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4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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(Sep 05, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, Ian McKellen, Leslie Phillips
  • Directors: Michael Caton-Jones
  • Writers: Michael Thomas
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Joe Boyd, Nik Powell, Redmond Morris
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2000
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305971196
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,851 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Scandal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My comments are not aimed at the merits of this fine film but at the recent DVD release by Anchor Bay. The cover boasts that the version it contains is "uncut & uncensored"; however, that claim is false. Inexplicably missing is the entire "nightgown" scene with Bridget Fonda, which should appear just after the orgy. I'm pretty sure that this scene appears in every other version of the movie. I'm almost certain it was in the R-rated general release, I know it is in the "uncut" VHS tape, and part of it even appears in the broadcast televsion version. In fact, watching the censored TV cut of that segment on BBC America a month or so ago is what inspired me to order the DVD in the first place. Now I just feel ripped off. This is not the first time I've purchased DVDs that were missing key scenes, but this instance was particularly galling.
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Format: DVD
Without covering much the same territory that others have in their reviews, I can only say that "Scandal" is an excellent example of how politics, power, weakness and self-interest can corrupt, destroy and even end lives. The death of Dr. Stephen Ward in 1963 was tragic in that the powers that be, namely the police, Profumo and the Conservatives, Christine Keeler, the media, and ultimately the legal system in Britian made sure that he would take the blame for the actions of others that he played a part in, but by no means was fully responsible for. Ward never had a chance to defend himself from the beginning hence his decision to committ suicide and whose funeral no one attended. It portrays a side to British society IMO that I think many would prefer to forget and where the class system served to protect those on its higher ladders at the expense of those not as fortunate. Since when is a British lord, cabinet minister or any member of the aristocracy above reproach? "Scandal" shows us just how unfair life really is. BTW, the theme song for "Scandal" performed by Dusty Springfield was called "Nothing Has Been Proven" and is available on her "Reputation and Rarities" CD available through
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The dvd I am reviewing is imported from Korea and plays on normal North American dvd players. The transfer quality and sound are quite good. The cover lists the movie as 4 x 3 aspect ratio but it is actually 16 x 9 (all to the good). The box also says that there are subtitles in English and Korean. This is also wrong since there are no English subtitles, a serious deficit for this edition since the dialogue can be a little difficult to understand if you are older. Another reviewer complained that a different dvd edition (Anchor Bay) does not have a scene with Bridget Fonda in a night gown. This edition does not have that scene either. The Korean import can be discerned by looking at the bottom of the front cover. There you will see a line of Asian characters.
In early October 2010, _Scandal_ was released in England as a region 2 PAL dvd. I do not know if it is complete although lists the runtime as 115 minutes (the Korean import is listed as 114 minutes). The October _Sight & Sound_, which is published in England, has a review (page 89f) that praises the video and audio transfer as excellent. I do not know whether this English edition is complete. Warning: it will not play on a standard North American dvd machine. So, buyer beware.
My rating for the Korean import is 4 stars because of the lack of English subtitles and the missing scene with Bridget Fonda. This is an unusually interesting movie that pillories the British press, government and legal justice system for ruining the lives of Christine Keeler and Stephen Ward. For anyone who remembers the Profumo scandal or is at all curious about the early 1960s cold war environment in the Britain, this is a must see. For everyone else, this is quite an interesting story in its own right, and I strongly recommend seeing it.
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Format: VHS Tape
Based on a true event of 1963, the "Profumo" affair scandal is one the classic sex scandals of British political history, of which, as you would know, there are many.
The story is one of great intrigue showing how one man's weakness and lust for the seedier side of the fairer sex, and another man's weakness, his desire to mix with the higher echelons of society, embroils them both into a downward spiral of self destruction, which in itself is indeed quite a story. But when it also compromises and in fact instigates the downfall of an entire government, and a British CONSERVATIVE Government at that; now add to it a complex web of vices including sex, drugs, alcohol, debauchery, infidelity, betrayal and treason! well you have the makings of a simply excellent movie. John Hurt's acting as "scapegoat" Dr. Stephen Ward is first class, as are the roles of Ian Mckellan as the ill-fated John Profumo and Leslie Phillips as the aloof Lord Astor. Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Bridget Fonda, Britt Ekland give superb performances depicting precisely the trends and fashions of England's mid 60s. The theme music "Scandal", sung by the timlessly talented Dusty Springfield, was released as a single and made the charts without hesitation.
Add to the story a high ranking Russian, a snipit of the "highly respected" British Aristocracy, some excellent shots of London life and a stately mansion deep in England's green and pleasant land, and you have a highly entertaining, "no holds barred" account of a real piece of British political history, the kind that britons would rather you didn't know about!
It's been more years than I care to remember since I went to the "flicks" to see this movie, I truly can not wait to put this video into my machine, get a couple of cans, get my feet up and enjoy it all over again. Buy it! you won't be disappointed.
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