Film Review: Fast-Walking

Rock solid prison drama. James Woods once again lights up the screen as a cheerful, mildly sleazy prison guard, Frank "Fast-Walking" Miniver. He's sometimes got some kind of hustle going on, but he's not all that bad. Yet, he finds himself drawn into a plot being engineered to assassinate William Galliott (Robert Hooks), a black revolutionary. Ultimately, Fast-Walking has to make a choice. Accept the money being offered to participate in the killing, or accept Galliotts' offer of cash to keep him safe.

Although leisurely paced, "Fast-Walking" is a frequently riveting look at corruption in a prison system. It gets a fair amount of juice from a typically electrifying performance by Woods, but even he is outshone by the late Tim McIntire, who's magnetic as an ambitious and crafty convict named Wasco. Woods also has fine scenes with the tantalizingly sexy Kay Lenz, as Wascos' girl "Moke". Moke makes it clear from the moment of her first encounter with Fast-Walking that she's not somebody to be messed with. Lenz does have one extremely memorable sequence where she turns on almost every male present in the visiting room. The rest of the supporting cast is stocked with some excellent actors and actresses: M. Emmet Walsh as Fast-Walkings' superior, Charles Weldon as his co-worker, Susan Tyrrell (looking more glamorous than usual) as Evie, Lance LeGault as Lieutenant Barnes, Sandy Ward as the warden, and Sydney Lassick as an inmate. The great screen psycho Timothy Carey has an amusing role as eccentric kingpin "Bullet". ~ Hey_Sweden1

"Fast-Walking" was adapted from the novel by Ernest Brawley by producer & director James B. Harris, who produced some of Kubricks' films when he was younger and who would again work with Woods on the police drama "Cop". The story is entertaining and on location shooting at a real prison aids in the authenticity. Some viewers will be pleased with the amount of full frontal female nudity. (Be warned, however, that we also get full frontal from Mr. Walsh!)

Nicely scored by Lalo Schifrin, this is a fairly interesting film worth a look for fans of prison-based cinema and actor Woods.
I thought it was Great an I loved this movie, one of James Woods' best. I certainly agree with the other reviewer about Kay Lenz, the woman is ravishing. It has a gritty, sleazy feel to it that reminds me of "To Live and Die In L.A.".. .. it's realistic, in other words. Kay Lenz was striking in this movie, I thought she was about the sexiest woman alive for years after watching this. The guy that played WASCO was really good too, and lots of underground prison slang in the's got that real feel to it... It reminds me of the movie "Colors".. or "Miami Vice" .. and mirrors the drug scene in California, indeed, in America. It's a gray movie.. without any real heroes. Reminds me of real life! ~ dweddle32

james woods ernest brawley