The Fast and the Furious Reviews
And many years later they would decide to bring back the old idea. ..
With the latest of the Fast and the Furious franchise coming out on DVD, I thought that I'd make a quick comment on this movie. This low-budget Roger Corman-style juvenile delinquent movie has nothing to do with the new franchise, but seems to work okay, on its own merits. Frank Webster (John Ireland), is a man hiding from the police and gets involved in a road rally when he tries to steal Connie Adair's (Dorothy Malone) Jaguar.
Not much here folks, but kind of quaint for those who enjoy an older movie.
"Don't tempt me.
A wrongly imprisoned man breaks out of jail and heads for freedom. To execute this master plan he kidnaps a girl and steals her car. This isn't the easiest way to avoid the authorities and they're quickly on his tale. The prisoner will try to convince the girl to get off his case while he heads towards salvation.
"I said I was sorry."
"You're about the sorriest creature I've ever seen."
John Ireland, director of Hannah Lee: An American Primitive, delivers The Fast and the Furious. The storyline for this picture is above average and worth a viewing. I wouldn't say this is a classic or anywhere in the conversation with Faster Pussy Cat, Kill Kill! The action scenes were okay and the film relied heavily on dialogue. The cast delivers fairly average performances and includes John Ireland and Dorothy Malone.
"It's good for your figure."
"There's nothing wrong with my figure."
I came across this on Netflix and had to give it a viewing based on the title alone as well as due to my love affair with the grindhouse genre. Overall, this movie is just okay and far from a grindhouse classic, but the film is still worth watching unfold. I wouldn't go too out of my way to see this but I'd give it a viewing if you come across it..
"You can't prove your innocence running away."
"I can't prove it dead."
The Plotline: involves an escaped convict who kidnaps a young woman and her classic Jaguar and high tales it to Mexico. But the way to do that is to enter a road race that will enter Mexico, but will the woman help the convict when he reviles he is an innocent man?
Overall decent scripting, direction, camera-work and acting make this first AIP outing enjoyable in comparison to some of their other 1950's B-Grade films. My rating for this AIP/Roger Corman film is a simple 60%.
A ridiculous plot that I suppose is expected from Corman, this differs from the Vim Diesel 2001 version where the undercover cop becomes the racer. It has more plot holes in the script than it has potholes in the road.
The acting is average at best with John Ireland showing that he is not really leading man material, or a decent director. Dorothy Malone is pleasant enough - the last time I saw her was in The Big Sleep flirting with Humphrey Bogart in the ACME book store scene. I need to see more of her.
The main selling point are the actual cars and the race, with it's sped up frames making it a thrilling chase finale.
Overall, unless you're a petrol head with a penchant for vintage cars and old films, I'd steer clear of this.
directed by John Ireland
written by Jean Howell, Jerome Odlum
based on a story by Roger Corman
starring John Ireland, Dorothy Malone, Jean Howell, Marshall Bradford, Larry Thor, Lou Faraday, Bruce Carlisle, Bruno VeSota
A trucker named Frank Webster (Ireland) is charged with running another trucker off the road and killing him. He is sent to prison and manages to break out and finds himself on the run. He reaches a small diner where he is accosted by Bob Nielson, also a truck driver, and manages to knock him out. He grabs Connie Adair and forces himself into her car where he takes off just ahead of a major manhunt in his honor.
The film focuses on the way that Connie turns from professing to loathing Webster to loving him. It?s a predictable plot device and it never quite heats the film up to a considerable degree. It?s obvious they are going to get together and there is no mystery to it. Webster just kisses her early on and that is that. She isn?t even stunned by the kiss and seems to take it as part of her captivity. Of course she warms up to her captor almost immediately so whatever tension might have been brought between them is quickly demolished and it?s to the film?s detriment.
All that happens is that the pair drive to a great street race and Webster drives in it in order to lay low and avoid the police. That?s really it as far as plot. There is no conflicts, no terrors, and nothing particularly pressing throughout the rest of the film. It?s focus is one dimensional and it doesn?t quite manage to keep the attention of the audience altogether. The race isn?t terribly exciting and the relationship is typical so there is nothing to get worked up over.
The real joy in this film is Dorothy Malone. She has a Grace Kelly quality to her and looks quite good all roughed up. Webster has his way with Connie-- shoving her onto the ground, picking her up hard by the arm, and she seems to enjoy this type of treatment. He even ties her hands, completing the slave-master relationship that develops between them. Webster is very hard with Connie and treats her with disdain before forcing himself on her early on in the film. He literally takes her and she?s perfectly willing to give herself up. She?s fairly weak throughout the film and this is made concrete after Webster locks her in a barn. She meekly cries out for help for quite a while before finally hitting on the idea to set the barn on fire in the hopes that someone will see it smoldering and rescue her. She seems to be the type who is always in the need of such rescuing and incapable of doing much her self although it is mentioned that she is something of a race car driver herself. All that is thrown out the window in this film as she appears to be trapped for much of the film.
Yes, the trapped woman totally at the mercy of a seemingly dangerous man who may or may not be a heartless killer is a staple of this genre. They are sweet natured, essentially meek, and unable to force their way out of their dire situation. The only option is to succumb to the man?s gristly charm and further become but another trophy he has accumulated along his particular hard path. He is a ravisher and she knows this. She also knows she shouldn?t give in because by doing so she might be putting herself in acute danger. Still, she is unable to prevent the inevitable from sweeping her away so she does what comes naturally to any woman when put in such a situation. She allows herself to be subdued and captured by a man who is possibly capable of some exceedingly shifty business.
John Ireland plays Webster with a knowingness that informs his character with a sense of purpose. It is always clear that Webster is in control of every situation, especially when it has to do with Connie. Webster is a confident man who is determined to escape the slick hand of justice and it is apparent that he?s willing for much of the film to take Connie down with him as far as he goes. He knows he has her and that she clings to him tenaciously and will not let go. It certainly helps him as he scrambles away from the authorities who seem to have an ubiquitous presence in this film. They appear at every turn and Webster is forced into a position where he must keep his eye firmly on his goal lest he lose his most precious commodity?his freedom.
Overall, this film has a gritty style and possesses a considerable amount of energy throughout. It doesn?t maintain a proper tension between the two leads which manages to grind the film down. There are no mysteries in this film as it drives forth toward only one conclusion that is predictable and possibly necessary for the narrative. Still, the film doesn?t work and the results aren?t vital enough to sustain it?s promise. It?s generic and none-too-stylistic although Dorothy Malone is worth looking at, particularly when she is being roughhoused and reduced to her primal, carnal core. Connie is all flesh and her button-up presentation has a definitive erotic appeal.
The acting is nondescript, but the car chases can be quite enticeing.
Script: What Script?
Special Effects: 5
If you like this kind of stuff, watch it. If otherwise, don't.