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William A. Seiter
Two sailors are leaving the US Navy after 10 years. In their spare time, one of them (Haines) invents a carburetor that should increase the speed that powered boats will run, but all that they succeed in doing is to sink the Admiral's launch. After discharge, broke and out of work, they find work with a boat builder who wants the fastest race boat in the World. They design the boat, carburetor and the engine but lack of money and the foreclosure of the business hinders their efforts to prove the new design.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
The wooden speedboats seen in the film were two of the six "Miss Catalina" series of wooden-hulled boats built by Catalina Speedboat Co. between 1922 and 1939. They were powered by WWI-era Liberty V-12 aircraft engines and could reach speeds of 55 mph. Due to high maintenance and running costs (the V-12 engine could burn through 30 gallons of gas per hour), they were retired from tourist duty in 1958. See more »
Haines manages to be a bit more likable in this one...and it results in a pretty good film.
While William Haines was a very popular actor in his day, I think many of his movies have aged poorly. This isn't so much his fault but that of the studio. MGM insisted on essentially making the same sort of William Haines picture...again and again. In nearly all of them, Haines plays a very talented but cocky guy. Because of this, he ultimately lets everyone down...only to redeem himself by the end of the picture. Here in "Fast Life", Haines plays a cocky sort of guy...but isn't as self-destructive or annoying as he was in many other pictures....as a result, the film is pretty watchable.
Sandy (Haines) and Bumpy (Cliff Edwards) are in the Navy but soon leave in order to pursue Sandy's dream of creating the perfect speed boat. Fortunately, he soon meets up with a rich guy who builds racing boats. Unfortunately, his business is in financial trouble and it looks like he's not going to be able to provide all the funds needed to get it in the big race. To make things worse, the guy who is dating the boss' daughter turns out to be a duplicitous jerk...and he'll do anything to prevent that boat from making it to the race.
This is an enjoyable film with some exicting speedboat scenes....though a few suffer from having crappy rear projection. Apart from this problem, the film is fast-paced and enjoyable....and shows what Haines could do if given a script that isn't strictly the usual formula.
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