Old eccentric Burt Munro decides to travel to the Bonneville Salt Flats to set the land speed record for his 1920 Indian motorcycle in 1962. He’s next to being broke, has a heart condition, is travelling alone and never thought of registering. He’s also bit of a loon with his habit urinating every morning on his lemon tree and failing to mow his lawn so that his yard resembles a patch of prairie grass.
Anthony Hopkins is superb as the hard of hearing but full-of-heart Munro. Like so many other quality low-budget films these days, the acting is solid and the story draws you in and keeps you focused until the end. It’s nice to see a film about overcoming setbacks, perseverance, and winning friends and respect along the way. This is a film the whole family can enjoy, whether or not you are into motorcycles or racing.
When you see Anthony Hopkins, you won’t even for a second think of Hannibal Lecter. You’ll see someone’s grandpa or a mechanically inclined Mr. Magoo. Other notable actors who show up in small roles include Canadian Bruce Greenwood, Diane Ladd, Christopher Lawford (yes, son of…) and New Zealand star Annie Whittle. The film was written and directed by Roger Donaldson (No Way Out, Thirteen Days.)
Munro’s 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle was supposed to only reach a top speed of around 55 mph. He owned it for 57 years, until his death in 1977 at the age of 78. While the bike isn’t much to look at, in the film, it performs like a missile on wheels. He made it up to around 206 mph! Read more about Burt Munro here.