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Re: Reckless Moment. (Sigh) Another teenager corrupted by art school. . .


slaytonf
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You can see the effect of Max Ophuls direction in the images and camera movement, but that still can't lift this movie out of its pool of mundanity.

 

Dear misswonderly:

 

I have altered the thread title. I apologize for the omission. I occasionally commit this error. Please generously ascribe this to enthusiasm and eagerness.

 

Edited by: slaytonf on Jan 24, 2012 12:19 AM

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slayton, it's only by chance that I know you're talking about *Reckless Moment*. Shirley we should specify the titles of the films we're talking about here, if not in the thread topic name, then at least in the body of the original post for that thread.

 

I actually would like to discuss *Reckless Moment*, and was thinking of starting a thread about it myself.

 

 

I just wandered into it, about half an hour along. So I missed what happened at the beginning, and only now know how Darby died. ( And I complained about those long plot synopses on the TCM database! Shame on me ! )

 

 

Anyway, it was pretty darned good, as Paul McCartney once said ( although not about a Max Ophuls film.) Every moment, I was wondering what Joan Bennett was going to do; she was still good-looking enough to make the money, shall we say, on her back, but of course such a proper middle-class lady as Mrs.Harper would never consider such a thing ( once again, shame on me for thinking of it! )

 

 

I do have a problem with the film, however. The daughter, Bea, is curiously uninvolved and absent from the story, despite the fact that it's because of her that the tangled web is woven in the first place. True, as I admitted, I missed the first 25 minutes or so ( undoubtedly an essential 25 minutes), but I can tell you this: if I had a daughter whom I suspected of killing her boyfriend, I would definitely have a talk with her. Nothing can be accomplished by avoidance.

 

 

I mean, it's all about Beatrice, it's all because of her that Lucia's dilemma was created, and yet she hardly comes into it anymore, except to mope about and refuse to go to the movies. As though that's her biggest concern !

 

 

So what do others think? slayton?? anyone?

 

 

(ps: because of the "no Canadian rights" b.s., I was unable to watch *Caught* - even though it's been aired in Canada in the past. Also that other one being shown after *Caught*. N.C.R. Aaargh !)

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>sez misswonderly:

>I do have a problem with the film, however. The daughter, Bea, is curiously uninvolved and absent from the story, despite the fact that it's because of her that the tangled web is woven in the first place. True, as I admitted, I missed the first 25 minutes or so ( undoubtedly an essential 25 minutes), but I can tell you this: if I had a daughter whom I suspected of killing her boyfriend, I would definitely have a talk with her. Nothing can be accomplished by avoidance.

 

You are acute in your observation. It's a little involved, so I'll refer you to the expanded plot synopsis of the movie to find out what happened. It will probably answer your questions on the mother/daughter communication. As to why the daughter drops out of the movie (something I didn't hang around long enough to see), perhaps she was just considered as merely a plot motivator.

 

As for the other movies, you might be able to find and watch them (if it does not conflict with your principles) on a certain website where people are wont to post any number and type of videos.

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I left midway, even though it started off as a very interesting movie. I never saw background scenes so busy in a noir movie. Joan's conciliations to James Mason annoyed me.

 

I came back at the end, and poor Joan, she still had on the same coat as she had throughout. But suddenly she was agreeing to laying the blame on the guy Mason brought up, but this guy died in a car wreck? Huh?

 

So did the daughter or didn't the daughter accidentally kill the slimy boyfriend?

 

Oh, and the teenage son was rude and annoying, barging in on his mother all the time, and why the emphasis on his various states of undress? And do household workers really care that much about the family they work for? I wasn't buying it.

 

Odd little movie.

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I enjoyed the movie although I wouldn't say it's a favorite. Personally my favorite thing about the film was James Mason. I enjoyed the characters redemption in the movie

 

 

But I think the titular Reckless Moment was not the daughter killing the guy but the mother exposing of the body & trying to handle everything on her own.

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I apologize for the double post but I can't seem to edit on my IPOD.

 

But anyways the guy Mason was initially trying to get Joan's character to blame was someone else. He was set free by the police.

