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    • Margaret Lockwood Barbara Worth / Lady Skelton
    • James Mason Captain Jackson
    • Patricia Roc Caroline
    • Griffith Jones Sir Ralph Skelton
    • Enid Stamp-Taylor Henrietta Kingsclere
    • Michael Rennie Kit Locksby
    • Felix Aylmer Hogarth
    • David Home Martin Worth
    • Martita Hunt Cousin Agatha


  • Dir:
      Leslie Arliss
  • Prod:
      R.J. Minney
  • Scr:
      Leslie Arliss, Gordon Glennan, Aimee Stuart, from the novel The Life and Death of the Wicked Lady Skelton by Magdalen King-Hall
  • Ph:
      Jack Cox
  • Ed:
      Terence Fisher
  • Mus:
      Hans May
  • Art Dir:
      John Bryan




    [ t h e   w i c k e d   l a d y : m o v i e  r e v i e w ]

    vhs dvd

    Classification: pg

    July 2012: Buy UK Dvd + Extensive Scans
    Buy UK Dvd + Love Story Extensive Scans

    In November 2004, the British Film Institute looked at cinema ticket sales since the dawn of the talkie to create the all-time list for the most popular movies in the country. In 9th place was The Wicked Lady, beating heavily hyped films such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Grease, Jaws and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

    Gone with the Wind was first.

    Institute director Amanda Nevil said:

      'The results have amazed even those who researched the data.

      'They are a remarkable record of the nation's film tastes. Spanning almost a century of cinema-going, the list highlights the diversity of the British palate when it comes to choice of film favourites.

      'And these are the nation's favourites - selected not by vote, or by critic, but by the number of actual visits by everyone living in this country over the past 100 years.'

    The Institute calculated that 18.4 million people had visited the British cinema to see The Wicked Lady since its release in 1946. In 1946 itself, it was the highest earning movie in England.

    Such figures are a testament to how hugely popular the main star of the movie, Margaret Lockwood was in Britain in the 1940s, a fact that is overlooked today. And I may be controversial when I say that her performance as the 17th century highway robber Lady Skelton was the first time in cinema history that a woman had been liberated to reveal the myriad of characters, personalities, possibilities and emotions that make up the female of the species. Lockwood took the opportunity to do so with open arms and ran with it. Up to that point, women in movies were treated as just an extension of the male, there to reflect the male mood, to please him, comfort him, and very little else.

    From that point I can't stress enough how important Margaret Lockwood was in the female movements that followed twenty years or so after this film. And, of couse, from that point of view this film was well ahead of its time.

    Moreover, this film gave British cinema one of its most striking images: that of Lockwood the highway robber, her beauty-spotted bosom heaving as she sneered at some poor male victim. Lockwood's eloquent bust proved a bit too expressive for Hollywood, so the film was expensively reshot for a sanitised US release

    The film isn't all good though. It is a fairly predictable costume affair, with a large selection of B-movie regulars striding about in thigh-length boots. That fact makes Lockwood's performance all the more remarkable.

    And seen from the distance of time, it is wonderful entertainment, with James Mason catching the swaggering heart of the movie, and Lockwood makes Glenn Close look like Shirley Temple.

    "She was the wickedest woman ever seen on the screen", trumpets the original theatrical trailer on this otherwise bare-bones UK DVD release: it's still probably true even today.

    July 2012: Buy UK Dvd + Extensive Scans
    Buy UK Dvd + Love Story Extensive Scans

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