The son of a dead Italian nobleman and a wealthy American woman forgets the disappointment of finding he has no talent for being a painter by succumbing to the sexual advances of an amoral model who believes in indiscriminate love affairs.
Spinster poetess Susan Grieve lives in a Manhattan apartment where naval hero Slick Novak comes with her for a nightcap. Next morning they visit her Connecticut farm where Novak tells her ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A rejected score consisting of classical selections plus original music by Douglas Gamley was recorded in England. See more »
During the first conversation between the two principal characters in the Café des Amis the French Count states his personal worth in terms of how many French francs to the English pound (GBP). It seems odd that he assesses his worth in GBP. See more »
You have the intention of staying long in France, Mr. Barratt?
I don't know. That is to say that I didn't know there was any restriction apart from the question of money.
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Cast listing 'custom's official' - should be customs official See more »
"The Scapegoat" starts out with a clever premise and the promise of intrigue, but soon settles down as a character study marked by good, solid acting. Alec Guinness is the star with a dual role, first as a drab professor with an empty life, and then as the scion of a wealthy family who parties, womanizes and neglects his family. They meet and decide to switch places. The professor now has a life, but the rich guy vanishes.
Now follows an absorbing story, based on a novel by Daphne DuMaurier, as the professor enjoys his new surroundings and tries to inject some heart and purpose into his new life, which arouses some suspicions. This may have been a novella fleshed out to a feature-length movie, and I say this because the picture does go on, and the pace is somewhat sluggish - that is, until the surprise ending.
Guinness, Irene Worth and Nicole Maurey put this British/MGM film over with superb acting, with an enlarged cameo by Bette Davis. "The Scapegoat" is something of a departure for Alec Guinness as he gets to show off his considerable acting chops, and there are no comic interludes to be found. The viewer is kept in the dark regarding a solution until the very end, and the end is worth the preceding 90 minutes.
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