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Born Reckless (1937)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 9 July 1937 (USA)
A champion auto racer takes a job with a taxicab company being harassed by a gangster who wants to take over all the cab companies in town.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
... Sybil Roberts
... Bob 'Hurry' Kane
... Jim Barnes
... Lee Martin
... Dad Martin
... Dorothy Collins
... Windy Bowman
... Mac
... Louie
... Danny Horton (as George Wolcott)
... District Attorney


Racketeer Jim Barnes is trying to force the independent taxicab-drivers to join his 'protection service" at the cost of five bucks a day. Champion race-car driver, Bob Kane, joins with his friends Lee and "Dad" Martin in a fight for the street rights of a big city. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

9 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Armored Taxi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print) (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to a filming accident in which he injured two fingers of his left hand, Brian Donlevy spends almost the entire film with the hand in question either in his pocket, heavily gloved or somehow out of sight. It's finally revealed in its bandaged late in the final sequence. See more »


When "Hurry" Kane drops Sybil off at the county jail there is minimal damage to the taxi. In the next scene the taxi pulls into the garage with substantial damage. See more »

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User Reviews

Brian Donlevy behind the wheel again
8 September 2017 | by See all my reviews

1937's "Born Reckless" speeds along at a breathless 59 minutes, not cut down from 78 as one author asserts, this was the original running time, meaning a rush job in the editing department resulting in the absence of Lon Chaney's unbilled role as a garage mechanic. Second billed Brian Donlevy was in familiar territory, having played a G-man in disguise earlier that year in the equally fine "Midnight Taxi" - here, he's champion race car driver Bob 'Hurry' Cane, who blows all his winnings and takes a job with the Martin cab company, as Dad Martin (Harry Carey) is an old friend. This brings all sorts of risks since the Excelsior company run by Jim Barnes (Barton MacLane) is not on the level, taking out every rival who doesn't pay into his lethal protection racket, at $5 per cab. Top billing goes to Rochelle Hudson as Sybil Roberts, Barnes' chief moll with expensive tastes and questionable motives, seemingly taking a liking to the new driver in town, trying to steer him in Excelsior's direction. So assured is Donlevy that the actor didn't let two injured fingers on his left hand impair his performance, a painful film to make but the results are first rate (shooting title "Armored Taxi"). Natural funny men Eddie Dunn and Syd Saylor are uncharacteristically among the bad guys, while Lon Chaney would also find himself on the cutting room floor in Fox features like "Love is News," "That I May Live," and "Walking Down Broadway," a rather forgettable period preceding his sudden stardom in 1939's "Of Mice and Men."

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