The Beautiful Cheat


59m 1945

Film Details

Also Known As
It's Never Too Late
Release Date
Jul 20, 1945
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 19 Jul 1945
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,332ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

Dr. Alexander Haven, a Nobel Prize-winning professor of sociology, is asked by his publisher to write a book about juvenile delinquency. Having been the model child, Alex argues that he has no expertise in the subject, so the publisher suggests that he have an underprivileged child live in his household as a test subject. Intrigued, Alex agrees, much to the consternation of his friend and colleague, Dr. Horace Pennypacker, a psychologist with whom he had agreed to go on a fishing trip. As a favor, Horace then goes to the Harcourt Detention Center and asks Grace Woodside, the superintendent, to release her worse delinquent to the study. Horace is informed that he must wait thirty days for processing, but not wanting to hold up his fishing trip because of red tape, he convinces Alice, Woodside's twenty-two-year-old secretary, to pose as a delinquent teenager using the center's records as background. She agrees and her arrival at the Haven home strikes terror in the hearts of Alex's maiden sisters, Olympia and Athena, as well as his secretary, Miss Beatrice Kent. Alex, meanwhile, is fascinated by Alice's concocted tales of sordid teenage life, and begins to indulge in adolescent preoccupations such as hamburgers and baseballs. Upset by Alex's change of lifestyle, his sisters and secretary then insist that Alice leave their household. To escape the bickering, Alex and Alice go to the Blue Moon Café, a nightclub, where he attracts the attention of the club's publicity-seeking singer, Dolly. Alice drags Alex out of the club before Dolly can get her claws any deeper into him, but the singer does come away with his old fraternity pin. Later, Alex decides to adopt Alice, but his brother Lucius, a lawyer, tells him that he must be married first. Acting on Alice's romantic advice, Alex proposes to Beatrice in the moonlight and she accepts. A heartbroken Alice then runs away, only to learn from Lucius that she is the reason for Alex's sudden engagement. After he is told that she is an adult, Lucius helps Alice by arranging a rendezvous for her with Alex at the Blue Moon. Dolly, however, thinks he has come back to her, and before he knows it, the tipsy professor is doing the rumba on the dance floor. Beatrice arrives at the club with Olympia and Athena and, seeing him in Dolly's arms, breaks their engagement. Still thinking he needs a wife to adopt Alice, Alex proposes to Dolly. Alice then arrives with Horace and Lucius, and the professor learns about the hoax. Dolly then returns, and when the women begin to argue, a fight breaks out and Alex is arrested. As he is taken into custody, Olympia and Athena trade blows with Dolly, causing the singer to lose interest in joining the Haven family. As Lucius works to get his sisters out of jail, Alex and Alice elope.

Film Details

Also Known As
It's Never Too Late
Release Date
Jul 20, 1945
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 19 Jul 1945
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,332ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was It's Never Too Late. Hollywood Reporter news items add Victoria Horne, John Eldredge and Carmen D'Antonio to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.