Fast Company (1938)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Comedy, Mystery  |  8 July 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 213 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 4 critic

A husband and wife team who are in rare books and are skillful at recovering stolen volumes for insurance companies become involved in the murder of a fence.



(book) (as Marco Page) , (screenplay) (as Marco Page) , 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Florence Rice ...
Claire Dodd ...
Julia Thorne
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Ned Morgan
Elias Z. 'Eli' Bannerman
Paul Terison
Arnold Stamper (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Mary Howard ...
Leah Brockler
George Zucco ...
Otto Brockler
Minor Watson ...
Steve Langner
Lt. James Flanner
Sidney Z. Wheeler
Thurston Hall ...
Dist. Atty. MacMillen
Danny Scolado (as Horace MacMahon)


Joel Sloane is a rare book dealer and part time detective. He finds stolen or lost rare books for the insurance companies and gets a reward for their return. But this is a little different. Otto Brockler, a rare book dealer with questionable ethics, has been murdered. The list of suspects is long. Ned, who Otto sent to prison to get insurance money and keep him away from Leah. Leah, who is in love with the falsely convicted Ned. Elias, a silent partner in stolen and forged books. Sydney, a master forger of rare books. Julia, Otto's secretary who has expensive clothes and jewelry. Joel is the one who must find the murderer before he becomes the next victim. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1938's PRIZE Mystery Novel! Now a Picture with twice the laughs and excitement!


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Release Date:

8 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rare-Book Murder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The three films of the "Fast Series" were produced by Metro because exhibitors were clamoring for more movies from the Thin Man Series. The "Fast" films were intended to fill that gap. See more »


Joel Sloane: The world laughed in my face.
Steve Langner: You've got a great face to laugh into.
See more »


Referenced in Electrical Power (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Look out Nick and Nora, here come Joel and Garda
1 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is simply a terrific movie. Done in the "Thin Man" vein, it is not a cheap imitation, it has a life of its own. Florence Rice and Melvyn Douglas have some real chemistry going on as Garda and Joel Sloane. The entire cast look like they are really enjoying this one. Fast paced and slick, with just enough comedic touches, this movie succeeds in being very entertaining. Florence Rice has never looked more beautiful, as she dishes it out and takes it from Melvyn Douglas who is both witty and charming all the while putting together the clues to solve the murder. Louis Calhern gives a really solid performance as the villain, and veterans George Zucco, Douglas Dumbrille and Thurston Hall add to the drama and the mystery. Claire Dodd and Mary Howard give some more feminine charm to the proceedings, and Nat Pendleton makes an appearance for some comic relief. Throw in a young Shepperd Strudwick as the accused and you have a real find here in this movie. Florence Rice continues to impress as a truly gifted actress, this movie shows again the marvelous talent of this performer and the cruel twist of fate that has left her in obscurity. Hopefully this film will be available on DVD. Should have been the first of a series..........

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