Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
Fast Company (1938) 
Author Message

Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:53 am
Posts: 228
Location: Woodstock, IL
Fast Company (1938)

When you look through Hollywood history, you will find there are
times when movies or movie series came about for seemingly unlikely reasons. For
instance, following the success of the A budget "Thin Man" movies, theater owners
started complaining about the time lag between the production/release of new
Thin Man movies.

In order to please these theater owners, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
decided to produce/release a series of three B budget movies. These
films were about the husband and wife detective team of Joel & Garda Sloane.
As you can expect, the Sloaneā€™s were a knockoff of the Nick & Nora
Charles husband and wife detective team from the Thin Man movies. Essentially,
MGM's Sloane detective movies were the Thin Man flicks done on a lower

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the Sloan detective flicks was
the fact that in each one of the three movies in this series, different actors
and actresses played the husband and wife detective team. In first film in the
series, the one that is the subject of this review, Melvyn Douglas played Joel Sloane and
Florence Rice played Garda Sloane. Although Rice is pretty much forgotten today,
back in 1938 when this movie was made, she was a major actress.

The Sloane detective series were unusual in that the detective
couple were in the rare book business. The husband was widely regarded as an
expert in the field. Rare books is an area where there are all
sorts of forgeries and other frauds, Also, they are skillful at recovering lost or stolen
volumes for insurance companies. In order to survive in this business,
you have to develop detective skills that are useful in other areas including solving murder cases
that the incompetent cops can't handle. This was a departure from the pattern
set in The Thin Man where Nick and Nora Charles lived off Nora's
inheritance and did not do any real work.

Although the Sloane detective flicks were considered B movies, they
were actually on a similar level of quality as the A movie Thin Man
films. The two main actresses in Fast Company, for instance, were Claire
Dodd and Florence Rice. Both of these actresses were much better than Myrna
Loy in the Thin Man series.

Although it has been more than three quarters
of a century since Fast Company was made, both Claire Dodd and Florence Rice
continue to impress as truly gifted actresses. Both Dodd and Rice
were remarkably beautiful women whose careers faltered as they grew
older. It is a shame that both performers have been left in obscurity.

The first movie in the Sloane detective movie series was Fast Company, released in 1938, four years
after The Thin Man. The shady rare books
dealer Otto Brockler (George Zucco) was murdered and the list of suspects is
quite long. It is up to the Sloanes to find out who really committed the dirty deed
to prevent an innocent man from being executed for a crime that he did not commit.

The end result is a fast paced movie that has just the right amount
of humor thrown in. This movie is quite entertaining even though the
lead actor (Melvyn Douglas) is stiff and unconvincing as a rare book dealer.
Florence Rice has to shoulder the movie with the assistance of
Louis Calhern, Claire Dodd and Nate Pendelton.

However, to watch a movie that fully realized the potential that the Sloanes had for mystery mixed with
comedy, moviegoers had to wait for the sequel Fast and Loose.
In any event, Fast Company proved to be the first of a series of movies that
you can love for good old time mystery fun.

Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:28 am
Profile WWW
Burning Godzilla
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:35 am
Posts: 2529
Location: Chattanooga TN
Thanks for bringing this out of obscurity.

Links to trailers for the trilogy:

They seem like good fun.

Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.

Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:26 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 2 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  

Forum hosting by ProphpBB | Software by phpBB | Report Abuse | Privacy