6.3/10
2,362
27 user 19 critic

White Mischief (1987)

R | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 May 1988 (USA)
In 1940s Kenya, a married couple join other affluent British expatriates in a lifestyle of recklessness and excess, but soon find themselves in a troubling situation.

Director:

Michael Radford

Writers:

James Fox (novel), Michael Radford (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Scacchi ... Diana Lady Broughton
Charles Dance ... Josslyn Hay
Joss Ackland ... 'Jock' Delves Broughton
Sarah Miles ... Alice de Janzé
Geraldine Chaplin ... Nina Soames
Ray McAnally ... Morris
Murray Head ... Lizzie
John Hurt ... Gilbert Colvile
Trevor Howard ... Jack Soames
Susan Fleetwood ... Gladys - Lady Delamere
Catherine Neilson ... Lady June Carberry
Hugh Grant ... Hugh
Alan Dobie Alan Dobie ... Harragin
Gregor Fisher ... McPherson
Jacqueline Pearce ... Idina
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Storyline

A millionaire past his prime, and his young wife, arrive in Kenya circa 1940 to find that the other affluent British expatriates are living large, as the homefront gears up for war. They are busy swapping partners, doing drugs, and attending lavish parties and horse races. She begins a torrid affair with one of the bon vivants, and her husband finds out and confronts them. The husband and wife decide to break up peacefully, but the bon vivant is murdered, and all the evidence points to the husband. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

White Mischief. A True Story. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Kenya

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ronda de los depravados See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,538, 22 April 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,107,551
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Agfa-Gevaert)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The official title of Josslyn Hay (Charles Dance) was the Earl of Erroll, specifically, the 22nd Earl of Erroll, his full name also being Josslyn Victor Hay. See more »

Goofs

The courtroom scenes include counsel shouting "Objection!" and the Judge replying "Sustained" or "Overruled" and occasionally ordering things "stricken from the record". These terms are routine in courts in the United States but are never heard in courts based on English jurisprudence, as was the case in colonial Kenya in 1941. See more »

Quotes

Sir Jock Delves Broughton: These bankers are terrible, Abdullah.
Abdullah, Broughton's Servant: Yes, Bwana.
Sir Jock Delves Broughton: When it's dry they offer you no end of umbrellas; as soon as it starts raining they want them back.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On the home video VHS version of the film, a jazzy, swing style period song is substituted over the End Credits. In the original theatrical release, "The Alphabet Song" sung by Sarah Miles was used. On the UK DVD from Sony CDR11476, The Alphabet Song is back, along with the score by George Fenton. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
from "The Nutcracker"
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged and directed by Eric Banks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
idle hands in the British empire
14 January 2011 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

This cynical drama set in pre-WWII colonial Kenya (where the lifestyles of the rich and decadent were enhanced by casual drug abuse and infidelity) presents a glossy but unfocused account of a May-December marriage of convenience, brought to a tragic end after one too many indiscreet liaisons between frustrated young wife Greta Scacchi and local Casanova Charles Dance. The film is based on a true story, widely reported at the time (in England, at least), and like its two lovers is cool and dispassionate and pleasant to look at. But the script makes the fatal mistake of sanitizing the illicit affair with feelings of true love, and because all the sex is conducted with such impeccable protocol the effect is more polite than shocking. Director and co-writer Michael Radford's script is full of barbed and witty dialogue, but re-writes history for a dramatically tidy (and quite bloody) resolution.


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