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The Flying Scotsman

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
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.
Written by Derek Adams

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 29 June 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
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