Saturday, June 11, 2016

Announcing the Margaret Lockwood Centennial Blogathon

Legendary British actress Margaret Lockwood was born on September 15 1916. This September will then mark the 100th anniversary of her birth. It is for that reason that I have decided to hold the Margaret Lockwood Centennial Blogathon.

1. Posts can be on any topic related to Margaret Lockwood. One can write about one of her films, her career on stage, her television shows, or anything else related to Miss Lockwood one might wish to write about.

2. While Margaret Lockwood made several films, the sad fact is that many of them are not widely available, not even in the United Kingdom. I am then allowing duplicates. That having been said, I do not want to see every other post addressing The Lady Vanishes (1938) or The Wicked Lady (1945). While I love both films (in fact, they are my favourite films she ever made) and they are her most famous, she did make more films than those two!

3. I am not going to schedule days. I only ask that posts made on September 13, 14, or 15.

If you want to participate in the Margaret Lockwood Centennial Blogathon,  you can simply comment below or get a hold of me on Twitter at mercurie80, Google+, or at my email:  mercurie80 at

The Stop Button: Give Us the Moon (1944)

Caftan Woman: The Stars Look Down (1940)

The Wonderful World of Cinema: "Tribute to Margaret Lockwood"

Once Upon a Screen: The Lady Vanishes  (1938)

Crítica Retrô: Give Us the Moon (1944)

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: The Man in Grey (1943) and The Wicked Lady (1945)

Realweegiemidget Reviews Movies, TV, Books, and More: The Slipper and the Rose (1976)

Cinema Cities: The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Night Train to Munich (1940)

The Owl Wagon: Love Story (1944)

Charters and Caldicott--"I Say Old Man!": Margaret Lockwood

Old Hollywood Films: Bedelia (1946)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: Bedelia (1946)

Below is a roster of participants and the topics they are covering. Come September 13 I will make a post that will include all of the posts in the blogathon.

Below are a few banners for participants in the blogathon to use (or you can always make your own):

Monday, June 6, 2016

Author Lyndsy Spence Talks About Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen

Margaret Lockwood
In the United Kingdom of the mid-Forties there was no more popular star than Margaret Lockwood.  She won Daily Mail National Film Awards three years in a row: one in 1946 for Most Outstanding British Actress during the War Years and one each in 1947 and 1948 for Best Film Actress. Her film The Wicked Lady (1945) remains the 9th highest grossing film in the United Kingdom for the 20th Century. In a highly successful career Margaret Lockwood starred in a number of films that remain popular today, including Bank Holiday (1938), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Night Train to Munich (1940), The Man in Grey (1943),  and Cast a Dark Shadow (1955). Margaret Lockwood not only continues to be a very popular actress in Britain, but in the United States, Canada, and Australia as well.

September 15 2016 will mark the centennial of Margaret Lockwood's birth. Just in time for that event is a new biography about Margaret Lockwood, written by Lyndsy Spence.  Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen is set to be published by Fantom Films on July 11 2016. Lyndsy Spence is the author of The Mitford Girls' Guide to Life and Mrs Guinness: The Rise and Fall of Diana Mitford.  Her book The Mistress of Mayfair: Men, Money and the Marriage of Doris Delevingne is set for release on November 7 2016. Miss Spence has written for everything from The Lady Magazine to BBC Magazine. She also happens to be one of Margaret Lockwood's biggest fans and runs the Margaret Lockwood Society. Following is an interview with Lyndsy Spence regarding Margaret Lockwood--Queen of the Silver Screen.

At least here in the United States, most people discover Margaret Lockwood through The Lady Vanishes or The Wicked Lady. What was the first Margaret Lockwood movie you saw and what impressed you about it?

I think The Wicked Lady or The Man in Grey, as both films were regularly shown on Film 4. She was stunningly beautiful and such a vibrant presence onscreen. When thinking of British actresses of that period, people tend to think of Vivien Leigh, and although I am a massive fan of Leigh, I was drawn to Margaret's British films, as they are quite unlike anything Hollywood was producing at the time. To me, they were more daring, and I suppose that was part of the fun!

Lyndsy Spence
Why does Margaret Lockwood appeal to you more than many other actresses of that era? 

With the exception of two Hollywood films, she worked exclusively in British films, and I think that gives her career more scope. Certainly, this makes her a unique star and makes her all the more interesting to someone who is not only a biographer but a fan of classic cinema, too.

There are two autobiographies by Margaret Lockwood (My Life and Films from 1948 and Lucky Star from 1955), as well as Once a Wicked Lady by Hilton Tims. Why did you see the need for another biography about Miss Lockwood?

I've partly answered this below, but to cut a long story short, I was interested in delving into her background a little more. Much has been written about her relationship with her mother and her first and only husband (whom she divorced) but I always felt that fragments from their lives together were missing. I wanted to understand Margaret more as a person than a star, and I felt it was a good starting point to investigate the lives of those who surrounded her and who made an impact on her, in her private life at least.

