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The Adorable Cheat (1928)

The daughter of a wealthy industrialist wants to take over the company when her father retires, but the father--an old-fashioned sort who doesn't believe that "girls" belong in business--is... See full summary »


Burton L. King


Arthur Hoerl (screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Lila Lee ... Marion Dorsey
Cornelius Keefe ... George Mason
Burr McIntosh ... Cyrus Dorsey
Reginald Sheffield Reginald Sheffield ... Will Dorsey
Gladden James ... Howard Carter
Harry Allen Harry Allen ... 'Dad' Mason
Alice Knowland Alice Knowland ... Mrs. Mason
Virginia Lee Virginia Lee ... Roberta Arnold
Rolfe Sedan Rolfe Sedan ... Card Playing Guest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
F.F. Guenste F.F. Guenste ... Judson


The daughter of a wealthy industrialist wants to take over the company when her father retires, but the father--an old-fashioned sort who doesn't believe that "girls" belong in business--is planning on leaving the company to her wastrel playboy brother. In order to prove to her dad that she can handle the job, she disguises herself as an ordinary "working girl" and gets a job in her dad's plant. There she meets and falls in love with a clerk. She brings the young man home to meet her folks, but during the evening the family safe is robbed, and all signs point to her new boyfriend. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

15 August 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adorável Mentirosa See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lila Lee and Alice Knowland had previously worked together on Broadway in "Edgar Allan Poe," a play by Catherine Chisholm Cushing that opened at the Liberty Theatre on 5 October, 1925, and ran for eight performances. See more »


The wall calendar in George's office flutters in the breeze and stays still between shots (suggesting the scene was shot on an outdoor set). See more »

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User Reviews

Lila's good as rich-girl/poor-girl.
30 August 2005 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

Lila Lee was an attractive and talented actress in the late silent era. She married James Kirkwood, a star of silent westerns, at a time when he was a bigger star than Lee ... but her career prospered while his diminished. When talkies arrived, she proved to have a pleasant speaking voice and some ability with dialogue. Her stardom briefly continued into the sound era, but she managed her career badly and faded into obscurity. She is remembered for being Lon Chaney's leading lady in his only sound film, and also as the mother of the playwright who wrote 'A Chorus Line', James Kirkwood Jnr.

'The Adorable Cheat' has an unfortunate title: I dislike it when a movie *tells* me outright that I'm meant to find the heroine adorable; I prefer to make that decision for myself. But this is a fine light drama (with some comedy touches), supplying an excellent showcase for Lila Lee's charm and talents.

Marion (Lee) is the daughter of Cyrus Dorsey (the dependable Burr McIntosh), a manufacturing magnate. Her brother Will is an irresponsible playboy. Level-headed sensible Marion is clearly better suited than Will to take over the reins of the company, but their bloody-minded father believes that the board room is no place for a 'girl'. (Although he's got plenty of women working on his assembly line.)

To acclimatise herself with every aspect of her father's business, Marion disguises herself as a prole and gets a job in his factory. While passing as a working-class woman, heiress Marion meets George Mason, a lowly shipping clerk who also works for her father. Love ensues, to the point where she reveals her true identity to him. Hoping to get her father's approval for their marriage, she invites George to a party at the Dorsey mansion. But then someone robs Cyrus Dorsey's safe during the party, and the evidence points to George being the culprit. Will justice prevail?

Lila Lee gives an excellent performance in what might arguably be a dual role: she ably establishes herself as an heiress born to privilege, yet is equally convincing in her disguise as a pink-collar employee. What weakens this movie are the poor script and stolid direction. The identity of the real thief is blindingly obvious, and several of the supporting characters seem to be archetypes rather than human beings: Cyrus Dorsey is the bloated plutocrat, whilst George Mason's parents are salt-of-the-earth homespun folks. Mostly on the strength of Lila Lee's vivacious performance, and some good photography, I'll rate this movie 7 out of 10.

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