The Fast and the Furious [DVD] [1954]

This is an instance where Alpha Video has done movie buffs a real service, as well as putting out a nice, exciting title in a more than decent disc edition. John Ireland and Edward Sampson's The Fast And The Furious (1954) was a fine little action thriller in its time, an early Roger Corman production that got Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson into the movie business, earning five times its cost for the fledgling distributors and permitting them to finance three more movies right off the bat. The DVD looks about as good as the movie did the last time this reviewer saw it on TV, which was back in the 1970's; except for a vertical scratch that shows up on the left-hand side of the screen for a few minutes at the beginning of the last reel, there are no major flaws in the source material. The Fast And The Furious is only ever going to look so good, even with a legendary cinematographer like Floyd Crosby doing the photography, but it looks like a lot more than $50,000 worth of movie, even considering the presence of John Ireland -- not too many years from co-starring roles in pictures like Red River -- as star and co-director and Dorothy Malone, not to mention Iris Adrian and an aging Snub Pollard in the supporting cast. It's also a lot of DVD, for a little-seen and very intense little thriller, at a budget price from Alpha -- the company's usual six chapters suffice perfectly on this particular film, which only has a relative handful of major plot sections. The audio is mastered at a decently high volume and is steady throughout. There are no extra features, but none are needed; a public domain title like this constitutes a gift, in and of itself.
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The Fast and the Furious
Frank Webster (John Ireland) is a man on the run. Newly broken out of prison, the former truck driver and convicted murderer takes Connie Adair (Dorothy Malone) hostage at a lonely roadside diner and commandeers her car, a racing job than she intended to drive in a rally. At first Connie is as frightened as any woman should be in such a situation, but she soon sees that Frank is more than a wanted criminal -- he's an innocent man trying to redeem his life, and forced by circumstance to commit acts of violence. Soon the two are on the run together, lovers and fugitives using the cover of the road rally as a dodge so he can get to the border and freedom. Connie tries to convince Frank to take a stand, get the evidence out that framed him, and redeem his honor, as the authorities close in on the fast-driving pair. The second movie ever produced by Roger Corman, The Fast and the Furious marked the first release of Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson and the beginning of their American Releasing Corporation, soon to be renamed American International Pictures. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John Ireland
    John Ireland - Frank Webster
  • Dorothy Malone
    Dorothy Malone - Connie Adair
  • Image coming soon
    Bruce Carlisle - Faber
  • Image coming soon
    Marshall Bradford - Race Official
  • Image coming soon
    Jean Howell - Sally
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