The movie Misbehaviour takes a fascinating look behind the scenes at the 1970 Miss World competition, during a time of immense social change. The movie is a must for any little girl (or boy) to see.

Movie Review: Misbehaviour

Misbehaviour takes us back to 1970 a world where we sat down as a family in front of fatback televisions to watch the Miss World competition. A time when the winner went on tour with Bob Hope to military zones to cheer up the troops.

Set in London the movie takes us inside the preparations for the competition where girls are instructed on how to glide down the runway.

At the same time there is a groundswell for social change. An underground movement was forming. A group of women secretly met to produce pamphlets in an attemt to get their message heard.


As excitement built within the general public about who would be crowned Miss World, the underground group claimed beauty competitions demeaned women. When new member Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley) mentioned getting the message on television, a medium shunned by most of the radical group members, a thought emerged. And so they set about sneaking into and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Their actions would give them overnight fame and launch what would become the Women’s Liberation Movement.

The movie could have stopped there, however the story goes further to explore sexism, mainly through Bob Hope’s routine, as well as racism when the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.


Misbehaviour is well acted by all the main players and a fascinating watch on so many levels. As the audiences loud clapping died down and I watched the credits, which you really must stay to see, it was interesting to consider how far we have become.

There were some great quotes e.g. ‘don’t get angry get determined’, and ‘if you don’t fight then you deserve the world you get’.

This is a must see on so many levels.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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