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The parallel stories of a modern preacher and a medieval monk, Gabriel the Ascetic, who is killed by an ignorant mob for making a nude statue representing Truth, which is also represented by a ghostly naked girl who flits throughout the film.
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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 <email@example.com>
What is the message that DeMille id giving to his 1915 audience? Is there a positive female character in the film? And who exactly is the cheat? Hayakawa is said to be the Cheat by many critics but I disagree.
Is it not Edith who cheats on her husband by lying and stealing? Is it not Edith who agrees to become a "whore" by paying off her stolen debts and then backs out on the deal? Who is Edith representing in 1915?
By the end of the movie, Edith is forgiven by the courts, he husband, and society just as long as she stays as the "little girl" who can't act for herself. The Cheat is beautifully filmed, don't get me wrong. But the overall message toward women in this film is down right wrong!
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