The Flying Scotsman

Graeme Obree is a maverick pro cyclist from Scotland who, in 1993 and 1994, broke the world one-hour track record on a bicycle he built out of spare parts, including, would you believe, a ball bearing hub from a dismantled washing machine. With the aid of his wife (Laura Fraser), dedicated manager Malky (Billy Boyd) and confidant Douglas Baxter (Brian Cox), Obree (Jonny Lee Miller) set out for the velodrome and into the record books. But cycling’s governing body, the UCI (led by Steven Berkoff’s pedantic boss), deemed his hunched-over-the-bars riding position illegal, sending Obree spiralling into suicidal depression before coming out the other side and pulling it all off again.

There’s much to admire here, even if you’re not into cycling. Like ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ and, to some extent, ‘Billy Elliot’, the film has a pleasant feel-good factor tempered by moments of melancholy. Given the budgetry restraints, feature debutant Douglas Mackinnon’s made a fine fist of a great little underdog story. It’s perfectly timed, too, as it coincides very nicely with the London leg of the forthcoming Tour de France.

Release details

Release date: Friday June 29 2007
Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Douglas Mackinnon
Screenwriter: John Brown, Declan Hughes, Simon Rose
Cast: Jonny Lee Miller
Laura Fraser
Billy Boyd
Brian Cox
Morven Christie
Niall Fulton
Steven Berkoff

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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WAINY

This film is absolutely inspirational and is bound to become a classic British (sorry Graeme) Scottish film. I knew a little bit about Graeme Obree from a friend at work who is a keen cyclist but after seeing the film I cannot understand why he is not a household name,What an athlete and what a man,if we had more people with his determination we would have countless world champions. I realise that this sounds like a Graeme Obree fan letter but the film was brilliant too.

WAINY

This film is absolutely inspirational and is bound to become a classic British (sorry Graeme) Scottish film. I knew a little bit about Graeme Obree from a friend at work who is a keen cyclist but after seeing the film I cannot understand why he is not a household name,What an athlete and what a man,if we had more people with his determination we would have countless world champions. I realise that this sounds like a Graeme Obree fan letter but the film was brilliant too.

Jasmine Shakespeare

A really moving film. At first I thought it was just going to be predicatbale underdog gets the bit between his teeth and pulls it off but is far deeper a film. It not only looks into the motivations fo our great sportsmen but is a meditation on friendship and on the effects of our past injuries aon our mental health. A lovely film.

Jasmine Shakespeare

A really moving film. At first I thought it was just going to be predicatbale underdog gets the bit between his teeth and pulls it off but is far deeper a film. It not only looks into the motivations fo our great sportsmen but is a meditation on friendship and on the effects of our past injuries aon our mental health. A lovely film.