Cheating is a short 1950s film on the temptation and dangers of cheating. We follow John Taylor as he struggles with math and faces down the temptation of cheating.
He cheats and later gets caught.
And from there his high school life goes down the drain.
The short provides the following tropes.
- An Aesop: Cheating is bad. And you should study.
- Felony Misdemeanor: When Johnny is caught cheating, he's shunned by the entire school and nearly unanimously kicked out of the student council.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: "Aw golly, Mary, I don't get any of this stuff!"
- How We Got Here: The film starts with John receiving a phone call; we hear only John's side, but it's clearly bad news. At the end of the short we finally see the other side of the call — it's Jim telling him he's been voted out of student council.
- Scare 'em Straight: Dark depressing scenes of John's life collapsing around him.
- Serious Business: Then again, you really shouldn't cheat.
- Tech Marches On: The montage of kids calling each other on landline phones that were all identical to each other wasn't due to low budget - there was only one model of phone in one color available to most American consumers in the early '50s.