The World's Fastest Indian (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Sport  |  24 March 2006 (USA)
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The story of New Zealander Burt Munro, who spent years building a 1920 Indian motorcycle, which helped him set the land speed world record at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats in 1967.



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10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Iain Rea ...
Tessa Mitchell ...
Aaron Murphy ...
Tim Shadbolt ...
Annie Whittle ...
Greg Johnson ...
Kate Sullivan ...
Jim Bowman ...
Alison Bruce ...
Phoebe Falconer ...
Charles Pierard ...
Barry Ryan ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based On One Hell Of A True Story See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language, drug use and a sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

24 March 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The World's Fastest Indian  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$400,782 (USA) (3 February 2006)


$5,128,124 (USA) (14 July 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On the last day of filming in the United States there was a helicopter crash while filming a scene of Burt Munro's car pulling the motorcycle and trailer. Both the pilot and camera operator walked away from the destroyed helicopter. Three days later the camera operator traveled to New Zealand to finish the movie. See more »


When Tina Washington is giving Burt Munro a ride to the "used car-lot", as Burt gets out of Tina's beetle, a modern (not available in 1967) CD-Player is clearly visible on the dashboard of the beetle. See more »


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


References Broken Barrier (1952) See more »


Kiss Twist
(Craig Hubber)
Used by permission. All rights reserved
See more »

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User Reviews

Blatantly Kiwi, surprisingly Universal
18 November 2005 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

'The World's Fastest Indian' is a unique movie that not only provides a film that New Zealanders anywhere can be most proud of, while at the same time contemplating universal themes that everyone outside the borders of the country can relate to.

The film contains that familiar 'Number 8 fencing wire' mentality that resonates throughout New Zealand society - and also echoes those tropes of masculinity that are so prominent within the National cinema: Burt tinkers with his 1920 Indian Motorcycle with the most unexpected results, using common household objects; he travels to the Bonneville Saltflats in Utah alone, getting by on his wit; and has that dry sense of humour that is familiar around these parts. It also contains the familiar 'man Alone' motif, but in a foreign country, and also touches on that other image of New Zealand men tinkering in their sheds. The film is, what I would call, blatantly Kiwi.

Wider themes that surface are of isolation, alienation, and beating the odds to achieve your dream. What I can definitely say about 'The World's Fastest Indian', is that it's very refreshing - this is no typical underdog story; it's a story that proves that you're never too old to follow through with a dream you've had for years. It was great to have a protagonist that was older than the usual one in contemporary movies, and seemed to give the film more of an anchoring in reality. It makes it far more easier to believe in the story and it's motivations, and heightens the sense of isolation one sometimes goes through when following your heart.

Sir Anthony Hopkins does an amazing job as Burt Munro - the New Zealand accent is impeccable, aside from one or two vowel sounds. His subtleties communicate an intense psychological battle and determination to get the chance to achieve his dream, and his typical sense of humour is wonderful. I'm not sure how accurate this portrayal of Burt Munro is, but the screen character is engaging and pulls the audience in for a solid 2 hours as we watch Burt battle with his demons, and the lack of people's belief in his achieving his goal.

All in all, 'The World's Fastest Indian' is a fantastic film that New Zealanders can be proud of, soaked with Kiwi humour and a character that will remind a lot of us of our grandfathers and that older generation that never complained and got on with life, no matter what they were up against. For international audiences, it's a wonderful underdog story about an older man who had never given up on getting his chance to achieve his dream.

'The World's Fastest Indian' is a fantastic film, and will inspire anyone who gets the chance to see it. Roger Donaldson continues his fine tradition of great movies, and all Kiwis should hold him up to the same heights as they do that other Jackson fulla!

163 of 181 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I f'n hated this film greg3
How was the accent? Neemish
worlds most boring movie i_luv_phantom16
Could have left out the Drag queen don't you think?? kingnitro
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aspect ratio NOT 2.35 as filmed... why? wayne-486
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