5.4/10
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8 user 3 critic

Born Reckless (1930)

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

Writers:

(from the novel "Louis Beretti" by), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MASTER MIND OF GANGDOM GETS A CHANGE OF HEART! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

6 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El intrépido  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone) (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Over There
Composed by George M. Cohan
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User Reviews

 
A John Ford Production, wrecked by Andrew Bennison...
16 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

With such fluid epics as "The Iron Horse" (1924), "Lightnin'" (1925), "Hangman's House" and "Four Sons" (both 1928) in his resume, it is surprising that Fox would encumber Ford with a dialogue director over and over, but Fox did. In '29's "The Black Watch" it was Lumsden Hare. Andrew Bennison is credited with the stage direction of "Men Without Women" released January 1930. Judging from the result Bennison achieved in "Born Reckless" (released in May 1930), I'm astonished anyone would have given him a second chance.

The photoplay opens with a traveling camera shot of a parade. The camera prowls into a jewelry store where a heist is in progress. Outside, the cops "get wise" when a stolen truck is discovered. An exiting shootout and chase ensues, with our hero, Louis Berretti, gaining refuge at his parents' apartment. Then Bennison's stuff takes over. Well, molasses in Anchorage moves better and the pace of the film congeals. Berretti faces justice (eventually) and is "sentenced" to join the war effort overseas. John Ford stages some excellent sequences here, with Berretti's approbatory service delivering him home a hero. He opens a nightclub which, unfortunately, keeps Berretti rubbing elbows with his old mob and allows plenty scenes filled with Bennison-helmed hubris. The dialogue is not only awkward with head-shaking gaps, but has characters with names like Big Shot putting people "on the spot" [murdered].

Audiences of 1930 could not fast forward but you can and should. Edmund Lowe's performance is nothing like the smooth "Chandu" of a year later and probably should be skipped over to view Ford's impressive set pieces. The swamp at the picture's conclusion cribs Fox's "Sunrise" but remains impressive for an early talkie. I gave it a 7 for Ford's contributions. On the whole, though, this is the kind of film that gave early TV viewers a bad taste for early talkies. Viewers beware.


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