The World’s Fastest Indian Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Despite deeper wrinkles and graying hairs, Anthony Hopkins continues to illuminate the big screen—mostly because he makes it look easy. The unaffected delivery of his dialogue brings realism to his characters, whether it’s playing a reticent head butler in The Remains of the Day, a disgraced president in Nixon or a tortured academic in Proof.
In The World’s Fastest Indian, Hopkins melds himself into the real life character of Burt Munro. The crusty, old motorcycle enthusiast lives along side his bike in a shed on an overgrown lot.
For nearly 40 years, Burt’s tinkered with the classic Indian Scout motorcycle he bought as a young man. Rebuilding the engine and recasting parts from recycled material, he’s pursued his life long passion for speed. After every upgrade, he takes the bike out and races along the sandy beaches of the New Zealand coastline, testing and retesting the engine’s capabilities. Now as a 60-year-old eccentric, he dreams of riding the machine at a time trial on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
That means squirreling away whatever he can from his meager pension check, and relying on the fundraising efforts of his friends. When the finances are finally in place, Burt crates the bike and books passage on a freight ship. He does so with the help of his greatest fan, his young next-door neighbor (Aaron Murphy) who believes in the old man’s vision as only a child can.
Docking in a Californian port with a paltry sum of money in his pocket, the motorcyclist encounters prostitutes, a transvestite (Chris Williams) and a classic used car salesman (Paul Rodriguez) before he ever gets out of Los Angeles. Once he’s on the road, he admonishes smokers and drinkers he meets along the way to give up their vices. Yet at the same time Burt swears off cigarettes and liquor, he isn’t hesitant about hopping in bed with his female friend (Annie Whittle) or an American widow (Diane Ladd) who exchanges trailer parts for sexual favors.
Still, those encounters—as well as some profanities—play as sideline diversions in a plot that focuses on Burt’s mission to get to the flats and let ‘er rip.
Becoming a land speed legend doesn’t come easy and being decades older than the next competitor (Christopher Lawford) only adds to the challenge. However, the New Zealander’s charm endears him to other cyclist buffs milling about on the windswept sands for Speed Week.
While gals may consider letting their guys go to this film alone, The World’s Fastest Indian is about so much more than revving engines and speed demons. Based on a true story, the movie also extols the virtues of being resourceful, reserving judgment and holding fast to your dreams—whatever your age.Starring Anthony Hopkins. Theatrical release February 2, 2006. Updated February 13, 2012
The World’s Fastest Indian
Rating & Content Info
Why is The World’s Fastest Indian rated PG-13? The World’s Fastest Indian is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for brief language, drug use, and a sexual reference.
Burt’s eccentricities include urinating on his lemon tree and making brief references to male body parts. Although unmarried, he has two sexual encounters, one with an elderly female friend and another with a stranger he meets while driving through the western U.S. (We only see them waking up the next morning with no nudity.) After turning down advances from prostitutes who are patrolling the streets, Burt meets and befriends Tina, a transvestite. Later, Tina gives Burt a kiss on the cheek when the motorcycle racer leaves Los Angeles. Burt tells Tom about the accidental death of his twin brother. Several secondary characters are shown smoking and drinking. However, Burt voices his strong disapproval of their habits. He uses a Native American remedy made from ground up animal parts for a health problem. During a race, Burt sustains a severe burn to his leg and crashes while driving at high speeds. Characters use mild and moderate profanities, including some sexual terms.
Page last updated February 13, 2012
More parents' guide for The World’s Fastest Indian after the break...
The World’s Fastest Indian Parents' Guide
For nearly 40 years, Burt refines and perfects the capabilities of his bike. What is the ultimate objective of his work? Why is this goal so important to him? How does his perseverance pay off?
Burt appears to reserve judgment when he encounters other people. How does that affect his relationship with others including Tom’s parents, Tina and the race officials? What is it about him that endears him to others? What does this script say about senior members of our society?
Much of what you see in this movie depicts the real process by which Burt refined his bike. For the complete story, check this site.
The most recent home video release of The World’s Fastest Indian movie is June 13, 2006. Here are some details…
The thrill of the race just gets better with the DVD release of The World’s Fastest Indian. Catch a glimpse of the real Burt Munro and some 1971 historical footage in the documentary Offerings to the God of Speed. Visit Southland, Burt’s hometown of Invercargill, New Zealand. Examine the inner workings of the production with a making-of featurette and deleted scenes, as well as by listening to the commentary by director Roger Donaldson. Audio tracks are available in English—so start your engines!
Related home video titles:
In The Straight Story, Alvin Straight sets out on his only form of transportation—a ride-on lawnmower—and crosses the Mid West to make amends with his elderly, estranged brother. Anthony Hopkins stars along side another child actor in Hearts In Atlantis, a story about the friendship of an elderly man and his young neighbor.