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The Wicker Man (1973)

R | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | June 1975 (USA)
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Lindsay Kemp ...
Russell Waters ...
...
Irene Sunters ...
May Morrison (as Irene Sunter)
...
Ian Campbell ...
Oak
Leslie Blackater ...
Hairdresser
Roy Boyd ...
Peter Brewis ...
Musician
Barbara Rafferty ...
Woman with Baby (as Barbara Ann Brown)
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Storyline

Sgt. Howie travels to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He discovers that the locals are weird and unhelpful, and becomes determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance. Written by Sean Taylor <st52@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Flesh to touch...Flesh to burn! Don't keep the Wicker Man waiting! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El culto siniestro  »

Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,493 (USA) (27 September 2013)

Gross:

$60,891 (USA) (10 January 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (final cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On his website, Ian Cutler (one of the musicians in the film) writes: "The film has been badly cut over the years and Ian remembers doing scenes that have never appeared in any version of the film. One such scene is the 'Dream' sequence which Ian can remember parts of quite clearly. He believes that this was filmed when Sgt Howie is sleeping, whilst the Hand of Glory burns. During the dream, which is a kaleidoscope of images, a huge egg-shaped stone is revolving faster and faster. Also the woman in the churchyard who is feeding the baby has the egg in her hand and crushes it. All very symbolic stuff! This scene has never been mentioned anywhere to my knowledge. Has anyone out there ever heard of it?" The film's musical arranger, Gary Carpenter, remembers similarly: "I have a vivid memory of having to score a phenomenally complex dream sequence for Howie, which was like post-scoring an animation, it was so intricate. The fades and dissolves and extensive use of library footage for this sequence seriously dented the budget. Despite Robin Hardy's enthusiasm for it and its inclusion in what I assumed at the time to be 'The Director's Cut', I have never seen reference made to it again and it is in no existing version of the film." See more »

Goofs

As Sgt Howie sees the wicker man for the first time, a smeared stain to the chest/heart area not present before nor after, appears on the sacrificial robe he is wearing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sergeant Howie: [yelling] Will you send a dinghy, please?
See more »

Crazy Credits

[Short Version only] A message from the producers thanks "The Lord Summerisle and the people of his island" for co-operating in the making of the film. This is despite both the lord and the island being totally fictitious. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Witches (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Oranges and Lemons
(uncredited)
Traditional English nursery rhyme
[Played on bagpipes at the head-chopping ceremony]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most original and haunting British horror movie EVER. Fascinating, chilling, and utterly unique.
17 August 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I've been fascinated by 'The Wicker Man' ever since I first saw it on TV in the late 1970s. I was very young then and probably didn't completely understand it, but I knew immediately that it was a very special movie, unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Twenty five years, and literally thousands of movies later, I think even more highly of it, especially now that I'm able to see the cut available on the 30th Anniversary DVD, which is over fifteen minutes longer than the version I already own on video. And, yes, 'The Wicker Man' is still unlike any other movie I've ever seen. I think this is mainly down to the brilliant script by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote 'Sleuth' and Hitchcock's 'Frenzy'. There hasn't been anything made remotely like it since. I think it's the greatest British horror movie ever made, but the description "horror" only gives you half the story. It's also a thriller, a mystery, a Christian morality tale, and in a weird way, a musical. Christopher Lee regards it as the best movie he's ever been involved with, and describes it as one of the three or four greatest movies ever made in Britain, and I agree with him. Lee is very good in the movie as the enigmatic Lord Summerisle, but Edward Woodward is the real star. Woodward is best know for his TV work, as either 'Callan' or 'The Equalizer', depending what generation you're from, but he's superb as the deeply religious Sgt. Howie. Apparently Peter Cushing was initially suggested for the role, as was Michael York, but I really can't imagine either of then being half as good as Woodward is. The supporting cast are all superb - Diane Cilento as the school teacher, famous mime Lindsay Kemp as the publican, and especially Britt Ekland as the publican's daughter Willow. Ekland's seduction dance scene is the second most famous scene in the movie. She claims her speaking voice was dubbed throughout , director Robin Hardy disputes this, though her singing voice certainly was, and she used a (ahem) butt double. I also get a kick out of Aubrey Morris' graveyard scene. Morris is a great Brit character actor and was also in 'A Clockwork Orange', Hammer's 'Blood From The Mummy's Tomb' and sci fi trash classic 'Lifeforce'. Another Hammer alumni Ingrid Pitt ('The Vampire Lovers', 'Countess Dracula', etc.) is also in the cast as a librarian, but sadly in underused. Still, I'm glad she was involved. Inexplicably some people seem to hate this movie. I can't for the life of me understand why. It's utterly brilliant, utterly unique, and I never tire of watching it. If you've never seen it before I envy you! It's a cliche, but believe me, you have never seen anything like it before!


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