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
I took a look at this film with a slightly wary eye, the title being rather ambiguous and misleading initially. I almost passed it by to watch one of the many screener DVD's I had to view. for possible inclusion in the BAFTA awards. I presumed it was about a runner or maybe an Indian astronaut, possibly. I had no idea initially the "Indian" referred to a great American motorcycle,rather than a particular type of human.I am so glad I wasn't thrown by the title, and started watching. There unfolded a most delightful story about Bert, an instantly rather charming eccentric old character (superbly played by Anthony Hopkins), who built an old 1920's motorcycle in his garden shed. He then attempts to break the world-land speed record on a machine designed to originally travel about 90mph. The plot develops into a most charming and beautiful story of Bert's determination to get to the race event and the journey is as much of the story as the event itself. Obviously I shall not divulge the result or the events that happen, suffice it to say that Bert becomes an instantly likable character by everyone he meets. Bert's charm shines through and he takes everyone he meets at face value and welcomes all with a smile and a shake of the hand. He meets various "characters" along the way who he befriends like long-lost friends,which is a fresh in these days of prejudice and alienation. This was a very innocent time in 1967 for a New Zealander going to America, and there is one of the films most delightful and charming moments when Bert realises all is not quite what it seems when he meets one certain character......... MAKE SURE YOU SEE THIS FILM, it will have you laughing, crying and will uplift you, which is quite uncommon in these days in the movies of blood, killing, violence and savagery. I would be very surprised if Anthony is not at least nominated for his starring role as Bert. Lovely film which needs a different title to me, but then again "it does what it says on the tin", as they say. Go and see it. Great
162 of 183 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this