Chariots of Fire (1981) Poster

Ian Charleson: Eric Liddell



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

  • 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 your 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 : 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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] 

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

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

  • Eric Liddell : Sandy, the Kingdom of God is not a democracy. The Lord never seeks re-election. There are no referenda on which road to take. There's one right, one wrong, one absolute ruler.

    Sandy McGrath : A dictator you mean?

    Eric Liddell : Aye, but a benign loving dictator.

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs