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The Cheat (1915)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 13 December 1915 (USA)
A venal, spoiled stockbroker's wife impulsively embezzles $10,000 from the charity she chairs and desperately turns to a Burmese ivory trader to replace the stolen money.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille (uncredited)

Writers:

Hector Turnbull (scenario), Jeanie Macpherson (scenario)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fannie Ward ... Edith Hardy
Sessue Hayakawa ... Hishuru Tori (original release) / Haka Arakau (in 1918 re-release)
Jack Dean ... Richard Hardy
James Neill ... Jones
Yutaka Abe Yutaka Abe ... Tori's Valet
Dana Ong Dana Ong ... District Attorney
Hazel Childers Hazel Childers ... Mrs. Reynolds
Arthur H. Williams Arthur H. Williams ... Courtroom Judge (as Judge Arthur H. Williams)
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Marca de Fogo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,311 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$137,365
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1994 alternate)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of a protest from the Japanese Association of Southern California, Sessue Hayakawa's name and nationality was changed for the 1918 re-release. Originally he was a Japanese called Hishuru Tori; in the re-issue he was a Burmese called Haka Arakau. See more »

Goofs

According to the date on the check, the shooting occurred on September 17th. However, the next day's newspaper which reports the crime is dated April 27th. See more »

Quotes

Haka Arakau: You cannot buy me off.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Fannie Ward's name appears above the title. The other two principle actors (as well as Ward) are credited in inter-titles with their character names as they appear in the movie. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprising Early De Mille
28 April 2007 | by sunlilySee all my reviews

Granted I haven't seen too many De Mille silents, but I just watched my new Kino edition of The Cheat, and it has now become my favorite De Mille silent! Very bizarre and dark story that must have had undertones of some hidden fantasies that were going on at the time. I assume this because I have never seen another silent like this one! Sessue Hayakawa was the embodiment of those fantasies, very menacing and naturalistic in his acting style. His every thought played across his face with seemingly minimal effort! He really stole the show from Fannie Ward, whose acting I considered over the top until the last courtroom scene, where it became quite effective in showing her outrage over trying to be possessed like an object by an Asian man. In this scene, she did an excellent job of conveying her affront and humiliation.

The lighting was used to great advantage, immersing the character in a single source of side lighting, which made me think of later movies by some of the German masters. Robert Israel's score was perfect as usual.

A melodrama, but with a twist that makes it fascinating to watch!


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