The Cheat | Chicago Reader

The Cheat

The popular image of Cecil B. De Mille as the sanctimonious perpetrator of interminable religious epics couldn't be further from the truth. At his best he was a great storyteller and a brilliant melodramatist in the Belasco tradition, and during his early years his contributions to the growing language of film were rivaled only by D.W. Griffith's. The Cheat (1915), a lurid yellow-peril melodrama with Sessue Hayakawa, remains interesting today not only for its gripping vulgarity but also for the spectacular innovations in dramatic lighting De Mille created with his cameraman, Alvin Wyckoff. 60 min.

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