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on May 8, 2001
RECKLESS is an overlooked classic, and quality wise, it is far superior to most of the better known teen angst classics of the eighties.
Aidan Quinn gives a fantastic early performance as Johnny Rourke, who he plays as a pensive combination of James Dean and Steve McQueen. Daryl Hannah gives her second-most-memorable performances (after Pris in Blade Runner) as the popular but unsatisfied girl who is attracted to Johnny's rebelliousness. There are several other young actors who would go on to fame (including Adam Baldwin and Jennifer Grey).
But the film's biggest draw is it's amazing soundtrack (ironically enough, there never was an "official" release of it)...
When I first saw the film, I was a big fan of INXS' current (at that time) release, Shabooh Shoobah, and I was thrilled by its extensive use in the soundtrack to this film. "The One Thing" and "Soul Mistake" play during opening scenes, and later in the film, director James Foley transcends the usual bubbleheaded attempts to copy MTV editing in films (most notable in megahits like FLASHDANCE and FOOTLOOSE) with a truly BRILLIANT use of the song "To Look at You" that actually manages to further the plot stricly through visual + aural means.
Also brilliant is the prom sequence, when Quinn turns off the wimpy music and cranks up some Romeo Void in its place, then pulls Hannah into an uninhibited dance while the camera circles them at an increasing speed.. it's a truly exhilarating moment that ranks (in terms of cinematic choreography) with the famous "Do You Love Me" scene in DIRTY DANCING, and the classic moments of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.
I love this film, and I still watch it often. It's like an old friend that I like to revisit now and then. It gets my highest recommendation!
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on December 19, 2002
Reckless Recovered
In 1983 a beginning Hollywood director, James Foley, called me up. He wanted to make a film in the spirit of "The Deer Hunter." He wanted to find a cemetery near a steel plant, and he did find such a location in Weirton. The film was shot in Weirton, Wheeling, Steubenville, and a few other local places. He came to town with an unknown actor by the name of Aidan Quinn. His co-star was Daryl Hannah who had been in "Blade Runner"
(1982) and a handful of other lesser-known films. Foley had a screenplay by a then-unknown writer, Chris Columbus (director of Harry Potter films and "Home Alone 2"), a German transplant cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus, who had shot John Sayles' film, "Baby, It's You"(1983) after a career in Germany shooting Fassbinder's films. The last credit in the film is to moi. Unfortunately, the film died, and even the Weirton Public Library refused to show our 16 mm print of the film since it has
a torrid love scene in the high school pool between the stars. For almost two decades I have been showing it at libraries and film festivals around the state - and just when I read that Edgar Scherick, the famous independent film producer, has died, I also discovered that the film is available for sale in VHS from So now YOU can check out this early film by some of our current superstars.
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on December 18, 2009
I was very, VERY skeptical about buying this, it being a DVD-R, with a huge red disclaimer on the WB site that "this release was not remastered or restored in any way", but hey, I've loved this movie since 1984 and it's been at the top of my dvd want list for a ton of years.

That being said, it was really great to see/hear it again. The tension between Quinn and Hannah, and De Young... whew! And, the dirty bits! (Oh!) I was also pleasantly surprised by a number of familiar faces along the way that weren't quite so familiar 25 years ago. And, the soundtrack is fantastic, especially Romeo Void and Inxs.

Anyway, I don't have the VHS to compare it to, but this DVD-R does appear to be widescreen, as advertised on the case. Yes, I would have paid twice as much had it been remastered and restored, but it looked pretty good (for such an obscure, 25 year old movie) and the sound was pretty good, too.

Only two, very minor draw-backs that came to my mind, aside from the lack of any bonus material whatsoever (BOO!!!), (1) the trailer that's included isn't a trailer at all, it's basically just the first few minutes of the film, and (2) I can't be absolutely certain now, but i seem to recall that when Hannah bursts into the gymnasium as Quinn and De Young are trashing each other and the classroom down the hall, she screamed "He's going to kill him!". On this DVD-R, she bursts through the doors, her mouth opens and we cut back the Quinn and De Young fighting. Hmmm... (what can i say, i'm a completist.)

So, seeing as there ain't no better copy anywhere in the world, i gotta give this an 8+.

Come on, WB, put a little more effort into it. Toss in some interviews (past AND present), some deleted scenes, a soundtrack feature, and the actual trailer(s), and i'll gladly give it a 10!
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VINE VOICEon April 30, 2007
So much better than the new MTV, I watched this James Foley movie obsessively when it first came out on VHS years ago. The astonishingly beautiful couple of Aidan Quinn (Johnny) and Darrell Hannah (Tracey) work really well together as high school seniors who feed upon each others emotions. You just have to see it because it is almost impossible to describe the chilling atmosphere of this movie set in a cold little mountain town where the steel mill is the major employer and the fact that someone has a job is pretty remarkable. It has an amazing 80s soundtrack, a dance scene set to Romeo Void that is one of the best I have ever seen, a really great cast and full frontal by Aidan himself. My favorite line is when Johnny has forced his way into Tracey's house and upon seeing her parent's bedroom says "So this where they made you" in his low sexy voice.

