GenreDrama DistributorAl Lichtman CountryUnited States
DirectorFrank OConnor ProducerB. P. Schulberg Duration
LanguageSilent (English intertitles) Release dateJuly 17, 1925 (1925-07-17) (US) WriterAdele Buffington, Frank OConnor GenresSilent film, Drama, Crime Fiction CastClara Bow, Raymond McKee, Guy Edward Hearn, Fred Kelsey, George Cooper Similar moviesMystic Circle Murder (1938)
The Lawful Cheater, sometimes referred to as Lawful Cheaters, is a 1925 American silent crime-drama film written by Frank O'Connor and Adele S. Buffington, directed by O’Connor for B.P. Schulberg Productions, and starring Clara Bow, David Kirby, and Raymond McKee. After its 1925 U.S. theatrical release, the film was banned by the British Board of Film Censors.
Molly Burns (Clara Bow) is a young woman whose indiscreet behavior causes her to be caught and jailed in a police "round up" of suspicious characters. Her prison experience causes her to reflect upon and reform her own life. She convinces jail authorities that her two brothers and her boyfriend could be dissuaded from a life of crime. After her early release, she attempts to reform her indiscreet friends.
Clara Bow as Molly Burns
David Kirby as Rooney
Raymond McKee as Richard Steele
Edward Hearn as Roy Burns
George Cooper as Johnny Burns
Fred Kelsey as Tom Horan
Gertrude Pedlar as Mrs. Perry Steele
Jack Wise as Graveyard Lazardi
John T. Prince as Silent Sam Riley
Gilbert Roland as Undetermined Role (uncredited))
In American film cycles: the silent era, the film is called an "offbeat crime drama". In noting the film was a "cheaply produced melodrama" with a storyline that was "slight and trite", Hal Erickson of AllRovi wrote that beyond the film benefitting from actual use of New York City locations, Clara Bow acted as the film's "sole redeeming factor." He noted that at one point in the film, Bow's character of Molly Burns appeared in male drag which even if "far from convincing", was "fun to watch."