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Scandal (1989)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 2,386

My Rating

Movie Info

True story of the infamous 1963 controversy in which a young showgirl's affairs with a British cabinet minister and a Russian official led to the upheaval of the British government.

R,

Art House & International, Drama

Michael Thomas

Sep 5, 2000

HBO Video

Watch It Now

Cast

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (3) | DVD (7)

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.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Scandal is an express tour of the Profumo affair that moves with a pop historian's revisionist swagger and plays like News of the World headlines set to early '60s rock 'n' roll.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The greatest virtue of the filmmakers' straightforward approach is that it avoids the obvious pitfall of pretentiousness.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Caton-Jones is not the most stylistically assured of filmmakers, but his ability with actors is obvious. For this project, that is enough to turn the flat conventions of the docudrama into something resembling life.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hurt is excellent as the charming but shallow Ward.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Caton-Jones' first feature is a serious, almost low-key affair, strong on period detail and imbued with a sense of genuine outrage.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

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.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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 Source: Film4
Film4

If you're familiar with the scandal in question, this does an excellent job in unravelling what it was actually all about.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The movie is at its best when examining the complex character of Ward

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Call it a hindsight view of British history, an unnecessarily controversial film about the uses of sex, or a perverse love story -- any of the descriptions will fit Scandal.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A well made but emotionally unengaging look at one of the most famous sex scandals of 20th century Britain.

October 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Depicts the 1963 Profumo affair in England as an episode in class warfare.

July 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

more interested in the people rather than the parts they played in a national scandal

February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

An exacting treatise of the Profumo affair, excellent acted by all.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Scandal

I think that the characters could have used more definition in places (the serious non-sexual attraction between Ward and Keeler was rather undefined and vague) but whats great is that even though the movie is 20 years old and the events occurred nearly 50 years ago its still incredibly relevant. The public both loves and hates sexualized figures, and most of that arises from our personal confusion about the whole nature of sex. Its fun, but it makes Jesus upset. The events depicted here happen today in almost the exact same fashion (only now the internet hypes these things even more out of control) and director Michael Caton-Jones recognizes that our misguided attitudes about sex are what creates the firestorm.
February 26, 2011
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

I haven't seen this since it first came out, but the song still haunts...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Q5CmIzpBg
April 26, 2010
lesleyanorton
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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