 

Mason killed the guy blackmailing them (and his partner). He dragged him in the car and made it look like a car accident. I believe Mason confessed (or said it was his partner, I forget) that killed the guy the daughter killed before he died. I suppose he felt it was the last thing he could do for Joan's character who he loved.

 

The daughter did kill the guy but accidentally.

 

 

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Mason killed the guy blackmailing them (and his partner). He dragged him in the car and made it look like a car accident. I believe Mason confessed (or said it was his partner, I forget) that killed the guy the daughter killed before he died. I suppose he felt it was the last thing he could do for Joan's character who he loved.

 

Thanks, but I'm confused! So Mason fell in love with Joan?

 

The daughter did kill the guy but accidentally.

 

That part I got, I think. She hit him with the flashlight, and he fell off the railing. Then Joan dragged him into the boat, and dropped him in the ocean? Odd part, the picture in the newspaper showed him on a beach. Did he wash up on shore? Didn't she anchor him?

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>slayronf wrote:

>You can see the effect of Max Ophuls direction in the images and camera movement, but that still can't lift this movie out of its pool of mundanity.

>

>Dear misswonderly:

>

>I have altered the thread title. I apologize for the omission. I occasionally commit this error. Please generously ascribe this to enthusiasm and eagerness.

Gee, you write purdy! :x

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@Willbefree (sorry I apparently can't quote on my iPod either)

 

I can't really give a good explanation of what happened to the body, except despite Joan's efforts the police found the body.

 

But yes James Mason defintely fell in love with Joan's character, although it might not have ever been explicitly said. I mean even before he killed his partner & died for her, he was willing to give up his share of the bribery money.

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Was so happy to finally see this film. You didnt miss too much. The movie moves quickly (a bit too quickly for my taste). For that reason I liked the remake better as it developed the characters more. The story was basically the same, but they added a few modern twists to the story (the son was gay.....) I agree the daughter falls by the wayside much too quickly in the original. I thought Joan Bennett did a great job, granted the limitations of the script. And James Mason too, in an even sketchier role.

 

Did anyone notice the film didnt show Joan disposing of the body? Only the anchor? I had to rewind the DVR as I thought I missed something. Odd. Probably because little Joan couldnt have possible dragged that body into the swamp. (LOL)......

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wouldnt go so far to say Mason fell in love with Joan, but he came to empathize and feel sorry for her. The daughters blows didnt kill her boyfriend, he fell after she ran off, though I guess you could say she caused his death indirectly. I didnt see Joan disposing of the body at all. I reran the scene and it only showed her disposing of the anchor. It did show her putting the body in the boat. I guess the scene was too problematic to show so they either cut it or never intended to show it (the swamp part)......

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 24, 2012 11:01 AM

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 24, 2012 11:05 AM

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 24, 2012 11:08 AM

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 24, 2012 11:09 AM

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slayton, I'm sorry if I seemed critical about your original thread title ( not naming the film under discussion, that is.) The way I post and edit here is far from perfect, and, as you say, sometimes we're so eager to start that thread that we forget to mention the movie under discussion. Please feel free to edit/suggest improvement on the threads I initiate, I could probably use the help :8} .

 

Now back to *Reckless Moment*. This would be an interesting film to pair with *Bigger Than Life*. Although seven years separate them ( *Reckless Moment*, 1949 / *Bigger Than Life*, 1956), there are a number of similarities and it would be fun to compare the two. Both star James Mason, both are directed by "outsider" directors who made some pretty off-beat films. But most of all, both are thematically linked: despite the seven years that separate them, both movies feature "normal" middle-class families. The post-war 40s and most of the 50s placed a huge premium on being average, on conformity. To draw attention to oneself, especially around issues such as drug (even prescription drug) addiction or an inappropriate love match, was to invite the disrespect and perhaps condemnation of one's fellow middle-class conformist citizens.

 

If only Joan Bennett had 1) had a good serious conversation with her daughter about what happened, and 2) told the blackmailers ( handsome and lilting-voiced though that blackmailer may have been) to get stuffed, she'd never have had to go on that humiliating and exhausting journey, hocking her jewellery etc. But it was unthinkable for her to face a "scandal", even if the daughter had been exonerated, her safe middle-class 1950s ( almost) world would have been rocked too hard.

