HARD FAST AND BEAUTIFUL is a small budget film,an Ida Lupino production which she also directed. The theme is of an over ambitious mother (Claire Trevor) who pushes her daughter (Sally Forrest) into a career in tennis.
It’s well acted by Trevor and Forrest,but Sally’s rapid rise from hitting tennis balls off a garage door to winning national championships was ridiculously quick. The tennis scenes are poor and Sally just isn’t convincing as a top player.
Kenneth Patterson played Sally’s dad and he reminded me of Bruce Bennett’s character in MILDRED PIERCE. While Claire travels round the country and abroad with Sally, he is at home,unwell and worried about Sally.
I think the mother and daughter conflict would have been far better in a setting other than tennis.
In THE HARD WAY (1943), Ida played a character similar to Claire’s – she drives her reluctant sister ‘s (Joan Leslie) stage career.
A nice surprise in the film is a shot of Ida Lupino and Robert Ryan watching one of the matches.
Lupino and Ryan made two better films in 1952, BEWARE MY LOVELY AND ON DANGEROUS GROUND. Maybe discussions about these films were already in progress.