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Scandal [DVD]
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on 10 March 2017
This is one film that perfectly captures the sights and sounds of early 60s London - and although I was only 10 at the time of this Scandal happening, and not really aware of the context, I do remember it. (difficult to miss as it was all over the papers, especially the tabloids. Nothing much changed there then?) Joanne Whalley and Bridget Fonda perfectly cast as Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis, the two showgirls the benign Stephen Ward (admirably played by the late great John Hurt) introduces to members of the establishment/high society. Also with Jean Alexander as Keeler's mum, a surprise role by Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden. Also with Sir Ian McKellan as the ill-fated defence secretary John Profumo, together with an excellent supporting cast, all add up to a slice of English social/political history. And finally, the scene where Keeler and Rice-Davies are getting ready to go out 'on the town', is proof that women getting dressed can be just as sensous as the other way round!? Again, a worthy film for any collection that captures the 60s so eloquently. ( I am just surprised that so far this movie is not available on bluray, when so much rubbish is!)
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on 12 March 2017
Interesting take on a major UK political scandal from the early 1960's. Full of excellent actors who gave brilliant performances (great to spot actors/actresses playing roles that you might not have expected to see them in). Good early 60's feel too, costumes, decor, cars and soundtrack. Very enjoyable and thought provoking. Thought the extras interesting but would take issue with the director and writer and social/political commentators take on the story where they claimed it was to kind of exonerate Stephen Ward from being the main blame for the scandal. I thought the film portrayed him as a selfish sybaritic character who knew exactly what he was doing and it all came back to bite him on the bum. Profumo and Keller also came across as characters who knew what they were doing and naively perhaps hoped to get away with it without character tarnish. Interesting too how Rice-Davis came out as the popular 'heroine' of the sordid tale whilst she also had a variable moral compass and was not the sweet innocent.
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on 27 December 2014
"The past is another country" wrote LP Hartley, "they do things differently there." at the start of the Go-Between. And things were very different in the early 1960s. I can remember the Profumo Scandal, even if I wasn't old enough to fully appreciate it, or what was really happening.

Everything in the scenes happened at some stage in this drama, even if they have been synthesised and compressed; the whole story—or as much as we know—was much more complex.

This is mostly about the relationship between Stephen Ward and Christine Keeler; the other actors are more walk-on parts. And while it does its best to convey what did or didn't happened between them, it is of necessity very discriminatory.

What however the film clearly demonstrates is that Stephen Ward was the scapegoat, he was set up by the Establishment; it would have been good to have seen more of how the corrupt Metropolitan police manoeuvred, manipulated and blackmailed Christine and Mandy; and how Stephen and Christine paid the price demanded by the Establishment.

"Twas ever so; it's not so much a conspiracy, more that the chaps, those who went public schools know how to behave, and not to squeal—and the scene near the end When Stephen describes an event at his public school (an event which really happened) perfectly encapsulates this.

One minor point: Britt Eckland has a role; I didn't recognise her, perhaps she was clothed.
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on 12 May 2015
I was too young at the time to understand how profoundly the Profumo scandal affected the relationship between politics and press, and it would be worthwhile viewing this film for that alone. However there is a good deal more on offer, with very creditable performances from John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Ian McKellen and (then) relative newcomer Bridget Fonda, ably supported by a number of well known actors of the time. The physical similarities of the two first-named to the original characters portrayed is uncanny, and lends a near-documentary feel to the film which attempts to give a fair account of the business.
It is worth remembering that despite the subject then being some 25 years old, the film was still seen as almost too controversial to get made or distributed. Whether this is a true account of events will remain controversial, many of the protagonists having published their own version of history. Unsurprisingly they differ a fair bit. To borrow and adapt Mandy RD's well known bon mot "Well they would, wouldn't they?" Sadly the one version never heard is that of Ward himself.
You might want to watch this as a student of history, of fashion, of 60s music or just of human frailty. You might even just enjoy a good story, well told. Whatever your reason you are likely to be pleased.
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on 10 August 2017
A great evocation of a sixties scandal! Although it all happened a long time ago the Profumo Affair as it was called still has resonance When it was found that the Cabinet Minister John Profumo had shared a call girl with a high ranking Russian Official it became a huge story given also that the Cold War was in full swing at the time!! Recommended!
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on 19 May 2014
I have always been a sympathiser of Christine Keeler, the young lady featured in this film. Although I was very young at the time, I could tell that she was being used as a scapegoat by political puppeteers. All her life she has been hounded by the cheap tabloids and mis-represented even to this day.
I bought this film out of curiosity and found it cemented my opinions even stronger on the side of Miss Keeler, i was disappointed to hear that John Hurt treated her less than respectfully during the making of this film. I would strongly recommend you read her book and find out her side of the story. Miss Keeler was a good time girl who spent her life paying for an indiscretion, but the other half of the events recounted, a top MP who resigned, went on to attend Royal events and was knighted. A very good indication of the darker side of politics that still remains today, if you can get someone else to carry the can, it doesn't matter if you ruin their lives, do it
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on 23 January 2018
An excellent and entertaining film based on true events which is convincingly acted. However, there is one small story detail that I have researched and which is at odds with the film. Stephen Ward's death may not have happened as it is portrayed . But research this for yourself. What you will uncover is chilling! Otherwise a great film! Also, Petshop Boys theme song well sung by a great 60's icon puts the seal of approval on it!
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on 22 December 2017
Excellent re-telling of the story. Very little deviation from the known facts, and Stephen Ward is - for once - treated fairly.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 October 2015
The Profumo Affair, Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies, Stephen Ward et.al, all superbly portrayed in this 26 year old movie about the 1960s scandal that rocked the establishment. The film's haunting theme song "Nothing Has Been Proved" was written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys and sung beautifully by Dusty Springfield.
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on 24 February 2014
An excellent film about some sad events in our history. The great actor John Hurt plays Stephen Ward whose suicide follows the establishments desire to blame someone for Profumo's lack of self control. Christine Keeler's is played admirably by Joanne Whalley (where is she now?) whose good times as we know have not lasted and she fell on hard times. Now we have the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber to tell the tale again on stage. If you see the musical get the film they go well together.
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