7.7/10
1,228
6 user 16 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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sacha Guitry ...
Le tricheur / The Cheat (mature)
Marguerite Moreno ...
L'aventurière / The Countess
Jacqueline Delubac ...
Henriette
...
Serge Abramovich
Rosine Deréan ...
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
Pauline Carton ...
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)
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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

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Details

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Release Date:

26 September 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of a Cheat  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Of only passing interest
17 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie is really only for Sacha Guitry fanatics. It is basically one long monologue delivered by the narrator, Guitry. We see various characters, but they almost never speak. It is as if we were watching a silent movie to which someone had added a narrative voice track.

Yes, some of that narration is mildly clever, and Guitry certainly knows how to deliver his own lines. But the plot is uninteresting, the script only passingly clever.

This is very inferior to Guitry movies like Les Perles de la couronne.

If you like Guitry's sardonic humor, you will get some pleasure out of this movie. Other than that, I don't see much of an audience for it. I myself will have forgotten it by tomorrow.

----------------------------

Two years after writing the above review, I've rewatched the movie, and I find that I still agree with what I wrote then. The whole movie is a monologue, with only occasionally funny lines. It all hangs on the sound of Guitry's voice and his delivery of his lines. Yes, he was very good at delivering his own texts. But an 80-minute monologue, and not a particularly clever one, is too much to ask of the power of his delivery or the patience of the audience. Again, really for die-hard Guitry aficionados only.


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