Open main menu

The Wicked Lady is a 1983 British drama film directed by Michael Winner and starring Faye Dunaway, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Denholm Elliott, and Hugh Millais. It was screened out of competition at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.[4] It is a remake of the 1945 film of the same name, which was one of the popular series of Gainsborough melodramas.

The Wicked Lady
The Wicked Lady FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byMichael Winner
Produced byYoram Globus
Menahem Golan
Written byLeslie Arliss
Gordon Glennon
Magdalen King-Hall
Aimée Stuart
Michael Winner
StarringFaye Dunaway
Alan Bates
John Gielgud
Denholm Elliott
Hugh Millais
Music byTony Banks
CinematographyJack Cardiff
Edited byMichael Winner
Production
company
Distributed byMGM/UA
Release date
  • 22 July 1983 (1983-07-22)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million (est.)[1] or $15 million[2]
Box office$724,912[1][3]
Faye Dunaway being fitted for a wig by Paul Huntley for the film.

Contents

PlotEdit

Caroline is to be wed to Sir Ralph and invites her sister Barbara to be her bridesmaid. Barbara seduces Ralph, and marries him herself, but, despite her new wealthy situation, she gets bored and turns to highway robbery for thrills.

While on the road she meets a famous highwayman, Jerry Jackson, and they continue as a team, but some people begin suspecting her identity and she risks death if she continues her nefarious activities.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Michael Winner bought the rights off the Rank Organisation and took the film to Faye Dunaway. She agreed to star. Winner then raised finance from the Cannon Group in February 1982.[7][8]

In March John Gielgud and Alan Bates agreed to star and the budget was set at $15 million. Winner called the film "Bonnie and Clyde in the 17th century."[2]

In May Dunaway also announced she would make a second film for Cannon, Duet for One which would be directed by her then boyfriend Terry O'Neill along with Dede Allen.[9]

Menham Golan of Cannon said that "stars who would never had worked with us before are now happy to sign. We pay them peanuts - but we give them big percentages. Faye, Alan and John were happy to sign for The Wicked Lady because they have 50% of the film. And we have small overheads, so they'll get their money."[9]

ShootingEdit

"This is the only film I've ever enjoyed making," said Dunaway on set. "Everything I've done in the past has been so full of anguish, , though that's partly my fault, I'm sure." She said the film " came at the right time for me. I needed something light after making Mommie Dearest,' which was decidedly harrowing."[7]

The actor Mark Burns appeared in The Wicked Lady as King Charles II, but during the filming director Michael Winner could not afford to pay him even the Equity union minimum fee. Burns told him to make a donation to the Police Memorial Trust, which was run by Winner. Years later, when Burns appeared at a magistrate's court on a charge of speeding, Winner, appearing as a character witness, told the bench that the actor had given "his entire fee" for a major film to the fund and Burns was subsequently discharged.[10]

CensorshipEdit

The film included a scene where Faye Dunaway's character has a whip fight with another woman. The British censor insisted this scene be cut before the film was given an X certificate. Winner got various colleagues to watch the film and write letters of protest to the censor in support of the film and the scene. These included Derek Malcolm, Kingsley Amis, Lindsay Anderson, and Fay Weldon. Winner's appeal was successful and the film was released uncut.[11]

ReceptionEdit

The film received a Razzie Award nomination for Faye Dunaway as Worst Actress.[12]

SoundtrackEdit

The soundtrack for the film was composed by Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Andrew Yule, Hollywood a Go-Go: The True Story of the Cannon Film Empire, Sphere Books, 1987 p43-45
  2. ^ a b Meryl Streep to star in 'Sophie's Choice' Chicago Tribune 20 Mar 1982: b14.
  3. ^ The Wicked Lady at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Wicked Lady". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  5. ^ Walker, Tim (5 February 2013). "Why Michael Winner was never a ladies' man". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  6. ^ Full cast of The Wicked Lady at the Internet Movie Database.
  7. ^ a b FAYE DUNAWAY: ENJOYING LIFE ON THE SCREEN AGAIN Mann, Roderick. Los Angeles Times 26 Oct 1982: g1.
  8. ^ AT THE MOVIES; Why Nolte stopped being a stage actor. Chase, Chris. New York Times 19 Feb 1982: C.16.
  9. ^ a b MOVIES: CANNES FILM FESTIVAL THE GLITTER OF CANNES: OSCARS IN THE MAKING? Los Angeles Times 23 May 1982: l30.
  10. ^ Evans, Peter (19 July 2007). "Mark Burns". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  11. ^ The lady who beat the censor Malcolm, Derek. The Guardian 15 Mar 1983: 17.
  12. ^ Razzie Awards for 1984 at the Internet Movie Database.

External linksEdit