Hard, Fast and Beautiful

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hard, Fast and Beautiful
Hard, Fast and Beautiful Poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Ida Lupino
James Anderson (assistant)
Produced by Norman A. Cook
Collier Young
Screenplay by Martha Wilkerson
Based on American Girl (novel)
by John R. Tunis
Starring Claire Trevor
Sally Forrest
Music by Roy Webb
Cinematography Archie Stout
Edited by George C. Shrader
William H. Ziegler
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • May 23, 1951 (1951-05-23) (Premiere-San Francisco)[1]
  • June 9, 1951 (1951-06-09) (US)[1]
Running time
78 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Hard, Fast and Beautiful is a 1951 American drama film directed by Ida Lupino and starring Claire Trevor, loosely based on the 1930 novel American Girl by sports fiction author John R. Tunis, which itself was an unflattering and thinly veiled fictionalization of tennis star Helen Wills Moody.[2][3]


Florence Farley, a girl from Santa Monica, California in her late teens, and a tennis prodigy, is torn between fulfilling the dreams of her ambitious mother Millie, who has planned her tennis career, or her own dreams of being with the man she loves.

Florence has a chance meeting with Gordon McKay, the nephew of a wealthy town figure. Invited to play tennis at the local country club, she defeats him easily. Her prowess at the game causes J.R. Carpenter, the country club's manager, to offer Florence a membership there, plus a trip to Philadelphia to compete for the national junior championship.

Her scheming, social-climbing mother Millie manages to include herself on the trip, leaving her ill husband Will behind. She flirts with Florence's new coach Fletcher Locke and accepts money and gifts, which could endanger her daughter's amateur status. Once Millie realizes that Gordon is not wealthy, she discourages Florence from entertaining the idea of marrying him.

After winning at Forest Hills, an increasingly unhappy Florence wants to retire from tennis and get married. Her father, on his death bed, scolds Millie for looking out for her own interests rather than their girl's. Florence wins the Wimbledon women's singles title, then abruptly quits the game, announcing her impending marriage to Gordon and leaving her mother a forlorn figure on the sideline.



  1. ^ a b "The Tattooed Stranger: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ Oswald, G. K. (June 30, 1991). "Remembered, Yet Forgotten: The Writers Life of John Tunis". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. "New York Times: Hard, Fast and Beautiful". NY Times. Retrieved August 3, 2008. 

External links[edit]