Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, initiates a unique venture to unite the apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
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? Written by
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. See more »
When Burt Munro arrives at the Flamingo Hotel and is thumbing through his money to pay the cab fare, his dollar bill is clearly a Federal Reserve Note and not the silver certificate at the time. If it was important enough to show the scene, it should have been important enough to know and procure the right generation of currency. Federal Reserve Notes were not in existence until as the silver certificates were being retired, in the later 1960s. See more »
[rolling a distance gauge]
93... 94... 95... 96... 97...
See more »
I saw this film on a plane - I know, I know, the worst place to see any kind of film - and thought I would just fall asleep as I didn't expect it to catch my interest enough to put up with the bad audio and small screens. In any case I dislike feel-good movies, and all the Kiwi-innovator stuff makes me cringe, Kiwis don't have the monopoly on being resourceful. And I'd never heard of Burt Munro. So I was surprised to find within a few minutes I was entranced.
Anthony Hopkins has made a brilliant job of the role, his accent wasn't too bad, and I loved the way he said "Invercarrrrrrgill". Hopkins' talent really shone - without him saying a word or changing his expression, you just knew how Burt felt when confronted by an apparently insurmountable obstacle (I won't spoil it) and his placid acceptance of the inevitable falls, tumbles and injuries told you that for Burt these were a fact of life. The other cast were also flawless, for me there wasn't a weak point in any of the acting. The humour was delivered in the main by Hopkins and with the lightest possible touch. The cinematography was beautiful and conveyed the journey from long quiet light of Munro's idealism in Invercargill, murky 'orribleness of the necessary evil of passing through LA and laying your dream on the line in the harsh open glare of Utah.
Hopkins has done a few of these slightly-disreputable, love-em-when-you-get-to-know-em characters but this is the best. And I'm not a motorcycle fan, and no Kiwi-made-good fan, but I will confess to a tear (almost) at the end when the text came up about Burt's unbeaten record.
If you watch this film at home you won't want to be disturbed by other people talking - you'll want to catch every word, every nuance.
181 of 201 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?