The Scapegoat (1959) 1080p

Movie Poster
The Scapegoat (1959) 1080p - Movie Poster
Crime | Mystery
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
91 min
IMDB Rating:
6.8 / 10 
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Directors: Robert Hamer [Director] ,

Movie Description:
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.


  • The Scapegoat (1959) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • The Scapegoat (1959) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • The Scapegoat (1959) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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Guinness makes this

Disillusioned English schoolteacher John Barratt (Alec Guinness) is on vacation in Paris. He encounters his doppelganger, French nobleman Jacques De Gué. After a night of drinking, John sleeps it off in Jacques' hotel room. Jacques is running a scheme for unknown reasons. John wakes up alone and with Jacques' clothing the next morning. Jacques' driver comes in and mistakes John for Jacques.

Initially, I thought I saw this movie before and then I realized that I saw the 2012 remake. I continue to have issue with the logic of the premise but it's a different set of issues in this one. I can't buy that an Englishman gets mistaken for a French noble. He may look the same, but he can't sound the same. I do buy that John is more amenable to be someone else since he's so depressed about being himself. This premise needs some more careful planning. Alec Guinness helps immensely. He makes anything reasonable, and he is fully capable here. He's able to stay on this road despite all twists and turns.

Don't read it, just rent it

This movie has such an interesting premise, I almost don't want to tell you about it. As it unfolds, the twists and turns will keep you on your toes from start to finish. Let's start off with the least surprising part of the movie: Alec Guinness plays dual roles. He loves disguises, so it's no wonder he was drawn to The Scapegoat. One Alec Guinness is wealthy, titled, living in luxury with a wife, stepdaughter, and mistress. The other is an inconsequential college professor with apathy for everything in his life. When one Alec keeps getting mistaken for the other, he's confused. When he finally sees his own reflection looking back at him from across the bar, he gets to know the man he might have been. It's very fun, with trick camera angles, and reminds us of all the eight roles he played in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Well, I've made up my mind: I won't tell you the plot. All you need to know is that it's a tense thriller with two Alec Guinnesses. This is far from an Ealing comedy, so don't expect to laugh. There is one sad part to the movie, one you should be aware of if you're a Bette Davis fan and don't want to see her in her Baby Jane phase. She plays a bedridden morphine addict, and her over-the-top acting style is as out of place in the late '50s as it was in the '60s. I prefer to see her in her prime, but it was still great to see Alec playing his two parts. Check it out!

The family and their problems

According to Piers Paul Reid's biography nobody got along with anybody involvedwith the making of The Scapegoat. Not star Alec Guinness, director Robert Hamer, author Daphne DuMaurier and screenwriter Gore Vidal. Maybe hadeveryone been in sync The Scapegoat might have turned out better and been oneof Guinness's classic films.

Like Kind Hearts And Coronets, Guinness has more than one role. He's both ateacher of French at an English school on holiday in France and a Frenchcount for whom he is a double.

After a night's carousing with his twin English Alec wakes hung over wihidentification gone and the French Guinness's in its place. With no reasonableexplanation to offer English Alec decides to enjoy the life of a French noble.

Those includ wife Irene Worth, Sister Pamela Brown, Annabel Bartlett and ademanding mistress Nicole Maurey the only French person in a film set in France..

As Guinness gets acclimated to a new identity he really gets involved withthe family and their problems. But when Worth is killed in a fall while he'saway from the family chateau, one Guinness realizes the other is setting him up.

Watching The Scapegoat I was expecting some sophisticated comic lines toemerge. This being an Alec Guinness film. It never developed that way, but several times it seemed on the brink.

Bette Davis plays French Alec's grande dame of a mother and the role is done in grand Bette Davis style. According to the Guinness biography Davis dislikedeverybody on the set and it was like she was giving them all acting lessons.

If everyone had been in tandem The Scapegoat could have been a better film.
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