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The World's Fastest Indian

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,651 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

IN THE LATE 1960'S, AFTER A LIFETIME OF PERFECTING HIS CLASSIC INDIAN MOTORCYCLE, BURT SETS OFF FROM THE BOTTOM OF 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.

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

  • Roger Donaldson's original 1971 documentary Offerings to the God of Speed featuring historical footage of the real Burt Munro
  • "Southland: Burt's Hometown of Invercargill" featurette
  • "The Making of The World's Fastest Indian" featurette
  • Deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Iain Rea, Tessa Mitchell, Aaron Murphy
  • Directors: Roger Donaldson
  • Writers: Roger Donaldson
  • Producers: Barrie M. Osborne, Charles Hannah, Don Schain, Gary Hannam, John J. Kelly
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,651 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F8DBDK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,683 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The World's Fastest Indian" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
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.Read more ›
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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.
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"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.
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