Set in 1952, The Scapegoat begins just as England prepares for the coronation. The film then tells the story of two very different men, John Standing and Johnny Spence, who have one thing in common: a face. Almost exact replicas of each other they meet by chance in a station bar, each at a crossroads in their life: one setting out on a walking tour after losing his job as a teacher; the other avoiding home after a disastrous business venture. The charming and charismatic Johnny wines and dines his new acquaintance but when John wakes the next morning with a hangover he is alone and a chauffeur is standing outside his room, waiting to take him ‘home’. Despite his protests, John finds himself sucked irresistibly into another man’s life. John now finds himself responsible for a crumbling stately home, a failing business. a dog who doesn’t recognise him and for the first time in his life, has to deal with women; specifically a distraught wife, a drug taking mother, a sister who despises him, an eccentric daughter and two mistresses, one of whom happens to be married to his younger brother. Although he tries at first to escape, John finds himself increasingly attracted to this disparate and dysfunctional group of women and slowly his presence starts to alter the chemistry of the household. Just as he seems to be making progress, John finds himself falling in love. Then his nemesis Johnny returns in secret to the house with evil intent.
The Scapegoat was written and directed by Charles Sturridge and produced by Island Pictures. The film stars Matthew Rhys, Eileem Atkins, Sheridan Smith, Johdi May, Andrew Scott, Alice Orr Ewing, Richard Riding and Sylvie Testud. Following its global premiere on ITV1, The Scapegoat will be released theatrically. Content Film is handling international theatrical distribution.
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