Mon, 22 July 2019
From Kim Newman, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die:
"The Reckless Moment is an unusual film noir in that it reverses the sexes in a replay of the familiar story (as in Double Indemnity  and Scarlet Street ) of an innocent who gets involved with a seductive no-good and is embroiled in crime. Here, class and respectability assume the status usually accorded to sex and money as housewife Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) loses her grip on suburbia when the sleazy specimen (Shepperd Studwick) who has been seeing her daughter (Geraldine Brooks) is semiaccidentally killed under suspicious circumstances, and she moves his corpse to make things look better.
"Lucia's nemesis is played by James Mason, oddly but effectively cast as an Irish lowlife, who starts out blackmailing her but begins, disturbingly, to make sincere romantic overtures. The focus of the film then changes as the criminal is driven to make a sacrifice that will restore the heroine's life but also suggests that Bennett - who, after all, was the tramp in Scarlet Street - may have unwittingly been manipulating him to her advantage all along. Viennese director Max Ophuls is more interested in irony and emotion than crime and drama, which gives this a uniquely nerve-flaying feel, and he nudges the lead actors into revelatory unusual performances"
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