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 »
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two men kidnap a girl off the streets, take her to a beach house owned by a drug-addicted stewardess, and hold her for ransom.

Directors: Hubert Cornfield, Richard Boone
Stars: Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Rita Moreno
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Masako is a prostitute who works at a bathhouse in downtown Tokyo. She is sexually involved with her neighbor in the next apartment. However, when his friend falls in love with a young woman this creates a problem for all three of them.

Director: Noboru Tanaka
Stars: Tomoko Katsura, Ken Yoshizawa, Hidemi Hara
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Story of Christine Keeler, who found herself at the heart of a political sex scandal that rocked British government in the 1960s.

Stars: Sophie Cookson, James Norton, Ellie Bamber
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A struggling American writer (England) and a fellow American expatriate (Mandylor) begin a sordid affair among the chaos and discord of 1940 Paris, France on the brink of World War II.

Director: Zalman King
Stars: Audie England, Costas Mandylor, Eric da Silva
Chromophobia (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A bourgeois family slowly comes apart at the seams.

Director: Martha Fiennes
Stars: Ben Chaplin, Penélope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. She compares scenes in ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Julia McKenzie
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1940s Kenya, a married couple join other affluent British expatriates in a lifestyle of recklessness and excess, but soon find themselves in a troubling situation.

Director: Michael Radford
Stars: Sarah Miles, Joss Ackland, Greta Scacchi
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Young love may endure in your heart and one day re-ignite, but reality may soon dowse the flames.

Director: Jack Fisk
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Kevin Kline, Bonnie Bedelia
Buster (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Based on the story of Ronald Christopher "Buster" Edwards (Phil Collins), one of the thieves involved in "The Great Train Robbery" of 1963.

Director: David Green
Stars: Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb
Perfect Girl II (2014)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A coming of age romance for anyone who's ever had a crush. Since high school, Stan and Jenny have had crushes on each other. They wrote letters to one another over school holidays but in ... See full summary »

Director: Jason Chan
Stars: Jason Chan, Khaleila Hisham, Christian Lee
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A group of cheerleaders from the local high school decide to show their school spirit for their football team by sleeping with the opponents the night before the game so that they can be so worn out the opposition won't be able to play.

Director: Paul Glickler
Stars: Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A stormy relationship, complicated by the strictures of 1950s social class and gender roles, ends in death. Based on the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in Britain.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Ian Holm

Photos

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut of Michael Caton-Jones. 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 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 To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

I Remember You
by Frank Ifield
Music by Victor Schertzinger
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
See more »

User Reviews

 
More Than Just a History Lesson
15 November 2006 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

If "Scandal" (1989) was not a fairly accurate recounting of Britain's John Profumo Affair, the characters and events would be too weird to be considered plausible fiction. Defense Minister Profumo's attempt to refute allegations of his involvement with Christine Keeler ultimately brought down the 10 year Conservative Party government back in the mid-1960's. "Scandal recreates these events and gives the viewer a glimpse into the personalities and possible motives of the main players in this political soap opera.

But recreating history is a secondary consideration in this film whose theme is about individuals who live in a fairy tale world until they fall victim to the grim forces that take life more seriously. The main player is Stephen Ward (John Hurt), a osteopath and recreational artist whose main goal is to be part of the right crowd, not so much immersed in this kind of society as in a position to observe it closely for his amusement. His method for doing so involves discovering ravishing young women from the poor side of town and doing a Henry Higgins number on them. The film begins with his discovery of Keeler (Joanne Whalley) who he begins grooming and introducing to prominent members of his in-crowd.

The two soon fall in love, but theirs is not a physical relationship. Stephen delights in seeing his protégé work her magic on men in authority. This eventually leads to their doom, since no one quite understands such an unconventional relationship they have no credibility when an attempt is made to make Stephen a scapegoat for the government scandal.

In retrospect the process of attacking Ward to contain the widening scandal was one of the two most shameful abuses of the judicial system in post war Britain. Coincidentally Hurt played the victim in the other one as well; "10 Rillington Place" (1971), in which Hurt is wrongly executed for a murder committed by his landlord, the now notorious serial killer John Christie.

"Scandal" is a powerful and arresting film with solid performances. Whalley has the biggest role and is a bit too intelligent looking to be completely believable as a character like Keeler. But she is so nice to look at that almost anyone would willingly trade credibility for scenery-and she is otherwise entirely convincing in an excellent performance. I first noticed her in "Willow", the film she made just before "Scandal". She had a secondary part but her scenes were the most memorable in the entire film. Hurt somehow sells you on the fact that his character derives an innocent joy from simply seeing a beautiful young woman walking down the street on a nice day.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

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 »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed