: : : Scandal

Story

This complex and intriguing drama chronicles--with some probable narrative liberties--the chain of events that instigated the provocative Profumo affair, the infamous cold war scandal that toppled Britain's conservative government in the early 1960s. John Hurt stars as charming osteopath Stephen Ward, who grooms a malleable and beautiful teen showgirl, Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer), to party with his swinging high-society friends. Trouble starts brewing when Christine becomes simultaneously entangled with both a Russian diplomat and a British cabinet minister. Once the media learn of her sexual escapades, the reigning Conservative Party comes under fire and begins seeking a scapegoat to distract the public from the dangerous political implications that the affairs represent. Under Michael Caton-Jones's confident direction, the film generates sympathy for its decadent lead characters, and it intelligently explores how private personal matters become vulgar public affairs when political machinations intrude. The most intriguing aspect of Scandal is the platonic love affair between Keeler and Ward amid the trials and tribulations of their stormy relationship--think of it as a twisted variation on My Fair Lady. The fine cast also includes Ian McKellan as John Profumo and Bridget Fonda as Christine's partner-in-fun Mandy Rice-Davies. The uncut DVD version features a little more skin than the R-rated release, although viewers will probably wonder why those few extra shots caused such a stir. --Bryan Reesman

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

John HurtStephen Ward
Joanne WhalleyChristine Keeler
Bridget FondaMandy Rice-Davies
Ian McKellenJohn Profumo
Leslie PhillipsLord Astor
Britt EklandMariella Novotny
Roland GiftJohnnie Edgecombe
Alex NortonDetective Inspector
Paul BrookeJohn
Jeroen KrabbeEugene Ivanov
Keith AllenKevin
Ralph BrownPaul Mann
Trevor EveMatinee Idol

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Producer: Anchor Bay
  • Length: 114 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaApr 28, 1989
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe18
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaSep 5, 2000
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