The Man Who Cheated Himself (1951)

77 or 80-82 mins | Drama | January 1951

Director:

Felix E. Feist

Producer:

Jack M. Warner

Cinematographer:

Russell Harlan

Production Designer:

Van Nest Polglase

Production Company:

Phoenix Films, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Gun . According to contemporary sources, portions of the picture were shot on location in San Francisco and the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, CA. The HR review incorrectly lists a running time of 86 minutes for the film. Actress Lisa Howard was married to director Felix Feist. The picture marked the first independent production of Phoenix Films, a company operated by Jack M. Warner, the son of Jack L. Warner, the vice-president and production chief of Warner ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Gun . According to contemporary sources, portions of the picture were shot on location in San Francisco and the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, CA. The HR review incorrectly lists a running time of 86 minutes for the film. Actress Lisa Howard was married to director Felix Feist. The picture marked the first independent production of Phoenix Films, a company operated by Jack M. Warner, the son of Jack L. Warner, the vice-president and production chief of Warner Bros. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Dec 1950.
---
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1950.
---
Film Daily
26 Dec 1950.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
20 Jan 1951.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jun 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jun 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 50
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 1950.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
19 Jan 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Dec 50
p. 633.
New York Times
18 Jun 1950.
---
New York Times
9 Feb 51
p. 21.
Variety
1 Aug 1950.
---
Variety
20 Dec 1950.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Jack M. Warner Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward des
Men's ward
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod asst
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Gun
Release Date:
January 1951
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 19 January 1951
Production Date:
22 May--mid June 1950 at General Service Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1950
Copyright Number:
LP697
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77 or 80-82
Length(in feet):
7,257
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14695
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Bitter because his rich wife Lois is going to divorce him, Howard Frazer buys a revolver and concocts an elaborate scheme to murder her and make her death appear to be the work of a burglar. After Howard leaves home early for the airport for a trip to Seattle, Lois discovers his purchase and telephones her boyfriend, homicide lieutenant Ed Cullen. Instead of Ed, however, the phone is answered by his younger brother Andy, who has just joined the homicide bureau. When Andy tells Ed that a woman called for him and then hung up, Ed guesses that it was Lois and goes to her house. As they are discussing Howard, he sneaks back into the house, but Lois, who has already retrieved the revolver from its hiding place, panics upon recognizing him and shoots him. Blinded by his love for Lois, Ed decides to hide her crime, which could be prosecuted as murder, by making Howard's planned alibi work for them. To make it look as though Howard was robbed and killed at the airport while awaiting his flight, Ed dumps Howard's body at the airport parking lot, but is seen by an elderly couple, Ernest and Muriel Quimby. By the time Ed reaches the Golden Gate Bridge, Howard's body has been found and a road block has been set up to trap the green coupe described by the Quimbys. Ed is stopped by Patrolman Blair, but because his coupe is blue, he is allowed to pass. Ed stops on the bridge and throws the revolver into the water, and later, returns to the airport to help Andy, who has been put ... +


Bitter because his rich wife Lois is going to divorce him, Howard Frazer buys a revolver and concocts an elaborate scheme to murder her and make her death appear to be the work of a burglar. After Howard leaves home early for the airport for a trip to Seattle, Lois discovers his purchase and telephones her boyfriend, homicide lieutenant Ed Cullen. Instead of Ed, however, the phone is answered by his younger brother Andy, who has just joined the homicide bureau. When Andy tells Ed that a woman called for him and then hung up, Ed guesses that it was Lois and goes to her house. As they are discussing Howard, he sneaks back into the house, but Lois, who has already retrieved the revolver from its hiding place, panics upon recognizing him and shoots him. Blinded by his love for Lois, Ed decides to hide her crime, which could be prosecuted as murder, by making Howard's planned alibi work for them. To make it look as though Howard was robbed and killed at the airport while awaiting his flight, Ed dumps Howard's body at the airport parking lot, but is seen by an elderly couple, Ernest and Muriel Quimby. By the time Ed reaches the Golden Gate Bridge, Howard's body has been found and a road block has been set up to trap the green coupe described by the Quimbys. Ed is stopped by Patrolman Blair, but because his coupe is blue, he is allowed to pass. Ed stops on the bridge and throws the revolver into the water, and later, returns to the airport to help Andy, who has been put in charge of the case, his first. The Quimbys reveal that they did not get a good enough look at the driver to identify him, and the cool, collected Ed accompanies Andy to Lois' home, where she pretends not to know him. Lois feigns distress at the news of Howard's death, and Andy and Ed then return to their apartment, where Andy ponders why Howard arrived at the airport parking lot in the early evening, even though his flight was not until midnight. Ed dismisses Andy's qualms by asserting that the case is a botched robbery, but Andy continues to worry. Soon after, Andy marries his fiancée Janet, but delays their honeymoon to finish the case. Just after the wedding, Andy is stopped for a traffic violation by Blair, who mentions that he saw Ed on the bridge shortly after Howard's body was found. Later, the owner of a liquor store is robbed and shot, and ballistics expert Rushton informs Ed and Andy that the same gun that killed Howard was used in this incident. Ed is flabbergasted by the latest development, which he relates to Lois. She asks him to marry her and promises to support him, but Ed declines, commenting that she changes her mind too easily to love one man for long. The gun involved in the liquor store shooting is later pawned by Mrs. Capa, who, when questioned by Ed and Andy, asserts that her husband Pietro found it on his boat. While Ed realizes that the gun landed on Capa's boat when he threw it from the bridge, he and Andy apprehend the Capas' son Nito, who, although he committed the robbery before his mother pawned the gun, denies any involvement in Howard's death. Later, Ed is visiting Lois when Andy drives by and sees Lois in the window before Ed exits the house. Andy is puzzled by Ed's lie that Lois is sedated and in bed, but does not say anything. The next morning, Andy reads a newspaper story about the Golden Gate Bridge and realizes that Ed was on the bridge at the same time that the revolver was thrown into Capa's boat. Fearing that Ed is involved, Andy borrows his car to show it to Quimby and when Quimby identifies it as the car at the airport, realizes that Quimby is color-blind. Ed deduces that Andy is closing in on him and rushes home, but Andy is there waiting for him. Ed confesses that he covered up Howard's murder because of Lois, then knocks Andy out and ties him up before leaving to pick up Lois. When Janet calls Ed's apartment in search of Andy, Andy manages to alert her to his situation, and soon, an all-points bulletin is issued for Ed and Lois. Ed decides to hide in the deserted Fort Point, where he and Andy played as children. Andy deduces where Ed and Lois are hiding, however, and they are captured that evening. Soon after, Ed reacts stoically when he encounters Lois in the courthouse and overhears her flirting with her lawyer. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.