13 user 4 critic
The story of the four minute mile-breaker Roger Bannister.


Charles Beeson


Frank Deford (teleplay), Frank Deford (article)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie Maclachlan ... Roger Bannister
Christopher Plummer ... Archie Mason
Shaun Smyth ... Norris McWhirter
Amy Rutherford ... Moyra Jacobsson
Drew Carnwath Drew Carnwath ... Chris Brasher
Grahame Wood ... Chris Chataway
Leon Pownall Leon Pownall ... Dr. Walker
Audrey Gardiner Audrey Gardiner ... Annabelle Davenport
Philip Craig ... Mr. Bannister
Darcy Dale Dunlop Darcy Dale Dunlop ... Mrs. Bannister (as Darcy Dunlop)
Chris Wiggins Chris Wiggins ... Burnett
Shaun Austin-Olsen Shaun Austin-Olsen ... Bellamy
Graham Harley Graham Harley ... Parsons
Jonathan Watton ... Hamilton
Kate Hewlett ... Helen


The story of the four minute mile-breaker Roger Bannister.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:



USA | Canada



Release Date:

6 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dört Dakika See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Leon Pownall's final film. See more »


When Roger and his father are boarding the bus, Roger puts his arm around his father so that his father goes up the steps first. When they enter the bus, Roger comes in before his father. See more »


Archie Mason: There's nothing a man can't do if the spirit is there.
See more »


Version of The Four Minute Mile (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Running up that hill
17 November 2011 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I rather enjoyed this biopic (at least up until his sub-4 minute mile triumph) of the great English athlete Roger Bannister. While athletics is more difficult than most other sports to make exciting, I thought the director did a good job employing a variety of shots to convey the excitement of the races, in particular his historic run of 6th May 1954, although one senses the omission of his pivotal failure at the 1952 Olympics was likely due to budgetary constraints, with the race instead being played out on radio - possibly archive footage could have been utilised.

The concentration on Bannister's running exploits in an already shortish running-time means the characterisations are a little light, but Jamie McLachlan, besides his strong physical resemblance to Bannister, seems to catch the spirit of an initially single-minded loner who relents on himself to make friends with his co-athletes, the two Christophers Brasher and Chataway, fall for two girls in the film and most importantly accept the coaching and encouragement of aged, retired, wheelchair-bound coach, Archie Mason well played by Christopher Plummer, although I was disappointed to learn that this was an invented character, presumably for dramatic purposes, Bannister's real coach being a perfectly healthy Austrian.

Perhaps this production treats its subject too reverently and is likewise light on characterisation. I noticed that the source book entwined Bannister's ultimate achievement with Hillary's conquering of Everest, which would explain his numerous references but for me distracted from the story here.

Evocation of place and period (the rarified atmosphere of Oxford), although you'd never know the country at large was still on rations, while there's an attractive background score skilfully interwoven into the action. The acting is good too, especially Plummer who cleverly restrains himself from hamming it up and the recreation of the famous record- breaking race is rendered convincingly.

I found this on the whole a refreshing watch, no intruding profanity, sex or violence and certainly on a level with say, "Chariots Of Fire" in terms of entertainment.

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