Based on a true story, The World’s Fastest Indian tells of motorcycle fanatic Burt Munro. Working out of a lone shed in Invercargill on En Zed’s South Island, Burt (Anthony Hopkins) spends his waking hours tinkering with a vintage 1920 Indian Scout motorbike.
Using only very basic tools and plenty of homespun know-how, Burt builds a streamliner that makes up for what it lacks in terms of safety and technological advancement by chalking up a number of local land speed records.
But a niggling heart condition causes Burt to re-evaluate his life, and he becomes determined to fulfil his dream of racing on the salt at Bonneville.
He is supported by an odd crew on home soil, namely his young neighbour Tom (Aaron Murphy), the darling Fran (Annie Whittle) and a local Antarctic Angel biker (Hall), all of whom see past the negativity of most locals and throw their weight behind Burt’s plan.
Eventually Burt and the Indian ship over to California, where he his helped by another motley bunch won over by his genuine manner, friendliness and unwavering acceptance of people for who they are.
Burt hits the road in an old Chevy with the Indian aboard a ramshackle trailer, experiencing plenty of adventure along the way before finally stepping out onto the salt in Utah.
He is met with initial friction and a stern ‘no dice’ from the Speedweek committee, who frown upon the suitability of his bike. But local racer Jim Moffett (Christopher Lawford) goes into bat for Burt in an effort to allow him to compete.
Burt and his makeshift crew (William Lucking, Walton Goggins) do their darnedest to prove the Indian’s worth, but it is Burt’s infectious dedication and passion for the sport that eventually convinces the committee to bend the rules.
The nail-biting white desert run of the climax is tense from start to finish, but will Burt achieve his dream?
BEAUTIFULLY shot, The World’s Fastest Indian is a thoroughly enjoyable two hours – 10 bucks says you’ll walk away more motivated than ever to get busy in the shed. Sir Anthony Hopkins absolutely nails the role of Burt – his dedication to his craft seems just as intense in grassroots films such as this flick (or the 90s Aussie gem Spotswood) as in big-budget blockbusters.
Make sure you pay special attention to the beach race with the local bikers – the top-end charge by Burt and the Indian is one of my all-time favourite movie moments.
- 1920 Indian Scout replica
- 1953 Vauxhall Velox
- 1950 Triumph Thunderbird
- BSA A10 Golden Flash
- 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
- 1958 Buick Special
- 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air
- 1955 Chevrolet 3100
- 1940 Chevrolet pick-up
- 1962 Ford Galaxie
- Hammon-McGrath-Whipp ‘Redhead’ streamliner
- 1963 Chevrolet Suburban
- 1961 Mickey Thompson Challenger I
- 1963 Mercury Colony Park
COOL FLICK FACT:
Burt Munro’s under-1000cc class record of 296.2593km/h (184.087mph) still remains unbeaten today.