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
Director Roger Donaldson was initially reluctant to cast Anthony Hopkins as the two had clashed constantly when they worked together on The Bounty (1984). However, Donaldson says that it was a totally difference experience and that Hopkins was wonderful throughout the entire shoot. 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 »
[rolling a distance gauge]
93... 94... 95... 96... 97...
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It's a good thing I took my wife, because as all men know the only way not to cry is to look over at your wife/girlfriend and make fun of them for crying.
Seriously, I am a motorcycle aficionado but I truly think this movie transcends that. It's not a "guy's film" at all but a serious look at the life of a man that was average by his own reckoning - by ours he's a hero. When you find yourself looking at that and saying "I would have quit" and it was only the beginning of the movie, well, that's some tough stock Burt Munro came from.
And it's not tedious, not an uphill struggle all the way against insurmountable odds, none of those clichés. It's a great movie about a real guy and I can't imagine someone watching it and not being entertained, moved, and frankly, impressed.
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