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William A. Wellman
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Love, lust, possession, money, social standing, and addiction. Elsa Carlyle is impulsive and a gambler; though loved by her husband Jeff, she's spoiled and selfish, concerned with social standing. Meanwhile, Jeff wants to keep a lid on spending while he completes business deals that could make them rich. One night, on a hunch, she bets and loses big at a casino, then she doubles her problems with more impulsive decisions. Hardy Livingston, a wealthy Casanova just back from the Orient, makes a play for her. Elsa dallies with Hardy, but soon, his insistence and her dire financial affairs seem destined to lead to adultery. Who's the cheat? Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
I love you. I didn't marry you because I thought you could spell or add, but because of who you are.
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In this movie Tallulah Bankhead falls into the clutches of a lecherous man - honest, you can watch it yourself if think I'm fooling. But, of course, this was a movie. In real life, if we are to believe tradition and gossip, Tallulah would have eaten this stiff for lunch and not missed a round of drinks.
Anyway, she may have been lucky in love but in this picture she was unlucky at cards and ran up a huge gambling debt. The stiff in question, played by Irving Pichel in a sinister turn, offers to bankroll her - and you can guess the price of his largesse. Harvey Stephens plays her trusting doofus husband who buys any excuse she gives him.
"The Cheat" is an interesting melodrama which becomes less so toward the end. It's OK, but the best part is that it gives you a chance to see TB in a starring role and judge her talent for acting for yourself. She gives it her considerable best and chews the scenery at the appropriate intervals. Since she was primarily a stage actress she didn't make that many movies to judge, so watch it if you get a chance.
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