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The Wicker Man (1973)
Just my perspective
When I first saw this film for the first time in 2003, it was shown on t.v., in all its uncut glory. I watched it as I had had vague recollections of seeing fractions of it when I was a child (I am now 26), and I remember a man being dragged against his will to a structure resembling a man. Watching it all over again, in full and full of intrigue served an excellent purpose.
I think this film is quite excellent, and does not really deserve poor reviews, unless whoever else reviews it happens to be older then me, and is used to films of that period being generally better. One thing sticks out though. It is certainly different. I can't imagine that such a film will ever be made like it again, particularly in this day and age. It seems so innocently basic, ie there are very few, if any special effects, it parades many examples of different sides of human nature, as if sacrifice would be accepted so easily by a whole Island. Yet in the same instance, it does beggar belief. How on earth could so may residents of one island have the same religious beliefs and morals as their neighbour. How was the sea plane damaged, why did the Sergeant take off for Summerisle so soon after arriving back on home ground after using the plane hours before. These questions of course will probably never be answered, but then that is part of the allure of the film. What seems like madness portrayed on the screen is really what I consider to be an excellent coming together of religion, plot, and human nature. Even the songs are reminiscent of the backwardness of the simplicity of the film overall, some gentle, some promiscuous, but all played plainly and without front or stigma.
I could watch this film several times over and still be entertained, however perhaps watching it so often would cause people to ask questions about its plot and overall storyline. The first time I saw it I was mesmerised, and made a point of buying the directors cut, newly released on DVD. Overall, it is thoroughly entertaining, and certainly defines the term "they don't make 'em like they used to.