The Fast and the Furious (1955)

Almost the entire movie takes place in the cockpit of a 1954 Jaguar XK120 roadster, a stunningly beautiful car in its day, and still highly admired by classic sports car enthusiasts, who will be the main audience for this movie.

The story line is a snoozer, the acting is amateurish, Ireland has only one facial expression, the grimace, which gets tiresome after 30 seconds, and the only interesting character in this turkey is the diner waitress. The opening scene is a truck crashing, but we don’t find out what this has to do with anything else until halfway through the movie.

The real star of the picture is the car, and the clips from open road sports car racing in the early 1950’s, before they moved to closed tracks. We get glimpses of some more Jaguars, MG’s, Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, Nash-Healeys, Porsches, Allards, Jowetts, Aston-Martins, Oscas and Ferraris, some pre-WW1 speedsters in a vintage race, and a bit of the Pebble Beach Concours with a Rolls-Royce that has nothing to do with the plot.

If you know anybody with an old British sports car, buy this one for them at the dollar store. That’s what I paid.

Goofs

There are continuity goofs galore in this turkey, mainly in the racing clips repeated and sometimes reversed, so you get car numbers backwards. Look for the sign in front of the marshal’s stand that reads backwards.

At one point Ireland hot wires this strange car, in the dark, with absolutely nothing, in only a few seconds. Come on!

When the star car starts the race it is with white wire wheels, full width bumpers and without a front license plate, then at the first turn the plate appears, then the front bumpers disappear and become little bumperettes, then they reappear, the wheels change from white to dark and back again, and so on throughout the race. The pursuing car is also a Jaguar XK120, usually dark color with a full folded down light colored top, but at the road block it is light with a dark top, and in some shots it becomes an open roadster with a different style windshield. Short clips from other races are thrown in from time to time (gotta have some crashes). When the race is half over, the girl back at the starting line jumps into an Allard and somehow catches up to the Jags, by which time the Allard has changed color twice, and gained a spare tire on first the right side, then the left, then the right again, and now it has portholes in the side, definitely not the same Allard she started with.

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