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The Scapegoat

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Review

When two men who could be identical twins bump into each other in a pub, you suspect that no good can come of it. You’d be right, as quickly becomes clear in this Daphne du Maurier melodrama directed by Charles Sturridge.

Matthew Rhys plays both roles, John and Johnny; one is decent and not very well off, the other is a wealthy bounder. When he wakes up after a night’s drinking, the good one finds he’s been set up by the bad one to take over his life. At this point your scepticism will be tapping you on the shoulder, but you’ll probably stick with The Scapegoat if only to see this ridiculous premise through to the bitter end.

The bad one’s family turns out to be a ramshackle bunch of oddities who all live together in a lovely big house. But their future depends on winning a contract to keep their glassworks going. Bonkers. Utterly bonkers.

Summary

A man's life changes for ever on the night he meets his perfect double. John Standing is manoeuvred into switching places with the aristocratic Johnny Spence and finds himself drawn into his doppelganger's world - falling in love with his wife, sleeping with his mistress and attempting to solve the family's financial woes. However, events take a dark twist when the real Johnny returns - leading to disastrous consequences. Charles Sturridge's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel, starring Matthew Rhys in a dual role, with Eileen Atkins, Alice Orr-Ewing, Anton Lesser and Jodhi May.

Cast & Crew

John/Johnny Matthew Rhys
Lady Spence Eileen Atkins
Fr McReady Anton Lesser
Blanche Jodhi May
Charlotte Phoebe Nicholls
Frances Alice Orr-Ewing
Paul Andrew Scott
Nina Sheridan Smith
Bela Sylvie Testud
George Pip Torrens
Mary Lou Eloise Webb
Arthur Moffat Roland Oliver
Fincher Ian Mercer
Myerson Ben Lloyd-Hughes
Headmaster Julian Wadham
Landlord Richard Ridings
Adapted By Charles Sturridge
Director Charles Sturridge
Producer Sarah Beardsall
Producer Dominic Minghella
Writer Daphne du Maurier
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Drama

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