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Askew Review 15

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SCANDAL (Anchor Bay) DVD. 1989. Drama. 114 minutes. NR, nudity.  Set in Great Britain 1963, the wealthy, and rather perverse, Dr. Ward (John Hurt) meets two teenaged showgirls and introduces them to the lovely world of escorting. The two young and naive escorts, Christine (Joanne Whalley) and Mandy (Bridget Fonda), soon learn how to use their good looks to manipulate the men they see and get what they want, and need. As Christine really starts to excel in her new profession, she begins a heavily sexual affair with Britain’s Cabinet Minister John Profumo (Ian McKellen) and Russian spy Eugene Ivcanov. As you can imagine, all good things must end and all this sexual gallivanting kicks off a court trial that ruins many lives and turns the British government upside down.
      Scandal is based on the Great Britain’s true sex scandal story referred to as the “Profumo Affair.” This DVD is the uncut and uncensored version, but I really do not understand what needed to be censored or cut.. There is some nudity, most notably the ugly hairy ass belonging to an old man that was unceremoniously plopped in front of my face. This baby was so up close and personal, I swear I could smell something. Umm, maybe that was me, not sure over here. Anyway, there’s nothing all that sexually shocking to be seen. Whalley and Fonda do a perfect job depicting the fine art of manipulation and would have a field day with that fat bastard Bill Clinton. Bridget Fonda does get briefly naked for us and further proves my theory that she has no butt crack what so ever (Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown also proves my theory correct). John Hurt does a masterful job of portraying Dr. Stephan Ward. Hurt comes across as totally likable, but in an almost sad, sleazy way. Keep your eyes open for Roland Gift, the former lead singer for Fine Young Cannibals, as one of Christine’s one night stands. DVD special features include, theatrical trailer, widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio enhanced for 16x9 TVs, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. I have no idea how closely this movie follows the actual events of the “Profumo Affair,” but it must have caused quite an uproar. Although rather slow moving and not nearly as controversial as publicized, Scandal is a pretty good tale of a dirty little government sexcapade. – Denis Sheehan


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