How did you go about researching the life of Margaret Lockwood?

I read her two autobiographies as well as the biography by Hilton Tims. I also made a list of the relevant people to contact. Of course, the Margaret Lockwood Society helped enormously and several people came forward and offered to share their memorabilia, letters, and personal stories. Aside from gathering information about her career, I was in contact with a Lockwood family historian, Robert Ward, and together we unearthed fascinating information about Margaret's background, which is otherwise unknown by the public. Her daughter and great granddaughter were also very gracious with their time and information.

Margaret Lockwood was the most popular actress in the United Kingdom for much of the Forties and she still has a wide fanbase in the UK, U.S., Canada, and Australia. What do you think her appeal is and why has she remained popular for so long? 

From a historical perspective, her place in British cinema is unique. While Hollywood was producing clone after clone of gorgeous brunettes, Britain had Margaret Lockwood. I don't think, in terms of looks (as in being a dark beauty) that she had any competition. Her so-called "rivals", after all, were blondes.

Do you have any other projects in the works? 

Yes, I am focusing on historical fiction

 Margaret Lockwood-Queen of the Silver Screen is available for pre-order at Fantom Films.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Announcing the 3rd Annual British Invaders Blogathon

The past two years A Shroud of Thoughts has hosted the British Invaders Blogathon, a celebration of the best in British films. The blogathon was fairly successful in its first two years, so I am bringing it back for a third. While many people think of Hollywood when they think of classic movies, the fact is that the United Kingdom made many significant contributions to film over the years. From the Gainsborough melodramas to Hammer Films to the British New Wave, cinema would be much poorer without the British.  I've scheduled this year's British Invaders Blogathon  for August 5, August 6, and August 7.

Here are the ground rules for this year's blogathon:

1. Posts can be about any British film or any topic related to British films. For the sake of simplicity, I am using "British" here to refer to any film made by a company based in the United Kingdom or British Crown dependencies. If you want to write about a film made in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, then, you can do so. Also for the sake of simplicity, people can write about co-productions made with companies from outside the United Kingdom. For example, since 2001: A Space Odyssey is a British-American co-production, someone could write about it if they chose.

2. There is no limit on subject matter. You can write about any film in any genre you want. Posts can be on everything from the British New Wave to the Gainsborough bodice rippers to the Hammer Horrors. I am also making no limit on the format posts can take. You could review a classic British film, make an in-depth analysis of a series of British films, or even simply do a pictorial tribute to a film. That having been said, since this is a classic film blogathon,  I only ask that you write about films made before 1991. I generally don't think of a film as a classic until it has been around for thirty years, but to give bloggers more options I am setting the cut off point at twenty five years ago.

With regards to subject matter, I have to say that, this year at least, people might  not want to write posts devoted to legendary actress Margaret Lockwood and her films for the British Invaders Blogathon. This is for the simple reason that in September I will be hosting the Margaret Lockwood Centennial Blogathon in honour of her 100th birthday. If you are a Margaret Lockwood fan, you might want to save any posts about her for that event! I'll make an official announcement for the Margaret Lockwood Centennial Blogathon in the next few days.

3. I am asking that there please be no duplicates. That having been said, if someone has already chosen to cover From Russia with Love (1963), someone else could write about the James Bond series as a whole.

4. I am not going to schedule days for individual posts. All I ask is that the posts be made on or between August 5, August 6, or August 7.

If you want to participate in the British Invaders Blogathon, you can simply comment below or get a hold of me on Twitter at mercurie80, Google+, or at my email:  mercurie80 at

Below is a roster of participants and the topics they are covering. Come August 5 I will make a post that will include all of the posts in the blogathon

The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog: Cone of Silence (1960)

Vitaphone Dreamer: The Red Shoes (1948)

Defiant Success: Local Hero (1983)

Prowler Needs a Jump: So Long at the Fair (1950)

Moon in Gemini: Barry Lyndon (1975)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: I Know Where I'm Going (1945)

Movie Movie Blog Blog: Clockwise (1985)

Crítica Retrô: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Little Bits of Classics: The Ladykillers (1955)
Realweemidgetgirl Reviews Movies, TV, Books, and More: Gregory's Girl (1981)

The Midnite Drive-In: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Pink Floyd--The Wall (1982)

Old Hollywood Films: Great Expectations (1946)

Sometimes They Go to Eleven: It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)

Cinematic Scribblings:  Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)

The Flapper Dame: The 39 Steps (1935)

The Wonderful World of Cinema: Young and Innocent (1937)

A Shroud of Thoughts: The Brides of Dracula (1960)

Thoughts All Sorts: Ask a Policeman (1939)

Below are several banners for participants in the blogathon to use (or you can always make your own):