Scandal (1989 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Produced by Stephen Woolley
Written by Michael Thomas
Music by Carl Davis
Cinematography Mike Molloy
Edited by Angus Newton
Palace Pictures, British Screen Productions
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
3 March 1989
Running time
115 min (UK)
106 min (US)
111 min (Canada)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $3 million
Box office £3,705,065 (UK)[1]
$8,800,000 (US)[2]

Scandal (1989) is a British drama film, a fictionalised account of the Profumo Affair based on 1987 Anthony Summers' book Honeytrap.

Starring Joanne Whalley as Christine Keeler and John Hurt as Stephen Ward, personalities at the heart of the affair, the film details the scandal that, in 1963, rocked the government of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and may have contributed to the defeat of the ruling Conservative Party at the following year's general election.

The cast also includes Ian McKellen as John Profumo, Britt Ekland as Mariella Novotny, Bridget Fonda as Mandy Rice-Davies, Leslie Phillips as Lord Astor, and Roland Gift as Johnny Edgecombe.

The film's theme song "Nothing Has Been Proved" was written and produced by Pet Shop Boys and sung by Dusty Springfield.

The film was screened out of competition at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.[3] The film's original trailer on UK television commercials never showed any clips of the film but just a blank screen featuring the word "SCANDAL" in white text, with a voiceover saying "It's a scandal! Keep watching!" Another trailer featuring clips was subsequently shown, as a follow-on from the original.

Plot summary

An English bon-vivant osteopath is enchanted with a young exotic dancer and invites her to live with him. He serves as friend and mentor, and through his wide range of contacts and his parties she and her friend meet and date members of the Conservative Party. A scandal develops when her affair with the Minister of War comes to public attention.


Filming locations

Part of Scandal was filmed at Brook Drive SE11, 42 Bathurst Mews, Bayswater, London, although Stephen Ward's house was actually at 17 Wimpole Mews, Paddington, London.[4]


The soundtrack, and soundtrack album, included a specially written song by the Pet Shop Boys "Nothing Has Been Proved" for Dusty Springfield.[5]


The film received positive reviews. At the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Scandal received an overall approval rating of 91% based on 32 reviews.[6]

It was rated number 1 in the Top 10 Best British Films by the Record Press website in February 2013.[7]

The movie made a comfortable profit.[2]


  1. "UK Top Grossing films of 1989". Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  2. 1 2 Olins, Rufus. "Mr Fixit of the British Screen." Sunday Times (London, England) 24 Sept. 1995: 9[S. The Sunday Times Digital Archive.] Web. 29 Mar. 2014.
  3. "Festival de Cannes: Scandal". Retrieved 2009-08-04.
  4. "ANOTHER SMART MOVE FOR LUROT BRAND" (PDF). Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  5. The Trouser Press guide to '90s rock, Ira A. Robbins, David Sprague, 1997, page 555. "The following year, the Pet Shop Boys wrote and recorded the magnificent 'Nothing Has Been Proved' for Springfield to sing on the Scandal soundtrack."
  6. "Scandal". 28 May 1989. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  7. "This Top 10 Best British Films proves UK made films are the greatest!!". 8 February 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
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