Film - The World's Fastest Indian

Get out there, go and see it. It's on now (Bristol Showcase).
I went to see it tonight. This is just one _lovely_ film. It's pretty
light on engineering, but Anthony Hopkins has the Duffer off perfectly.
Here is a guy who lives in his Shed. Lives in it. Bed, teapot and ML7. Oh, and sometimes his new girlfriend. There's hope for us all, and it seems that motorbikes do indeed keep you young (angina and prostates permiting).
So, the engineering is hokey. Especially the aluminium casting. And you don't see much of the bike itself (which was apparently a Ducati under that film-prop streamliner shell). But as a film about a Really Nice Bloke, who goes off to the weird foreign country and meets lots of nice people, who he's nice to, then it's smashing. He's a guy who's just _nice_. He hasn't a bad word for anyone and it doesn't matter who he meets, from cops and customs guys to motel drag queens and live indians, he wins them over just by being an honest bloke from down under who's come over to race his motorbike. Well, it works on Diane Ladd anyway - who keeps a welder handy, in case of passing Duffers with broken trailers.
And you have to love a film with the closing lines, "Good to be home. Back to my Shed"
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I saw it some time ago.
I have to admit up front I've never been a great fan of the lead, he couldn't act his way out of a fight.
The story itself (bear in mind I have been exposed to the bonnevile speed week thing as long as I can remember) was appalling.
The hollywood version opens with bumbling old fart doing his toenails with a drill powered grinding stone, and casting new pistons from scrap "because you get a better quality of alloy" and promptly putting the newly cast blank in a bloody vise to hacksaw off the excess.
Yes folks, the engineering is right up there with the usual "here is a spanner, reach under the bonnet and make like a mechanic while delivering your dialogue" rubbish.
Bike fans will also be disappointed, you hardly see the thing run and when you do it is dubbed with various wrong engine sounds.
What are you left with.
"bumbling old fart" takes a journey and meets a series of similarly one dimensional people for no discernible purpose other than to make up the runtime.
I read about burt munro (the man the film is allegedly based on) years ago, and I can safely say that there is absolutely nothing about this film that syncs in with that, think of the U235 of whatever it was called where the US navy captured the enigma machine, or that other hollywood classic where hercules flies off riding pegasus.
If you want to watch a proper movie like this catch the story of shirley muldowney "heart like a wheel" a person and a movie that does genuinely leave you feeling "WOW!"
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Guy Fawkes wrote:

Looks like you need to watch the NZ version then.
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Guy Fawkes wrote:

You read about "Burt" Munro? Saw the Hollywood version of his story?
One would have to say that you are both reading and vision impaired.
TWFI was directed by a New Zealander and the NZ content, filmed in Bert's own town of Invercargill. Director, Roger Donaldson, had made a documentary about Bert Munro in 1972, he was a great fan of Bert and knew him well. There are still plenty of people around who remember Bert and all his eccentricities. Strange that none of them criticised the portrayal of Bert as less or exaggerated than remembered.
Perhaps, with some assistance, you could read further about Bert here:
http://biker.co.nz/Reviews.asp?id 2
It would be interesting to hear how Bert would have described a person who casts such derogatory remarks behind a pseudonym, but "all mouth and trousers" springs to mind.
Tom
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Tom wrote:

yeah, really has no relationship to the film at all does it, seeing as the film makes zero mention of his lifetime of racing bikes, but makes a very nice portrayal of a backyard idiot who was not respected by his neighbours who has spent the last 40 years of his life on some folly idea of tuning up his old bike.
five years BEFORE he went to bonnevile he did 178 mph, AT bonnevile he did 190, 100 extra cc in the motor and "only" 18 mph extra, not the 200 the film said
the film version managed to portray him as a complete asshole, not a seat of the pants engineer good enough to hand forge con rods, barrels and heads, clutches, you name it.
oh yes smartarse, he was "burt" to everyone, he never used his given name of herbert.
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Guy Fawkes wrote:

What a sorry little man you are.
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Tom wrote:

so let me get this right.
you try to take this piss out of me by posting a link that shown that he was into racing bikes all his life, which the film made no mention of....
you try to take the piss out of me for correctly referring to him as burt
I correctly point out that when the film opens he has already gone 178, which the film makes no mention of, instead trying to imply he has never seen the high side of the ton
and all you have to say for yourself is that somehow I am the sorry little man....
you must be a right ball of fire.
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FWIW I liked the shed aspect of the OP, but what an interesting place the world of stationery engines seems to be; letters pray that it doesn't envelope us again.
--
^^