I dearly loved it when I was young and romantic so I bought it and watched it again recently. I must say that maturity took the edge off my enjoyment, I was concerned that Tracey was going to regret riding off in the sunset with an attractive but very angry kid from a really bad home life with a tendency towards violence (I think that Jackson Browne was abusive toward her in real life also). However, were I seventeen again and Johnny had showed up at my door on a motorcycle looking very punk in his father's suit coat and a narrow tie, bearing a corsage he had thoughtfully dyed black to take me to the high school dance, I too, would have put on my cheerleader jacket and climbed on back for ride of a lifetime.
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on January 16, 2000
I still remember watching this movie as a small child--I think it was one of the first R-rated films I ever saw. And I still love it as much now as I did then.
First, there's the scenery....I love that whole run-down, industrial, working-class feel to the film. Reminds me a lot of my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. In fact, the film locations--areas around Weirton and Stubenville, from what I recall-- are pretty closeby to where I live in PA.
Okay, the story is pretty generic--your stereotypical kids-from-the-opposite-sides-of-the-tracks fall in love---but the soundtrack is slammin'--early-80's new wave mixed in with classic rock---a lot of good choices for the scenes, everything from Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" during the oh-so-perfect "break in and trash the high school before stripping down to their skivvies and jumping in the pool and making out before retiring to the boiler room and getting busy" scene to the grande finale with Bob Segar's "Roll Me Away" playing in the background.
More on that high school scene.... I still remember sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night whenever this movie was shown as a late night feature on TV, just to see that one sequence, and being pissed off because they always went to commercial before the love scenes, or else just cut them out altogether......but I know why they did that now. After searching for many years and finally finding a video store that carried this film and watching it untinterrupted and uncut, I was surprised by how explicit the scenes were. But it had--and still has--some of the hottest, most intense love scenes ever committed to celluloid. Aidan Quinn looked hotter than hot (naked AND clothed!!), and his portrayal of Johhny had an intensity and sincerety that made you both sympathize and fear him a little at the same time. (And so many guys I know wonder why us "good girls" always go for the "bad boys!!!!!") Daryl Hannah (who still looks exactly the same now as she did then--Good heavens, does that girl ever age?? Or eat, for that matter??) also gives a stellar performance, although her character got on my nerves sometimes--that girl really needed her own voice and a backbone. I couldn't believe the way she let her boyfriend treat her. I would have loved to see a scene where she just slapped the hell outta that guy.
I also loved the supporting who's who of cast members...Haviland Morris (aka Jake Ryan's perfect-looking girlfriend Caroline in "Sixteen Candles") to Jennifer Grey ("Dirty Dancing"--yet another perennial favorite) to Adam Baldwin (who was in "My Bodyguard," which also starred a young and gorgeous Matt Dillon...anyone remember that film??).
All in all, still a great 80's film that at times gets swept under the rug by all of those people who worship John Hughes movies. Well, I think this film is just as good as any of those ones, if not better.
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on January 5, 2010
I also hesitated about buying this teen steam classic in the DVD-R format, but so far, so good. I watched the movie last night and the quality was fine. Actually, it was better than I expected. Clean and clear and none of that photo of a photo murkiness I've seen in other recently exhumed films.
If you are a newcomer to this movie, or it's been a couple of decades since you've seen it, rest assured that Reckless stands out from other post-Risky Business teen movies of the 80s and beyond. The chemistry between Aidan Quinn's Johnny Rourke (the poor rebel outsider) and Daryl Hannah's Tracey Prescott (the popular, rich cheerleader)renders any plot line cookie cutterness totally obsolete, and Reckless rides on their heat.
Beyond that, Reckless also is well served by the strength of another main character -- the setting. No soundstage, or Vancouver street corner, this. Much of the movie was shot in Mingo Junction, Ohio, a town that couldn't be more rust belt if it tried. The opening shots of steel mill smoke stacks belching pollution into a heavy, gray sky, followed by a close up of Quinn's dreamy intense blue eyed stare, say it all. The desperation felt by Johnny, Tracy, and the other high school seniors feels real -- job prospects, outside of the dying mill, are scarce. "Are we dead?" Asks one of Tracey's cheerleader friends when they almost get into a car crash. "No," replies another girlfriend, her voice a sigh of disappointment. The only hope for life is to break out of this dead end town. And go where?
Good question. After a turn on the dance floor in the high school gym -- in an unforgettable scene given extra oomph by a Romeo Void song ("I might like you better if we slept together," indeed) and a camera that doesn't stop circling the pogo-ing lovers -- the main characters go and have rust belt teen steam sex. Sex that is actually sexy. That chemistry thing again ... Meanwhile, Aidan Quinn channels Brando. Hannah channels, well, that lips parted, insecure, almost vacuous, legs that go on forever thing. The end of the movie is a bit of an open road fantasy, but 25 years later, it also invites the question ... whatever happened to Johnny and Tracey?
