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    VISUAL

    The Cheat

    Presented by at Harvard Film Archive

    August 26, 2012


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    The Cheat

    Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. With Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Dean,
    Fannie Ward
    US 1915, 35mm, b/w, silent, 59 min
    When a rich but profligate Long Island society woman spends a large sum of money entrusted to her by a charity, she seeks to hide her misdeed by turning to a wealthy Japanese acquaintance for a loan, yet this choice proves to have dire consequences. Predating his spectacles of the 1920s, this early directorial turn...

    Directed by Cecil B. DeMille. With Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Dean,
    Fannie Ward
    US 1915, 35mm, b/w, silent, 59 min
    When a rich but profligate Long Island society woman spends a large sum of money entrusted to her by a charity, she seeks to hide her misdeed by turning to a wealthy Japanese acquaintance for a loan, yet this choice proves to have dire consequences. Predating his spectacles of the 1920s, this early directorial turn by Cecil B. DeMille already shows signs of the director’s signature style – titillating the audience with risqué sexual content while disavowing that titillation. Justly praised as ahead of its time, the film’s chiaroscuro cinematography illuminates a complex but deeply troubling blend of racism and gender politics at work. Nevertheless, Hayakawa's smoldering performance as the supposed villain dominates the film – nearly making him the hero and ultimately making him a star.


    Harvard Film Archive

    Harvard Film Archive Cinematheque
    24 Quincy Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138

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    Admission Info:

    $9 - Regular Admission
    $7 - Non-Harvard Students, Harvard Faculty and Staff, and Senior Citizens
    Regular HFA screenings are free for all Harvard students with a valid photo ID.



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