Movie Review: The Fast and the Furious (1954)

Synopsis: While driving her Jaguar to an upcoming race, a young woman is taken hostage by a truck driver accused of murder. With the police blocking every highway, the fugitive decides to enter her car in a race that ends on the other side of the Mexican border.

Who's in it? The movie stars John Ireland, Dorothy Malone, Bruce Carlisle, Iris Adrian and Marshall Bradford.

Review: I was looking for a movie to watch before heading to the office this morning and ended up picking this one simply because it had a shorter run-time. I wasn't really expecting too much from it but, as it turns out, it ended up being a surprisingly entertaining movie.

I think the thing I liked best about this movie was how unpredictable the fugitive, Frank (Ireland), was throughout the film. Every time he seemed to be softening up toward his hostage, Connie (Malone), something would set him off. Between that and the overall stress of trying to avoid the authorities, it was very easy to believe he would either find an excuse to pull the trigger of his gun or cross another line, such as raping his hostage.

At first, I was a bit undecided about Connie but, as the movie progressed, I found I liked her. I loved how, despite the hopelessness of her situation, she would still try to find opportunities to escape. As a result of this, whenever she seemed cooperative, it was difficult to tell if she was giving up or had something up her sleeve.

Him deciding to enter a race as part of his escape plan was also an interesting twist. In addition to the danger from the race itself, there were plenty of opportunities for him to get caught, especially since all it took was Connie saying something to one of her friends.

I do have to say I wasn't a big fan of the decision to have the two main characters eventually start having feelings for each other. Not only was that a little too predictable, it really didn't work given the circumstances. Regardless of whether or not Frank was guilty, he had spent days holding Connie at gunpoint, tied her to a steering wheel, made her crawl in the dirt and used every opportunity to degrade her. It's not exactly how I would expect a successful, long-term relationship to start.

Final Opinion: It would have been better without the romance but, other than that, I enjoyed watching it. It's one I would definitely recommend.

My Grade: A-


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