review for The Fast Lady on AllMovie

The Fast Lady (1963)
by Craig Butler review

An amiable and unpretentious, if not especially enthralling, little comedy, The Fast Lady is best appreciated when in the mood for a very light, very slapstick-oriented piece of fluff. To say that Henry E. Blyth and Jack Davies' screenplay is a bit "slapdash" is an understatement: the authors have just taken their basic premise and added any gags and comedic situations that they can squeeze into it, whether it really has anything to do with the plot or not. In a piece this light, that's not so bad, especially when the gags pay off, as the visual ones tend to do here. The verbal gags fall a bit flat, but since Fast is a very physical film, that doesn't hurt as much as one might think. Ken annakin directs with an eye on the clock, doing his best to keep the pace up, although he can't help the film from dragging a bit in the middle section. But Annakin seems to have fondness for this silly material, and that comes through to good effect; his climactic car chase is certainly great fun. Stanley Baxter does well as the leading man, James Robertson Justice is reliably curmudgeonly, Julie Christie is stunningly beautiful (and even manages to hint at the substantial talent that would blossom in later films) and Leslie Phillips is amusingly smarmy. Far from a great film, Fast is still a decent way to pass the time.