Sunrise Theater Releases Lineup for September's Classic Films
“Chariots of Fire” opens the September Classic Film Series at the Sunrise Theater Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Running just over two hours, this treasured British film about the 1924 Paris Olympic Games was re-released in July of this year to hype the Games in London. Based on historical facts, “Chariots” tells the story of Scottish Christian runner Eric Lidell (Ian Charleson), “who runs for God,” and his equally talented counterpart, Harold Abraham (Ben Cross), a determined Jewish Englishman, who runs to overcome prejudice.
The story is solid even if a bit slow-moving, but it is the running, the scenery, the haunting electronic music of composer Vangelis that draws us back to this highly honored film.
In 1981 it received seven nominations and four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screen Play, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.
The movie’s title music has become an iconic part of contemporary culture, used often in sports programs that feature slow motion running.
Though focused on sport, the film’s theme that “victory attained through devotion, commitment, integrity and sacrifice is the most admirable feat that one can achieve” touches us in the depth of character shown by both Lidell and Abrahams.
Time magazine critic Richard Schickel said on the film’s re-release in 2008, “The characters in ‘Chariots of Fire’ emerge from the past. They are not pasted on it.”
“The Breakfast Club” continues the popular classic series Wednesday, Sept. 19. With characters recognizable by “teenagers” of all generations, it tells the story of five problem students trapped in a daylong Saturday detention.
Held captive in a prison-like library by assistant principal Paul Gleason (Richard Vena), the teens represent quite vivid student types: Claire — the Princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew — the Jock (Emilio Estevez); John — the Criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian — the Brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison — the Basket Case (Ally Sheedy).
They start the day as quite different persons, each locked in his/her place in their high school caste system. But at the end of the day they realize they have more in common than they thought, including a contempt for adult society represented by the villainous principal. They have become “comrades in arms.”
Known in 1985 as much for its relatively unknown young actors who went on to become major stars, it’s a film “students of all ages” will find authentic and amusing.
One critic put it this way: “All of us have gone to high school with at least one or two of these kids.”
Considered the best of the Sean Connery Bond films, 1964’s “Goldfinger” will close out the month on Sept. 26.
The film’s title song by Shirley Bassey, a classic in its own right, opens this likable if laughable spy-adventure film, which not only set the bar for subsequent films in the Bond franchise, but also a new pattern for all blockbuster adventure films — sex, violence, gadgetry, laughs and improbability carried to the extreme.
Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) is perhaps the most recognizable and memorable of the Bond villains. Almost equally famous are the outrageous characters of pilot Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman) and the inscrutable henchman, Odd Job (Harold Sakata), who famously turned a bowler hat into a deadly weapon.
And it was in this film that our hero first spoke the memorable and quintessential line: “Martini. Shaken, not stirred.”
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