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The Reckless Moment (1949)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,306 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 24 critic

After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director:

(as Max Opuls)

Writers:

(adaptation), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Reckless Moment (1949)

The Reckless Moment (1949) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Geraldine Brooks ...
Bea Harper
Henry O'Neill ...
Tom Harper
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Ted Darby
David Bair ...
David Harper
...
Nagel
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Storyline

In the charming community of Balboa 50 miles from Los Angeles, middle-class housewife Lucia Harper travels to Los Angeles to meet scoundrel, Ted Darby. Her seventeen year-old daughter Beatrice is in love with Ted. He asks for money to leave Bea, but Lucia refuses to give any. Bea does not believe her mother when told and during the night she sneaks out to the boat garage to meet Ted who admits that Lucia told the truth. Bea pushes him and Ted falls to his on an anchor. The next morning, Lucia finds the body and assumes that Bea has killed her lover. She decides to get rid of the corpse and puts it in her boat and dumps it far from home. When the police find Ted, a stranger, Martin Donnelly, visits Lucia to blackmail her on behalf of his partner, Nagel who has several letters Bea had written to Ted. Donnelly wants $5000 for the letters. The desperate Lucia tries to raise the amount. Martin falls in love with Lucia and tries to help her too. The dangerous Nagel wants to receive the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blank Wall  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter Wanger, who produced "Reckless Moment", and Joan Bennett were married from 1940 until 1965. In 1951 Wanger shot Bennett's agent, Jennings Lang, apparently based on the assumption of a romantic involvement between the two. See more »

Quotes

Martin: You have your family, I have my Nagel.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Deep End (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent 40's thriller.
24 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is result of an unusual combination, of a foreign movie director working within limitations of Hollywood in the 40's. This is really one most impressive thrillers and of my favorite movies. Ophuls does a great job working within pretty simple story line and illustrating how strong of a grip a family can have on a person life and how quickly it can come apart when fate intervenes. Ophuls camera creates nagging, dark atmosphere out of this middle class community, sort of like on a Twin Peaks episode. The story deals with a housewife, played by Joan Bennett, having to manage her family while her husband is abroad. Her daughter's relationship eventually escalates into blackmail and Joan has to deal secretly by herself with this problem, while trying to manage her family and keep everything under control. Bennett is excellent at portraying a person whose world is slowly caving in under pressure. Ophuls cleverly uses just about every scene to illustrate the tensions and inner conflicts of Bennett's character. James Mason is great as a refined crook who suddenly finds himself feeling empathy for others. Can't think of too many actors who could pull this off, or other places in time where this character would work. In addition to strong acting performances, there are lot of interesting allegory in the things which Ophuls shows and a very strong ending make this movie a masterpiece.. A + most strongly recommended.


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