Reckless (1935)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Musical, Comedy  |  19 April 1935 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 694 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 9 critic

Wealthy Bob Harrison buys all the seats in the theatre to watch Mona Leslie's musical by himself. He loves her, her agent Ned Riley loves her. Conflict ensues.



(screen play), (from a story by) (as Oliver Jeffries) , 4 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Riffraff (1936)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree ... See full summary »

Director: J. Walter Ruben
Stars: Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Una Merkel
Saratoga (1937)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After winning a stud farm in lieu of gambling debts, bookie Duke Bradley turns an eye to the daughter of the now deceased gambler and her millionaire fiancée.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore
Bombshell (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sexpot film star Lola Burns seeks a new image and tries marrying a marquis, adopting a baby -- all sorts of schemes which go awry.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Frank Morgan
Suzy (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

American showgirl Suzy is in London in 1914. She loves Irish inventor Terry who works for an engineering firm owned by a German woman. After their marriage Terry is murdered and Suzy flees ... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Cary Grant
Romance | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A dancer disappears from a theather and then William Powell and society beauty Ginger Rogers solve the murder.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Paul Kelly
China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
Rendezvous (1935)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1917 Lt. Bill Gordon is headed for France when he meets and becomes friendly with Joel Carter, niece of the Asst. Secretary of War. Finding out that he is an expert on codes, she gets ... See full summary »

Directors: William K. Howard, Sam Wood
Stars: William Powell, Rosalind Russell, Binnie Barnes
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue.

Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore
Red Dust (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The owner of a rubber plantation becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employees.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond
Hold Your Man (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ruby falls in love with small-time con man Eddie. During a botched blackmail scheme, Eddie accidentally kills the man they were setting up. Eddie takes off and Ruby is sent to a reformatory for two years.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Stuart Erwin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Lil works for the Legendre Company and causes Bill to divorce Irene and marry her. She has an affair with businessman Gaerste and uses him to force society to pay attention to her. She has ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, Chester Morris, Lewis Stone


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ned Riley
Bob Harrison
Ted Healy ...
Josephine (Jo) Mercer
Henry Stephenson ...
Colonel Harrison
Man Mountain Dean ...
Man Mountain Dean - Wrestler (as Man-Mountain Dean)
Robert Light ...
Paul Mercer
Carl Randall ...
Carl Randall
Louise Henry ...
James Ellison ...
Dale Every


Wealthy Bob Harrison buys all the seats in the theatre to watch Mona Leslie's musical by himself. He loves her, her agent Ned Riley loves her. Conflict ensues. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Singing! Dancing! Romancing! (Ad cuts). See more »


Drama | Musical | Comedy


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die öffentliche Meinung  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After the movie was completed and shot as a straight drama, MGM decided to make it into a musical, so production was resumed. This became one of Jean Harlow's few real flops. It's failure pleased Libby Holman immensely. See more »


As Ned, Smiley and Blossom leave a betting parlor with winnings from horse betting, they pass a jewelry shop's window display of wedding rings with a candle on each side. The candle on the right is tilted at a 45 degree angle. Both candles are vertical in the next shot. See more »


Mona Leslie: [Spoken introduction to the song, Reckless] What'll you ever be? What'll you ever do? How will you ever know if you don't take a chance?
Chorus: You have got to gamble with fate.
Mona Leslie: [singing] I wanna live, love, learn a lot. I'll light my candle and I'll burn a lot.
Chorus: You'll have some bad shots, hard knocks!
Mona Leslie: I'm on my own if I bruise.
Chorus: And there'll be smiles here, shouts here!
Mona Leslie: And I can take it on the chin if I lose, because I'm reckless!
Chorus: She's simply reckless!
Mona Leslie: Reckless!
Chorus: She's simply reckless!
See more »


Version of Brief Moment (1933) See more »


Ev'rything's Been Done Before
Music Jack King
Lyrics by Edwin H. Knopf (as Edwin Knopf) and Harold Adamson
Sung by Allan Jones (uncredited)
Danced by Jean Harlow (uncredited) and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Tragic Pairing
27 October 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although Jean Harlow disliked playing this part in Reckless because she was a friend of Libby Holman on whom her part is based, she did it anyway, because it was a great part and she turned in a great performance. It was also her first of two films with William Powell whom she was going to marry at the time she died.

No doubt the notoriety of the Zachary Smith Reynolds suicide which was in the presence of Ms. Holman, well known torch singer from the twenties was a wonderful story. Can you see the wheels turning in Louis B. Mayer's mind? Star Jean Harlow in this film, also because of her own suicide scandal involving her late husband, Paul Bern. This can't miss at the box office and it didn't.

Of course if the film were made today, it would also include Libby Holman's lesbian affairs. As the Code was now in place, that was an aspect that MGM couldn't film in Reckless.

Although Harlow is clearly in the lead, Franchot Tone also got one of his best roles as the young millionaire from the horsey set who's not wrapped too tight although that's not apparent at first. For once his part from MGM did not include just wearing tails and being charming.

Of the leads William Powell is clearly in third place, he just has to be dapper and supportive as the family lawyer for Harlow and grandmother May Robson. He gets to do a great drunk act though. Speaking of Robson her part in Reckless probably led to her being cast as Janet Gaynor's grandmother in A Star Is Born.

This was an early film for Rosalind Russell who plays the girl Tone jilts when he marries Harlow. She plays it nice and supportive. Russell did China Seas as well with Harlow and in her memoirs, she says that Harlow was a kind, generous, and supportive to a new kid on the lot. Who could know she would be dead within two years.

Reckless is one of Jean Harlow's best acted parts in her career. Fans of her and Franchot Tone should not miss this film by any means.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jean Harlow's singing voice? ChubbyBannister
love the shot of the maids ksf-2
Discuss Reckless (1935) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: