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The Wicker Man (1973)

 -  Horror | Mystery  -  June 1975 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 40,576 users  
Reviews: 434 user | 222 critic

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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Title: The Wicker Man (1973)

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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:

Flesh to touch...Flesh to burn! Don't keep the Wicker Man waiting! 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:

A vesszőből font ember  »

Box Office

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

The film was inspired by an engraving called "The Wicker Image" in Britannia Antiqua Illustrata by Aylett Sammes in 1676. Some people have doubted the historical existence of the Wicker Man suggesting that it came from Roman propaganda by people such as Julius Caesar. There is, however, undeniable evidence that the Druids and the Celts practiced human sacrifice. See more »

Goofs

While Sgt Howie is at the chemist shop he shows Lennox (who is mixing something with a mortar and pestle) a photo of the missing girl. Notice how in between shots the photo goes from Howie's hand into Lennox's hand, without having been handed over. 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

Referenced in Holy Flying Circus (2011) 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

 
Chilling insight into ancient paganistic rituals, slightly chipped
5 January 1999 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The bizarre and chilling tale of a fool chosen to be king for a day.

The shocking denouement of this film has stayed with me for many years, far longer than scenes or images from more famous films. A classic of its kind, it deserves the re-release it will probably never get.

Superficially a mystery thriller, this intelligent and well researched story delves into the beliefs and rituals of Ancient Britain, its folk mythologies and music, and reveals some of the un-settling fears that lie at their root. Set on a remote Scottish Island and giving the appearance of being a Whisky Galore, Local Hero type community, there is yet something off-centre about the townspeople that Edward Woodward, as Sergeant Howie, has come to investigate. The presence of Christopher Lee as the eloquent, commanding Lord of the Isle, gives the film an insidiously creepy edge suggesting a Hammer Horror lurks around the next wee wall. He is perfect in the role.

The story un-folds like a cross between Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby, as the dogged Howie gets led all over town, up one blind alley and down another. Clues are dropped all the way about what is really going on, but we don't heed them. Until it's too late. Too late to walk away.

The standard video version runs for 85 minutes, cuts many important scenes and shows others out of sequence. A BBC version shown in 1998 ran around 95 minutes. The full version ran 102 minutes but I have never found it.

However, whilst uneven in parts and certainly flawed this is one of the most intelligent and interesting stories I have ever seen on film. See it yourself and you too will have many meetings with 'The Wicker Man', in your dreams, in the dark, where you cannot escape.


153 of 191 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The Willow trying to seduce scene..... jerryfromtrenton
What Howie says at the end---is it from the Bible? farmerne
The Original Cut Has Been Found! summerislefan
The ending... AverageItalian
is this crucial scene in the 'Final Cut'? barryleeward
Green Man Inn ganglehog
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