David O. Selznick's vain attempt to turn Jean Harlow into a singing and dancing star (he produced and wrote the original story), RECKLESS casts the great blond comedienne as Broadway actress Mona Leslie, whose marriage to wealthy industrialist Bob Harrison (Franchot Tone) turns bad, or so
he tells his old flame, Josephine Mercer (Rosalind Russell), prompting his wife to seek solace from her agent, Ned Riley (William Powell). Thinking this action proves that Mona has rejected him, Bob commits suicide, and rumors fly that Mona has killed her husband so she can be with Ned. A custody
battle ensues, and Mona loses her child to Bob's father (Henry Stephenson), but Ned remains loyal to her through thick and thin, producing a show in which Mona wins back the public's affection with a heartfelt explanation of the truth behind the scandal. Harlow was out of her league in RECKLESS;
since she was unable to carry a tune, her voice was dubbed and her dancing spruced up with some creative editing and the use of a more accomplished double. Ironically RECKLESS' story is morbidly close to Harlow's own tragic career. Her second husband, Paul Bern, put a gun to his head, tormented by
his impotence, and after a third marriage (to cameraman Hal Rosson), Harlow fell in love with Powell and they ran off together in 1936 but never married. The ending to Harlow's story, however, is considerably less upbeat than the conclusion of RECKLESS, as she died at age 26 of cerebral edema.
Songs include: "Reckless" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II), "Ev'rything's Been Done Before" (Harold Adamson, Edwin H. Knopf, Jack King), "Trocadero," "Hear What My Heart Is Saying" (Adamson, Burton Lane), "Cyclone" (Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson). Two other songs are billed but were cut from the
final print: "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dum" and "I'm Going Down to Dance at Clancy's" (Con Conrad, Herb Magidson).
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorites shows - Start Now
- 1. The Masked Singer: The Deer Is Unmasked, Revealing a Hall of Famer
- 2. Vikings Just Revealed Where Lagertha Has Been, and It Is Seriously Bleak
- 3. Black Monday: You've Never Seen Wall Street This Funny (or Black)
- 4. 5 Reasons Not to Freak Out Over Riverdale's Latest WTF Cliffhanger
- 5. What to Stream the Weekend of Jan. 18
- 6. Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 Is the Best the Show Has Ever Been
- 7. Your Guide to All the Feuds and Hookups in the Challenge: War of the Worlds Cast