Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949). Director: Max Ophuls.

Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) tries to cover up her daughter Bea's (Geraldine Brooks) part in an older man's death, and winds up blackmailed by Martin Donnelly (James Mason), who has a collection of the girl's love letters and doesn't believe Lucia's fiction that she did the dirty deed herself [a really unbelievable moment]. This tedious mess could have been an absorbing film but director Ophuls seems completely uninspired by a poor script that even tries to contrive an unconvincing "romance" between Lucia, who is happily married, and her tormentor. Bennett isn't bad in the picture but she has absolutely no chemistry with Mason, who merely seems bored to distraction by the entire project. The movie goes nowhere slowly.

Verdict: Tedious picture is one of Mason's worst. *1/2.

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