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      Scandal

      R 1989 1 hr. 46 min. Drama List
      88% 34 Reviews Tomatometer 61% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score Stephen Ward (John Hurt) regularly employs attractive young women as professional party guests to impress his influential friends in the British government. One of these women (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer) has affairs with both Britain's Minister of War John Profumo (Ian McKellen) and Eugene Ivanov (Jeroen Krabbé), a supposed spy for the Soviet Union. When the affairs are made public, the resulting scandal costs many people their political careers, and someone's life. Based on a true story. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

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      S R Saw it for the cast and story, but it came across as tacky despite the fascinating plot. It made me wonder how much of it was dramatized. RUS. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/28/24 Full Review victor o I'm a history buff and the events of this movie spoke to me because I heard of them from my love of Cold War history. I learned of this vaguely but after watching this I definitely understand it better now. This was a well-produced movie of a factual event with most of the controversy laid before me, with a marvelous cast as well as splendid acting. In the 1960s, the British government was under the reigns of the Conservative Party, having been successful in doing its part to represent their people ended up being removed in part of a scandalous event involving their Minister of Defense, John Profumo. Britain's people have always had a type of snobbery regarding advancement in society, some adhere to moral scruples without difficulty, but the temptation sometimes is irresistible, especially in the seedy underbelly of society. Whether its sex, drugs, or dishonesty John Profumo (Ian McKellen), sunk himself and his party when he associated himself with Stephen Ward (John Hurt). Ward was a common doctor but because of his high-end patients, he practically was a made man in society whether it was knowing ambassadors to high end courtesans. One such courtesan was Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley), a gorgeous woman who basically made a life for herself by connecting to high society with her body as she traded favors for sex. The films sets up Keeler's as we clearly sympathize for her and her associates whether its with Ward or Profumo. But the scandal only breaks when she endures an arrest that leads her to snitching on her betters. It is a circus that leads to shame for everyone, made worse as lies and trials end up shaming Profumo and Ward. I got to say this was an impressive depiction of a political scandal, but to be fair I expected a bit more. I always wondered why this showed up in a Cold War documentary, but I guess it was Keeler wanting to associate the Soviet ambassador with Ward to maker arrest less of an issue. I also felt this made Keeler too sympathetic, most of what the real-life person did and said was not as factual and she truly lived up to the ideal of the woman of ill repute. I also didn't like how Ward was seen as sympathetic at his trial, what with his fair share of indecency and at the end feels horrified at what he deems unfair. I guess he was angrier over getting caught than the immoral things he had done. I also felt that there should had placed more importance on the damage this did to the British government. But it's the people that matter more than the institutions. This was a good story, but I think this could have been better received had it not gone too seedy. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member [----07/26/2021----] Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/13/23 Full Review steve d It was too hard to root for anyone. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member As the theme song "Nothing Has Been Proved", sung by Dusty Springfield and produced by Pet Shop Boys, plays over the rolling credits, you would have hoped for more malevolence and discerning criticism in Michael Caton-Jones's skin-deep drama exposing the Profumo–Keeler opprobrium that brought Harold Macmillan's Conservative Government down like a house of cards. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review alex k My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Critics Reviews

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      Dolores Barclay Associated Press Michael Caton-Jones' Scandal tries to recreate those muddied times for the British in a sex-laden but leaden film that's held together only by John Hurt's strong performance as Stephen Ward. Oct 25, 2018 Full Review Sheila Benson Los Angeles Times The film holds because of the brilliance of Hurt and the fascination of Whalley-Kilmer, as well as the sly, tongue-in-cheek viciousness of Bridget Fonda's Mandy Rice-Davies. Rated: 3.5/5 May 8, 2013 Full Review Margaret Moser Austin Chronicle In Scandal director Caton-Jones has faithfully recreated early Sixties swinging London, with its East End nightlife, ska clubs, and girls galore. May 8, 2013 Full Review Rene Jordan El Nuevo Herald (Miami) Scandal desperately pursues, but rarely catches salaciousness or even mild-mannered wickedness. Rated: 2.5/5 Aug 8, 2023 Full Review TV Guide Instead of sleaze, director Caton-Jones and screenwriter Michael Thomas deliver a vindication of the affair's chief scapegoats -- Ward and Keeler -- in the form of a two-hour nostalgia trip, with some complex and powerful performances. Rated: 3/4 May 8, 2013 Full Review Jon Fortgang Film4 A quality cast, polished writing and the atmospheric evocation of Soho and Whitehall sleaze make for a powerful depiction of Ward's fall from grace. May 8, 2013 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Stephen Ward (John Hurt) regularly employs attractive young women as professional party guests to impress his influential friends in the British government. One of these women (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer) has affairs with both Britain's Minister of War John Profumo (Ian McKellen) and Eugene Ivanov (Jeroen Krabbé), a supposed spy for the Soviet Union. When the affairs are made public, the resulting scandal costs many people their political careers, and someone's life. Based on a true story.
      Director
      Michael Caton-Jones
      Screenwriter
      Michael Thomas
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (DVD)
      Mar 9, 2010
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $7.8M
      Sound Mix
      Surround