The World's Fastest Indian

October 13th, 2005


The World's Fastest Indian

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Still of Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest IndianStill of Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest IndianStill of Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest IndianStill of Anthony Hopkins in The World's Fastest IndianThe World's Fastest IndianThe World's Fastest Indian

The life story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle -- a bike which helped him set the land-speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.

Release Year: 2005

Rating: 7.9/10 (25,433 voted)

Critic's Score: 68/100

Director: Roger Donaldson

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Iain Rea

For 25 years in Invercargill at the south end of New Zealand, Burt Munro (1899-1978) has been working on increasing the speed of his motorcycle, a 1920 Indian. He dreams of taking it to the Bonneville Salt Flats to see how fast it will go. By the early 1960s, heart disease threatens his life, so he mortgages his house and takes a boat to Los Angeles, buys an old car, builds a makeshift trailer, gets the Indian through customs, and heads for Utah. Along the way, people he meets are charmed by his open, direct friendliness. If he makes it to Bonneville, will they let an old guy on the flats with makeshift tires, no brakes, and no chute? And will the Indian actually respond?

Anthony Hopkins - Burt Munro
Iain Rea - George
Tessa Mitchell - Sarah
Aaron Murphy - Tom
Tim Shadbolt - Frank
Annie Whittle - Fran
Greg Johnson - Duncan
Antony Starr - Jeff
Kate Sullivan - Doris
Craig Hall - Antarctic Angel
Jim Bowman - Cook
Alison Bruce - Doctor
Phoebe Falconer - Janice Springfield
Charles Pierard - Bank Manager
Barry Ryan - Burt's Neighbour

Taglines: The extraordinary true adventure of Burt Munro from Down Under


Official Website: Icon Film Distribution [uk] | Magnolia Pictures [United States] |

Release Date: 13 October 2005

Filming Locations: Auckland, New Zealand

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $384,131 (New Zealand) (16 October 2005) (62 Screens)

Gross: $18,297,690 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

At a post-film question and answer session at the National Film Theatre, London on 20 February 2006, director Roger Donaldson said that four motorcycles were built for the shoot: two replica Indian Scouts for detail shots made by the late motorcycle engineer John Britten's firm and two modified Ducatis for the running shots. He also said all four had difficulties on the salt flats breaking down regularly although the Ducatis reached 150mph for some shots. As for his own exploits, Donaldson admitted that the highest motorcycle speed he achieved was 65mph.

Crew or equipment visible: When Burt Munro gets into the back of the taxi in Los Angeles you can see a crew member wearing a blue coat, a hat and sunglasses reflected in the window.

[first lines]
Burt Munro: [rolling a distance gauge] 93... 94... 95... 96... 97...

User Review

A Chick Flick for Guys.

Rating: 9/10

A true story with a nice mix of emotion and motorcycles.

At a sneak preview of this movie in Burt Munro 's hometown - Invercargill, I noticed at the end that many of the men had moist eyes -not that the film is weepy or sycophantic in any way - it's simply inspirational.

The hero/underdog here is a social misfit, a self-confessed dirty old man but a lovable one. He loves the ladies and he loves speeding on his vintage Indian Scout "modified somewhat" along the open beach of Invercargill in Southern New Zealand. Beach bike racers still contest the Burt Munro Trophy on Oreti beach.

Burt's 1967 record at Bonneville still stands.

Anthony Hopkins manages the problematic Kiwi accent well to deliver a touching, funny and realistic depiction of Burt in his quest to be the fastest thing on two wheels. Sir Anthony said that it's the best thing he's ever done and it's hard to disagree based on his laconic and lovable portrayal.

Outstanding cameos by the likes of Annie Whittle and Diane Ladd simply add depth and verisimilitude to the film. Tim Shadbolt, well he definitely acted in the film...

Complete and convincing performances that warm the heart and show true humanity shining through.

The cinematography is clear and precise, the action scenes are mercifully free of special effects and Burt's kiwi innovation and guile win the day.

A new classic from Roger Donaldson.


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