Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Forgotten Movies: RECKLESS MOMENT
I have been anxious to see this film since I read the book THE BLANK WALL by Elisabeth Sanzay Holding last month. This is a strange clip but the rest were too long.
Lucia Harper: You don't know how a family can surround you at times.
Martin: Do you never get away from your family?
Lucia Harper: No.
In some ways, this quote is at heart what the book and movie is about because in it a woman continues to tend to her family responsibilities both large and small throughout a tumultuous situation. Joan Bennett plays a mother of two teenagers suddenly called into action to protect her daughter from an unscrupulous man. From her first actions, she begins a slide toward total ruin but somehow through devotion and ingenuity manages to save herself and her daughter. James Mason plays the villain, who is unexpectedly, smitten.
There are scenes of bucolic family life interspersed with frantic attempts by Bennett to raise money and take care of various threats to the family. This makes for some difficult but interesting transitions.
Max Orphuls directed this, along with three other films in Hollywood. It is better than the B movie it was intended, no doubt, to be because the source material is strong and original. Geraldine Brooks plays the daughter with a sexuality and hysteria that you won't see again for a decade or more. There are some clunky transitions here and there and I can imagine a better movie with Barbara Stanwyck, but on the whole, it is a pretty fine drama.