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The Wicker Man
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The Wicker Man (1973) More at IMDbPro »

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The Wicker Man -- A police sergeant is called to an island village in search of a missing girl whom the locals claim never existed. Stranger still, however, are the rituals that take place there.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   38,045 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Wicker Man on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
June 1975 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
From the writer of 'Frenzy & Sleuth' Anthony Shaffer's incredible occult thriller See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A cult film about cult practices... See more (425 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Edward Woodward ... Sergeant Howie

Christopher Lee ... Lord Summerisle

Diane Cilento ... Miss Rose

Britt Ekland ... Willow

Ingrid Pitt ... Librarian
Lindsay Kemp ... Alder MacGreagor
Russell Waters ... Harbour Master

Aubrey Morris ... Old Gardener / Gravedigger
Irene Sunters ... May Morrison (also as Irene Sunter)
Walter Carr ... School Master
Ian Campbell ... Oak
Leslie Blackater ... Hairdresser
Roy Boyd ... Broome
Peter Brewis ... Musician
Barbara Rafferty ... Woman with Baby (as Barbara Ann Brown)
Juliet Cadzow ... Villager on Summerisle (as Juliette Cadzow)
Ross Campbell ... Communicant
Penny Cluer ... Gillie
Michael John Cole ... Musician (as Michael Cole)
Kevin Collins ... Old Fisherman
Gerry Cowper ... Rowan Morrison (as Geraldine Cowper)
Ian Cutler ... Musician
Donald Eccles ... T.H. Lennox
Myra Forsyth ... Mrs. Grimmond
John Hallam ... P.C. McTaggert
Alison Hughes ... Fiancée to Howie
Charles Kearney ... Butcher
Fiona Kennedy ... Holly
John MacGregor ... Baker (as John Macgregor)
Jimmy MacKenzie ... Briar (as Jimmy Mackenzie)
Lesley Mackie ... Daisy (also as Leslie Mackie)
Jennifer Martin ... Myrtle Morrison
Bernard Murray ... Musician
Helen Norman ... Villager on Summerisle
Lorraine Peters ... Girl on Grave
Tony Roper ... Postman
John Sharp ... Doctor Ewan
Elizabeth Sinclair ... Villager on Summerisle
Andrew Tompkins ... Musician
Ian Wilson ... Communicant
Richard Wren ... Ash Buchanan
John Young ... Fishmonger
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
S. Newton Anderson ... Landers (uncredited)
Paul Giovanni ... Musician (uncredited)
Robin Hardy ... Minister (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robin Hardy 
 
Writing credits
Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)

Produced by
Peter Snell .... producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Giovanni 
 
Cinematography by
Harry Waxman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Eric Boyd-Perkins 
 
Casting by
Maggie Cartier 
 
Art Direction by
Seamus Flannery 
 
Costume Design by
Sue Yelland 
 
Makeup Department
Jan Dorman .... hair stylist
W.T. Partleton .... makeup artist (as Billy Partleton)
 
Production Management
Mike Gowans .... unit manager
Ted Morley .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jake Wright .... assistant director
Brian W. Cook .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Vic Smith .... third assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Richard Rambaut .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Robin Gregory .... sound
Bob Jones .... sound
Vernon Messenger .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Allwork .... photography: second unit
John Brown .... still photographer
James Devis .... camera operator (as Jimmy Devis)
Mike Drew .... focus puller
Chris Pinnock .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Ken Worringham .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Masada Wilmot .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Denis Whitehouse .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Gary Carpenter .... associate musical director
Magnet .... music performers
 
Other crew
Beryl Harvey .... production secretary
Stuart Hopps .... choreographer (as Stewart Hopps)
Frank Law .... publicist
Susanna Merry .... continuity (as Sue Merry)
Jilda Smith .... location manager
Craig Miller .... marketing consultant (uncredited)
Annie Ross .... dubbing voice: Britt Ekland (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min | 99 min (extended version) | 94 min (final cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M (DVD rating) | Australia:R (original rating) | Finland:K-18 (2006) (DVD) | Finland:K-16 (1983) (self applied) (video) | Germany:16 | Iceland:16 | Ireland:16 (Final Cut) | Ireland:18 (original rating) | Ireland:15 (re-rating) (2002) | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:16 (1974) | South Africa:(Banned) | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 (DVD rating) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2002) | UK:18 (video rating) (1990) | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although the film is set in May it was filmed in October and November 1972.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the scene where Howie questions the Doctor about Rowan Morrison's death certificate, the Doctor is seen to open his front door and step partly inside. The shot cuts away, and when it cuts back to the Doctor his front door is shut. He opens it again and goes in.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sergeant Howie:[yelling] Will you send a dinghy, please?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
SunsetSee more »

