6.5/10
4,517
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
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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:

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

This movie 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 forty-nine minutes and five seconds into the movie. 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

Christine Keeler: You took me down there. It was you who wanted to go snooping around Westborne Grove at 1 o'clock in the morning. I never wanted to go; you made me. I'd never have met Lucky if it wasn't for you. I'd never have met Johnny, I'd never have met any of those people. It was all your idea.
Stephen Ward: You go too far.
Christine Keeler: You devil, you said. Never say not to a dare, you said. You took me to all the parties, you introduced me to everybody I know. I'm yours, Stephen. You pull the strings. I'm what you made me.
Stephen Ward: I'll ...
[...]
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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

The Twist
(uncredited)
Written by Hank Ballard
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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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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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