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226 Ratings

The Story of a Cheat

Le roman d'un tricheur

Directed by Sacha Guitry
France, 1936
Comedy, Drama


Considered Sacha Guitry’s masterpiece, this fleet, witty picaresque about a gambler and petty thief is a whimsical delight. Guitry himself stars as the “tricheur” looking back fondly on a life of crime, which he narrates with an effervescence matched by his clever editing and cinematography.

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The Story of a Cheat Directed by Sacha Guitry

Critics reviews

Guitry had been fostering the image of the dapper dandy ever since his earlier years as a boulevardier, and had only recently begun to bring his persona to the cinema, which he felt was an inherently inferior art form to theater and literature. Perhaps because of this, he really tried to imbue film with innovation and spontaneity, and The Story of a Cheat is all cracking invention, from a nontraditional flashback structure and consistently surprising editing choices to witty voiceover narration.
December 17, 2012
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The movie is something of a one-man show: Guitry adapted the screenplay from his own novel, and fills the film with his mordant voice-over. In this lively act of self-preservation, he bends elaborately theatrical artifice toward the cinema’s primordial documentary function.
August 26, 2012
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