Born Reckless
Film poster
Directed byJohn Ford
Written byDudley Nichols
Based onLouis Beretti by Donald Henderson Clarke
Produced byJames Kevin McGuinness
StarringEdmund Lowe
Catherine Dale Owen
Marguerite Churchill
CinematographyGeorge Schneiderman
Edited byFrank E. Hull
Music byPeter Brunelli
George Lipschultz
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • May 11, 1930 (1930-05-11)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States

Born Reckless is a 1930 American pre-Code crime film directed by John Ford and staged by Andrew Bennison[1] from a screenplay written by Dudley Nichols based on the novel Louis Beretti.[2] The film starred Edmund Lowe, Catherine Dale Owen and Marguerite Churchill.[2]


A gangster, Louis Beretti, gets caught involved in a jewelry heist and taken to see the judge. The war has begun and hoping to use the publicity to get re-elected, the judge offers Louis and his two buddies, the choice of going to jail, or signing up to fight in the war - if they prove themselves, he will throw away their arrests.

Louis makes it home from the war (one of his buddies was killed), and opens up a night club downtown that becomes very successful. His employees are former members of his gang, and he maintains contact with "Big", still a gangster.

Louis falls for the sister of his buddy who was killed in the war, but she already has plans to marry. He tells her nevertheless, that if she ever needs him, she should call and he will come. When her baby is kidnapped (her husband is away), she does call for Louis and he realizes that the kidnapping has been done by "Big" and the gang. Louis goes to save the baby and confront those of the gang who have taken part in the kidnapping. Shots are exchanged.

After he returns the baby to his mother, Louis goes back to his nightclub where "Big" is waiting. They talk of old times though they realize they will need to shoot it out, which they do...



  1. ^ Bogdanovich, Peter (1967). John Ford. University of California Press.
  2. ^ a b Hall, Mordaunt (June 7, 1930). "THE SCREEN; The Missing Witness". The New York Times.