6.5/10
4,468
32 user 19 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
Reviews
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:

In 1960 Christine Keeler met Mandy Rice-Davies. Three years later they brought down the British Government See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Emily Lloyd signed on to play Mandy Rice-Davies, but dropped out for a more lucrative part. 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

Stephen Ward: Must never say no to a dare, Christine, you never know what you might miss.
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 »


Soundtracks

La Boheme
(uncredited)
Music by Giacomo Puccini
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User Reviews

 
Much ado about nothing, well done
22 October 2005 | by paul2001sw-1See 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

Polish | English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scandal See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$658,660, 30 April 1989

Gross USA:

$8,800,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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
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