2 March 2002 | dbdumonteil
A remake of "the cheat"
French remakes of American movies are very rare,whereas the other way about is frequent.Wait for the remake of "Amelie"!Here we deal with the remake of Cecil B.De Mille's "the cheat"(1915) a silent movie which is hard to see now.I haven't seen the original,but the remake is generally looked upon as a failure by French critics.
Sessue Hayakawa,22 years later,takes on the part he played in the first version,and he does not look very old,which is quite stunning.The rest of the cast features such French luminaries as Louis Jouvet and Victor Francen,and the plot,very melodramatic ,remains absorbing throughout.Francen's wife ,who has gambled away a small fortune in Mongolia where her husband is building a bridge,asks for the help of an exotic prince.There are two parts ,the first set in a cardboard Asia,the second in France and they do not hang together well.actually we're in France when we think we're still back in Mongolia.Best part comes from Louis Jouvet,an evil raider who tries to ruin Francen :during the maudlin trial scenes ,he displays a lot of humor .
The dive is called "the blue lotus", a name which was perhaps borrowed from Hergé's comic strip which was published in 1934 ,one of the famous "Tintin and Snowy" adventures.