|The Fast and the Furious|
Lobby card of The Fast and the Furious (1955)
|Produced by||Roger Corman|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
The Fast and the Furious is a 1955 American B movie crime film from a story written by Roger Corman and screenplay by Jean Howell and Jerome Odlum. The film stars John Ireland and Dorothy Malone. Ireland also served as the film's co-director. The Fast and the Furious was the first film produced for the American International Pictures company.
Charged with a murder he did not commit, truck driver Frank Webster (John Ireland) has broken out of jail. While on the run, and the subject of radio news reports, he is cornered in a small coffee shop by a zealous citizen who is suspicious of the stranger. Frank manages to escape and, as he gets away, kidnaps a young woman named Connie (Dorothy Malone).
Frank drives off with Connie in her Jaguar sports car. She soon proves a difficult hostage, trying to escape a few times, which leads him to treat her more roughly than they both would prefer. This mutual struggle soon leads the two to fall in love.
Continuing to elude police, the couple slips into a cross-border sports car race, which Frank plans to take advantage of in order to escape into Mexico. Faber (Bruce Carlisle), one of Connie's friends, is wary of the new stranger driving her car and tries to find out more about Frank.
During the race, Frank gives up his chance to escape by coming to the aid of Faber who has crashed. Out of sympathy for Frank and a desire to be with him, Connie informs the police of his plan to reach Mexico so he might face trial and be acquitted. At the last moment, Frank also decides it is better to turn himself in and somehow find a future with Connie. The race ends with his imminent capture by the police.
The film was shot in 10 days. Corman says he "... set up a little of the racing car business because I was interested in that, and I did some of the second unit stuff. But I didn't direct as such." The deal that Corman set up included having the local Jaguar dealer donate his cars as well as having scenes take place at the Monterey race track. Most of the exteriors were shot around Malibu and Point Dume, California. Corman also subbed as a driver in the second of the Jaguar XK120 race cars.
After weighing offers from Columbia, Allied and Republic, Corman made a deal for The Fast and the Furious to be picked up for distribution by a new company, American Releasing Corporation. It later became American International Pictures.
Corman says that Ireland only appeared in the film on the condition he could direct it. "John did a fine job directing on a nine-day shoot with a budget of $50,000," said Corman later. After having to operate as a second unit cinematographer and director, Corman realized he wanted to direct. "It was after that film that I decided to become a director." Corman also said that Dorothy Malone "had left her agent and, having no work, accepted a part for next to nothing."
Film critic Leonard Maltin dismissed The Fast and the Furious as laboured by "... uninspired romantic interludes and cops-on-the-chase sequences ..." CEA Film called the film, "a modest second feature."
Producer Neal H. Moritz and Universal Pictures licensed the title for 2001's The Fast and the Furious. Moritz had difficulty choosing between proposed titles Racer X, Redline, Race Wars, and Street Wars, and was inspired by a documentary on American International Pictures that included Corman's film. Moritz was able to trade the use of some stock footage to Corman for use of the title.
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- Pryor, Thomas M. "Special to the New York Times." The New York Times, April 9, 1954, p. 19.
- Goldman, C. "An interview with Roger Corman." Film Comment, 7(3), 1971, pp. 49-54. Retrieved: September 25, 2017.
- Corman and Jerome 1990, p. 24.
- Corman and Jerome 1990, p. 25.
- McGee 1996, p. 21.
- "Corman Speaks." Positif, Issue 59, March 1964, pp. 15–28.
- Maltin 2011, p. 444.
- Frank, Alan G. (1998). The Films of Roger Corman: 'Shooting My Way Out of Trouble'. BT Batsford. p. 18. ISBN 9780713482720.
- Franich, Darren. "Fast & Furious' producer on the first film: 'We were the little movie nobody really cared about." EW.com, May 25, 2016. Retrieved: September 25, 2017.
- Arkoff, Samuel Z. and Richard Turbo. Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants. New York: Birch Lane Press, 1992. ISBN 978-1-5597-2107-3.
- Corman, Roger and Jim Jerome. How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never lost a Dime. London: Lars Müller Publishers, 1990. ISBN 978-0-3945-6974-1.
- Frank, Alan. The Films of Alan Frank: Shooting My Way Out of Trouble. Bath, UK: Bath Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-6880-0842-0.
- Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's 2012 Movie Guide. New York: Plume, 2011. ISBN 978-0-4522-9735-7.
- McGee, Mark.Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1996. ISBN 978-0-7864-0137-6.
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