The Lovable Cheat (1949) Poster

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Big surprise here for drama lovers
bmjd4623 May 2005
This thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of Balzac'c story may not be a great film, or even close to one. But it does feature the delightful performance of Charlie Ruggles whose long career in films was well past its peak of a decade earlier.

The plot, a deceptively frothy bit of Gallic farce, centers on the financial conundrums of a slightly over middle aged man and his friends, family, creditors, and neighbors. There's much to enjoy here, so much as a matter of fact, that the great playwright Samuel Beckett stole a basic plot line and even the character's name.

You see our "loveable cheat" is bankrupt because his business partner has sailed away in an effort to secure wealth for both. Only thing is he hasn't returned. Every one is after poor Charlie Ruggles for their long overdue loans, payments, and such- all they get from him is "When my partner's ship comes in" In short everyone has to wait for the partner's return, and then all will be well.

Perhaps by now you've guessed the partner's name- yes, it's Godot. This story, and perhaps even this very film, is the source for Beckett's most famous play "Waiting for Godot" Incidentally in the very last frame of the movie, as the screen is "Irising" out Godot returns, and Charlie holds up a hand full of money. Beckett left that out.
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