John Hurt plays the British jockey Bob Champion in this true story of how Champion overcame cancer and the rigors of chemotherapy for an impressive personal and professional comeback. Just as Champion is in the middle of a vacation in Kentucky, he finds out he has cancer, and, like others before him, submits to the full, painful treatments of multiple injections and radiation, suffering as much or more from the cure as from the illness (these treatments are graphic). Gaunt and nauseous, Champion also endures realistic meetings with his doctors that hold forth no guarantee of a cure. His eventual remission leads to yet another grueling physical schedule to get him back into shape for the Grand National Steeplechase -- a 30-fence, well-publicized race that offers difficult hurdles for both the horses and their jockeys. If the 115-minutes running time of this film were cut in places, it would create a better, trim and slim, fast-paced telling of an even more focused tale.
by Eleanor Mannikka synopsis