6.6/10
2,046
37 user 16 critic

The Cheat (1915)

Not Rated | | Drama | 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)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
Regeneration (1915)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boy surrounded by violence grows up to become an infamous gangster.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Rockliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Sheer
Hell's Hinges (1916)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the wayward western town known as Hell's Hinges, a local tough guy is reformed by the faith of a good woman.

Directors: Charles Swickard, William S. Hart, and 1 more credit »
Stars: William S. Hart, Clara Williams, Jack Standing
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »

Director: Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Erik Stocklassa, Bror Berger, Richard Lund
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Harry Liedtke
Carmen I (1915)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In order to help her smuggler kinsmen, a sultry gypsy seduces and corrupts an officer of the Civil Guard turning him into a traitor and murderer.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Geraldine Farrar, Wallace Reid, Pedro de Cordoba
The Blue Bird (1918)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur
Stars: Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall, Edwin E. Reed
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington, Erich von Stroheim
Ingeborg Holm (1913)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Single mother is separated from her children due to financial struggles.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Hilda Borgström, Aron Lindgren, Erik Lindholm
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Captain Nemo has built a fantastic submarine for his mission of revenge. He has traveled over 20,000 leagues in search of Charles Denver - a man who caused the death of Princess Daaker. ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Paton
Stars: Allen Holubar, Dan Hanlon, Edna Pendleton
Cabiria (1914)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »

Director: Giovanni Pastrone
Stars: Italia Almirante-Manzini, Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano
Terje Vigen (1917)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Terje Vigen, a sailor, suffers the loss of his family through the cruelty of another man. Years later, when his enemy's family finds itself dependent on Terje's beneficence, Terje must ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, August Falck, Edith Erastoff
Edit

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)
Edit

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

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Marca de Fogo See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The surviving copy is from the 1918 re-release, and so the date on the check and the date in the newspaper have been altered from 1915 to 1918 in an attempt to make it seem like a contemporary film. 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

Edith Hardy: The same old story - my husband objects to my extravagance - and you.
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 »

Connections

Remade as Forfaiture (1937) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Yellow Peril
31 May 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

My thought after seeing The Cheat early this morning is what if this film were remade today, how would we deal with the issue of racism which this film is saturated with.

Fannie Ward, white and rich society woman, loses her charity's funds gambling and to cover the loss she borrows $10,000.00 from a rich Burmese merchant Sessue Hayakawa. Hayakawa's deal however is that Ward give herself over to him because he's got a yen for white women. Later on her husband makes a killing in the market and she gets the money to pay him back. But Hayakawa's not interested in the money once the time limit is up, he wants her in the sack. When she refuses, he takes a branding iron and she is now branded a cheat. Ward shoots and wounds Hayakawa in a struggle with her husband's gun and the husband is arrested and stands trial for the attempted murder.

Now I count in this melodrama strains from The Merchant of Venice, Indecent Proposal with a little Fu Manchu tossed in for the oriental flavor. It's a pretty scary film, especially the ending which I can't reveal, but remember this is the era that saw The Birth of a Nation as a big hit. The Yellow Peril it was called back then, racism ran rampant on our West Coast against Chinese and Japanese immigrants.

The Cheat was one of Cecil B. DeMille's biggest silent screen hits and it made Sessue Hayakawa a star in the silent screen era. When talkies came in Hayakawa went to Europe and later to Japan during the Thirties. He resumed his career in American films in Humphrey Bogart's Tokyo Joe and it reached the high point when he got that Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for The Bridge on the River Kwai.

What Hayakawa endured was in many ways the same as what black players did in playing their stereotypical characters. I wonder what he must have thought of The Cheat in his old age.

DeMille made some really good use of the camera with the expressions on Ward and Hayakawa's faces telling more of the story than the title cards. Jack Dean who was Ward's husband in real life as well plays the stereotypical Victorian gentleman.

Still the powerful racist message of this film is maybe even more vile than The Birth of a Nation.


17 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 37 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed