Academy Award Winner, Anthony Hopkins stars as Burt Munro, a man who never let the dreams of youth fade. In the late 1960's, after a lifetime of perfecting his classic INDIAN MOTORCYCLE, Burt sets off from the bottom of ... more »the world, Invercargill, New Zealand, to clock his bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With all odds against him, Burt puts his irrepressible "kiwi" spirit to the test, braving the New World on a shoestring budget. Burt's quest culminates in an unlikely conclusion and remains legendary within the motorcycle community to this day.« less
George K. from COLCHESTER, CT Reviewed on 4/24/2015...
What a great feel-good movie!
Anthony Hopkins is very convincing as world speed record holder Burt Munro. No surprise.
Monro was an obsessed eccentric whose imbalance worked out as genius. He took an old small motorcycle, souped it up, streamlined it, jury-rigged various mechanicals, and set a world speed record.
Along his way, he met a widely varied series of helpful individuals without whom his dream would never have come true, and they are nearly as interesting as the central character.
One of the included features lets you meet the real Burt Monro, and you appreciate Hopkins' acting job all the more, as he has truly captured the essence of the brilliant, wacky New Zealander.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Stephanie J. from ATLANTA, GA Reviewed on 12/21/2009...
Lovely feel-good movie. Anthony Hopkins plays a wonderfully likeable character with a heart of gold. Even better that it's a true story.
Never Stop Dreaming, Never Stop Living The Dream
A Thoughtful Consumer | Southern Calif | 02/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Never, that's what Burt Munro has to say to us.Wow! This is a great flick and Anthony Hopkins is at his subtle best!Way more than 5 stars.The synopsis:Burt Munro, a Kiwi from far south New Zealand has been building and rebuilding his motorcycle for the last 40 years, dreaming of the day when he and the bike can go to Bonneville Salt Flats,USA and see what they can really do. When Burt's heart goes bad on him, his dreaming is threatened to come to an end. Burt is not ready to stop dreaming. He decides to mortgage his house and bring his dream to life. He and the motorcycle head for American and the Bonneville Salt Flats,Utah to participate in 'Speed Week'. When they land in in the US the fun begins. His journey from Long Beach to Utah brings him through a cross section of American 'characters'. Each recognizes in Burt, that burning desire to achieve a dream and each helps him in the way that they can to make that dream happen. There are so many funny and beautiful moments but one that come to mind is when Burt meets Tina, the transvestite motel clerk...that whole interaction is so beautiful. Or when Burt finally stands on Bonneville Salt Flats, by himself thinking of all the greatness that has transpired here and now he, Burt Munro, can at last test himself on this 'sacred ground'. Man! it brings shivers to see Anthony Hopkins do that moment.While the film is about motorcycles and fast cars, it is not a movie about motorheads. It is a story we can all get something out of- even your Grandma will love it. Don't hold back-go see it now. A Cultural Sidebar:I happen to have been in New Zealand when this film started it's world release in it's home country..Oct. 2005. The Kiwis, normally a reserved and sober lot, were crazy on this movie. For a week that is all the entertainment news there was, end to end on both islands. Munro's actually Indian Scout motorcycle made the rounds of movie houses, sort of a hero's artifact for theater goers inspection. In general, the Kiwis felt that Hopkins and Donaldson had really nailed the Kiwi national 'character', straight talking but not offensive, a master of '#8 wire' ingenuity, reserved but determined. All this allowed Munro to build his bike to it's peak,get it to America, and rise above the better financed competition. Hopkins was given accolades for nailing a South Island,New Zealand accent.People that had known Munro claimed Hopkins had portrayed Munro as they knew him. As an American I like they way Donaldson portrayed Americans.I found the movie to be a classic American dream tale. Go see the movie, you won't be sorry."
The Kiwi and the Indian: A Love Story
Tucker Andersen | Wall Street | 03/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Burt Munro was a man who had many loves: women, speed, things mechanical, tinkering, life itself and perhaps most passionately and enduringly his ancient Indian motorcycle. This film lovingly chronicles Burt's pursuit of the seemingly impossible dream inspired by his Indian, and the amazing quest which took him from the village of Invercargill, New Zealand to the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah.
Director Donaldson tells Burt's feel good story in a straightforward and unemotional manner, with many of the scenes being filmed on location in Invercargill and at Bonneville. Anthony Hopkins is so perfectly cast that he seems to become Burt. His interviews while promoting the film made it clear how much he enjoyed the role and respected Burt's achievements; the Kiwis who knew Burt were very pleased with his faithful portrayal in his film. The supporting cast also does an excellent job, although in all probability the only other individuals recognizable to most moviegoers will be Diane Ladd as Ada and Bruce Greenwood as Jerry, who helps Burt overcome the resistance he encounters when he arrives at Bonneville with a vehicle which breaks all the safety rules. In addition, deserving special mention in a brief appearance as Tina is Chris Williams.
The director very intelligently decided to provide several humorous moments and a lot of casual humor to keep the approximately two hour long movie moving at a reasonable pace. The natural tension inherent in several obstacles Burt had to overcome (e.g. his lack of financial resources, the aforementioned mentioned problems before being allowed to race his vehicle, a heart condition which landed him in the hospital) are wisely handled in a summary way; after all, everyone in the audience already knows the reason why the film was made is because despite his limited resources and working entirely on his own Burt was successful in converting his motorcycle which was originally not built to exceed 54 MPH into THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN.
