In 1963 the sensational revelations that a good-time girl had been having affairs with a British cabinet minister and a Soviet naval attache shocked the UK and helped bring down the Conservative government. Scandal reexamines the controversy.
Man-about-town Stephen Ward (John Hurt) meets young showgirl Christine Keeler (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer) and decides to transform her into a glamorous sophisticate.
Ward is delighted when Soviet naval attache Ivanov (Jeroen Krabbe) takes a shine to Whalley-Kilmer, though at the same time cabinet minister John Profumo (Ian McKellen), the secretary of state for war, falls for her.
Profumo is forced to resign and Ward is eventually arrested and charged with living on the earnings of prostitutes.
Hurt is excellent as the charming but shallow Ward. Whalley-Kilmer looks the part, but seems happier with the humorous and ironic parts of the script. American Bridget Fonda – with an admirable British accent – is perfect.