15 user 5 critic

Fast and Loose (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Mystery, Crime | 17 February 1939 (USA)
Rare booksellers Joel and Grada Sloane are engaged to find who is stealing rare books from a private library.



(original screen play)
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Complete credited cast:
Nicholas Torrent
Etienne Girardot ...
Christopher Oates
Dave Hilliard
Jo Ann Sayers ...
Christina Torrent
Bobby Neville
Phil Sergeant (as Anthony Allan)
Tom Collins ...
Gerald Torrent
'Lucky' Nolan
Mary Forbes ...
Mrs. Torrent


The scrap of the Shakespeare manuscript is priceless. Nick Torrent owns it and is selling it. But then he is murdered and the manuscript is stolen. Joel Sloane is a rare book dealer and part time detective. Since he was trying to buy the manuscript for Mr. Oates, he is a suspect so he tries to solve the case. As the bodies pile up, Joel must solve the case or else Garda will be wearing black. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rip Roaring Sequel to "Fast Company" See more »


Comedy | Mystery | Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 February 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Det stjaalne Manuskript  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Kennedy was originally scheduled to play "Reilly" but was replaced by Roy Barcroft. See more »


Joel and Garda sustain black eye injuries from having their auto run off the road by Lucky Nolan's gang. They even put raw meat over the black eyes for relief. The black eyes are shown in the next few scenes. But a few hours later that night both eyes return to normal. See more »


'Lucky' Nolan: [after Joel gets the jump on Nolan and takes away his gun] I see you don't fight fair, Mr. Sloane.
Joel Sloane: Now I'll tell you what you're going to do. You're going to call up and instruct those men to let my wife go. She's to phone me from outside. I don't want to sound melodramatic, Mr. Nolan, but to save my wife any discomfort, I would cheerfully kill a dozen guys like you.
See more »


Followed by Fast and Furious (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

The script and direction are fast and loose
1 February 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

This is the second installment of a series created by Harry Kurnitz from his book "Fast Company," featuring a husband and wife team, Joel and Garda Sloane, rare book dealers who were amateur detectives. The first outing was "Fast Company" starring Melvyn Douglas and Florence Rice. "Fast and Loose" came next. Then the Sloane's misadventures came to a screeching halt with "Fast and Furious" featuring Franchot Tone and Ann Sothern." One reason for the demise was the rapid turnover in the lead roles with different actors playing Joel and Garda in each film. A common thread for all three was the writing of Harry Kurnitz which accounts for the similarities in dialog and story structures.

True, the series may remind viewers of Nick and Nora Charles but in reality there are many husband and wife flicks from the period that were somewhat patterned after the successful and popular "The Thin Man." These three films can stand on their own without such comparisons being necessary. Of the three, the first "Fast Company" is possibly the best with Douglas and Rice making a fine pair of sleuths. But the other two have merits of their own.

Robert Montgomery and the indomitable Rosalind Russell interact well with each other. The story about a forged Shakespeare which leads to murder with a whole gallery of suspects isn't always easy to follow but it's worth the time and effort. Montgomery and Russell share many a witty line and comeback, not quite as fast, nor as cutting, as the repartee between Russell and Cary Grant in "His Girl Friday" which was released the following year but still enough gibes to keep all fast and loose. There is also a running joke that carries on to the end involving a donut cushion from a previous case when Joel Slaone was shot in the tush.

The title is apt for the script and direction which are fast and loose. Not on a par with "The Thin Man," but still an entertaining piece of fluff.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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