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on August 15, 2006
Alot of people have never seen or even heard about this 1984 movie. Reckless is a underated, overlooked classic. The movie stars Adain Quinn as Johnny in his break out role & Daryl Hannah early in her career plays Tracey. Movie takes place in a gray,cold, smoggy, depressing looking steel town somewhere in Pennsylvania. Johnny is a troubled smart {...} rebel with a alcholic father, no friends & years before his mother abandoned the family for reasons that are not clear. Tracey is a pretty & popular cheerleader with a loving upper middle class family preparing for college in the fall. But something is missing for Tracey - her boyfriend & friends bore her & she feels she is missing out on something. She desparately wants to live on the edge instead of her predictable, safe, day-to-day, ho-hum exsistance. Tracey wants excitement. She exchanges glances in class with Johnny. A charity dance pairs her with him by chance. They play cat & mouse games. He challenges her. She takes dares. She does something her friends have advised her not to do, she takes up with the mysterious, sexy & dangerous Johnny & starts really living & feeling for the first time in her life. Their chemistry & sexual attraction is instant & all consuming. The sexual tention between them is amazing! They fall quickly in love & lust. Film contains more than one scene of the sexiest, most graphic, explicit & passionate sex scenes allowed in a R rated film. Full frontal nudity. A steamy pool scene. A love scene in a boiler room of their empty school. Her parents bed. You can almost feel Johnny's obsession with Tracey. His eyes are so amazing! A excellent soundtrack with Bob Segar's songs & new wave music of the 1980's really adds to the film. The ending really leaves it up to your imagination as to what might happen next. Do they really ride off into the sunset forever? I would really recommend you track this film down -it won't dissappoint. This is one of my favorite films of all time. Really brings you back to your high school days & the excitement of first love.
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on March 19, 2001
Aidan Quinn and Daryll Hannah both do superb jobs in portraying the angst and confusion of young love. Quinn plays Johnny Rourke, a misunderstood rebel from "the wrong side of the tracks." Johnny is angry at the world because of his less-then-ideal life, and he can't wait to get out of Everton to a place where no one will know him. He basically wants to start life with a clean slate where no knows that he is Johnny Rourke, the kid whose mother abandoned the family and whose father is a drunk. Hannah plays Tracey Prescott, the "perfect" head cheerleader who dates the quarterback. Tracey is the kind of person who does everything that everyone expects of her. She tries to please everyone else even if it means that she is not happy. Tracey just wants to lead a life where there are no expectations of her and she only needs to please herself.
Johnny and Tracey share an intense attraction and get involved in a secret and steamy romance. Johnny provides Tracey with a sense of danger and daring that she is missing from her comfortable, hum-drum existence, while Tracey provides Johnny with much-needed calming influence. This movie has some graphic sex scenes. These scenes would be considered rather risque even by today's standards so it was definitely risque for the mid-80's.
The two characters are perfectly suited for each other, and they find that they actually have quite alot in common...namely their desire to find that ever-elusive happiness. Will they find it together? This question is answered in the final scenes of the movie. The finales scenes of the movie are one of the best climaxes I have seen. Will Tracey take a chance and follow her heart by going with Johnny or will she follow her mind and continue living her comfortable existence even if it means foregoing happiness? Rent the movie and find out.
I also find it interesting that the only other person in the movie who seems to realize that Johnny is more than what he seems to be is Tracey's younger brother, Davey. He seems to understand that Johnny is "a diamond in the rough" and approves of his sister's relationship with Johnny. His character is very enlightening even though he only appears in a couple of scenes.
All of the actors in this movie did wonderful acting jobs and truly added to the depth of the movie. Coach Barton and Johnny's fellow football team member, Randy Daniels(who also happens to be the quarterback and Tracey's boyfriend) both do superb acting jobs. The way they pick on Johnny simply because they don't understand him is very reminiscent of what actually occurrs in schools throughout the country.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys good coming-of-age dramas. Younger viewers will be able to relate to the characters because they likely faced these types of situations in high school, and older viewers will be able to see what kinds of pressures their children face while attending school. However, viewers who are too young to deal with explicit sex scenes should wait a few years before watching this great movie.
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on September 29, 2006
This movie is a fantastic must see from the 80's. Especially for anyone that loves the music of INXS, the soundtrack is great and the dance scene at the gym still makes me wonder where Adian Quinn learned to dance like that. If you have missed this one please try to get a copy, it is a must see and should be on DVD.
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on October 25, 2006
I absolutely love this movie for many reasons. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a hopeless romantic. This is one of Aidan Quinn's best movies. I hope it gets released on DVD soon!!!
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