he emerges from hospital a thin, weak, pale, aged shell of his former self. He can barely walk, barely ride a pony around a patch of garden, barely feel a thing. Against the odds, Champion pushes himself to the limit to restore his health. However, during his illness his favourite horse, Aldaniti - aboard which he dreams of having a crack at the Grand National - suffers a severe injury. Can both man and horse get fit in time for the most gruelling race of them all? And even if they recover in time to enter, do they have a chance in hell of winning?

Hurt is excellent as Champion, a not-always likable man who often upset those around him in his stubborn yet determined journey to the Grand National. The scenes of Champion's treatment are quite punishing and vividly show a man on the brink of despair. Just as effective is the exciting climax in which Champion's fairy-tale comeback becomes a reality. There are some overly-stylised slow motion scenes of horses galloping across the horizon which don't feel quite right in this film, and some of the subsidiary characters are under-developed, but these are the only significant flaws in an otherwise well-made film. If you don't find yourself emotionally stirred when Champion races his way into everyones' hearts - as well as the history books - check your pulse... you may be dead!!!


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?