You wouldn’t expect an almost forgotten Christmas classic to come from Republic Pictures unless it included a scene of cowboys singing carols on the lone prairie. The low-budget studio was more associated with Westerns and serials than sophisticated comedies about broken-down society types using the Christmas holidays to secure a rich uncle’s inheritance. Screwball comedy was not typical studio fare for Republic either or even in vogue at the time. Nonetheless, there are echoes in The Cheaters (1945) of the classic My Man Godfrey (1936) due to the central character Mr. M. (Joseph Schildkraut), “the forgotten man” brought home for the holidays by the family’s daughter, and by the casting of Eugene Pallette as the father trying to cope with this, a role similar to the one he had played in the earlier film.
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