The Fast and the Furious
Roger Corman for Palo Alto/American Releasing Corporation (later AIP)
directed by Edward Sampson, John Ireland
starring John Ireland, Dorothy Malone, Bruce Carlisle, Iris Adrian, Marshall Bradford, Bruno VeSota, Byrd Holland, Larry Thor, Henry Rowland, Jean Howell, Dick Pinner, Robin Morse, Snub Pollard, Jonathan Haze, Roger Corman
story by Roger Corman, screenplay by Jean Howell, Jerome Odlum, music by Alexander Gerens, jazz score by Chet Baker
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Connie (Dorothy Malone) is a racecar driver, and one of the best, and
all she wanted was to stop at a roadhouse for a bite on her way to her
next race ... when she is suddenly taken hostage by Frank Webster (John
Ireland), a wanted criminal in desperte need for a ride after he has
beaten up a truckdriver (Bruno VeSota). All Webster wants is to get to
Mexico to escape arrest, then he promises to let Connie (and her car) go,
but Connie has little desire to be taken hostage, and at first tries to
get away at every possible opportunity - albeit to no avail. Only
gradually does she begin to understand Webster and actually starts to
believe he didn't commit the crime - driving a truck off the street which
led to the driver's death - he has been accused of ...
Webster meanwhile becomes more and more desperate, since all the roads
to Mexico seem to be blocked, all but the racetrack - so he and Connie are
pretty much forced to enter the race. And when Connie learns female
drivers are not allowed in the race, Frank has a perfect cover-up as her
stand-in. Now Connie plays along with Frank's ruse, but she still tries to
persuade him to give himself up to the police since he's innocent ...
which ultimately forces Frank to lock her in a shack just before the race
starts, to enter the race more or less undisturbed - now fellow racedriver
Faber (Bruce Carlisle), a friend of Connie who has taken an immediate
dislike in Frank, is the only thing he has to worry about ... or so he
Connie, you see, has meanwhile managed to escape the shack, has phoned
the police so they can capture Frank at the border, and has gotten herself
a car to go after Frank.
Frank though breaks the roadblock at the border and is pretty much
driving to safety already ... when right beside him Faber crashes - and he
can't bring himself to let even someone like Faber die, and he pulls
Faber's body out of the car, even if it means giving up his freedom - but
he ends up in Connie's arms ...
The first film produced the American Releasing Corporation (which
would soon emerge into AIP) and certainly not their worst one:
While the film's basic plot might be full of clichés, the many vintage
racecars alone are a sight to behold, and the extended race scene at the
end of the film is almost priceless - not only for the cool vehicles, it's
also pretty well filmed and edited.
Maybe not the best film ever but a must for (vintage) carlovers.