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The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950)

by on 2013/03/30

TheMan_Who_Cheated_Himself_1950“I feel sorry for the man though.”

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I don’t know how some people get themselves into such ridiculous situations. Cheating, lying, sneaking around.

Why do people do this stuff? What in the world motivates them to complicate their lives with duplicity and second (third) lives?

The Man Who Cheated Himself is a feature film filled with people who are wrapped up in the sort of stupidity that only the truly narcissistic can manage. Affairs, murder plots, inheritance schemes – a shabby little tale played by some truly shabby little people.

I’ll cut the chase here. In order to effectively or entertainingly tell stories like the one in The Man Who Cheated Himself, you have to sort of like the people involved. Maybe ‘like’ is the wrong word, maybe the word is ‘sympathize.’

Well, I didn’t and I don’t.

Perhaps I don’t like the subject matter. The story revolves around a poor little rich girl Lois Frazer played by Jane Wyatt (Canadian Pacific) who is married to a gold-digging fellow played by Harlan Warde (The Monster That Challenged the World) who enjoys “salmon fishing” in his spare time.

The bankrolling wife has decided to divorce her shiftless, faithless spouse. He purchases a gun. Some real stupid stuff goes down.

This is a bad, miserable and stupid couple.

But the prize for truly bad, miserable and stupid goes to Lt. Ed Cullen, a guy with a penchant for no-good dames. Cullen is played by Lee J. Cobbs (The Exorcist). He’s a hard-baked detective that makes a series of half-baked decisions helping the insipid Wyatt cover up her bad decision spree.

They make a great couple – none of them is as dumb as both of them.

In this film directed by Felix Feist, the duh-duh idiot cup runneth over. There’s John Dall (Spartacus) as Lt. Ed Cullen’s gee-whiz, rookie cop brother. He’s there to look confused and sorrowful at the wrong being done. He’s there to ratchet up the tension and make us worry about Ed Cullen being found out.

Except I didn’t. Not even a little.

The trouble is, we the audience have to follow around Ed Cullen while he does terrible, wrong, and plain stupid things. I didn’t care. I wanted him to get caught, and his little dog-brained heiress too.

I simply found this all very annoying. Like a weak episode of Three’s Company where there’s a misunderstanding AND a body stuffed in the trunk. But not even that good.

Me? I like eight hours of sleep a night, an easy daily routine, and my one and only life. It is too tough to remember lies. Making your own money, living simply and being honest is easier.

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81 minutes



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