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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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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Millie Farley
... Florence Farley
... 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

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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

 
Very good--but also a VERY odd message.
19 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Mom is very manipulative but film seems to say a woman's place is being married at home--yet the film was directed by Ida Lupino! Husband is a chauvinist I generally enjoyed "Hard, Fast and Beautiful". Its message about success and a 'stage mother' is timeless. However, it also gives an odd message about women and domesticity that really made no sense--but more about that later.

Sally Forest plays Florence Farley--a young lady who is incredibly gifted at tennis. However, her mother Millie (Claire Trevor) is bent on making her daughter a REAL success. Now this isn't just because she wanted to see the girl succeed but also because the mother loved all the perks that go with it--travel, nice clothes and attention. And, her husband really wasn't important to these plans....just Millie. Now I really liked this, as it seemed like a great indictment of the concept of the stage mother--those insane parents who wan to live vicariously through their famous kids.

There is a serious problem, however. At one point in the film, Sally's boyfriend becomes her fiancé--and he insists that she give up tennis and be the dutiful housewife. Now considering that she just won the US tennis championship and was about to go pro, this seemed just as selfish as Millie. He did NOT ask Florence what she wanted either. BUT, the film showed this as a GOOD thing--like Florence was a fool for not doing 'her master's bidding'--a typically sexist 1950s attitude. Think about it--she was poised at becoming world champion but he really only would accept her if she gave this up!! Now this is VERY hypocritical when you think about it, as the film was made by a woman and stars women! Ida Lupino directed this film--the same actress/director that blew through three famous actor husbands!! So, with this message of domesticity running through the movie, it all seemed like bull and really, really diluted the message.

I would have LOVED the film if it portrayed BOTH the mother and fiancé as selfish and had Florence at least once talk about what she wanted. Instead, the message seems to tell women watching the movie that the ONLY way to success is to completely lose yourself and your dreams to your husband's! It's focus on the manipulative mother and her quest for glory was great--the rest of it really seemed sexist--even for the 1950s. For a better but silly version of this sort of film, try watching "Pat and Mike".


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