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The Wicker Man (1973)

R | | Horror, Mystery | June 1975 (USA)
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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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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Lindsay Kemp ...
Russell Waters ...
...
Irene Sunters ...
May Morrison (as Irene Sunter)
Walter Carr ...
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:

...A totally corrupt shocker from the author of "Sleuth" and "Frenzy"! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Britt Ekland was pregnant with her son Nikolaj Adler while filming and as such, would only agree to shoot her nude scenes from the waist up. A body double was secretly used for the naked rear shots of Willow dancing. The scenes were filmed after she had left the set. After shooting was over, not only was Ekland furious to learn she had been doubled in some shots but that she was also a few weeks pregnant in that scene. Robin Hardy says it was Ekland herself who did not want her bottom to be filmed, as she did not like it. To this day, whenever she is approached by fans to autograph still photo's of the full nude scene, Ekland always refuses, because, as she continually points out, it is not her. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Sgt Howie is in the classroom, he places the blackboard duster at an angle on the desk lid where Miss Rose sits, later when he goes to open the desk lid the blackboard duster is now level at the top the desk. 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

Fire Leap
Written by Paul Giovanni
Performed by chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Poorly paced but worthy seeing for the ending
14 November 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Drawn to a small Scottish Island by a letter pleading for help in finding a kidnapped girl, Sergeant Neil Howie realises that things are very different from life on the mainland. He begins to suspect that Rowan's disappearance may be part of a ritual to appease the nature gods worshipped on the island.

Well known now as one of the best British horror cult movies (one critic called it `the Citizen Kane of British horror') this film still stands today as new generations discover it's ending and fall in love with that. Sadly, most people know the ending before they have actually seen the film, which, in my mind, greatly takes away from the film's impact. For that reason I will make no mention of the ending's detail suffice to say that it works very well and actually raises the rest of the film.

The main body of the film sees Howie hunting for the missing girl and finding that things are not as simply as he originally thinks. The film comes across as a sort of spiritual musical for the most part and doesn't really bring out the tension or suspicions until near the end. The downside of this is that parts of the film appear slightly dull or meandering. I did get a little tired with the overuse of naturalist religious images but I accept that they were necessary for the story to be built.

The cast are very good. Lee was happy to do a film that brought him away from the camp Hammer horror mould into which he had been set. His Lord Summerisle is an image of cold, religious zealotry – terrifying in his portrayal of evil as part of `the right thing'. Woodward is also cast against type as he was a harder man in much of his work rather than a pure upright type. Ekland is good but is dubbed the whole way through the film to give her a Scottish accent in place of her own distinctive Swedish one. Of the cast it is Lee and Woodard who carry the film – their scenes together work well and they also carry the opposing moral weights of the story.

Overall this is a film that has had a reputation built on it's ending, and for that it is well deserved. However for the majority of the film the pacing is a little off and I felt that the songs slowed the film down too much. Overall the film works due to it's set-up and payoff, however it's delivery as a total film is not as good as it's reputation would have you believe.


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