Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Review of Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen by Lyndsy Spence

Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen and author
Lyndsy Spence
In the mid to late Forties in the United Kingdom there was no bigger star than Margaret Lockwood. She ranked in the Motion Picture Herald's polls of the top ten most popular British stars seven years in a row, and often she was the top ranked actress in the polls. She won three Daily Mail National Film Awards (one for Most Outstanding British actress during the war years in 1946, one for Best Film Actress of the year in 1947, and one for Best Film Actress of the year for Jassy in 1948).  Her film The Wicked Lady (1945) remains one of the highest grossing British films in the United Kingdom of all time. To this day she maintains a following across the English speaking world, not only in Britain, but in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere.

Amazingly enough given her popularity, there have been very few books written about her life. Two autobiographies were published while Miss Lockwood's career was still ongoing: My Life and Films in 1948 and Lucky Star: The Autobiography of Margaret Lockwood in 1955. Once a Wicked Lady: A Biography of Margaret Lockwood by Hilton Tims was first published in 1989, a full 27 years ago. Fortunately for Margaret Lockwood fans a new biography has just been published in time for the centennial anniversary of Margaret Lockwood's birth. Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen was published July 11 of this year.

In Margaret Lockwood-Queen of the Silver Screen author Lyndsy Spence provides readers with a wealth of detail. Miss Spence covers Margaret Lockwood's life in much more depth than it ever has been before. We learn never before revealed details of Miss Lockwood's genealogy, as well as much more about her parents. We also learn much more about the various important relationships in her life, including her marriage to husband Rupert Leon (a British Army Intelligence officer who wrote the book Memoirs of an Intelligence Officer). Miss Spence discusses Margaret Lockwood's films, plays, and TV appearances in detail, including the censorship battles many of Miss Lockwood's movies (The Wicked Lady in particular) faced in the United States. There are also many photos, including several that have been rarely seen before.

Lyndsy Spence is clearly a fan of Margaret Lockwood, but she writes about Miss Lockwood's life and career objectively, discussing both the good and the bad. Lyndsy Spence's prose is also very readable. Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen is written in a concise style that still remains lively and enjoyable to read. That having been said, those of you who are looking for a bit of scandal will be disappointed. Despite her screen image, Margaret Lockwood was very much a down to earth lady who lived a down to earth life.

Margaret Lockwood's fans will be very pleased with Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen. It is a loving look at one of the greatest film stars of Britain in the 20th Century. It is not only well written and informative, but highly entertaining as well. It is a fine gift for the 100th anniversary of Margaret Lockwood's birth (September 15), and easily the best book on the star ever written.

(Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen can be purchased at Fantom Films, Amazon, and other fine book selling establishments)

1 comment:

Caftan Woman said...

This sounds like a marvelous book that I will add to my collection. I always find the backgrounds, parents and families, of the celebrated to be extremely interesting.