FAQ

How did Summerisle know that Howie would be the perfect choice?
Is there a less graphic, black and white edition of the film?
Is Summerisle a real island?
See more »
138 out of 163 people found the following review useful.
A cult film about cult practices..., 19 September 2003
Author: united100 from Edinburgh, Scotland

The best British horror film ever made? Probably, yes. The best horror film ever made? No. The best occult thriller ever? Quite possibly.

The film was in part conceived as a vehicle for Christopher Lee to get away from his Hammer roles and give him a chance to demonstrate that, yes, he could actually act. Perversely, however, the film is in many ways homage to the films produced by the Hammer studio and is at the same time their antithesis.

Although Lee's Lord Summerisle was certainly a stronger character than his Hammer caricatures, and was suitably sincere and sinister, it was left to Edward Woodward's bumbling, pious Highland Police Sergeant to carry the film.

The rest of the cast are not as strong as the two central characters. Famously, it was always suggested that Britt Ekland's voice was overdubbed for the entire film. Robin Hardy has now denied that, stating that only her singing was dubbed. Even if the other actors' performances fail to match those of Woodward and Lee, somehow, it doesn't detract from the film.

Almost as famous as The Wicker Man itself are the stories surrounding the film. The version first released was almost completely butchered from an original, almost grandiose cut of 102 minutes to a more concise 87. Christopher Lee has always maintained that this was a crime against the greatest piece of art with which he had ever been involved. The original negatives were then accidentally thrown out!

When a fuller version finally surfaced in 2001, Lee's contentions were (at least in part) proved. The film was overall improved, and save for a couple of points of rather clumsy editing (the flashbacks Edward Woodward has as the penny drops spring to mind) and the pointless scenes before the flight to the island, it ran more smoothly and made more sense.

The film's greatest asset comes through in whichever version you actually see. The eerie sinister atmosphere never fails to be conveyed. Somehow, the fictitious Scottish island setting of Summerisle, which could so easily turn twee at any moment steers clear of the territory occupied by Brigadoon or the now happily deceased BBC TV drama 'Monarch of the Glen'.

The setting's remoteness, which could have been its worst enemy, is actually its greatest ally.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film, however, is the way that it steadfastly refuses to fit precisely into any genre. It is all at once a horror, a thriller and even a musical! Unbelievably, these things come together and fit into the film.

The music in The Wicker Man is unique, always adding just the right tone of eeriness or bawdiness to proceedings. A strange mix of elements including traditional folk music, it's as innovative and interesting as the soundtracks to Blade Runner, or The Virgin Suicides. The opening title sequence to the tune of Corn Rigs succeeds in transporting you with the plane over the remote coastal peninsulas and out into the Irish Sea towards Summerisle.

My only criticism of the film (and I really am nitpicking here) is the way it goes about establishing Sergeant Howie's Christianity. I can't conceive of the Howie character adhering to any religion other than one of the obscure forms of Presbyterian Protestantism practised in parts of the Highlands of Scotland. These scenes contain an apparent reverence for the sacraments that appears more Catholic in nature. This distinction in religious backgrounds is important to understanding Howie's attitudes. Nevertheless, I am truly nitpicking when I make this criticism!

But what ultimately makes this film is its ending. Without giving the game away for those who have not yet seen the film, it is inevitable, and yet wholly unexpected when it finally comes.

The Wicker Man would be a classic of its genre - if it had a genre. Instead, it has to be ranked as a classic film.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Wicker Man (1973)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Willow trying to seduce scene..... jerryfromtrenton
Heathens! Bloody Heathens!!! SJMcGuire2
Painting in the pub eloy-couceiro
My review of The Wicker Man... littlelittlesteven
What Howie says at the end---is it from the Bible? farmerne
Great flick, two minor quibbles. rew190
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