The Story Of A Cheat (1936)

The Story Of A Cheat


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

With its innovative storytelling and visual style, Guitry's clever chronicle of a charming crook's life has proven one of the most influential films ever made.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Sacha Guitry
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 15, 1994
Criterion Collection


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Critic Reviews for The Story Of A Cheat

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Full Review… | August 27, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

If Guitry is not particularly cinematic in the visual sense... his sophisticated approach to storytelling and point-of-view is a revelation.

Full Review… | November 18, 2010
Turner Classic Movies Online

Audience Reviews for The Story Of A Cheat


the film is from 1936, it is an absolute delight, reminding me a bit of 'kind hearts and coronets' and i certainly look forward to more of guitry's work. there's a nice eclipse set or try hulu plus

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

In "The Story of a Cheat," a 54-year old man(Sacha Guitry, who also wrote and directed) feels that it is finally time for him to write his life story in a cafe across the street from a house he used to own. That starts when he was a boy(Serge Grave), living in an extended household of twelve, of which he is the sole survivor when he is sent to bed without dinner due to stealing 8 sous to buy marbles, saving him from a lethal batch of mushrooms. A mutual agreement with distant cousins has him alone again, this time gainfully employed as a doorman before heading to Paris and trouble.

"The Story of a Cheat" is a delightfully sublime movie about the role chance plays in our lives. Considering the unpredictability, there is really no sense in feeling guilty about things beyond one's control. What Guitry shows is a fine control over an innovative style that begins with the opening credits introducing the cast and crew which adds a little artifice to the proceedings. In detailing the man's life with the right combination of pathos and absurdity, almost the only words spoken are those of the narrator which might reflect this being made in the early days of sound.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


I don't know why Rottentomatoes has the release date of the dvd as the year the film was made, it was 1936 not 1993! Hearing the name Sacha Guitry may not be quite like hearing the name Welles or Hitchcock, but it was he who inspired and influenced both. From his voice over, that Welles would use and make his trademark to Hitchcock and the use of silhouette and story telling. Back to the film, which is a masterpiece in its own right, is a unique and entertaining look at one man's exciting life. The editing, while perfectly suited to the feel of the film, is at first frantic and all over the place, yet is vital to the narrative and flow of this quirky and articulately done film! Sacha Guitry is both extraordinary behind and in front of the camera as the main protagonist. "The Story of a Cheat" is a unique and completely original piece of cinema that inspired some of the greatest filmmakers of all time and itself is a master work years ahead of its time! For such a visionary to remain so obscure is a crime, and one you personally shouldn't be guilty of missing!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

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