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

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Marian Nixon and Malcolm McGregor
THE RECKLESS WAY (aka The Lure of Hollywood/1936). Director: Raymond Johnson (Bernard B. Ray).

Helen Rogers (Marian Nixon) is a hotel stenographer who gets a lucky break and becomes the "Million Dollar Legs" gal for a ad campaign for a stockings firm. Due to a misunderstanding, she is named co-respondent in a divorce suit filed by an old battle axe named Mrs. Stoner (Gloria Gordon). Determined not to wind up struggling with bills like her relatives, Helen decides to take advantage of the notoriety and gets herself a movie contract, although this has Don Reynolds (Malcolm McGregor of Lady of the Night), who hired her for the stocking campaign, plotting behind the scenes to ruin her career even as he's proposing marriage. And where does this leave handsome Jim Morgan (Kane Richmond of Tough to Handle), the hotel clerk who's crazy about Marian ... Other characters include Helen's wise-cracking friend, Laura (Inez Courtney), director Von Berg (John Peters), Carl Blatz (William H. Strauss), who runs Apex Studios, and British screenwriter Arthur Delaney Morgan (uncredited), whom Blatz calls in to fashion a new story that Helen can actually act. The Reckless Way is by-the-numbers film-making with a plot that was creaky even in 1936. The actors are all adequate, but you couldn't see any of them becoming major stars, and none of them did. Nixon nicely warbles the tune "I Spoke Out of Turn."

Verdict: Another old movie resuscitated for the DVD market that should have stayed forgotten. *1/2.

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