Car movie of the day: ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’

Burt Munro’s singular obsession with speed led him across the globe to Bonneville

Editor’s note: Car guys, and even car girls, can take only so much of those Hallmark holiday movies that fill the airwaves and cable systems this time of year. As an automotive alternative, we’re offering our own suggestions of our favorite car movies for your viewing pleasure. Check out more of our favorite car movies here.


Throughout these 31 days of car movies, we’ve undoubtedly taxed the patience of other family members who — cars or no cars — simply wanted to watch a light, entertaining film.

Fear not, for The World’s Fastest Indian is a multiple award-winning flick (in New Zealand, anyway) with real actors, a real director, a real cinematographer and a feel-good message to boot.

The World's Fastest Indian may be a great automotive flick of which you've never heard. | Screenshot

The World’s Fastest Indian may be a great automotive flick of which you’ve never heard. | Screenshot

In the movie, Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins plays the cantankerous Burt Munro, a New Zealander who sets out on an around-the-world journey in the 1960s to bring his streamlined 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle to Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats for an attempt at the land speed record.

Based on real-life events, the 2005 movie was a critical and popular hit worldwide, but particularly in New Zealand where it drew attention to the largely-unheralded Munro who remains a source of national pride. There’s plenty of mechanical details and period race cars, motorcycles, scenery and a PG-13 rating, which makes it palatable for most viewers.

William Hall
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