Scandal (1989)

R  |   |  Drama, History  |  28 April 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 3,634 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 16 critic

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 ... See full summary »


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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It Would Be A Scandal To Miss It See more »


Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skandal  »

Box Office


$8,800,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 49 minutes and 5 seconds into the movie. See more »


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 »


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.
See more »


Spoofed in The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997) See more »


Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer
by Nat 'King' Cole
Music by Hans Carste (uncredited)
Lyrics by Charles Tobias (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Turgid but clever
25 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the better contemporary fictionalizations of historical events, though it suffers from lack of exposition. Here's the history that you need to follow events: John Profumo, England's Minister of Defence (equivalent to the US Defense Secretary) was introduced to party girls (like Christine Keeler) by popular osteopath Stephen Ward. But unlike some upper-crust friends of Ward, Profumo had more to lose. When it got out that Keeler had dated a Soviet Navy attache at about the same time as she dated the married Profumo, British tabloids had a field day noting that there were national security concerns atop the infidelity problem. One reason folks in the US have difficulty with this issue is that the story was overshadowed in the States by the almost simultaneous Cuban Missle Crisis.

The great soundtrack's now been out on CD for a few years; the theme was produced by the Pet Shop Boys and sung by authentic 60's icon Dusty Springfield. All other songs chosen charted during the early 60's, giving the film the ring of authenticity. And due possibly to legal problems, the original performance of Chubby Checker's THE TWIST couldn't be used, so Checker re-recorded it for this film. This newer, punchy 1989 version is the one used today behind Pantene shampoo commercials.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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