The Reckless Moment (1949) James Mason, Joan Bennett, Geraldine Brooks, Henry O'Neill Movie Review

The Reckless Moment (1949)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Joan Bennett and James Mason in The Reckless Moment (1949)

Desperate Housewife

Unhappy with her teenage daughter dating scoundrel Ted Darby, housewife Lucia Harper pays him a visit where he says he will leave is she pays him. When later on Ted visits Lucia's daughter Bea and she ends up pushing him on to a boat anchor when he tells her the truth Lucia finds his dead body and disposes of it. But shortly after a man called Martin shows up on behalf of a man called Nagel who has letters which not only showed that Bea and Ted were together but also of Lucia wanting him gone. With Martin and Nagel trying to blackmail her things become even more complicated when Martin starts to fall for Lucia whose husband works away from home.

A few years back I watched a movie called "The Deep End" which starred Tilda Swinton who disposed the body of a close friend of her son's after she found it on the beach. I had forgotten all about the movie until just now when I watched "The Reckless Moment" from 1949 as "The Deep End" turns out to be a modern update of it. But out of the two I find myself favouring this 1940s thriller as it is less cold than the newer version plus it doesn't dilly dally and gets on with things.

Now what I am going to say contradicts itself because whilst "The Reckless" moment features a convoluted story which has a chain of events set up it is simple enough to follow because it remains a linear storyline with one thing leading to another rather than flying off on tangents. As such you are never forced to try and remember things and are able just see how things play out.

What "The Reckless Moment" also has is a great cast with Joan Bennett doing a fantastic job of a housewife out of her depth when events spiral out of control but trying to maintain a look of normality on the exterior. The way she gives the character a sense of panic is what for me makes the movie. But then there is also James Mason who whilst over does the accent somewhat certainly makes the character of Martin an intriguing one.

What this all boils down to is that "The Reckless Moment" is still an engaging thriller from the late 40s which for me is superior to the much more recent attempt to update it.