The true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.
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The Flying Scotsman is a feature film based on the remarkable true story of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree. In 1993, and as an unemployed amateur, Obree broke the world one-hour record on a bike of his own revolutionary design, which he constructed out of scrap metal and parts of a washing machine. Written by
What I found most enjoyable about this film is the way it straddles the sport-biopic genres. It maintains the acute acting and psychological fullness of a biopic, aided by a fantastic performance by Miller, while being in keeping with the Hollywood highs and lows aspects of great sports movies.
Those not interested in sport should not be put off by thinking this will be a typically superficial or one dimensional sports film. But those sporty types will also find plenty to satisfy them.
As a big cycling fan I was already well aware of the Obree story and I can assure people that is every bit as incredible if not more so than is shown in the film. Naturally the constraints of a film mean that the Obree story is cut short and we don't see how the Superman position was banned or Obree's subsequent depressions especially after his brother died (indeed his brother is completely missing from the film). But by choosing to limit the time scale it describes it allows time for greater detail particularly in investigated his relationship with the priest and Obree's wife.
Equally the film doesn't embellish the truth a great deal in order to increase the drama. Indeed the world record attempts are incredibly understated, as they should be. Obree was never well known in Britain despite being very popular on the continent. As a result the film isn't filled with cheering crowds but rather focuses the isolation he experienced within Scotland in spite of his amazing achievements.
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