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The Reckless Moment (1949) is a film noir melodrama directed by Max Ophüls, produced by Walter Wanger, and released by Columbia Pictures with Burnett Guffey as cinematographer. Starring Joan Bennett and James Mason, the film is based on The Blank Wall (1947), a novel written by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. The film The Deep End (2001) is based on the same story. California housewife Lucia Harper (Joan Bennett) attempts to cover up what she believes (erroneously) to be her daughter's (Geraldine Brooks) accidental murder of an undesirable ex-lover (Shepperd Strudwick). Martin Donnelly (James Mason), a clean-shaven smooth-talker involved in organized crime, tries to blackmail Lucia by threatening to take Bea and Darby's correspondence to the police. Complications arise when he realizes his true feelings for Lucia and discovers the truth. Donnelly's associate Nagel, a initially mysterious figure, rows with his colleague who murders him, but Donnelly dies in a car crash with the corpse soon...
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