White Mischief goes back into Africa with a vengeance. It glossily portrays the flip side of colonial life, exposing the opulent and lush – but downright debauched – lifestyle of the British ‘Happy Valley’ crowd in Kenya during the war years [from the book by James Fox].
Pic opens in 1940 with newlyweds ‘Jock’ Broughton (Joss Ackland) and Diana (Greta Scacchi) about to leave England for the British colony in Nairobi. He needs a wife and she wants the money and a title, but when Diana meets handsome Erroll (Charles Dance) in Nairobi the scene is set for some philandering.
With stoical British reserve Broughton seemingly accepts the affair, even suggesting a celebratory dinner for the couple when they announce their plans to go away together. Later that night Erroll is shot through the head while in his car. Suspects for the murder are plentiful and the scandal means the end of the Happy Valley set and their dalliances. In real life the Erroll murderer was never found.
Dance and Scacchi are fine in the lead roles, with Scacchi certainly looking desirable and elegant bedecked in stunning costumes and sporting a seemingly endless collection of sunglasses.