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Confessions of a Cheat

Confessions of a Cheat

A Feature film by Sacha Guitry

Produced by Cineas

Release in France : 19/09/1936

  • Contents

Actors (14)

Production and distribution (3)

Executive Producer :


French distribution :

Films Sonores Tobis

Film exports/foreign sales :


TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


Life story of a charming scoundrel, with little dialogue other than the star/director's witty narration. As a boy, only he survives a family tragedy when he's deprived of supper (poisonous mushrooms!) for stealing...concluding that dishonesty pays. Through years of dabbling in crime and amusing adventures, two women appear and reappear in his life, a dazzling blonde jewel thief and a stunning brunette gambler. Finally, he meets the mysterious Charbonnier who had saved his life in World War I, leading to the surprising next phase in his career...

Source : IMDb



Most of the film takes place in flashback, with a voiceover narration by Guitry (in his role as the Cheat) in which he also speaks the dialogue of the other actors. Only in the 'present' scenes is any dialogue spoken by other actors (notably Marguerite Moreno). This technique of a voiceover narration which interprets the action has echoes of the 'film explainer' who was sometimes used to narrate silent films, and it has also been seen as a model for the type of narration used by Orson Welles in The Magnificent Ambersons. Guitry also used the spoken word to present the actors and technicians as they are introduced on-camera at the start of the film, instead of the conventional printed credits.


On its release in France, the film met with a mixed reception, but it subsequently maintained a reputation among critics and film-makers as one of Guitry's best films; in 2008 it was included in Cahiers du Cinéma's list of 100 most important films.

The film was released in the UK and USA, and enjoyed significant success. In London a reviewer for The Times commented on its elaborate narrative structure: "As always when the difficulties and disadvantages of a constricting technique are overcome, there is an effect of unity and precision which freedom cannot often give". When the film opened at the Academy Cinema in London in September 1937, it ran there for four months. Around the UK it was shown in 400 cinemas.[5] In the USA, the reviewer for The New York Times described it as "witty, impudent, morally subversive" and commented, "Only a man of Guitry's impudence could have succeeded in making 'The Story of a Cheat' the clever picture that it is".

Source : Wikipedia

Full credits (9)

Dialogue Writer :

Sacha Guitry

Screenwriter :

Sacha Guitry

Sound Recordist :

Paul Duvergé

Editor :


Artistic Director :

Henri Menessier

Producer :

Serge Sandberg

Director of Photography :

Marcel Lucien

Assistant Operator :

Raymond Clunie

Music Composer :

Adolphe Borchard

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Sub-genre :


Production language :


Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 21 min

Current status :


Visa number :


Visa issue date :


Approval :


Production formats :


Color type :

Black & White

Aspect ratio :


Audio format :


Posters (1)


Festival Selections

Venice International Film Festival  - 1936

Venice International Film Festival (Italy, 1936)


Official Competition