Cat no. 226494

British Cinema History Research Project Oral Histories: Peggy Gick (art director/production designer)

c.1988

Peggy Gick (7 July 1911 - July 2006)

Peggy Gick trained at the Architectural Association. She began working in British films as an assistant to Art Director Edward Carrick on 'Lorna Doone' (1935). She worked on various features during the 1930s including 'The Amateur Gentleman' (1936) and 'Midshipman Easy' (1935) often as assistant to Carrick. During WWII, Gick did graphic work for the Ministry of Aircraft Production, and on 'The First of the Few' (1942) before joining the Crown Film Unit, where she worked on designs for films such as 'Close Quarters' and 'Western Approaches' (1944). She was Art Director on many films made for the Children's Film Foundation during the 1960s, including 'The Magnificent 6 1/2' (1968) and then later 'Here Come the Double Deckers' (1970) for television. Gick also worked on a number of post-war films, sometimes alongside her husband, the Art Director Scott MacGregor.

In this interview Peggy Gick talks to John Legard about her career as an Art Director. She talks in detail about the planning and design skills required for the job, and recalls the working practices of various colleagues including Peter Proud and Edward Carrick. She discusses the importance of advance planning, particularly for television work, and she recalls her husband's experience, particularly working for Hammer. Gick talks in detail about the production of films such as 'The Day They Robbed the Bank of England' (1959), 'Khartoum' (1966), 'The Vengeance of Fu Manchu' (1967) and 'The Secret of My Success' (1965), reflecting on the crucial relationships between the Art Director, the Director and the Producer.

(Lawrence Napper, BCHRP)