Fast and Furious (1939)

70 or 73 mins | Comedy, Mystery | 6 October 1939

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Writer:

Harry Kurnitz

Producer:

Frederick Stephani

Cinematographers:

Ray June, George Folsey

Editor:

Elmo Veron

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

This film, which was director Busby Berkeley's first non-musical assignment, was the third and final installment in M-G-M's series about the comical mystery exploits of the Sloanes. According to HR , Mary Beth Hughes replaced Virginia Grey, who was completing work on another film. Although HR pre-release news items note that lion tamer Laura Roth was signed to appear in the cat sequence, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A HR pre-release news item indicates that Joe Yule, actor Mickey Rooney's father, was set for his first role, a "topline," in the film, but he did not appear in the released film. According to studio publicity material, filming of the beauty pageant scenes on location at the Rainbow Pier in Long Beach, California, was hampered by local fisherman and onlookers, who crowded the pier to get a glimpse of the actresses. In addition, police officers reportedly attempted to serve a summons to the production crew for "staging a contest or parade without suitable permit," but were dissuaded from doing so by Berkeley. More information on the Joel and Garda Sloane detective series can be found in the entry for Fast Company (see below) and the Series ... More Less

This film, which was director Busby Berkeley's first non-musical assignment, was the third and final installment in M-G-M's series about the comical mystery exploits of the Sloanes. According to HR , Mary Beth Hughes replaced Virginia Grey, who was completing work on another film. Although HR pre-release news items note that lion tamer Laura Roth was signed to appear in the cat sequence, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A HR pre-release news item indicates that Joe Yule, actor Mickey Rooney's father, was set for his first role, a "topline," in the film, but he did not appear in the released film. According to studio publicity material, filming of the beauty pageant scenes on location at the Rainbow Pier in Long Beach, California, was hampered by local fisherman and onlookers, who crowded the pier to get a glimpse of the actresses. In addition, police officers reportedly attempted to serve a summons to the production crew for "staging a contest or parade without suitable permit," but were dissuaded from doing so by Berkeley. More information on the Joel and Garda Sloane detective series can be found in the entry for Fast Company (see below) and the Series Index. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Oct 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jul 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 39
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 39
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Aug 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
6 Oct 39
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
28 Jan 39
p. 40.
Motion Picture Herald
30 Sep 39
p. 47.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Oct 39
p. 38.
New York Times
12 Oct 39
p. 14.
Variety
18 Oct 39
p. 4.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Constantin Bakaleinikoff
Paul "Tiny" Newlan
Sam Finn
Yvonne Du Val
Raymond Turner
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 October 1939
Production Date:
4 August--1 September 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9169
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 73
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5653
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Joel and Garda Sloane, a husband and wife sleuthing duo, sell rare books in New York and dream of taking a vacation to escape the sweltering heat of the city. Joel decides to take Garda to Seaside City, where his pal, Mike Stevens, is managing a popular beauty pageant. In addition to his vacation plans, Joel, who has invested $10,000 in the pageant, plans to supervise the financial developments of the event and "keep an eye on" the contestants. Soon after arriving in Seaside City, Joel discovers that Eric Bartell, the unscrupulous promoter of the pageant, is duping Stevens. When Joel is made a beauty judge by Stevens, Garda balks at the appointment, especially when her husband begins to socialize with the contestants in the days prior to the pageant. Joel senses trouble when New York racketeer Ed Connors arrives to monitor Bartell's activities, and when Lily Cole, Bartell's publicity director, lashes out at contestant Jerry Lawrence for vying with her for Bartell's attentions. Joel is convinced that something foul is afoot in Seaside City when a detective tells him that Bartell will be arrested on swindling charges as soon as a warrant is issued. When Bartell is mysteriously murdered, Stevens, who was the last person seen with Bartell, is arrested. Stevens is suspected of the crime because he went to see Bartell to demand that he return all the money he loaned him. Although Joel and Garda are warned by Chief Miller not to get involved in the case, the duo, with the help of newspaper columnist Ted Bentley, begin to investigate the murder. Soon after, an attempt is made on ... +


Joel and Garda Sloane, a husband and wife sleuthing duo, sell rare books in New York and dream of taking a vacation to escape the sweltering heat of the city. Joel decides to take Garda to Seaside City, where his pal, Mike Stevens, is managing a popular beauty pageant. In addition to his vacation plans, Joel, who has invested $10,000 in the pageant, plans to supervise the financial developments of the event and "keep an eye on" the contestants. Soon after arriving in Seaside City, Joel discovers that Eric Bartell, the unscrupulous promoter of the pageant, is duping Stevens. When Joel is made a beauty judge by Stevens, Garda balks at the appointment, especially when her husband begins to socialize with the contestants in the days prior to the pageant. Joel senses trouble when New York racketeer Ed Connors arrives to monitor Bartell's activities, and when Lily Cole, Bartell's publicity director, lashes out at contestant Jerry Lawrence for vying with her for Bartell's attentions. Joel is convinced that something foul is afoot in Seaside City when a detective tells him that Bartell will be arrested on swindling charges as soon as a warrant is issued. When Bartell is mysteriously murdered, Stevens, who was the last person seen with Bartell, is arrested. Stevens is suspected of the crime because he went to see Bartell to demand that he return all the money he loaned him. Although Joel and Garda are warned by Chief Miller not to get involved in the case, the duo, with the help of newspaper columnist Ted Bentley, begin to investigate the murder. Soon after, an attempt is made on their lives when a falling elevator nearly crushes them. Joel does not believe that Stevens was the murderer, but instead suspects Lily, because she and Bartell were involved in a dispute prior to the murder. Later, when Joel discovers that Jerry smokes the same brand of cigarettes as the one found smoldering at the scene of Bartell's murder, he interrogates her and she names Connors as the murderer. Connors, overhearing her accusation, attacks her and tells Joel that she is merely trying to frame him. When Jerry is found murdered, Joel deduces that the murderer must be Bentley, because he is the only person who knew that he had proof against Jerry. Joel tricks Bentley into confessing his guilt, but Bentley, in an attempt to silence Joel, tries to kill him. However, he is prevented from doing so by the police, who arrest him. Eventually, Joel learns that Bentley killed Bartell because Jerry threw him over for Bartell, and that he killed Jerry because she knew too much. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.