26 user 13 critic

Reckless (1984)

Rebellious football player Johnny falls for cheerleader Tracy. They come from opposite backgrounds; she's from a comfortable well off family, his is poor and broken. Tracy already has a ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Rourke
Tracey Prescott
John Rourke Sr
Phil Barton
Mrs. Prescott
Randy Daniels
Peter Daniels
David Prescott (as Billy Jacoby)
Cathy Bennario
Mary Pat Sykes
Karen Sybern
Susan Kingsley ...
Officer Haskell
Physics Teacher


Rebellious football player Johnny falls for cheerleader Tracy. They come from opposite backgrounds; she's from a comfortable well off family, his is poor and broken. Tracy already has a boyfriend but he acts like a jerk, so Johnny has to win Tracy's heart - something she seems reluctant to let him do. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Girls like Tracy never tell their parents about guys like Rourke.


Drama | Romance | Comedy


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 February 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jovens sem Rumo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The make and model of Johnny Rourke (Aidan Quinn)'s motor-cycle was a 1980 Suzuki GN 400. See more »


Johnny Rourke: Why won't you let me drive you home?
Tracy Prescott: Because I... I don't want you to know where I live.
See more »


Referenced in A Friend to Die For (1994) See more »


Performed by INXS
Words and Music by Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence
Courtesy of Atco Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Triumph of style over substance
28 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was a teenager working at the Cineplex when I saw this movie for the first time. It doesn't take much to stir teenage angst, and longing. I was an easy target for this movie. You see, at the time, I too was in a doomed relationship with a girl that was all wrong for me (or so it seemed to the myopic teenage eye). She was a drill team princess and I was a nobody from the wrong side of the tracks. I had an immediate emotional response to Johnny and Tracey's dilemma. It resonated with me powerfully at the time. "Reckless" has lingered in my memory along with all the other sweet nostalgia from my youth.

Time and distance grant you clarity. So now, twenty four years later, I think I can review this movie with a much more critical eye. After seeing it again recently on a fairly good VHS copy, some of the strengths that I remember are still there. The beautiful cinematography that is reminiscent of "The Dear Hunter" is still there. Many of the shots in the film give the Pennsylvania mill town a bleak and forlorn look that matches Johnny's life. The editing is dead-on and lends this film an urgency that matches the story. The music is used effectively throughout. Inxs, Romeo Void, and Kim Wilde, just to name a few, give each scene the 'feel' it needs to enhance the story. The home coming dance scene where Johnny punks out to 'Never Say Never' is a great example of how bringing together great acting, editing, music, and energetic camera-work into a scene can get an audience's heart rate going. The scene still holds up after all these years. Fresh faced earnestness of the performances from Quinn and Hannah also make this movie very watchable.

Despite all of it's strengths, I couldn't ignore the glaring shortcomings. First off, Quinn's character, Johnny, is not really very believable. To be more precise, the way girls react to him in the film (with the notable exception of Tracey) is not really believable. Look at some of the opening scenes where some of Tracey's fellow cheerleaders treat him like a leper and call him a weirdo. Who are we kidding? Let's face it, as far back as James Dean, good looking, brooding guys on motorcycles have been babe magnets. Had I known this back then, I would have saved my money for a bike instead of blowing it on beer and fast food every weekend. I will pause this review briefly to kick myself…. Okay, I'm back. On with my review. Johnny's relationship with the older lady at the bowling alley is never developed although it seems to hold promise for further developments. Perhaps a love triangle? I dunno, it just seems kinda weird how it is given attention, and then dropped. Aside from Quinn's character, all other characters are fairly two dimensional. Tracey feels underwritten. She's a perfect princess that decides to rebel just because her life is too perfect? Really? Huh. At least that's what a brief two minute scene tries to sell us on for her motivation for ending up with Johnny on her first night. Did I miss something? I attribute these anemic characters to an underdeveloped script that comes across as clichéd and formulaic.

In most instances, this would be the death of any film. At least for me it would be. But because of all it's other strengths, it actually turns out to be a pretty engaging little movie, even after all these years.

"Reckless" is a fine example of how style, and shameless pandering to the teenage psyche, can sometimes triumph over a substandard script.

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