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The Reckless Moment (1949)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 December 1949 (Denmark)
After discovering the dead body of her teenage daughter's lover, a housewife takes desperate measures to protect her family from scandal.

Director:

Max Ophüls (as Max Opuls)

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Martin Donnelly
Joan Bennett ... Lucia Harper
Geraldine Brooks ... Beatrice 'Bea' Harper
Henry O'Neill ... Tom Harper
Shepperd Strudwick ... Ted Darby
David Bair David Bair ... David Harper
Roy Roberts ... 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 December 1949 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blank Wall See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$882,653 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Mason said that when Columbia refused to director Max Ophüls the permission to light simultaneously two large and separate sets, to allow a long dolly shot from one place to the other, he thought that "Ophuls could not smile anymore from this day." See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Bea Harper: When you're seventeen today, you know what the score is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Far from Heaven (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Suspenseful Melodrama
16 August 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the charming community of Balboa 50 miles from Los Angeles, the middle-class housewife Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) travels to Los Angeles to meet the scoundrel Ted Darby (Shepperd Strudwick). Her seventeen year-old daughter Beatrice (Geraldine Brooks) is in love with Ted that is a worthless man. He asks for money to leave Bea, but Lucia refuses to give. Bea does not believe on her mother and during the night she sneaks out to the boat garage to meet Ted that admits that Lucia told the truth. Bea pushes him and Ted falls on an anchor immediately dying. On 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 far from home. When the police find Ted, the stranger Martin Donnelly (James Mason) visits Lucia to blackmail her on behalf of his partner Nagel (Roy Roberts) that has several letters that Bea had written to Ted, asking US$ 5,000 for the letters. The desperate Lucia tries to raise the amount since her husband is working in Berlin. However, Martin falls in love with her and tries to help her. But the dangerous Nagel wants to receive the amount at any price.

"The Reckless Moment" is a suspenseful melodrama of Max Ophüls. The despair of Lucia is impressive trying to protect her family and specially her teenage daughter from the scandal. The plot point is when the criminal falls in love with her and as he says, he had never done a decent deed in his life but he decides to help his beloved victim. Joan Bennett is fantastic in the role of Lucia and James Mason is a nice villain in the end. David Bair plays the annoying son of Lucia that is irritating. In 2001, Tilda Swinton played the lead role in "The Deep End", a good remake of "The Reckless Moment". My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Na Teia do Destino" ("In the Web of the Destiny")


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