6.5/10
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The Cheat (1915)

Not Rated | | Drama | 13 December 1915 (USA)
A venal, spoiled stockbroker's wife impulsively embezzles $10,000 from the charity she chairs and desperately turns to a Burmese ivory trader to replace the stolen money.

Director:

(uncredited)

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Hishuru Tori (original release) / Haka Arakau (in 1918 re-release)
...
James Neill ...
Yutaka Abe ...
Dana Ong ...
Hazel Childers ...
Arthur H. Williams ...
Courtroom Judge (as Judge Arthur H. Williams)
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Storyline

Edith Hardy uses charity funds for Wall Street investments in hopes of buying some new gowns. She loses all the money and borrows from wealthy oriental Tori. When her husband gives her the amount she borrowed, Tori won't take it back, branding her shoulder with a Japanese sign of his ownership. She shoots him. Her husband takes the blame. In court Edith reveals all to an angry mob. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Marca de Fogo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,311 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1994 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The surviving copy is from the 1918 re-release, and so the date on the check and the date in the newspaper have been altered from 1915 to 1918 in an attempt to make it seem like a contemporary film. See more »

Goofs

According to the date on the check, the shooting occurred on September 17th. However, the next day's newspaper which reports the crime is dated April 27th. See more »

Quotes

Edith Hardy: The same old story - my husband objects to my extravagance - and you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Fannie Ward's name appears above the title. The other two principle actors (as well as Ward) are credited in inter-titles with their character names as they appear in the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising Early De Mille
28 April 2007 | by (Dallas, TX.) – See all my reviews

Granted I haven't seen too many De Mille silents, but I just watched my new Kino edition of The Cheat, and it has now become my favorite De Mille silent! Very bizarre and dark story that must have had undertones of some hidden fantasies that were going on at the time. I assume this because I have never seen another silent like this one! Sessue Hayakawa was the embodiment of those fantasies, very menacing and naturalistic in his acting style. His every thought played across his face with seemingly minimal effort! He really stole the show from Fannie Ward, whose acting I considered over the top until the last courtroom scene, where it became quite effective in showing her outrage over trying to be possessed like an object by an Asian man. In this scene, she did an excellent job of conveying her affront and humiliation.

The lighting was used to great advantage, immersing the character in a single source of side lighting, which made me think of later movies by some of the German masters. Robert Israel's score was perfect as usual.

A melodrama, but with a twist that makes it fascinating to watch!


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