HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wicked Lady, The Whipping Up A Storm
Year: 1983
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Faye Dunaway, Alan Bates, John Gielgud, Denholm Elliott, Prunella Scales, Oliver Tobias, Glynis Barber, Joan Hickson, Helena McCarthy, Mollie Maureen, Derek Francis, Marina Sirtis, Hugh Millais, John Savident, Ewen Solon, Marianne Stone, Celia Imrie
Genre: Trash, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Caroline (Glynis Barber) is to be wed to Sir Ralph Skelton (Denholm Elliott), the kindly and wealthy lord of this English manor and its environs, who does not like to see wrongdoers end up hanging from a rope, but society appears to demand it. She is in love with this older man, and he feels affection for her, but a spanner is thrown into the works of their union once Caroline invites her elder sister Barbara (Faye Dunaway) to visit and although nobody twigs to her double-dealing, the sister is a conniving sort who manages to win the heart of Sir Ralph - and his fortune.

On television around the time this was released, Kenny Everett was bestriding the midweek comedy landscape like a colossus, and one of his most popular characters was one Cupid Stunt. She was essentially Cuddly Ken dressed up as a busty Hollywood starlet, with an extravagantly leg-crossing catchphrase: "And it's all done in the best possible taste!" which would refer to her latest role in the ridiculous trash she had been telling her interviewer about, guaranteeing she would say "And all my clothes fall off!" in relation to what was required of her in her capacity as an actress. Well, Faye may have escaped the burden of a nude scene here, but everything else was precisely the sort of thing Cupid would have starred in.

Naturally, these unholy works do not spring fully formed from the ground, as The Wicked Lady was the culmination of a variety of threads ranging from those reliable schlockmeisters of the eighties Cannon Films, here making inroads into the Brtiish film market, to the sad winding down of a once promising directing career for Michael Winner, who it's hard for some to believe now but did actually make some entertaining movies back in the sixties. By this point, he was going all out for crass sensationalism, which he felt was the ideal tone to bring his remake of the cult Gainsborough romp of the nineteen-forties to the screen, an effort far more enjoyable than the lowest common denominator nonsense here.

Yet Winner had a real knack for talking impressive name stars into his movies, thus we had Dunaway as the title character, Alan Bates as the highwayman Captain Jackson she grows enamoured with, John Gielgud as a puritannical butler who tries to mend Barbara's ways and Barber scuppering a once-promising film career by appearing in things like this, but then again Dempsey and Makepeace on TV would have been far poorer if not for her presence. As all these thesps set about the plot as if this were a step up from guest starring with Richard O'Sullivan on Dick Turpin, Winner made his mark by including as much nudity as he could get away with - he had started out in the industry making a nudist camp quickie, and had brought all his experience in that field to bear in this.

These aims at raising the heartrate of the audience might have led you to hope this would be in some way camp, but such was the leaden touch that a load more intentional jokes would have been the more sensible road to take, sort of in the manner of the Blackadder episode which sent up the Margaret Lockwood original. Yet oddly there was a mood here that we were meant to be swept up in the melodrama of it all, something the end result stubbornly failed to do, so you were left twiddling your thumbs as, say, Dunaway did away with the butler, or turned highwaywoman to get back her brooch from rival Prunella Scales and discovering she likes the idea. Occasionally Winner would wake you up to offer the sight of Glynis's body double canoodling with Oliver Tobias (you even see her non-Glynis face in the same shot!) or the future Counsellor Troi from Star Trek Marina Sirtis engaged in a censor-troubling topless whip fight with Faye. It may have been ridiculous, but also went to prove that didn't always mean fun. Music by Tony Banks of Genesis, heavy on the hey-nonny-no for the frolicking peasants.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3852 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: