6.5/10
4,284
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
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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skandalen 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Directorial debut of Michael Caton-Jones. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when Mandy Rice-Davies is surrounded by the press, one photographer, using a twin-lens reflex camera, has his finger on the lower (taking) lens at the moment of exposure. No professional photographer would make this mistake. See more »

Quotes

John Profumo: I have nothing to hide.
Stephen Ward: Come off it, John. We all have something to hide. What a boring life it would be if we didn't.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Three versions of the film are available on video:
  • the complete 114 min. unrated version
  • a slightly edited 111 min. unrated version
  • the heavily cut 105 min. R-rated version
See more »


Soundtracks

Goodness Gracious Me
(uncredited)
Music by David Lee
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Performed by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren (as Sofia Loren)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Turgid but clever
25 October 2001 | by occupant-1See 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.


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