7.7/10
1,304
6 user 15 critic

The Story of a Cheat (1936)

Le roman d'un tricheur (original title)
A charming scoundrel reflects on his exploits, from childhood through to manhood.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three narrators (French writer Jean Martin, an English royal equerry, and a papal chamberlain) tell the story of seven matched pearls, four of them now in the British Crown. Episodes whirl ... See full summary »

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Jacqueline Delubac, Sacha Guitry, Lyn Harding
La Poison (1951)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Through a series of circumstances and plot twists an enterprising man manages to get away with murdering his wife, even though he cheerfully admits his guilt in court.

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Michel Simon, Jean Debucourt, Jacques Varennes
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In this little Provencal village, a new baker, Aimable, settles down. His wife Aurelie is beautiful and much younger than he. She departs with a shepherd the night after Aimable produces ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel Pagnol
Stars: Raimu, Ginette Leclerc, Fernand Charpin
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Jean Gabin, Gabriel Gabrio, Saturnin Fabre
La Chienne (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A woman and her pimp exploit a painter for money.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Michel Simon, Georges Flamant, Janie Marèse
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Sacha Guitry, Raimu, Jacqueline Delubac
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A charismatic thief makes friends with a bankrupt baron who comes to live in the thief's slum. Meanwhile the thief seeks the love of a young woman, who is held emotionally captive by her slumlord family.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Jean Gabin, Suzy Prim, Louis Jouvet
Quadrille (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The battle of the sexes as drawing room social satire. Philippe, a middle-aged newspaper editor, has lived for six years with Paulette, a successful stage actress. He tells her friend ... See full summary »

Director: Sacha Guitry
Stars: Sacha Guitry, Gaby Morlay, Jacqueline Delubac
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Director: Weibang Ma-Xu
Stars: Menghe Gu, Ping Hu, Shan Jin
Dodsworth (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A retired auto manufacturer and his wife take a long-planned European vacation only to find that they want very different things from life.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Paul Lukas
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Seeking better life, two convicts escape from prison.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Rolla France
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken, Georges D'Arnoux
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Le tricheur / The Cheat (mature)
Marguerite Moreno ...
L'aventurière / The Countess
...
Henriette
...
Serge Abramovich
...
La voleuse / The Jewel Thief
Elmire Vautier ...
L'aventuriere, jeune fille / The Countess (younger)
Serge Grave ...
Le tricheur, petit garçon / The Cheat, as a boy
...
Mme Morlot - la tante
Fréhel ...
La chanteuse / Redhead (singer)
Pierre Labry ...
M. Morlot
Pierre Assy ...
Le trichur, jeune homme / The Cheat (young man)
Henri Pfeifer ...
M. Charbonnier
Gaston Dupray ...
Le garçon de café / Waiter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adolphe Borchard ...
Himself (in prologue)
Myriam Borsoutsky ...
Herself (in prologue)
Edit

Storyline

Life story of a charming scoundrel, with little dialogue other than the star/director's witty narration. As a boy, only he survives a family tragedy when he's deprived of supper (poisonous mushrooms!) for stealing...concluding that dishonesty pays. Through years of dabbling in crime and amusing adventures, two women appear and reappear in his life, a dazzling blonde jewel thief and a stunning brunette gambler. Finally, he meets the mysterious Charbonnier who had saved his life in World War I, leading to the surprising next phase in his career... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of a Cheat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The first movie to use a voice-over narration. See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the credits are not printed but spoken in the director's opening narration. See more »

Soundtracks

Et v'là pourquoi
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Sacha Guitry
Music by Adolphe Borchard
Performed by Fréhel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charming
22 August 2010 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

I've long wanted to see this French classic, and now Criterion has finally given me the chance via their Eclipse label (the box set also includes three later Guitry films, too). I have to say, I was a little disappointed after hearing it mentioned so much as one of the defining films of the era. But it's good. It's the film's central, original technique that gives the film it's fame, I think, but also what ultimately undermines it. The whole story is told from the point of view of a writer (played by Guitry himself) who is writing his autobiography at a café. Most of the film is told in flashbacks, with the gimmick that the author narrates every second of those flashbacks. Any dialogue that happens comes from the lips of Guitry, whether it be his character speaking or another. It's cute - at first. But narration is very difficult to pull off in films. It just so rarely feels necessary, since, unlike in a book, the audience can always see what is happening. A lot of film viewers just plain dislike it, and, with almost any film you see that uses it, you can find someone complaining about it. In The Story of a Cheat, I found the narration initially amusing. But after nearly ninety minutes of it, I have to admit I got bored with the gimmick. The story itself is very frivolous. It's charming, but, in the end, it doesn't equal all that much. It has a similar "champagne on corn flakes" feel that René Clair's films often do, but it isn't anywhere near as memorable as Clair's best French work.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD with English sub-titles verbumctf
Discuss The Story of a Cheat (1936) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?