In The Wicked Lady 17th century beauty Barbara Worth (Margaret Lockwood) begins her career of crime by stealing her best friend Caroline’s (Patricia Roc) fiancee, Sir Ralph Skelton, before amassing a wealth of gambling debts once she is installed as Lady of the Manor. Desperate to pay off these losses, she comes up with the idea of donning a mask and cloak and taking to the roads as a highwayman.
The lifestyle proves addictive, especially when she encounters fellow highwayman Captain Jerry Jackson (James Mason) and they become lovers. However, as the two lead their secret life they are pursued by Barbara’s husband in his role as local magistrate. How long can Lady Skelton carry on her charade before she is found out?
This racy romp was one of the highest grossing films for Gainsborough and Lockwood certainly relishes her role as the scheming Lady Barbara, complete with plunging necklines. Indeed so low-cut were her costumes that the censors insisted on a reshoot with more demure costumes before the film could be secured an American release.
Margaret Lockwood as Barbara Worth
James Mason as Capt. Jerry Jackson
Patricia Roc as Caroline
Griffith Jones as Sir Ralph Skelton
Michael Rennie as Kit Locksby
Felix Aylmer as Hogarth
Enid Stamp-Taylor as Lady Henrietta Kingsclere
Jean Kent as Jackson’s Doxy
Francis Lister as Lord Kingsclere
Beatrice Varley as Aunt Moll
Amy Dalby as Aunt Doll
Martita Hunt as Cousin Agatha
David Horne as Martin Worth
Emrys Jones as Ned Cotterill
Helen Goss as Mistress Betsy
Director: Leslie Arliss
Screenplay: Leslie Arliss
Original Novel: Magdalen King-Hall
Year of Release: 1946
Duration: 97 minutes