Scandal

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91%

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Total Count: 33

59%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,492
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Movie Info

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.

Cast & Crew

John Hurt
Stephen Ward
Joanne Whalley
Christine Keeler
Bridget Fonda
Mandy Rice-Davies
Ian McKellen
John Profumo
Britt Ekland
Mariella Novotny
Roland Gift
Johnnie Edgecombe
Jeroen Krabbé
Eugene Ivanov
Michael Thomas
Screenwriter
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News & Interviews for Scandal

Critic Reviews for Scandal

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (3)

  • 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.

    October 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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…
  • The greatest virtue of the filmmakers' straightforward approach is that it avoids the obvious pitfall of pretentiousness.

    May 8, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Hurt is excellent as the charming but shallow Ward.

    March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Scandal

  • Feb 23, 2012
    In 1963, the conservative British government was shaken to its foundations by the Profumo Scandal. The central character in this disastrous affair was John Profumo, Britain's minister of war, who had become sexually involved with call-girl Christine Keeler, whose "sponsor" was high-priced osteopath Dr. Stephen Ward. Fancying himself a dashing international adventurer, Ward had also offered Christine to alleged Soviet spy Eugene Ivanov. Another of Ward's stable, Mandy Rice-Davies, allegedly had slept with numerous British and American luminaries. I was completely lost for words as I watched Michael Caton-Jones "Scandal". It is a fascinating and yet complex film that deserves to be in good comparison to previous rise and fall pictures such as "Goodfellas", "Casino", "Nixon" and "Bonnie & Clyde". John Hurt is very good as Stephen Ward as is Ian McKellan as Profumo. The best scene in the film is during the court room, where Keeler is seen getting sandbagged with stong questions involving the scandal. A very distraught Hurt stands up and yells out to Keeler's defence (almost a cry out to God) and says..."That is not fair!". The camera focuses intensely on Hurt's face that made me cringe with sympathy. I cringed because Stephen Ward's reptuation sank faster then the Titanic. I also found Joanne Whalley to be very good and confident as Christine Keeler, Briget Fonda gives a great performance as Mandy Rice-Davies, Ian McKellan as Defence Minister John Profumo and British singer Roland Gift (Fine Young Cannibals) as Johnny Edgecombe. "Scandal" is a great film, a fascinating one that will want me to read up more on the Profumo affair.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2011
    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.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 26, 2010
    I haven't seen this since it first came out, but the song still haunts... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Q5CmIzpBg
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2009
    Extremel;y well made if a little fanciful at times with the truth. I researched the original story after seeing this and was impressed with how damn stupid Profumo was.....good film though.
    Barry L Super Reviewer

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