The Reckless Moment

Here’s a timely opportunity to see the noir melodrama recently remade as The Deep End; to my mind this 1949 feature directed by Max Ophuls is a much better film in almost every respect. As Dave Kehr once wrote in these pages, “It’s one of the director’s most perverse stories of doomed love, with Joan Bennett as a bored middle-class housewife…and James Mason as an engagingly exotic Irishman who attempts to blackmail her. Naturally, they feel a certain attraction.” Adapted by Henry Garson and R.W. Soderborg from Elizabeth Sanxay Holding’s novel The Blank Wall, this 82-minute thriller gets wonderful performances from both leads and makes interesting use of certain elements–such as a black maid and a Christmas setting–discarded in the remake. A 35-millimeter print will be shown, and WBEZ film critic Jonathan Miller will lecture at the Tuesday screening. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, Friday, October 5, 8:00, and Tuesday, October 9, 6:00, 312-846-2800.

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