Born Reckless (1958): Koch’s Rodeo Melodrama, Starring Mamie Van Doren and Jeff Richards

Produced by Aubrey Schenck (who also co-wrote the script) and directed by Howard W. Koch, Born Reckless is a B-movie rodeo melodrama, starring sex symbol Mamie Van Doren as a good girl and Jeff Richards.

Born Reckless

Theatrical release poster

Richards plays Kelly Cobb, a handsome rodeo player, who travels and performs in various country rodeos in order to buy, as he puts it, “a nice piece of land.”

One day he picks up Jackie Adams (Van Doren), a saloon singer and trick rider whom he saves from an aggressive admirer, who had attacked her backstage.

Traveling together, Jackie falls in love with Kelly.  She soon realizes, however, that her man was born reckless and that she would have to work hard to change his free-roaming lifestyle.

Koch began his career as a director, making a dozen films–mostly B-level, in the 1950. He’s better known as a producer of some high-profile pictures, such as The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Come Blow Your Horn (1963), Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), The Odd Couple (1968), and Airplane! (1980).

Released: November 1958

Running time: 80 Minutes


Mamie Van Doren as Jackie Adams
Jeff Richards as Kelly Cobb
Arthur Hunnicutt as Cool Man
Carol Ohmart as Liz
Tom Duggan as Mark Wilson
Nacho Galindo as Papa Gomez
Allegra Varron as Mama Gomez
Jim Canino as Jose
Jeanne Carmen as Rodeo Girl


Directed by Howard W. Koch
Written by Richard H. Landau, Aubrey Schenck
Produced by Aubrey Schenck
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by John F. Schreyer
Music by Buddy Bregman
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: November 1958

Running time: 80 minutes