The Four Minute Mile (1988)

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Released 26-Jul-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Introduction-David Williamson (Writer)
Notes-Film Background
Trailer-A Thousand Skies, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Dawn!, The Games
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 152:55
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (90:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jim Goddard
Centre Films
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Richard Huw
Nique Needles
Adrian Rawlins
John Philbin
Michael York
Lewis Fitz-Gerald
Tracey Mann
Robert Burbage
Adrian Dunbar
Richard Wilson
Mark Pennell
Ralph Cotterill
John O'May
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Scripted by David Williamson, The Four Minute Mile is a tele-movie that recounts the famous sporting battle between England's Roger Bannister and Australia's John Landy, who both fought to become the first man to break through the four-minute mile barrier.

    In 1945, the record for the mile stood at 4 minutes 1.4 seconds. This record was to stand for another eight years, amid a commonly held belief was that it was humanly impossible to run a mile in under four minutes. Media and public interest swelled, as Bannister and Landy both edged closer to this goal during the early 1950s.

    Sir Roger Bannister (Richard Huw) will be forever remembered as the man who first achieved this remarkable goal, crossing the finish line in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

    However, what added a great dramatic element to this well-known story was his rivalry with Australia's John Landy (Nique Needles). Prior to Bannister's achievement, Landy had been considered the favourite to first achieve this milestone in human achievement.

    With a seemingly fairly accurate recreation of events, and extensive use of file footage and period radio broadcasts, this tele-movie tells this story, when world sports were dominated by an amateur athletic ethos, and the concept of gentleman sportsmen.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is severely limited by the dated source material, and it is very, very grainy.

    The transfer is presented in the (then) television aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame.

    The image is often soft, and can even appear blurry at times. The black level is poor throughout, and often appears a murky grey. The shadow detail is also poor, and the image seems to have an unnaturally high contrast.

    The colour seems adversely affected with age, and usually appears washed out.

    Apart from the excessive grain, the image also suffers from MPEG artefacts, and pixelization is evident throughout. Indeed, the image almost resembles one of those MPEGs that arrive in one's email. There was even some break up of the image at times, such as at 86:47.

    Film-To-Video Artefacts such as aliasing are not a problem, but some telecine wobble was evident, such as at 0:53 during the opening titles.

    Artefacts in the source material caused by age and dirt also appear throughout.

    No subtitles are present on this DVD.

    This is a Dual Layered disc, with the layer change placed at 90:24. The feature is divided into 18 chapters.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    As a 1980s television production, not surprisingly there is only one audio option on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    The overall audio is quite flat, but the dialogue quality and audio sync are fine.

    The orchestral musical score suits the production well, but its use did appear to be rather sparse.

    Not surprisingly for this production, the audio is not surround encoded, and thus there is no surround presence or LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a few extras.


    A simple menu with audio.

Introduction-David Williamson

    Respected screenwriter David Williamson introduces the production.

Notes-Film Background

    Five pages of text


    Text-based bios for:

Aussie Trailers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Four Minute Mile has been released on VHS in Region 1, but I can not find an R1 DVD listing of it.


    A dated but still enjoyable tele-movie for those interested in the subject.

    The video quality is very disappointing.

    The audio quality is very limited.

    There are a few extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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