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Born Reckless

Born Reckless(1937)

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Although he wins the $25,000 first prize purse at an auto race, renowned daredevil Bob "Hurry" Kane soon spends the money carousing and buying furs and clothes for two girl friends. Arriving in a new town with other hoboes on a train, Bob visits his old friend, Lee Martin, whose father, Dad Martin, runs an independent cab company. When he learns that a racketeer, Jim Barnes, is having independent cabs wrecked to force the companies to join a protective association, which they must pay five dollars a week per cab, Bob accepts Lee's offer to drive a cab and soon makes his presence painfully known to cab drivers working for Barnes by wrecking many of their cabs. Barnes sends two hoods to kill Bob, but after they enter his cab, he crashes into a mailbox, knocking them out. He then dumps them at Barnes's garage. Impressed with Bob, Barnes offers him a job at $200 a week driving his new collision-proof cab made of armored steel and unbreakable glass. After Bob tests it by driving the cab into many of Barnes's other cabs, he declines the job saying that it is too dangerous. Sybil Roberts, Barnes's alluring companion, who has succeeded in keeping sex out of their relationship, meets Bob, who earlier flirted with her, to get him to work for Barnes. They both witness the armored cab run into another cab driver's vehicle crushing him to death. Before the district attorney's investigation, Sybil offers Bob $1,000 to get out of town, and during the hearing, he refuses to testify against Barnes. Outraged, Dad socks Bob. After Bob asks to work for Barnes, he discovers that Sybil has Barnes's apartment bugged and that she is recording his conversations. Barnes hires Bob, who suggests that Dad may now make a deal if Barnes meets him personally. Dad, who socked Bob as part of a ruse, notifies the district attorney, who sends men to entrap Barnes. While Barnes goes to the Martin garage, Sybil rifles his safe. When Bob interrupts her, she explains that she became involved with Barnes to get evidence, which she now has, to prove that Barnes framed her brother. Barnes sees the district attorney's men at the Martin garage and returns in time to surprise Bob and Sybil. After Barnes orders one of his men to turn a gasoline truck loose at the top of a hill headed for the Martin garage, Bob jumps Barnes, whose gun goes off and shoots Sybil in the side. Not knowing that Sybil is badly hurt, Bob leaves her to watch Barnes while he heads off the truck. When she faints, Barnes grabs her gun, but he is shot by police, who had been alerted by Bob. Just before the gas truck hits the garage, Bob knocks it away with the armored cab. Later, in a hospital garden, Bob, recovering from the crash, tells the Martins that he plans to marry Sybil, who is also recovering there, but when he sees a man embrace her, he recklessly speeds to her in his motorized wheelchair, disturbing the other patients, only to find out that the man is Sybil's brother.