6.2/10
341
17 user 10 critic

Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Sport | 21 April 1952 (Sweden)
Tennis prodigy Florence Farley is torn between romance and her mother's ambitions.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Millie Farley
...
Florence Farley
Carleton G. Young ...
Fletcher Locke
...
Gordon McKay
Kenneth Patterson ...
Will Farley
Marcella Cisney ...
Miss Martin
...
J.R. Carpenter
...
Interne
George Fisher ...
Announcer
Arthur Little Jr. ...
Himself - Commentator at Forest Hills
Bert Whitley ...
Young official
Edwin Reimers ...
Announcer
Don Kent ...
Umpire
William Irving ...
Umpire
Barbara Brier ...
Girl
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Storyline

Boy (Gordon) meets girl (Florence), sharing an interest in tennis. But Florence has a supremely ambitious mother who intends to push her ahead regardless (she barely knows her own husband exists). Florence's tennis career rapidly advances, thanks to mother's manipulation and a promotion-minded coach; building toward the inevitable conflict between the fulfilment of Mother's dreams...and daughter's. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Price Of Fame In The Big-Time Sports Racket!

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1952 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Mother of a Champion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the 34 minute mark of the movie, Florence is playing a match in Seabright, New Jersey. In the crowd shot, there is a cameo by director, Ida Lupino, and fellow actor, Robert Ryan, who are shown applauding for Florence. See more »

Connections

Featured in Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine, Brief and Underrated
13 September 2004 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

HARD, FAST, AND BEAUTIFUL turns out to be rather good. It's well-acted by all concerned. Director Ida Lupino brings her actor's skills to the job and it pays off. The film also has a slightly quirky visual flair, especially in the tennis sequences.

However this is NOT, in the final analysis, a story about a young tennis pro's rise to fame. It really is the story of a mother's ambition gone wrong, a cautionary parable of the dangers of a parent trying live her own life through that of her child. Millie Farley (the great Clair Trevor, in an unforgettable performance) is a still-attractive woman who married a very nice, but dull man and had a beautiful, talented daughter. When Florence, the daughter, shows an aptitude for tennis and hooks up with what appears to be a rich boy connection, Millie goes into full-gear to make her daughter's career happen. Not only does she engineer the early stages of the career, but she engages in less than acceptable business practices to further it and to surround herself in the attending luxuries (including the apparent romantic attentions of a sleazy tennis impresario, superbly enacted by Carleton Young). This is a kind of less-spectacular variation on the MILDRED PIERCE theme. There are not as many fireworks and the daughter is no monster. It's a shorter film as well, but the final result is no less devastating.

Also very fine in the cast is Kenneth Patterson, as the saddened, neglected husband and father. Sally Forrest must have learned a lot from her director's attentions; at times she even physically resembles the young Lupino. Always welcome, too, is the amiable Robert "Hideous Sun Demon" Clarke, as the boyfriend who will not submit to Florence's career ambitions.

Not a great film, but definitely underrated.


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