Opening

—— The Identical Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
71% God Help the Girl Sep 05
—— The Remaining Sep 05

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $16.3M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $11.8M
39% If I Stay $9.3M
31% As Above/So Below $8.3M
21% Let's Be Cops $8.2M
37% The November Man $7.7M
17% When The Game Stands Tall $5.6M
32% The Giver $5.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $4.6M
34% The Expendables 3 $3.5M

Coming Soon

—— No Good Deed Sep 12
—— Dolphin Tale 2 Sep 12
—— Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? Sep 12
100% The Skeleton Twins Sep 12
100% The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Sep 12

New Episodes Tonight

88% Finding Carter: Season 1
53% Houdini: Season 1
67% Matador: Season 1
—— Rizzoli & Isles: Season 5
—— Royal Pains: Season 6
—— Sullivan & Son: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Anger Management: Season 2
71% Dallas: Season 3
—— Mistresses: Season 2
25% Partners: Season 1
67% Teen Wolf: Season 4
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

The Reckless Moment

The Reckless Moment (1949)

My Rating

Movie Info

A blend of melodrama and film noir, The Reckless Moment stars Joan Bennett as Lucia Harper, a suburban housewife whose husband is away on business. Her daughter, Bea (Geraldine Brooks), an aspiring artist, has fallen for Ted Darby (Shepperd Strudwick), a shady older man from Los Angeles who claims to be an ex-art dealer. One night, after a secret rendezvous in the Harpers' boathouse that turns into an argument, Bea accidentally kills Darby. When Lucia discovers his body in the morning, she

Unrated,

Drama

Mel Dinelli, Henry Garson

Cast

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (0) | DVD (1)

It certainly makes for the purest and most impossible love of [Max] Ophuls' films, and for me, the most emotionally compelling.

September 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

a rather original take on what is usually a very pedestrian setup

August 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A very engaging thriller...

March 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Reckless Moment

Affecting but slightly unsatisfying real-world noir. Wonderful in parts but rushed in others. I'm thinking perhaps the demands of Hollywood and a modest budget took a couple courses out of this film.
March 2, 2011
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

The last of director Max Ophüls' Hollywood films, The Reckless Moment doesn't necessarily distinguish itself other than Joan Bennett's intense performance. It's actually a rather unconventional film noir starring Bennett as the well-to-do mother of a teenage daughter who's gotten herself mixed up with the wrong sort of man. The mother goes to confront this man and he offers to stop seeing the girl in exchange for a payoff. When he comes snooping around late one night, the daughter rejects him physically, and the man winds up dead. Desperate to keep her daughter out of trouble, the mother covers up the any evidence the dead man was ever there and and dumps his body off somewhere else. Soon afterward, a blackmailer (James Mason) enters the picture, threatening to expose the girl's love letters to the deceased man if he's not given $5000.

In spite of a somewhat ridiculous storyline, Bennett shines as the no-nonsense, unbending woman who fights to protect the cozy home she's created. The father is completely out of the picture, of course, and it's up to the strong mother figure to keep this structure of civility from crashing down around their ears. James Mason as the charming villain meets the only end he can possibly meet within the film's circumstances. It's a shame for such a strong woman to have to go without the love of a man. Duty tells her to remain faithful to the disembodied voice over the telephone, rather than run off with the charming and dangerously foreign blackmailer, but standards and morals of the 1940s dictates this more forcibly than the heart does.
May 16, 2012
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Taut drama with the always underrated Joan Bennett great as the panicked mother and James Mason just right as the conflicted anti-hero. Wonderfully directed by Ophuls and atmospherically shot this was updated as The Deep End with Tilda Swinton also a fine film but this has a distinct allure of its own.
January 23, 2012
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

nominally film noir, the film has more in common with the melodramas of douglas sirk. based on a story from the ladie's home journal, as many so-called 'women's pictures' were, the plot follows an upper middle class housewife trying to keep her family running smoothly in her husband's absence. and when i say follows i also mean literally with ophuls trademark sweeping camera moves. joan bennett is given a chance to break out of bad girl roles as the family matriarch who tries to interfere in her daughter's affair with a scoundrel. when he is accidentally killed shortly afterward, she takes it on herself to dispose of the body in order to protect her offspring! this proves to be a fatal error as she is soon confronted by a handsome blackmailer in the figure of james mason, leading to a rather unlikely turn of events. i don't think the story is fleshed out enough to be entirely convincing. the best scenes are those of joan fruitlessly trying to raise the money, depicting the powerlessness of women in a patriarchal society. the film was remade in 2001 as the deep end with tilda swinton
February 21, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Reckless Moment on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

New on DVD & Blu-Ray
New on DVD & Blu-Ray

Draft Day, Universal Monsters

Box Office Wrapup
Box Office Wrapup

Guardians Tops slow Labor Day

<em>Foxcatcher</em>
Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum in a dark drama

<em>Rosewater</em>
Rosewater

Jon Stewart's political drama

Foreign Titles

  • The Reckless Moment (DE)
  • The Reckless Moment (1949) (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile