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The Man Who Cheated Himself

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3.9 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 6.9/10

The Man Who Cheated Himself

Starring:
Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt
Runtime:
1 hour, 19 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Felix E. Feist
Starring Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt
Supporting actors John Dall, Lisa Howard, Harlan Warde, Tito Vuolo, Charles Arnt, Marjorie Bennett, Alan Wells, Mimi Aguglia, Bud Wolfe, Morgan Farley, Howard Negley, William Gould, Art Millan, Gordon Richards, Terry Frost, Mario Siletti, Charles Victor, Leah Baird
Studio Synergy Ent
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard J. Oravitz on January 4, 2009
Format: DVD
Lee J. Cobb has the lead role in this noirish nightmare of fate closing in. In the style of DOUBLE INDEMINITY, cop Cobb covers up for lover Jane Wyatt who kills her husband when he attempts to murder her. It seems that nothing can go wrong. The alibi is perfect, the witnesses are out in left field and a liquor store killer is ripe for the rap...However, in film noir Cobb doesn't stand a chance as his rookie cop brother figures things out. Fate, fate, fate...
Great script, acting, and San Francisco locations circa 1950 make this a winner on all counts!...However, the film has fallen into public domain and although the visual is quite acceptible there are jumps and cuts/splices and the soundtrack is pretty shabby with hisses, pops and humming, though some scenes are really very good.
So, if you're looking for a neat little noir then the price is right for this this mini-classic. Recommended viewing.
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Format: DVD
A very intelligent script. Lt Cullen's (Cobb) attempt to cover for her mistress (Wyatt) after she, quasi accidentally, shot her husband backfires when Cullen's rookie younger brother (Dall) shows uncanny deductive abilities.
In a Hitchcokian way, step by step, Cobb watches in horror how his brother ties the loose ends together, more and more pointing the guilt towards him.
As usually in film noirs of the time, improbable coincidences are necessary to render validity to the plot, but the screenwriters cleverly put all the necessary elements to show how the rookie cop uncovers the truth.
Wyatt is pretty but her acting is unconvincing until, perhaps, the very end, while Dall's character is a little too much of a boy scout to stomach, but Cobb is right on the mark.
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Format: Amazon Video
Wow--what a great find! Lee J. Cobb stars and John Dall (of Hitchcock's "Rope" fame) co-stars. Jane Wyatt is not bad at all in this film. Much better than, say, Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon. Great plot twist--and excellent expressionist cinematography in the later scenes at San Francisco's Fort Point (with the Golden Gate looming in the background). Folks, they just don't make movies like these anymore! The only downside is that this classic desperately needs restoration of both the film footage and soundtrack, but still well worth viewing even in this state.
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Format: DVD
This movie was a bit of a surprise in a late night showing. The foundation doesn't make much sense, but once you get past it, the story moves along and kept me awake. In the opening sequence, a couple is in the process of breaking up in the home of the wife. Long before she became America's favorite mother in TV's "Father Knows Best" or Spock's mother in "Star Trek", lovely Jane Wyatt played Lois a rich self obsessed woman who apparently collected husbands as quickly as she discarded them. It's hard to read between the lines sometimes in this period of censorship. Even the hint of amoral behavior was frowned upon.

Anyway, Lois tosses her soon to be ex out. He returns later through a back door and she shoots and kills him, thinking he was coming after her. And get this; she does it in front of her newest boyfriend, Ed (Lee J. Cobb) who is a veteran on the police force! What does Ed do? He and She attempt to cover it up. Ed is then assigned to the case along with his new partner who has just been promoted and just happens to be his kid brother Andy (John Dall, "Rope"). Ed has a hard time concealing the truth as Andy is pretty good at this detective business.

Although I kept asking myself why she would even get any jail time under the circumstances, the acting and the direction is strong enough to overcome the feeble premise.
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By Grandma on September 13, 2015
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Lee J. Cobb seems to never age. In this film he looks the same as ever, while Jane Wyatt is hardly recognizable. The plot is an interesting twist
on the "evil woman" and deluded man themes. Sound was difficult to hear in some parts of the film. These older films have their charm,
plots that are not part of today's mainstream, less sex scenes to gross one out, better social manners, yet the same human errors. Timeless, in other words. Three stars only because the sound was poor.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Genre: Thriller of the 1950's
Stars: 3.5

Pros:
-Lee J. Cobb
-Plot is intersting enough
-Script has ok writing

Cons:
-Jane Wyatt (is her acting always this bad? And no, I don't by the "she was trying to tell you about how fake she is".
-The execution of the plot was a little boring
-The little brother (I really don't like his voice)

This is one of those films where the big names save it. The script and plot and cinematography are very much like a "B" movie. The Acting is the only thing that saves it from just another movie in a stack of old VHS tapes. Watch it on a slow day
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Format: DVD
"The Man Who Cheated Himself" is a minor film noir that exemplifies the changing social mores as the United States enters the Eisenhower era. Police Lieutenant Ed Cullen (Lee J. Cobb) is an experienced detective with a hardened workaday attitude and a wealthy mistress, Lois Frazer. Lois (Jane Wyatt) is seeking a divorce from husband Howard (Harlan Warde). Convinced that Howard is out to kill her, Lois turns to Ed in a fit of panic. When Howard tries to rob his wife's home before leaving town, Lois shoots him, and Ed is left to cover up the crime. Ed is also in charge of the investigation into Howard's death, and his partner is none other than his younger brother Andy (John Dall), recently married, recently promoted, and eager to solve his first case.

"The Man Who Cheated Himself" is true to its self-righteous title. It shames Ed Cullen for his bachelor lifestyle and scandalous taste in women. But these are two-dimensional characters in a pedestrian script. Jane Wyatt's performance is wooden. Andy's earnestness is cloying. Lee J. Cobb is perfectly cast as the man who walks both sides of the law, but it's unfortunate that he's not given much to work with. This film is most valuable as an example of the sharp turn that even the pulpiest fiction took into the 1950s. Filmed in 1950, it showcases the post-war ideals of the nuclear family and middle class stability and conformity, in sharp contrast to the film noir of the 1940s.

The femme fatale, Lois, is not clever. She's stupid, hysterical, and always in need of a man. Not for money; she's rich. She's emotionally needy. If this were high noir, Ed and brother Andy might have been the same character. Now they are split into two: Andy's the good guy, the future of an optimistic nation -young, hardworking, honest, married, monogamous.
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