There’s a The Fast & The Furious Movie From 1954 and It’s Not What You’d Expect Today
F&F fans will find elements of this forgotten film eerily familiar.
2001's The Fast and the Furious wasn't the first film to use the name, nor was it even the second. That honor belongs to the creation of independent film legend Roger Corman, who helped launch the careers of James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, and many others. Among the prolific indie filmmaker's portfolio of low-budget but often profitable B-movies, was 1954's The Fast and the Furious, much of whose plot sounds like it was stitched together from parts of the better-known film saga of the same name.
The 1954 F&F's story opens with truck driver Frank Webster busting out of jail (a la Fast Five) after being charged with a murder he didn't commit. While fleeing, he commits the actual crimes of carjacking and kidnapping, making off with a Jaguar XK 120 and its owner Connie at gunpoint. What follows is a series of close and cheesy brushes with police and an ill-considered romantic arc that can be summed up in the words "Stockholm syndrome."
Later on, the protagonists camouflage themselves from police by ducking into a border-crossing road rally, much like the tuner car scramble in 2 Fast 2 Furious. During this race, one of Connie's friends is injured in a crash and Webster stops to aid him, blowing his cover and giving up any hopes of escape—do I even need to spell it out?
Stranger still, Twitter user @edjeff who brought the film to our attention outlines some sort of subplot surrounding an egg salad sandwich, which he theorizes could be the basis for the 2001 F&F's line, "what's up with this fool? What is he, sandwich crazy?" It'd be an outlandish theory if we didn't know Universal actually licensed the F&F name from Corman, with the original film's producer Neal Moritz telling Entertainment Weekly he secured rights to the name by offering Corman some stock footage.
F&F 2001's weird sandwich scene could absolutely be a coincidence, though considering how many times Corman's proteges threw him a bone with cameos in their work, maybe the whole sandwich debacle was a nod to the source of the movie's name after all.
So, will that be tuna again, or would you like to try the egg salad this time?
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