My five star rating for this film is not based on the fact that I think it is a great movie; in fact, it left several unanswered questions to which I hope that further research will provide some answers. And I certainly wish it had managed to incorporate more of the wonderfully scenic New Zealand countryside where Burt lived. Rather, my rating is based on the engaging manner in which this film tells Burt's tale; he captivated me just as he eventually managed to captivate almost everyone with whom he came in contact, even those individuals who didn't share his belief in himself or perhaps considered him a little crazy. In summary, I highly recommend this story of perseverance and achievement for everyone willing to spend a few hours with Burt as he pursues his dream to its satisfying and highly emotional conclusion. (The director's genius was in recognizing that the story itself would provoke most moviegoers into cheering wildly or crying tears of joy with Burt before his time in Bonneville is finished, no cinematic tricks or artificial plot devices were necessary.) It is truly awe inspiring to realize that many of the records which Burt set still survive today, and thus his machine is not only still THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN but remains unbeaten by all engines in its category.
A movie worth seeing over & over
Victor Cruz | Dover, MA USA | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""If you don't take any risks in life, Thomas, you might as well be a vegetable." "A vegetable? What kind of vegetable?" "I don't know. Let's say a cabbage. You'd be a cabbage. Yes, that's it. A cabbage."
The Boston Globe review from Feb. 3 called "The Fastest Indian" a fish-out-of-water story, but I would never call it that. Based on a true life story, Anthony Hopkins does a convincing job capturing Burt Munro, an 60-something New Zealand tinkerer so incredibly devoted to making his Indian Scout run faster that he sleeps, eats, works and lives in a cement bunker of a workshop tool shed he calls home. The opening scene makes you love the movie instantly. ... A dolly shot that follows shelves upon shelves full of cast-off pistons. Handwritten in white chalk on these dark alters are the words "Offerings to the God of Speed".
This is a road trip movie combined with high speed thrills and characters that leap off the screen. You find yourself rooting for an old man's ambition to realize a dream and to fight the authority figures that always seem to thorn his side. That's the thing about authorities. They are kill joys.
Burt Munro was as frugal as the late Fred Tausch. A guy who'd use a cork from a bottle of brandy to plug his tank. Unlike the Globe review, I won't spoil the movie for you by telling you too much. The paper gave this movie only 2½ stars, but I'd give it top rankings because the movie breaches the full arc of human emotions: there's plenty of humor, anger, love, surprise, suspense, fright, defeat and triumph. There's also some adrenalin. Never a dull moment, any non-biker can relate and will love this movie too.
Burt's lifelong dream is to get to America for Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah -- "holy ground" -- as Burt calls it. For Burt, this place is Mecca. He just wants "to see how fast she'll run flat out."
The time is in the late `50s. Enough entertaining events take place before the movie starts picking up speed when Burt arrives in Los Angeles, where he gets more than his fair share of culture shock. The high contrast between Burt's down-home New Zealand nature and the harsh and seedy qualities of "Hollyweird" clash head-on, with colorful characters leaving no room for doubt.
From the first step Burt makes into the U.S. on his road trip, all the way to the movie's feel-good resolution, Burt is hampered and hooked and hung up with a chain of authoritarian impediments. You feel his grave disappointments and you feel his resolve to not let anyone stop him from seeing "how fast she'll run". His machine is ancient. It cannot pass inspection. The laughing officials doubt that Burt's bike will reach 70 mph. "Your suspension was old 20 years ago." He's got no `chute', no brakes, no fire-retardant suit, no high-speed tires.
Finally, it's Burt's kind Down Under charm, his mechanic's smarts, and sky-wide determination that thaws the officials and wins the day. Maybe every 25 years a movie this meaningful to motorcyclists comes along. A movie so good, it's worth seeing over and over again.
As Burt says about riding fast, "You live more in five minutes going flat out in one of these things than most live in a lifetime."
Too Bad More People Didn't See This Movie
J. Bransfield | Burlington, CT USA | 07/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If this movie had been released by a major studio, Anthony Hopkins would have received an Academy Award nomination. It's like he crawled inside Burt Munro's skin and made the character his own. Rather than a simpleton, as some reviewers have characterized Munro, you have to see the man in the context of the 60s. He came from a relatively unsophisticated country where there are more sheep than people - and where people are supposed to care about their fellow man. And it was that willingness to accept his fellow man (or transvestite as the case may be) and the expectation that his fellow man would extend the same courtesy to him that makes this movie work.
I found it completely plausible that the motorcyle gang that would want to test their mettle against Burt in one moment, would be the first in line to donate 'beer money' when they learned he was off to Bonneville to race his bike.
Similarly I could see that the well-financed commercial team members would look upon Burt as a pitiful figure, but also see in him a reminder of why they got involved in time trial racing at places like Bonneville in the first place. There is a difference between innocence & naivete and being a simpleton, and IMO Hopkin's character never crosses that line.
The movie is as much a characer study than an action movie, so while it takes a bit to get moving, it's worth the wait. And certainly I'll never be inclined to tell a neighbor to mow the lawn again.
This is a damned good movie, that even non-bikers will appreciate."
planebuilder | Midlothian Texas | 06/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately this movie had a small distributor in the Dallas Fort Worth area, it was only on 4 screens. I saw it the day it came out and the theater was packed. Mostly with biker types. 2 months later I went to see it again with a friend, same story! This is a very inspirational story, my real love is building homebuilt airplanes, but I completely sympathized with Burt Munro. I loved his intuition that he displays all through out the movie. I would also recommend the book "One Good Run" by Tim Hanna, I must say that the movie is very true to the episodes in Burt's life, but due to cinematic restrictions the story was told over 1 year vs. the 14 years it actually took. Great film, good family movie. Funny and interesting. "