Chariots Of Fire director Hugh Hudson dies aged 86

Entertainment

Chariots Of Fire director Hugh Hudson has died in London aged 86, a statement on behalf of his family said.

Hudson died in hospital following a short illness.

The statement said: “Hugh Hudson, 86, beloved husband and father, died at Charing Cross Hospital on February 10 2023 after a short illness.

“He was best known for directing the Oscar winning film Chariots Of Fire. He is survived by his wife Maryam, his son Thomas and his first wife Sue.”

Hugh Hudson
Image:
Hugh Hudson

Nigel Havers, who starred in Chariots Of Fire, said he was “beyond devastated” by news of Hudson’s death.

The film was based on the true story of two British athletes, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, competing in the 1924 Olympics.

Liddle, played by Ian Charleson, is a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and even refuses to run a heat because his religious convictions prevent him from running on the Lord’s Day.

He eventually races in the 400m competition after a teammate offers up his place in a different heat, before overcoming the odds to beat his heavily favoured American rival.

Read more:
Chariots Of Fire and Blade Runner composer Vangelis dies aged 79

Abrahams, played by Ben Cross, overcomes antisemitism to compete in the Games and, after a heavy defeat in the 200m competition, bounces back to win the 100m race.

The film, released in 1981, was praised for its themes of dedication, sacrifice and determination to overcome adversity.

It was nominated for seven Oscars, winning four, including best film.

The film also won best original score for the iconic music which accompanies the famous slow-motion running sequences in the film.

Its opening piano lines and use of the synthesizer are instantly recognisable to millions of movie fans

The piece was written by composer Vangelis, who died last year, at the age of 79.

Hudson also directed the 1985 film Revolution, with Al Pacino, and the 1984 adventure film, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The last film he directed was in 2016, Altamira with actor Antonio Banderas.

Hudson also co-wrote the 2022 film, Tiger’s Nest, a story about a young orphan boy and a rescued tiger cub.

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