Le Roman d'un tricheur (1936)
aka: The Cheat
A film directed by Sacha Guitry

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Review published:


Le Roman d'un tricheur photo
The story of the cheat begins and ends with personal misfortune. When he was a young boy, our hero was caught stealing money from the family shop. As a punishment, he was not allowed to join his family on their picnic. They ate mushrooms and died of food poisoning, he survived and was placed in the care of his unscrupulous aunt and uncle, who intended to rob him of his inheritance. Years later, our hero ends up as a croupier in a casino at Morocco. There, he is about to embark at what looks like being a very lucrative career - as a professional cheat.
© filmsdefrance.com 2012

Film Review

Regarded as one of Sacha Guitry's best films, Le Roman d'un tricheur is a hugely entertaining comedy, featuring some unforgettable visual comic gags. Having no dialogue, the film is perhaps best described a silent film with voice-over commentary, in which the film's central character (the cheat, played by Guitry himself) narrates the story of his life.

One of the director's lighter works, Guitry made the film as a welcome diversion from his more traditional (and very demanding) theatrical pieces. The film has an auto-biographical element, with Guitry painting himself in the role of the cheat, whose up and down fortunes in the film reflect the successes and failures in his own life.

© James Travers 2002

The above article was written for filmsdefrance.com and should not be reproduced in any medium without the author's permission.

Other recommended comedy/drama films of the 1930s from France that you may want to consider are: Jacques Deval's Club de femmes (1936), Georges Lacombe's Derrière la façade (1939), Marc Allégret's Fanny (1932), Jacques Feyder's Les Gens du voyage (1938) and Jean Renoir's La Règle du jeu (1939).

Where to watch this film

The film Le Roman d'un tricheur may be available on amazon via the following links:
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Film Credits

  • Director: Sacha Guitry
  • Script: Sacha Guitry
  • Photo: Marcel Lucien
  • Music: Adolphe Borchard
  • Cast: Sacha Guitry (Le tricheur), Marguerite Moreno (L'aventurière), Jacqueline Delubac (Henriette), Roger Duchesne (Serge Abramovich), Rosine Deréan (La voleuse), Elmire Vautier (L'aventuriere), Serge Grave (Le tricheur), Pauline Carton (Mme Morlot - la tante), Fréhel (La chanteuse), Pierre Labry (M. Morlot), Pierre Assy (Le trichur, jeune homme), Henri Pfeifer (M. Charbonnier), Gaston Dupray (Le garçon de café)
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Support: Black and White
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Aka: The Cheat ; Confessions of a Cheat ; The Story of a Cheat

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