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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Wicked Lady (1983)

A young bride (Glynis Barber) invites her best friend (Faye Dunaway) to be her maid of honor at her wedding. Instead, the scheming duplicitous friend steals the extremely rich groom (Denholm Elliott) for herself and marries him. But this is only the beginning of her wicked ways which will bring her own downfall. Based on the novel THE LIFE AND DEATH OF WICKED LADY SKELTON by Magdalen King Hall, this is  the second film version of the novel. It was made into a quite popular British film in 1945 with Margaret Lockwood in the title role. That film took itself very seriously. The director Michael Winner wisely reinvents the film as a comedy and an often bawdy comedy at that. People seem to fornicate at any given opportunity and in one scene Dunaway literally whips the dress off a woman. I found it much more fun than the 1945 film although the film inexplicably has a terrible reputation and is considered one of several movies that "ruined" Dunaway's career. Dunaway seems to relish every evil act she commits while John Gielgud is suitably amusing as her pious disapproving Bible quoting butler. The lively score is by Tony Banks of Genesis. With Alan Bates, Prunella Scales, Oliver Tobias, Joan Hickson and Celia Imrie.   

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