Sunday, 30 March 2008
The first time I saw Margaret Lockwood in film, I was around 15, staying at home with flu from school, and miserably tucked up on the sofa watching The Wicked Lady.
As a young girl, not only did I think she was beautiful, but I loved the typecast roles of a gold-digging minx she played in this film and others. They suited her, but they were a disappointment to her own acting ambitions.
Recently there has been a Lockwood season at the BFI and I have indulged in a couple of afternoons watching The Man in Grey and Jassy. The former is actually a hugely enjoyable film - with a script amusingly identical to The Wicked Lady, but that's okay, because if she had been in twenty films that are a variation of The Wicked Lady, I'd be happy. The second film, Jassy, is a bit daft and unfortunately shot in colour and this doesn't detract from her beauty, but she seems less mysteriously mischevious somehow.
The woman should always have played a gun-toting social climber. In her acting career and in her personal life she was uncompromising. As Phil Norman notes in his book 'TV Cream's Anatomy of Cinema', 'at RADA,
she refused to kowtow to the strangulated 'how verreh verreh love-lay' diction drilled into the other pupils'. Apparently too, she had a filthy, kitchen hand's laugh and a crude tongue that would make a naval officer blush. Less of a wicked lady, more of a minx, in my opinion.
And so...until our next merry meeting 'heroine addicts'...
Margaret Lockwood (born 15 September, 1916 )