Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
MR. RECKLESS (1948). Director: Frank McDonald.
Jeff Lundy (William Eythe) discovers that when it comes to his alleged girlfriend Betty (Barbara Britton), he's been away for far too long -- years in fact. Now he discovers that Betty is engaged to his pal, restaurant owner Gus (Nestor Paiva, pictured). The three go off to an oil town where Gus opens a new eatery while he and Betty prepare for their wedding, and Jeff goes to work for the oil company. This is basically a poor man's They Knew What They Wanted [musicalized as The Most Happy Fella] with a pretty young women engaged to a much older and less attractive fellow; there's even a scene when Betty wants to marry Gus, whom she doesn't really love, right after he has an accident. Eythe, Britton, and Lloyd Corrigan as Betty's father -- who gets locked in an oil tank at one point -- are all good, and character actor Paiva is given one of his biggest roles; he's okay but he's not exactly Edward G. Robinson. Four years later Britton co-starred in the TV show Mr. and Mrs. North. The title of this film has led people to believe it's about a man engaging in reckless stunts to win his girl back, but that really doesn't happen.
Verdict: One you can miss. **.