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Reckless (1935)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Musical, Comedy  |  19 April 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 686 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 »
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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


Jerome Kern wrote the hit song "Reckless" for Jean to sing! (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?


Two songs, "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dum" and "I'm Going Down to Dance at Clancy's" by Con Conrad and Herb Magidson were cut from the final print. 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 »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Jean Harlow (1962) See more »


Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Played during the opening and closing credits
Sung by Jean Harlow (uncredited) (dubbed by Virginia Verrill (uncredited)) in a production number
Danced by Jean Harlow (uncredited), Rafael Storm (uncredited) and chorus
Sung by Nina Mae McKinney (uncredited)
Reprised by the band at Jo's Wedding with Jean Harlow (uncredited) dancing
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

A sharp right turn
25 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

William Powell, Jean Harlow, and May Robson are absolute delights in "Reckless," a movie which starts out on the light side and then suddenly turns into a drama, continues down the drama road and ends at melodrama, '30s style. Powell and Harlow have wonderful chemistry. Both were natural, charismatic, and energetic performers. May Robson is a riot as Granny, and her scenes with Powell are gems.

Franchot Tone plays a millionaire playboy crazy over Harlow; Powell loves her but doesn't come out and say it. It's a very old formula, but that doesn't matter. The film is interspersed with several musical numbers that aren't particularly inspiring. Harlow's singing is dubbed, and I suspect the actual dancing parts of her dancing were also. Who cares - she just radiated beauty, warmth, and vulnerability in everything she did. The musical sections were apparently thrown in after the film was made.

I can't write for anyone else, but I was surprised when the film made its dramatic turn - and without giving anything away, particularly surprised Harlow went for it, until I read that she turned the film down because of it. William Powell convinced her to take the role. By the end of the film, we're in melodrama land. But the two stars pull it off, though it is truly ridiculous.

A young Rosalind Russell has a supporting role and essays it beautifully. It's not a great movie, but the people in it surely are.

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

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