Cheat (1923)

Run Time - 78 min.  |  
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Paramount brought the exotic Pola Negri over from Europe, and then it seemed like they didn't know what to do with her. Bella Donna proved to be a disappointment; nevertheless, the studio teamed their new star with the same director, George Fitzmaurice, for this melodrama, a remake of the 1915 Cecil B. DeMille film. Carmelita De Cordoba, the willful daughter of a wealthy South American businessman (Negri), is in Paris picking out her trousseau for her upcoming wedding. But she really doesn't want to marry the man -- an associate of her father's who is much older than she -- and when she meets Dudley Drake, an American (Jack Holt), she falls in love with him. They elope, and her father cuts her off. Carmelita has a gambling habit and finds it impossible to live on Drake's small salary, so she takes advantage of her acquaintance with Rao-Singh, supposedly a Hindu prince (Charles De Roche). Rao-Singh lends her money, but when Drake strikes it rich, she decides to pay him off. He tries to force himself on her, and when she refuses him, he takes a hot iron and brands her with his crest. She shoots him in retaliation, and Drake arrives just in time to be arrested for the shooting. He is found guilty, but Carmelita sets him free when she confesses and shows her brand.

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Keywords

get-rich-quick-scheme, heir, husband, marriage, marriage-arranged, prince, spoiled