One man, a Jew called Aubrey Montague (played by Nicholas Farell), tries to overcome the stigma attached to his religion, behaving like an English playboy by eating out and dating the prettiest actress. His friend, Henrey Lidell (played by Ian Charleson) is a pillar of Christian strength and believes he runs for god as does most of Scotland.
I think the most surreal part of this film was the Olympics. The only visible countries were the United States, France and Britain in both the opening events and the races. They also played the star spangled banner when the races were won despite the nationality of the winner and the games being held in Paris.
There were actually a few other surreal moments in the movie. Often runners in the background who were losing the race would be smiling. These men trained just as hard to be at the Olympics, shouldn’t they take the moment more seriously. It’s probably very hard to run as fast as you can while grinning and thrusting ones chest out like a bird to try and hit the end line. The dialogue also felt a bit planned, like we got all the information about the actress and the Jews background and struggles in a four minute dinner conversation. The lines feel rehearsed and almost to perfect.
Iconic opening sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-7Vu7cqB20