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Hard, Fast and Beautiful! (1951)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Sport | 7 February 1952 (Mexico)
Tennis prodigy Florence Farley is torn between romance and her mother's ambitions.


Ida Lupino


Martha Wilkerson (screenplay), John R. Tunis (novel)




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


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


The things she had to do...the lies she had to tell...the love-affair she had to hide...these were the price of fame in the big-time tennis racket. See more »


Drama | Romance | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Hairy-chested Robert Clarke was forced to undergo a complete body waxing before appearing in his bare-chested scenes at the swimming pool. See more »


Florence looks at her new necklace in the mirror while she is wearing it. The words I LOVE YOU CHAMP are seen in the mirror. They ought to have been backwards. See more »


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

User Reviews

Flashes of Genius
23 May 2012 | by jayraskin1See all my reviews

In 1951, there were probably 400 movies released in the United States. This one is the only one that was directed by a woman.

Ida Lupino made seven low budget "B" films between 1949 and 1953. Despite working under terrible conditions, each one is fascinating and shows great directorial skill and creativity.

Notice how she actually makes the tennis sequences interesting. Notice how the characters often go beyond the plot and seem to be real people struggling with the world around them. Notice how there are good guys and bad guys, but all the characters have dignity and ultimately redeeming qualities.

Like Orson Welles, Ida Lupino was a directorial genius. Unfortunately, unlike Welles, she never got a chance to make her "Citizen Kane" All we are left with are seven small gems and the deliciously cute "The Trouble with Angels" that she did in the 1960's. She did direct some 60 television shows in the 1950's and 1960's, including 9 terrific episodes of Boris Karloff's "Thriller" television series.

As other people have noted, this is a good, but not great movie, with an outstanding performance by Claire Trevor as the mother. If Hollywood had not been completely sexist in the 1950's and if Ida Lupino had been given a budget 1/10th that hundreds of inferior male directors got, it could have been a great film. The fact that she was able to complete it and make it come out as well as it does is a testament to her genius.

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Release Date:

7 February 1952 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Mother of a Champion See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Filmakers See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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