Top Speed (1930)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Musical, Romance

Top Speed (1930) Poster

An order clerk poses as a millionaire.

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  • Joe E. Brown and Jack Whiting in Top Speed (1930)
  • Joe E. Brown and Jack Whiting in Top Speed (1930)
  • Top Speed (1930)
  • Joe E. Brown and Jack Whiting in Top Speed (1930)
  • Joe E. Brown, Bernice Claire, Rita Flynn, and Laura Lee in Top Speed (1930)
  • Wade Boteler, Joe E. Brown, and Laura Lee in Top Speed (1930)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

30 August 2003 | Ron Oliver
| With Mouth Wide Open
Two penniless clerks, pretending to be industrial tycoons while staying at a lavish Florida resort, must keep their lies coming at TOP SPEED before their new wealthy girlfriends discover the truth.

Comic Joe E. Brown dominates this little film with his particular brand of slightly naughty physical humor. His agile body, elastic face and tremendous mouth are sure signs to the audience that laughs are on the way. Most of the time he's off the screen you wish he wasn't. He gets to do a little eccentric singing & dancing - ably backed up by energetic comedienne Laura Lee - which makes the rest of the movie's traditional hoofing look dull by comparison.

Jack Whiting plays Brown's buddy, and while a pleasant enough fellow he doesn't generate many chuckles. His romance with pretty Bernice Claire is faintly dull and his lengthy subplot - in which he races a motorboat and matches wits with an elderly extortionist - is interesting but really only serves to fill out the screen time.

Frank McHugh has some funny moments as a wacky inventor; Ward Boteler livens up a few scenes as a single-minded sheriff. Movie mavens will recognize an uncredited Edwin Maxwell as a petulant millionaire.

Ultimately, this is Joe E. Brown's film - another rung up the cinematic ladder to movies in which he would be the main star - both with the comedy and the romantic action.

Critic Reviews

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Did You Know?


(1929). Stage Play: Top Speed. Musical comedy. Book by Guy Bolton. Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Lyrics by Bert Kalmar. Music by Harry Ruby. Musical Direction by Ivan Rudisill. Choreographed by John Boyle and Leroy Prinz. Directed by John Harwood. Chanin's 46th Street Theatre (moved to The Royale Theatre from 10 Mar 1930- close): 25 Dec 1929- 22 Mar 1930 (104 performances). Cast: Flo Allen (as "Ensemble"), Lester Allen (as "Elmer Peters"), Ray Apgar (as "Ensemble"), Theodore Babcock (as "Mr. Rollins"), Tom Barrett (as "Ensemble"), Laine Blaire (as "Molly"), Billie Blake (as "Ensemble"), Norine Bogan (as "Ensemble"), Irene Carroll (as "Ensemble"), Martha Carroll (as "Ensemble"), Samuel Critcherson (as "Vincent Colgate"), Sunny Dale (as "Daisy Parker") [final Broadway role], George Del Drigo (as "Waiter at the Yacht Club/Ensemble"), Irene Delroy (as "Virginia Rollins"), Alan DeSylva (as "Ensemble"), Adele Dickson (as "Ensemble"), Harland Dixon (as "Tad Jordan"), Valerie Dolaro (as "Ensemble"), Peggy Driscoll (as "Ensemble"), John T. Dwyer (as "Spencer Colgate"), Enes Early (as "Ensemble"), Olga Fox (as "Ensemble"), Louise Francis (as "Ensemble"), Mildred Franke (as "Ensemble"), Paul Frawley (as "Gerry Brooks"), Fred Furman (as "Ensemble"), William Hale (as "Souvenir Storekeeper"), Lon Hascall (as "Pete Schoonmaker"), Mildred Hosee (as "Ensemble"), Carolyn James (as "Ensemble"), Gene Johnson (as "Ensemble"), Marie Keve (as "Ensemble"), George King (as "Ensemble"), Jerry Kirkland (as "Ensemble"), Hilda Knight (as "Ensemble"), Willis Lawrence (as "Ensemble"), Irving Lesser (as "Ensemble"), Dixie Lester (as "Ensemble"), Arthur May (as "Ensemble"), Beth Meredith (as "Ensemble"), Hal Morton (as "Ensemble"), Kendall Northrop (as "Ensemble"), Hermes Pan (as "Ensemble"), Lloyd Pedrick (as "Bellows"), Lorraine Power (as "Ensemble"), John Quinn (as "Ensemble"), Helen Rauth (as "Ensemble"), Kay Reilly (as "Ensemble"), Shirley Richards (as "Shirley"), Ginger Rogers (as "Babs Green") [Broadway debut], Mildred Rye (as "Ensemble"), Paula Sands (as "Ensemble"), Charlotte Silton (as "Ensemble"), Frances Thress (as "Ensemble"), Elinor Walent (as "Ensemble"), Nondas Wayne (as "Ensemble"), Ken Williams (as "Chauffeur/Ensemble"), Dodo Wyatt (as "Ensemble"), Daniel Wyler (as "Ensemble"). Produced by Bolton, Kalmar & Ruby Ltd. Note: Filmed by First National Pictures [dstributed by Warner Bros.] as Top Speed (1930) as a Joe E. Brown vehicle.


At the beginning of the film when Elmer is fishing, the bobber on his line is white when seen in the water, but dark when he pulls the line out of the water.

Alternate Versions

The original 80-minute version,a full musical, was only released outside of the United States. Most of the musical numbers were cut for the domestic version. It is unknown whether a print of this longer version still exists, although the complete soundtrack to the International Sound Version (which includes all of the original songs) survives on Vitaphone discs at the UCLA Film and Television Archives.


If You Were a Traveling Salesman and I Were a Chambermaid
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by
Joseph A. Burke
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Performed by Joe E. Brown and Laura Lee


Plot Summary


Comedy | Musical | Romance | Sport

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