• 3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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Caton-Jones' first feature is a serious, almost low-key affair, strong on period detail and imbued with a sense of genuine outrage on behalf of both the ruined Stephen Ward (Hurt) and the deranged and derailed Christine Keeler (Whalley-Kilmer) which lifts it above the merely exploitative. Both main performances are strong at the core of a still compelling story (Hurt in particular, a riveting jumble of weakness, seediness, vanity and kindness). Less satisfying are McKellen's Profumo, who looks more like a samurai warrior than a war minister; Bridget Fonda's Mandy Rice-Davies, and Jean Alexander's Mrs Keeler, who seem to have succumbed to the cutting-room jitter machine. Others must decide on the propriety of this cinematic exhumation; for those who weren't around at the time of the scandal in the early '60s, and even for those who were, it certainly makes dismaying if illuminating viewing.

By: SGr

Release details

Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Screenwriter: Michael Thomas
Cast: John Hurt
Joanne Whalley-Kilmer
Bridget Fonda
Ian McKellen
Leslie Phillips
Britt Ekland
Daniel Massey
Roland Gift
Jean Alexander
Ronald Fraser
Jeroen Krabbe

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

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To be frank the film is somewhat bland, barely scratching at the surface of what the viewer slowly realises is underneath; pure evil. It is obvious the people who have seen to it they rule us are totally without morals...and are using ordinary hard-working people to slave for them. Subsequent scandals have exposed more of the antics they get up to, but the media paint it up in such a way the public regard it all with amusement, not horror. And who owns the newspapers..... I think it's time a new version of the film be made, perhaps better - a TV series - was done, exposing the reality we were not allowed to see the last time. If nesseccary, use real porno-stars and X-rate it... but do it!