There’s no scandal as juicy as a sex scandal. And when political intrigue gets mixed in, well, that just ups the ante. Lest you think that political sex scandals are a modern invention, here’s a breakdown of movies — all based on true stories — over the last half century.
The Devils (1971)
Talk about sordid: Back in 1634, French Catholic priest Urbain Grandier (Oliver Reed) was burned at the stake in connection with a series of supposed demonic possessions. The powerful Cardinal Richelieu used the accusations of a twisted, sexually obsessed nun (Vanessa Redgrave) as fuel to pursue a political vendetta against Grandier. The movie, directed by Ken Russell and based on a book by Aldous Huxley, met harsh criticism in the U.S. and U.K., both of which gave it an X rating because of violence and explicit sex scenes (two words: nun orgy). It has since been embraced as a cult classic.
Based on the memoir of a former stripper, Blaze recounts the passionate love affair between Louisiana Governor Earl Long (Paul Newman) and his buxom babe Blaze Starr (Lolita Davidovich). They may have been an unlikely pair, but their connection held fast even when the governor’s rivals used their relationship against him when he advocated for black voting rights). Having a fling with a stripper is one thing; what really riled up his adversaries was when they moved in together.