6.6/10
2,188
38 user 19 critic

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)
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
Certificate: Passed Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Rockliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Sheer
Carmen I (1915)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
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
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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Edith Erastoff, John Ekman
Cabiria (1914)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Ingeborg Holm (1913)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Hilda Borgström, Aron Lindgren, Erik Lindholm
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Susie, a plain young country girl, secretly loves a neighbor boy, William. She believes in him and sacrifices much of her own happiness to promote his own ambitions, all without his ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Wilbur Higby
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young wife and her musician husband live in poverty in a New York City tenement. The husband's job requires him to go away for for a number of days. On his return, he is robbed by the ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Elmer Booth, Lillian Gish, Clara T. Bracy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Inspector Juve is tasked to investigate and capture an infamous criminal Fantomas.

Director: Louis Feuillade
Stars: René Navarre, Edmund Breon, Georges Melchior
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 ... 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

Taglines:

I will show "The Cheat," regardless of the Japanese trying to stop the picture. It is one of the best pictures ever made by any firm. And it is Paramount. (Print Ad- Urbana Daily Democrat, ((Urbana, Ohio)) 9 May 1916)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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)
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: [lying about how she lost $10,000] I lost it playing bridge- I was afraid to tell 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 »

Alternate Versions

Re-released on 24 November 1918, with Hayakawa's character changed from being Japanese with name Hishuru Tori, to Burmese with name Haka Arakau. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trente ans de silence: Ève Francis (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great fast early De Mille melodrama...cool!
2 September 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Cheat (1915)

America was not at war yet, even though WWI was well under way in Europe. So there is a detached charm to the events--Red Cross charities, parties, men heading out for a game of golf. And the characters, part of an early Long Island set: a stock broker happily trying to make money, his rich wife who isn't rich enough (she wants more gowns!), and an Asian ivory merchant. The wife is played with early frank energy by Fannie Ward, pretty well known in her day, and in fact married to the man playing her husband.

More eccentric is the Asian man, legendary Japanese actor Kintaro Hayakawa. The title cards originally had him as a Japanese merchant, but when Japan protested (they were allies with the US in wartime), it was altered in the 1918 release to a Burmese merchant. This is a little stretching it because he is so obviously Japanese (the tatami mats, the paper sliding doors, etc.) but since he's really just a Long Island eccentric it works out okay.

At just under an hour, the movie never has a chance to catch its breath, which is great. There are nice sections tinted yellow/orange or blue. (The second time I watched this it was all black and white, which was not as satisfying, if you have a choice.) The score is a bland small orchestra accompaniment, neither here nor there (this is what the Netflix streaming copy has). The plot is slight, in reality, with money lost and a desperate and sometime scandalous effort to get it back. A shocking moment two thirds of the way is its famous climax, a bit early maybe, followed by a trial. The movie didn't cost much to make (the same year as the hugely expensive "Birth of a Nation"), but it went on to great success, and is well preserved.

The title implies more than the movie lets on internally, but the implications are realized in some double crossing. The heroics of the leading man are important even if he's an unlikable stockbroker. In fact, one of the weaknesses here is the fulcrum of the emotional twists and turns-a stock deal gone bad. But as the movie goes, it gathers complexity. If director DeMille is known for his grandiose blockbusters later in life, this is one of his silent dramas (from before about 1923) where he has a great feel for content, human drama, and fast plot. You might even say there is a soap opera excess here-in the best sense. That's what keeps these movies alive. Improbable at times, and certainly about people leaving large, the plots of each, including in this one, are great to watch. The leading female here, Fannie Ward, is good in this kind of role without nuance. More interesting at times is the larger scenes, like the angry crowd at the trial (a wonderful moment involving a huge number of actors).

See it, yes. A great, straight up entry into silent films about domestic upper class problems, and therefore without historical or exotic quirks that would otherwise dominate. An early Cecil B. De Mille film.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed