6.5/10
4,170
29 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.

Writer:

Michael Thomas
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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:
John Hurt ... Stephen Ward
Joanne Whalley ... Christine Keeler (as Joanne Whalley-Kilmer)
Bridget Fonda ... Mandy Rice-Davies
Ian McKellen ... John Profumo
Leslie Phillips ... Lord Astor (Bill)
Britt Ekland ... Mariella Novotny
Daniel Massey ... Mervyn Griffith-Jones
Roland Gift ... Johnnie Edgecombe
Jean Alexander ... Mrs. Keeler
Alex Norton ... Detective Inspector
Ronald Fraser ... Justice Marshall
Paul Brooke ... John, Detective Sgt.
Jeroen Krabbé ... Eugene Ivanov (as Jeroen Krabbe)
Keith Allen ... Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial
Ralph Brown ... 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 | Plot 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

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skandal See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were strenuous efforts made by many politicians to prevent the film from being made, even though the world-famous events it depicted had taken place more than a quarter of a century earlier. Sir Ian McKellen and Sir John Hurt received numerous letters from famous members of Parliament, asking them to decline their roles. Neither one did. McKellen replied politely to most of these letters; Hurt ignored them, and told journalists that their senders were hypocrites, who were merely anxious to prevent the truth from being told. See more »

Goofs

When Christine arrives at Heathrow from Spain after the scandal breaks, a modern illuminated sign is in the background as she walks from the gate. 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 that 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? Alright, great!
Kevin, Reporter Sunday Pictorial: Yeah, I thought you'd like that.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Upon its original UK release, the chief censor at the BBFC claimed to be able to see a couple in the background of an orgy scene who were actually having sex on top of a piano. Although the footage was not clear enough to confirm this, the scene had to be optically blurred to cover up the offending genitalia! See more »

Connections

Referenced in Good Morning Britain: Episode dated 6 December 2017 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothing Has Been Proved
by Dusty Springfield with Pet Shop Boys
Written by Neil Tennant (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
So this is what it was all about.
15 August 2005 | by loza-1See all my reviews

I remember the names of the people involved when I was a kid. I had no idea what the Profumo Affair was all about, so I was very interested in seeing the film. Names from my childhood kept cropping up: Christine Keeler, Stephen Ward, Lucky Gordon. I was able to see the whole thing played out before me. Most of what is shown is historically accurate. It is certainly true that the osteopath Stephen Ward was hounded to his death by the British establishment.

Of the performances John Hurt was excellent as Ward. Joanne Whalley Kilmer has been criticised for a two dimensional performance. I don't agree. She had decided to play the part of someone who is essentially shallow (however deep the real Christine Keeler might or might not be) and makes a fair fist of it. I thought that Roland Gift was OK as Johnny edgecombe - although at the time I thought he was supposed to be Lucky Gordon.I thought that Leslie Philips was going to be a disaster as Lord Astor, but he was excellent.

The problem of having lived through the period is that when it is portrayed on film, you can see all the mistakes in fashions and background. This film is no exception.

The music is quite apt - in one case (see below) spot on - and I thought that the truly appalling rendition of "She Wears Red Feathers" in the night club scene was very atmospheric.

Someone else pointed out the scene as the girls are dressing while The Shadows play "Apache." That scene stimulated me, too. If you can, watch this scene in a cinema. Watching stockings been drawn on on a big screen while Tony's bass drum, Cliff's Japanese drum, then Jet's bass come rolling out of those gigantic cinema speakers is an experience not to be missed - believe you me!


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