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At least Bert owned a pair of trousers, which is more than Guy "John Bunt" Fawkes will have to his name after last week's court debacle.
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I really enjoyed this movie, and having bought and read George Beggs book about Burt a few years ago, it seems pretty accurate.
You can't expect a movie to be a documentary - they can only select portions from anyones life and try to show the important threads. Surely the movie does this pretty well.
I was surprised to see Anthony Hopkins struggling with a piston mould, held in a vise. A week after seeing the movie I watched a documentary about Burt Munro and the making of the movie - what do you know - there was actual footage of Burt using the very same device, and making a piston!
If you think the engineering was hokey, I am afraid that is where the film is true to life! There is nothing I have read that seems out of place in the movie (mechanically, I mean, not sure about the woman he meets etc)
In George Beggs book he says the whole contents of the shed were rescued by a friend when Burt died (Norman Hayes, I think), many of the objects you see in the film are originals (eg the broken parts).
Roger Donaldsons first film was about Burt Munro (1970's?), he filmed Burt taking his bike to Bonneville and running there. He always wanted to re visit this story, and although it is correct to be suspicious of most crap from Hollywood, I think there is plenty of truth in Donaldson and his story.
As to the story itself - who can deny it is somewhat bizzare and unusual, and most will wonder what drove him on all those years - but in the end you have to admire him for his amazing achievements.
Quite abit of the movie we saw in NZ will be lost on those who don't know the country, but maybe some of this has been changed, I don't know.
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

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I'd be reasonably impressed if it wasn't for the fact that I've done 184mph up the A41 on a slightly tweaked (Dynojeted) Yamaha myself a few years back, it doesn't half concentrate the mind but I'm no singleminded excentric :))

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Peter Short wrote:

really, so burt was casting lead pistons was he, because that is what the movie showed.
the only other engineering the movie showed was someone making a lot of sparks with a welder, not welding.
lots of buzzwords were dropped, but you never saw the thing they were referring to, so they were just buzzwords.
the real world burt was constantly fiddling with his bike, you never see this, the movie burt is just going around meeting other one dimensional people and saying "hi, I'm burt from down under" (in a variety of accents) and thus instantly winning them over with his old world charm and simplicity.
by far the greatest sacriledge the movie made was this though.
burt had one true love, and it was that bike, not that brand or model, but that particular bike, he could have picked from a ton of better bikes as they years went by if he was in pursuit of speed, he didn't, and precisely zero of the love the man had for his bike came through in the film.
if burt was here today, he would not be saying things about me as some posters have suggested, nor would he give a shit about the film, his only interest would be visiting his bike, which is still in south island (bare of the streamliner)
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Well, that's alright then.
I still think I'll go and see it, though.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
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Given the general approbation from several group regulars and opprobrium from one, shall we say, "occasional poster" - that seems like a reasonable decision ;-)
--

Nick H



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Guy Fawkes wrote:

If Bert were he today, he'd say "What the hell do you know? You can't even spell my name right!"
As for Bert, his obsession was with speed, and if you didn't have the attention of a gnat, you would have seen this.
Still, what else could one expect from the pariah of UK usenet groups.
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At the end of the day you have to consider that this is first and foremost a film. As a result its primary concern is to entertain the viewing public and not to necessarily be 100% historically accurate. No film will stick 100% to the historical truth, for the plain and simple reason that history is not always entertaining enough to stick religiously to when making films.
Even some of the most famous historical films such as Zulu, Titanic, The Longest Day do not stick to the facts completely. If you are after a true historical interpretation of the events I recommend that you either watch a good quality documentary (which do aim to give a historically accurate account of the events), or read one of the many books which have been written about such events.
Mike M
miley snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com

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But what about that paragon of accuracy U-571?
Dad refused to allow the name of Errol Flynn to be mentioned in the house after "Objective, Burma!" since he served there and knew what bollocks it was.
--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
  Click to see the full signature.
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contains these words:

Oh yeah, i totally forgot about U571. That has to be one of the worst films i have ever seen.
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I didn't go. Just reading the synopsis was enough.
--
Skipweasel
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
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There was a lot of righteous indignation when the flim had a leftpondian crew collect the Enigma machine from U571. Probbly quite simla to the leftpondian indigestion when David Lean had a rightpondian pilot break the sound barrier for the first time.
--
Bernard Peek

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