Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Adapted from a play by Honore de Balzac, Lovable Cheat offers a veritable smorgasbord of Hollywood's top character actors. The title character, one Claude Mercadet, is played by Charlie Ruggles. Posing as a wealthy Parisian, Mercadet fleeces friends and casual acquaintances alike. He is forced into this life of crime to keep up appearances, so that his daughter Julie (Peggy Ann Garner) can land herself a rich husband. Iris Adrian enjoys one of her largest film roles as Ruggles' wife; Alan Mowbray is right in his element as an elegant butler; and future financial advisor Richard Ney is ironically cast as an impoverished bank clerk. Also on hand is Buster Keaton, as a nonplused creditor who spends his screen time waiting in vain for his missing business associate Godot (could playwright Samuel Beckett have seen this film?) Not entirely successful, Lovable Cheat is nonetheless a courageous exercise in the offbeat.
con/scam, daughter, debt, father, foreclosure, friendship, loot, marriage, matchmaker, nobility, romance, seduction, play [recreation]