Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
Love, lust, possession, money, social standing, and addiction. Elsa Carlyle is impulsive and a gambler; though loved by her husband Jeff, she's spoiled and selfish, concerned with social standing. Meanwhile, Jeff wants to keep a lid on spending while he completes business deals that could make them rich. One night, on a hunch, she bets and loses big at a casino, then she doubles her problems with more impulsive decisions. Hardy Livingston, a wealthy Casanova just back from the Orient, makes a play for her. Elsa dallies with Hardy, but soon, his insistence and her dire financial affairs seem destined to lead to adultery. Who's the cheat?Written by
"The Cheat" is a forgettable pre-Code film starring Talullah Bankhead as a woman who makes a "deal" with a rich rascal after her gambling problem lands her in serious money trouble (and potentially even bigger trouble with her husband), kills him in ambiguous circumstances and gets away with it. From a pre-Code aspect, her getting away with her crime is probably the most notable thing about the movie; the rest is maybe a little racy but fairly tame even compared to other pre-Code films of its time.
Actually, the most notable thing about the film is that it appears on DVD as a double feature with "Merrily We Go to Hell," an excellent movie and one that is anything but forgettable. If you're going to get that film (and you should), you might as well watch this one while you're at it. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother seeking this one out on its own merits.
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