 

 

Another comment about the daughter: what is Bea going take away from this incident, what is she going to learn, if her mother takes on all the problem-solving of what she did? And yet, despite Joan/Lucia's efforts to protect her daughter and the rest of her family, she demonstrates very little affection for them. She's very cold and curt with them - I know she's under stress, but still ...

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Well, I would've been curt with sonny boy too. That kid was annoying. And considering her daughter was a suspect/possible murderer of her boyfriend, Joan was pretty accepting of the situation, taking over the problem full force (not necessarily wisely). Let's face it, Joan was under a lot of stress and her hubby was gone so no one to discuss what to do (Let's not bother poor Gramps......)

 

Joan was given several scenes where she gave voice to her feelings about her family. I remember her telling Mason in one scene she didnt feel trapped by her family........Joan did talk to her daughter earlier in the film, but the daughter negelected to fess up about the love letters.....

 

Edited by: Hibi on Jan 24, 2012 3:47 PM

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My husband and I saw the remake of this film, which was entitled The Deep End, either on IFC or The Sundance Channel about a year ago . It made me curious about the original so I was very glad to see *Reckless Moment* part of the lineup last night.

 

 

Sadly, I was dissapointed. Ophuls was trying to convey the lengths a mother would go to in order to protect her child but I didn't feel the urgency in it. It was also hard for me to sympathize with Joan's character. Did I expect her to scream, cry, and wring her hands? No, but I expected more from the character.

 

 

Through the whole film it felt as if something was off... maybe that was the intent?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

>

> ...IT'S JUST A MOVIE!

>

>

> Now, try to get some sleep!

>

>

>

>

>

> Sepiatone

>

Sepiatone, I never lose sleep over a movie. No one does.( Well, ok, I don't know that for sure.)

 

I hardly think anything I commented on in my posts, or for that matter, anyone else's comments here, indicate they're all bent out of shape over this film. We all just like to discuss movies we've seen and have some thoughts about. Isn't that largely what these forums are for?

 

I realize you were probably just kidding, and that's fine. But something I like about this TCM site is the way we can exchange ideas and opinions about movies - especially movies we've recently seen-

on TCM. Just because I and others have comments we want to make about a film we've seen doesn't mean we're over reacting.

Of course "it's just a movie". But if I am really engaged in a film, I like to discuss it and share my ideas about it with others. To take the "it's just a movie" to its logical conclusion, we wouldn't talk about movies at all here, because after all, they're all "just a movie".

You could say "it's just a song", or, "it's just a book"...some of the most passionate opinions people have are about movies and songs and books.

 

Ok, I'm getting all poe-faced and lecturing here - after all, "it's just a website ! "

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The remake did a better job of building the urgency and hysteria of the story, despite being longer. There is a certain coolness to the original, cant explain why exactly........Joan's character never completely loses it except towards the end. In the remake the mother starts losing her grip quite early.........

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}The remake did a better job of building the urgency and hysteria of the story, despite being longer. There is a certain coolness to the original, cant explain why exactly........Joan's character never completely loses it except towards the end. In the remake the mother starts losing her grip quite early.........

 

Hibi, I must agree with you. For the very reason you stated in your post, I would say that the remake is better then the original.

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote:}{quote}

> Joan's character never completely loses it except towards the end. In the remake the mother starts losing her grip quite early.........

I prefer it the way that it was done in the Ophuls film. I think it was deliberate as Bennett's character was not shown to have the opportunity to break down. Every where she went in the house, there was some other family member or the household help intruding on her - she had to maintain her composure. When she went out, she would run into others who might just be saying "hello" such as even in the car with Mason, she still had a neighbor in another vehicle greeting her. It seemed that she lived in a goldfish bowl and had she started freaking out, that's only going to raise questions among the many characters who make up her day.

 

I'm perhaps wishing too hard that it was deliberate as I would not have been able to put up with another Nancy Kelly in THE BAD SEED type performance that simply wears me out. Just imagine the microscope that Bennet would have been under if she did demonstrate becoming unnerved.

 

Not that I'm that impressed with THE RECKLESS MOMENT. I've heard about it for years and love Joan Bennett, but I'll take her work with Fritz Lang over this one - except perhaps for SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR which struck me as "deja vu all over again" in the words of Yogi Berra.

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