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|The World's Fastest Indian
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 60 reviews)
Sales Rank: 3
Director: Roger Donaldson
Format: Color, Widescreen, Ntsc
Language: English (Original Language)
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Running Time: 127 minutes
Number Of Items: 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.1
Dimensions (in): 7.4 x 5.4 x 0.6
Release Date: June 13, 2006 (New: Last 30 Days)
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A movie that exudes affection and goodwill, The World's Fastest Indian is an unabashed mash note to a lovely character from New Zealand's recent past. Burt Munro, played by Anthony Hopkins, is a cantankerous Kiwi with an obsession: he's been tinkering with his 1920s-era Indian brand motorcycle for years, pushing it to ever-faster speeds. It's the 1960s, and Burt has the utterly mad idea of taking the bike to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, site of world records for speed racing. The movie takes a while to get to the journey--and then the journey takes a while--but the genial atmosphere prevails. (People of a certain age, for whom the word "Bonneville" evokes pleasant associations with hotrods and world-speed records, will not be disappointed in the film's location shooting, or its sense of awe.) Hopkins is not quite on-the-money casting for the jovial, happy-go-lucky Munro, and his accent wavers, but he nails the emotional scenes and the fascination with speed. Smaller bits are well-filled by Diane Ladd and Christopher Lawford (son of Peter), who looks uncannily of the era. New Zealand director Roger Donaldson doesn't take any chances here, but the story clearly means something to him, and that sense of commitment carries the film through its sleepier moments. --Robert Horton
Customer Reviews: Read 55 more reviews...
Passion! June 29, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
Burt Munro's (Sir Anthony Hopkins) lifetime dream is to race at the "Holy Grail of Speed" the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. There are two problems...he lives in Invercargill, New Zealand and has no money! In the meantime, Burt has tinkered on his 1920 Indian motorcycle all of his life trying to increase its speed and stability. But also must raise money for his trip to America one day by racing locally.
The World's Fastest Indian has a great supporting cast of characters. Paul Rodriquez, Diane Ladd and Saginaw Grant give performances that seem true to its 1960's era. With cliches and laughs abound, Munro's character is very likeable to anyone he encounters.
Burt has pure passion and heart to reach his desired goal even though tons of obstacles are thrown his way. The only passion comparison I can think of comes from the song written and performed by Alicia Keys-"If I Ain't Got You." She sings with passion every single time she sings this song because it is so close to her heart. And it is felt by everyone within earshot!
Sir Anthony Hopkins gives an Academy Award performance portraying Burt Munro. The bonus material gives additional detailed Burt Munro's experiences. This DVD is must see viewing experience for the whole family.
Burt Munroe as he was... June 28, 2006
3 out of 3 found this review helpful
This movie shows Burt Munroe as he was...a brillant inventor. I discussed this with my Grandfather, as he, like Munroe, is from Invercargill. My grandad remembered him well as he sat, clinging for his life, on the back of a motorcycle as a youngster whilst the driver raced Burt and some others down an old dirt track...he also remembers how, during the Depression when fuel was a commodity no one could afford, Burt converted his motorbike so it would run on coal. Everyone in Invercargill new him. Everyone in New Zealand loves him...and this film shows him as he was. Well done to Anthothy Hopkins, who did pretty well I reckon at nailing the Southland accent.
Beautiful, but there's something that bothers me. June 26, 2006
0 out of 5 found this review helpful
The movie is beautiful. The depiction of New Zealand, the early stages of road-rage in LA, the barren salt flats, and the earnestness of a man obsessed with a single goal all combine to form a beautiful movie.
Unfortunately, it's the depiction of simple-minded earnestness that bugs me as well. Burt Munro is show as a country bumpkin without a real plan. Maybe going through the lines was Hopkin's way of getting the accent, but it drives me nuts the way he has Munro explaining his life story to absolutly everyone. This man was a soldier in WWI. He knows about cities! He knows how to drive, for crying out loud--he shouldn't need a lesson from a side character.
