7.2/10
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39 user 29 critic

The Reckless Moment (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1949 (UK)
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:

(screen play), (screen play) (as Robert W. Soderberg) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Beatrice 'Bea' Harper
...
Tom Harper
...
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

Taglines:

A wild web of violence drew them irresistibly toward one another ! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Blank Wall  »

Box Office

Budget:

$882,653 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the trivia item above, it says that Ophüls' name was really "Oppenheim." Interestingly enough, that name is mentioned in the film. It's the name of a loan officer at a finance company. See more »

Quotes

Lucia Harper: Just once, David, I'd like to see you fully clothed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in High Heels (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great Joan Bennett performance
23 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Taut drama with the always underrated Joan Bennett great as the panicked mother and James Mason just right as the conflicted anti-hero. They interact so well it's a pity they only made this one film together.

Wonderfully directed by Ophuls and atmospherically shot this was updated as The Deep End with Tilda Swinton also a fine film but this has a distinct allure of its own.

Most of the supporting cast isn't given much to do which helps focus the film but an interesting character is the faithful maid Sybil played well by Frances Williams. Always in the background but seemingly all seeing she emerges with a nice showing of grit and understanding at a climatic moment.

For fans of noir and melodrama this is a pleasure from start to finish.


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