June 30, 2009

...The Cheat (1915)

Fannie Ward turns from Doris Day to Angelina Jolie (and back again with innocence intact) when she becomes The Cheat in this silent film. Like most films of the 1910s, this one is over-dressed and over-acted although, in its defense, it stars an Asian man, Sessue Hayakawa, who brands a Caucasian woman with a hot poker who herself rips off her clothes in the climactic courtroom scene - not too common occurrences in films of the time. Still it gets bogged down in histrionics and becomes more of a curio (Cecil B. DeMille's second film) than a film worth its salt.

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