MovieChat Forums > The Scapegoat (1959) Discussion > But is the bandaged hand scarred?! (SPO...

But is the bandaged hand scarred?! (SPOILERS)


All right. In reading the previous threads there seems to be a consensus that it was Barratt who killed De Gue, as the last shot showed the bandaged hand of the "De Gue" character. After all, in the previous scene De Gue's hand was unbandaged, while Barratt's burned hand was all wrapped up.

But who's to say that it WASN'T De Gue with his GOOD right hand bandaged just so that he wouldn't draw suspicion upon himself? (How could his hand have gotten better so quickly? Maybe Barratt had been telling the truth?)

The thing is, it was a fairly well thought out scheme of De Gue's, and if he had been successful in killing Barratt, for De Gue NOT to bandage his hand would have been for him an inconsistant oversight and illogical.

I think the bandaged hand alone is not evidence enough to make a final judgement, so we're forced to look for other clues the movie gives us to make a determination as to who is the real last De Gue standing.

My thoughts are:
1. On his way to Bela's, there is a shot of "De Gue" leaving his estate. He stops on the front steps, and we see him in all black looking fairly cold and mean. Maybe it's a chiche, but hey, this is 1959.

2. This is a small thing, but when he asks to be driven to town he barks the town's name out to Gaston (the driver), rather than asking to be driven there. Wouldn't Barratt have put it in a nicer way?

3. Lastly, in the final line, "De Gue" mentions something about almost not being able to be there, or something to that effect. (Wish I had taped it). To me it seemed indicative of someone in the real De Gue's place.

My thought is that Barratt is dead.

reply

In the last scene he said something like, "by a twist of fate, we are to be together."

The evil baron would not consider having his mistress back a twist of fate. He would have planned to have her.

On the other hand, the evil baron knew the Englishman had scored big with the mistress (that is where he sent the Englishman while he killed his wife) and she would be in love with the Englishman so to get back his mistress (and his **alibi**), he would have to try to convince the mistress that he was the Englishman. In order to gain her confidence, he would act all sensitive and not at all like the greedy and insensitive evil baron. So the romantic utterance about fate would have been fake!

But the music at the end of the movie was happy, glamorous and kinda romantic. I think they meant for the audience, those who see their glasses half full, to figure the Englishman had won the day. Goths, depressives and people recently divorced will see it the other way.

"I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them."

reply

[deleted]

I want to believe that the good guy got the girl in the end, but there is one clue that no one else mentions. When Baratt/the Count arrives at his mistress's home, and as he approaches her, he removes his coat from his shoulders and exposes a round hole in his jacket below the left shoulder. It's the jacket that Baratt was wearing, so it seems that the Count switched his clothes after he killed Baratt. Does that mean that the repressed English teacher has taught the jaded Count how to appreciate his life? Or were the mistress and the Count in cahoots? -- after all, it was a woman who called Baratt away from the castle. Was this their scheme to get rid of the inconvenient wife so that they could be together in the end? After all, the film is called The Scapegoat.

The ending could have been clearer and if this had been an American film then for sure Baratt would have prevailed in the end. As it is, the Count and the "bad" girl get each other in a rather dark ending.

reply

[deleted]

I didn't notice the bullet hole either, but two things from the movie make me think John the Englishman lived: (1) The romantic "the good guy gets the girl" music and (2) John narrates the story. And I looked up the novel on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, the novel is written in the 1st person by John the Englishman, so there it's clear John survives. I doubt the novel was changed, since Du Maurier produced the movie.

reply

Actually, I just finished the book "The Scapegoat" by Daphne du Maurier, which this movie was based on, and there are a few differences in the book, including the ending. So the ending of the movie could go either way.

reply

The book is very much different from the film. The wife dies by accident, is not murdered. Neither de Gue nor John die - De Gue takes back his life and John goes off to join a monastery!

reply

I can comfirm that because I just finished the book and that is exactly how it ends. Don't forget that DeGue and John have an arrangement to switch places again. Also Bela no longer loves DeGue but John instead.

 Harry Potter Lives! 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

reply

[deleted]

Barrat wins and here is the proof.

De Gue has an unknown woman posing as Bela telephone the driver asking to see Barrat. Barrat is driven out to see Bela. Bela tells Barrat she didn't call him but is glad to see him. Barrat wonders who could have made the call to lure him away, but is also happy for an excuse to see Bela again and says:

"Fate or the telephone has made a beautiful mistake and we are together when we might have been apart."


After the shootout with De Gue, Barrat returns to Bela once again and repeats this line, which is the last line in the movie.









Absurdity: A Statement or belief inconsistent with my opinion.

reply

Bela is De Gue's accomplice. She really calls the crime day and De Gue repeats the line in an ironic way.

reply

Excellent catch, joeparkson!

Case solved!

reply