The Scapegoat

Release Date:   7/28/1913
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   2
Brand:   Flying A
Genre:   Drama
Director:   Lorimer Johnston
Writer:   Lloyd Osbourn,
Confirmed Cast:   Jack Kerrigan, George Periolat, Jack Richardson, Louise Lester, Vivian Rich, George Field, Charles Morrison
Story Summary:

John Fordyce and Alwyn Jasper are the two bank clerks who cannot resist the temptation of using their employer’s funds in an effort to enrich themselves. Both young men are in love with Beauty Van Sant. John meets with favor. When by chance Jasper detects the defalcations of John, he works on the latter’s sense of honor and pride so that the latter deems himself unworthy of the affections of the girl. Jasper makes good the shortage by further dishonest methods. John, on the other hand, confides to Beauty the crime he has committed and the noble spirit of Jasper in appreciation of which he breaks his engagement and allows Jasper to plead and win his cause. Jasper continues his dishonesty, but cleverly weaves a circumstantial case against John, so that when the exposure comes, John, feeling himself under obligations to Jasper, pleads guilty to the charge of forgery, and is sentenced to five years of penal servitude.

After four years of hard labor, John is paroled for good behavior. At Jasper’s home the death of the only child and his indifference to home ties do not enhance matrimonial bliss. Jasper dies as the result of an accident, but on his death bed makes a confession completely vindicating John. Beauty seeks the prison warden in an effort to make amends to John, but he has already been liberated. Her life’s occupation is now to find John, and because of her failure, attaches herself to a rescue mission, where, after patient waiting, her diligence is awarded by discerning in a veritable wreck the man who, because of his love for her had made such inestimable sacrifices. At her home later the two read the confession of Jasper, and both come to a stronger realization of the kindly hand of fate.

- Moving Picture World, July 1913, p. 464.

Unique Occurrences:

This film was developed from a magazine story by William Hamilton Osborne and shot partly on the new studio property outside the shooting stage. A prison break was staged using the entrance of Junipero Plaza as the prison grounds. Actor George Fields was injured slightly in a fall from the wall in this scene. Scenes were also shot in Jones Cafeteria. Santa Barbara Judge, E.A. Rizor played a bit part in a courtroom scene as a judge. An employee of the Santa Barbara Lumber Company played a bit part as a boss of a lumber company who turns the lead (Kerrigan) down for a job. Total cast was about fifty.


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