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

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Mamie Van Doren, Arthur Hunnicutt, Jeff Richards
BORN RECKLESS (1958). Director: Howard W. Koch.

Trick rodeo rider and singer Jackie Adams (Mamie Van Doren) meets up with cowboy Kelly Cobb (Jeff Richards) when the latter pulls a masher off of her and gets into a fight. Kelly is buddies with the older "Cool Man" (Arthur Hunnicutt), a former rodeo rider who seems to serve as his manager, right hand or surrogate father (anything else the movie does not explore). As they travel around appearing in different rodeos, a romance between Jackie and Kelly doesn't quite develop, but this doesn't stop Jackie from developing a proprietary attitude toward the man when he dallies too long with wealthy sophisticate, Liz (Carol Ohmart). Will Kelly ever realize that Jackie is the girl of his dreams? Hardly anyone who sits through this generally tedious film will give a damn about the outcome, as the under-written and under-acted characters are of little interest to anyone despite the actors' sex appeal. Van Doren and Richards are okay and look good, but neither exactly set the screen on fire, and seem uninterested in each other almost throughout the entire movie, although Jackie eventually displays a hankering for Kelly. Hunnicutt makes the best impression in the film after Ohmart, who exhibits the same smoky sensuality that radiates from her in such films as House on Haunted Hill and others; when she appears you instantly forget about Van Doren, just as Kelly does. Van Doren [High School Confidential] sings several songs throughout the movie, including a nice unrequited love ballad entitled "It Takes a Little Longer" and a band does a good job with "Lovable You." If that's Van Doren's real voice, she isn't a bad singer. Richards was a good-looking actor whose most famous role was as "Buck Winston," the only male to appear in The Opposite Sex, the musical remake of The Women. He also did a lot of television work, was in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and starred as Jefferson Drum in that series. Koch also directed Van Doren in The Girl in Black Stockings. A prospective "cat fight" between Van Doren and Ohmart doesn't really amount to much, for shame.

Verdict: A Mamie Van Doren musical? *1/2.


angelman66 said...

I'm Facebook-friends with Mamie, she is certainly is a character. A true B-movie queen and this seems par for the course. Have you ever seen the Las Vegas Hillbillies? mamie Van Doren AND Jayne Mansfield in the same heaven--or hell, depending on your tastes!

William said...

I MUST see this picture, do you hear, I must, LOL! Van Doren and Mansfield, together! I hope this is on youtube!