An eccentric wealthy family facing bankruptcy schemes to steal an inheritance, but an alcoholic ex-actor they take in for Christmas charity complicates their plan.



(screenplay), (original story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
James C. Pidgeon
Florie Watson
Willie Crawford
Angela Pidgeon
Therese Pidgeon
Stephen Bates
David Holt ...
Reggie Pidgeon
Robert Greig ...
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ...
Choir (as St. Luke's Choristers)


A wealthy family is preparing for Christmas in their usual stylish fashion. They hit on a bright idea that will make them outstanding during this holiday season among their friends. They will adopt a "lost man" and bring him to their house for the holidays. They find a news story of a washed-up actor who has attempted to commit suicide and bring him to their home. The actor proves far more than they bargained for and he shows them some real truths about giving and living. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's a Rogue...A King...Devil...Pauper...A Millionaire...WHO? See more »


Comedy | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Castaways  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1949 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Joseph Schildkraut signed a contact with Republic pictures for financial security and in order to do the John Barrymore role in "The Cheaters." In retrospect, Schildkraut characterized the decision as one of THE major mistakes of his life. See more »


Anthony Marchand aka Mr. M.: Gratitude in most men is usually a secret desire to receive greater benefits.
See more »


The Ruins of Athens
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

One of the great underrated Christmas movies of all time
28 January 1999 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

The Cheaters is one of the best, yet largely unseen, Christmas movies of all time. A winning combination of comedy and drama, it features stellar performances by two of the great character actors of the Forties, Joseph Schildkraut and Eugene Pallette. It delivers a positive message about the holiday, while also offering a cynical edge.

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