The Fast Lady

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The Fast Lady
Fast lady movieposter.jpg
original film poster
Directed by Ken Annakin
Produced by Leslie Parkyn
Julian Wintle
Written by Henry Blyth
Jack Davies
Starring Stanley Baxter
James Robertson Justice
Leslie Phillips
Julie Christie
Music by Norrie Paramor
Cinematography Reginald H. Wyer
Edited by Ralph Sheldon
Production
company
Distributed by The Rank Organisation (UK)
Continental Distributing (US)
Release dates 7 February 1963 (London West End)
Running time 95 min
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Fast Lady is a 1963 British comedy film, directed by Ken Annakin. The screenplay was written by Henry Blyth and Jack Davies, based on a story by Keble Howard.[1] It was Julie Christie's second film.

The film opened at the Odeon Marble Arch on 7 February 1963[2]

Plot[edit]

Murdoch Troon (Stanley Baxter) is a dour Scot living and working for a local government authority somewhere in the south of London. A shy young man, his main excitement comes from cycling. After he's forced off the road by an impatient car driver, he tracks down the owner, only to find that he is Commander Chingford (James Robertson Justice), the domineering and acerbic owner of a sportscar distributorship.

Chingford reluctantly pays for the damage to Troon's cycle, but more significantly, Troon meets Claire (Julie Christie), Chingford's beautiful blonde daughter. He is smitten with her and determines to buy a car so that he can take her out.

Enter Troon's friend and fellow lodger, Freddie Fox (Leslie Phillips), a used car salesman and serial cad. He sees a chance to ingratiate himself with Chingford, and also sell Troon a car. The car is a 1927 vintage Bentley Four and a half litre engined Red Label Speed Model, painted in British Racing Green and named The Fast Lady.

Troon has his first driving lesson in a less exciting car, an Austin A40 Farina, which proves to be a comedy of disasters, with a nervous instructor (Eric Barker), but Fox then offers to teach him. The results are equally disastrous.

Unwilling to give up, and determined to prove his love for Claire, Troon bets her father that he can drive the car. An experienced racing driver, Chingford is convinced that Troon has no hope of achieving this — and bets him that he cannot.

Troon takes Chingford for a drive in the Bentley and, as expected, loses the bet. But the tables are turned when Chingford loses Troon's counter-bet that he (Chingford) can drive back home in less than 30 minutes. He reluctantly allows Claire to go out with Troon in the car.

The day comes for Troon's driving test. Fox has set him up with a "bent" examiner, but Troon draws the "wrong" examiner. As the test comes to an end (and the examiner is almost certainly going to fail Troon), the car is commandeered by police to chase a Jaguar car driven by escaping bank robbers. The high speed chase takes them through town and country, across a golf course (leaving in its wake, a trail of disasters) and eventually the robbers are (of course) caught. Chingford so admires his driving skill that he allows the couple to get engaged.

The film features cameos and performances by many well-known comedy and character actors, including Dick Emery as a car salesman, Clive Dunn, Gerald Campion, Frankie Howerd, Bernard Cribbins, Bill Fraser, 'Monsewer' Eddie Gray and Fred Emney.

The 'Fast Lady', a 1927 Bentley 4.5 litre Red Label Speed model with Vanden Plas short chassis fabric body, registration number TU5987, still exists and was sold by a specialist dealer in 2010.[3]

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film was one of the 12 most popular movies at the British box office in 1963.[4]

DVD Release[edit]

The Fast Lady was brought to Region 2 DVD in the U.K. on 2 February 2004. Currently no word on when it will be brought to DVD in the U.S.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/32914
  2. ^ The Times, 7 February 1963, Page 2
  3. ^ http://www.fiskens.com/pages/news/latest_news_detail.aspx?nid=2455
  4. ^ "Most Popular Films Of 1963." Times [London, England] 3 Jan. 1964: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.

External links[edit]