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Born Reckless (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 June 1930 (USA)
Hoping to use the publicity to get re-elected, a judge sentences a notorious gangster to fight in the war.


(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Beretti
Catherine Dale Owen ...
Joan Sheldon
Frank Sheldon
Rosa Beretti
Good News Brophy
Bill O'Brien
Big Shot
Ilka Chase ...
High Society Customer at Beretti's
Ferike Boros ...
Ma Beretti
Pa Beretti
Joe Brown ...
Needle Beer Grogan - Bartender
Ben Bard ...
Joe Bergman
Pat Somerset ...
Maurice 'Fingy' Moscovitz


Hoping to use the publicity to get re-elected, a judge sentences a notorious gangster to fight in the war.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Crime | Drama | Film-Noir



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Release Date:

6 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El intrépido  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(MovieTone) (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


Over There
Composed by George M. Cohan
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User Reviews

Amazingly flat...
3 July 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

How much of this film was directed by Andrew Bennison and how much by John Ford is your guess. All I know is that with Ford at the helm, I sure expected more from this very flat film.

"Born Reckless" is a gangster film with rather odd casting. Edmund Lowe stars in this film and frankly he didn't seem at all the gangster type. Part of this might be because I've only seen Lowe in about a dozen films (and he made over a hundred) and none of them ha him playing anything even closely resembling a criminal. Usually, he played very sophisticated and cultured sorts of men and with his lovely diction it just felt odd to have him hanging out with the sorts of Warren Hymer in the film--Hymer usually playing idiots or thugs. So, from the onset I had trouble accepting Lowe in the film--although I like him as an actor.

The other problem I noticed is that the film didn't seem sure whether or not to make Lowe a bad guy or a good guy. At the beginning he seemed kind of bad--after all, he was involved in an armed robbery. then, however, only minutes later he seemed like a swell fella when he met his sister's new boyfriend. And, when the police brought him in because of the robbery, he agreed to serve in WWI in order to avoid prison--and he served with distinction. Later, after he got out, he was not the most law-abiding of citizens (opening a speakeasy), but he also had a very, very moral code--one you'd certainly not expect from the owner of a speakeasy!! As a result, the film was muddled despite having some very interesting elements and a dandy violent finale.

With all the great gangster films of the early 30s, my attitude is that you should see all of them first! With wonderful films like "Scarface", "Littel Caesar" and "Public Enemy" (among others), why mess with this mediocre and poorly written film?

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