The trope of sibling rivalry has been around since antiquity. From the Greek mythology of Homer’s The Iliad where Aries and Athena battle it out on different sides of the Trojan war to Shakespeare’s King Lear and the brothers Edmund deviously plotting against their father’s “legitimate son” Edgar…even as far back as the Old Testament rivalry of Cain and his brother Abel…you remember, the first murder in our history…brothers and sisters have been going at it.
In The Man who Cheated Himself we have two brothers, Ed and Andy Cullen, who are cops. The older one is the seasoned veteran while his younger brother is the rookie. The acting in this film is good and the story is believable but there are some moments that give viewer pause. In our modern day of forensic science, it’s difficult to watch these older crime stories where people leave fingerprints everywhere and fibers and all kinds of mistakes, but we have to remember all that technology didn’t really exist back in the 50s. What did exist was sibling rivalry. This is a story about the younger brother doing his job as a policeman and having to catch his older brother who has committed the crime. The only problem…the older brother is the one training him to be a cop on the same case.
There’s a nice twist here. The younger brother gets no pleasure in chasing after his older brother. You can see that it pains him. That moves this film from a cliché to an interesting study on sibling rivalry.