6.5/10
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28 user 18 critic

Scandal (1989)

Based on the Profumo Scandal of 1963, an affair between an exotic dancer and the Minister of War shakes up the British government.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Christine Keeler (as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer)
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Lord Astor (Bill)
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Mariella Novotny
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Roland Gift ...
Johnnie Edgecombe
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Mrs. Keeler
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Detective Inspector
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Justice Marshall
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John, Detective Sgt.
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Eugene Ivanov (as Jeroen Krabbe)
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Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial
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Paul Mann
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Storyline

An English bon-vivant osteopath is enchanted with a young exotic dancer and invites her to live with him. He serves as friend and mentor, and through his contacts and parties she and her friend meet and date members of the Conservative Party. Eventually a scandal occurs when her affair with the Minister of War goes public, threatening their lifestyles and their freedom. Based on the real Profumo scandal of 1963. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Would Be A Scandal To Miss It See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skandal  »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,800,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film narrowly escaped an X rating in the U.S. because of some questionable footage during the Cliveden House orgy. Closer scrutiny revealed that two extras were having real sex on a piano in one of the background scenes. Even though they were blurry, the scene had to be trimmed for all general releases to avoid the restrictive rating, which BBFC censor James Ferman accomplished by defusing the light from a table-lamp in the foreground. The inquisitive-minded will find this sequence about forty-nine minutes and five seconds into the movie. See more »

Goofs

A title card says, "One Year Later, 1962," indicating that Profumo addressed Parliament about Keeler that year. Profumo addressed Parliament in March 1963. See more »

Quotes

Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial: You got your rainboots on?
Editor of Pictorial: Why?
Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial: Because this shit's deep. That story? Gunshots at home of society doctor, got a picture of the girl? It's going to make some people very very nervous.
Editor of Pictorial: Yeah?
Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial: And listen, that's not the half of it. If what this tart has just told me is true, then we are sitting on dynamite. Look, we can't run with it until we get more evidence, but it's John Profumo. The bloody War Minister's involved!
Editor of Pictorial: Yeah, 's alright, great!
Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial: Yeah, I thought you'd like that.
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Connections

Referenced in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Leander Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Jon Arkell
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Much ado about nothing, well done
22 October 2005 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

Viewed from the 21st century, the Profumo affair seems much ado about nothing, a sex scandal of an altogether more innocent age. Put to one side the marginal security issues, and all that is left is a bit of bad behaviour among the aristocracy, and to be frank, if you choose not to shoot these people, you can't really expect for anything more. It did leave one serious casualty, however: Stephen Ward, procurer of girls to the upper classes, who committed suicide after being abandoned by his friends when the going got tough. 'Scandal' tells his story, and manages to be reasonably sympathetic to Ward, Christine Keeler (the girl who slept with Profumo) and even (to some extent) the minister, although the facts don't quite seem to support the continuing strength of the bond between Ward and Keeler as depicted. The portrait of the early 1960s is well judged (without the film ever feeling overly historical), and there are interesting insights into the semi-professional sexual relationships between the smart set and the girls on the make they adopted. But the best thing about 'Scandal' is really the acting. A distinguished array of British character actors perform their turns impeccably; and Joanne Whalley, while never quite looking eighteen, is a dead ringer for Keeler and always nice to look at. But in his own way, John Hurt (who plays Ward) is also great to look at, in his case because of his straightforward excellence as an actor. In his hands, Ward is an essentially mediocre man; and yet charming, far from wicked and ultimately tragic. In some senses, the whole affair provided a template for the subsequent portrayal of the private lives of politicians by the press, to the extent that today it would hardly make the waves that it did at the time. But this film goes far beyond historical reconstruction, and is well worth watching in spite of the relative triviality of the events is portrays.


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