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The Scapegoat (1959)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  6 August 1959 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,065 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

A French count schemes to kill his wife and implicate a mild-mannered English schoolteacher whom he resembles

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Barratt / Jacques De Gue
...
Countess
Nicole Maurey ...
Bela
Irene Worth ...
Francoise
Pamela Brown ...
Blanche
Annabel Bartlett ...
Marie-Noel
Geoffrey Keen ...
Gaston
Noel Howlett ...
Dr. Aloin
...
Aristide
Leslie French ...
Lacoste
Alan Webb ...
Inspector
Maria Britneva ...
Maid
Eddie Byrne ...
Barman
Alexander Archdale ...
Gamekeeper
...
Customs Official
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Storyline

On a vacation in France from his nondescript job and life, John Barratt encounters a titled but impoverished French nobleman who looks exactly like him. The nobleman gets John drunk, and switches places with him to take a breather from his failing business and too-complicated life. John tries to convince everyone he is not who they think he is, but he begins to get more and more involved with the count's family, including an unhappy wife, domineering mother, lonely but talented young daughter, bitter spinster sister and the expected mistress. As John gets to know them he feels he can help them with their problems, but is also becoming used to his borrowed life, which has given him a purpose for the first time. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He took another man's name... lived another man's life... loved another man's woman! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Sündenbock  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, the original choice for Barratt / De Gué was Cary Grant, but Daphne Du Maurier insisted on Alec Guinness because he reminded her of her father, actor Gerald du Maurier. See more »

Goofs

When the very last line is spoken by Guinness' character, his lips do not move. While it could be argued the line was part of his narration sprinkled throughout the film, the line does appear to be his direct answer to the question posed to him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Customs Official: You have the intention of staying long in France, Mr. Barratt?
John Barratt: I don't know. That is to say that I didn't know there was any restriction apart from the question of money.
See more »

Crazy Credits

cast listing 'custom's official' - should be customs official See more »

Connections

Remade as The Scapegoat (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not one of Sir Alec's best.
9 August 2005 | by (Waukegan, IL.) – See all my reviews

Alec Guinness once again plays a dual role. In this one, his two personas are that of a wicked French count and a benign Englishman. Despite some interesting supporting cast, including a very Baby Janeish Bette Davis, the story seems somehow only half told, and the two Guinness characters remain frustratingly underdeveloped. We sense a conflict between good and evil, but we are never made to understand why this is nor how it came about. The ending is frustrating in the extreme.

I decided to write this primarily to point out the appearance of Donald Pleasence as a desk clerk. Up till now, he remains uncredited.

All of this said, I would still recommend watching this oddity the next time it happens to come around. It is Alec Guinness, afterall.


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