The message here seems to be that everyone will bend over backwards to help out a simpleton. And you don't need a plan--just be a happy sheep and everyone will help you out and make room to accomodate you. No need to plan ahead. Weren't the 60's a lovely time? Someone with the mechanical genius of Munro and the experience of a war veteran should be much more worldly than depicted here. The naivete of his time in Los Angeles is painful to watch.
The movie does pay off, however, once they arrive in Utah, with glorious footage of the Indian racing along.
How the world used to be... June 26, 2006
1 out of 1 found this review helpful
Anthony Hopkins is a great actor. What I believe about him is that he has mastered the art of acting. When I watch him in a movie I forget that he acts. And in this movie even more so since he plays a real person.
The movie's value is that it really encourages you to follow your dreams and fulfil them. Burt Munro not only did he make it, but after the first time, he made it nine more times as the end credits show! And this is a still standing record.
Besides that the movie shows how the world used to be so that Burt Munro could fulfil his dream. Characters that Burt Munro met on his way were simple, understanding, having a fellow feeling, honest, hospitable, tolerant, ready to extend a helping hand and above all flexible enough to "bend" some rules so that a dream can come true. Check all these things in all the characters throughout the movie.
A very entairtaining movie with great subtle humour and some great things that Anthony Hopkins says throughout the movie. Ta-ta.
A genuine crowd pleaser in the best sense of the word! June 26, 2006
3 out of 3 found this review helpful
The World's Fastest Indian is a fictionalized account of Burt Munro (Hopkins) from Invercargill, New Zealand, who personally modified his old 1920s Indian Scout 45 motorcycle into a 200 mph record-breaking machine. The film follows his journey to the United States where he broke the world land speed record for motorcycles with engines less than 1000cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the late 1960s.
Anthony Hopkins brings a grizzled optimism to the role. Despite the various obstacles that are put in his path, Burt perseveres with a boundless sense of wonderment but it doesn't feel like a one-dimensional performance. On the contrary, it feels very heartfelt and quite moving once Burt gets close to realizing his dream.
Hopkins is supported by a strong cast of character actors that include the likes of Diane Ladd who makes a welcome appearance as a kind lady that helps Burt along his way to Utah. Chris Lawford plays a fellow racer who uses his pull to get Burt into the competition and does such a great job in the role that you'd swear he really was a professional driver. The Shield's Walt Goggins also makes an appearance as one of the car enthusiasts who befriends Burt in Utah and it is nice to see him play such a different role.
The World's Fastest Indian swells in its national pride for New Zealand with scenes like the whole town, even the motorcycle gang that bested Burt, there to see the man off when he heads for the U.S. Fortunately, Donaldson plays it down in an understated way. The patriotism is there just not in your face. Burt's irrepressible enthusiasm mirrors the film's own which makes it something of anarchism in these jaded times. It evokes another biopic about an idealistic automotive dreamer, Tucker, Francis Ford Coppola's tribute to car manufacturer Preston Tucker. We need films like The World's Fastest Indian because they remind us of the innovative spirit and the persistence to realize one's dreams.
"Making of The World's Fastest Indian" takes a look at this year-in-the-making project. Cast and crew speak enthusiastically about the subject matter and Donaldson who has been obsessed with Burt and his achievements for many years.
There is an audio commentary by director Roger Donaldson. The director points out what in the movie is based on fact and what was fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Donaldson is not only an expert on Burt but also a motorcycle aficionado, delivering an extremely informative track.
There are four deleted scenes, including Munro's increasingly bad health that parallels the worsening condition of his car while heading for Utah.
In a really nice touch, Donaldson's 1971 documentary, "Burt Munro: Offerings to the God of Speed" is included. There is great footage of Burt in action and also of him telling some really good stories without a hint of ego. He comes across as a passionate man and watching this doc gives you an appreciation for how well Hopkins depicted him in the film.
Finally, there is "Southland: Burt's Hometown of Invercargill," an unabashed promotional ad of the beautiful-looking city that Burt hails from. This is strictly travelogue material intended to bolster their tourism.