The Reckless Moment (1949)

Moving away from his usual turn-of-the-century settings, Ophüls takes up a contemporary theme to achieve an ideal marriage between noir and melodrama. When her daughter’s lover is killed in an accident, Lucia casts her middle class respectability aside and takes it upon herself to get rid of the body. Enter the handsome stranger blackmailing her to keep his mouth shut. All is at stake; a family ?an abnormal entity forced to adopt a semblance of normality- is walking in broken glass. Originally intended for Jean Renoir, The Reckless Moment gave Ophüls the opportunity to showcase all his technical brilliance and artistic freedom to deliver a highly original and intense family drama.

Director: Max Ophüls
Screenwriter: Henry Garson, Robert W. Soderberg
Cinematography: Burnett Guffey
Editor: Gene Havlick
Principal Cast: Joan Bennett, James Mason, Geraldine Brooks

USA, Β & W
English, 85’
Format: 35mm