A puritan Police Sergeant arrives in a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl who the locals claim never existed.

Director:

Robin Hardy

Writer:

Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,168 ( 41)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Woodward ... Sergeant Howie
Christopher Lee ... Lord Summerisle
Diane Cilento ... Miss Rose
Britt Ekland ... Willow
Ingrid Pitt ... Librarian
Lindsay Kemp ... Alder MacGreagor
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Harbour Master
Aubrey Morris ... Old Gardener / Gravedigger
Irene Sunters Irene Sunters ... May Morrison (as Irene Sunter)
Walter Carr ... School Master
Ian Campbell Ian Campbell ... Oak
Leslie Blackater Leslie Blackater ... Hairdresser
Roy Boyd Roy Boyd ... Broome
Peter Brewis Peter Brewis ... Musician
Barbara Rafferty Barbara Rafferty ... Woman with Baby (as Barbara Ann Brown)
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Storyline

On Sunday, April 29, 1973, Sergeant Neil Howie with the West Highland Constabulary flies solo to Summerisle off the coast of Scotland. He is there to follow up on a letter addressed specifically to him from an anonymous source on Summerisle reporting that a twelve year old girl who lives on the island, Rowan Morrison, the daughter of May Morrison, has long been missing. The correspondence includes a photograph of Rowan. Upon his arrival on Summerisle, Howie finds that the locals are a seemingly simple minded lot who provide little information beyond the fact that they know of no Rowan Morrison and do not know the girl in the photo. Mrs. Morrison admits to having a daughter, seven year old Myrtle, but no Rowan. As Howie speaks to more and more people, he begins to believe that Rowan does or did live on the island, but that the locals are hiding their knowledge of her. He also begins to see that the locals all have pagan beliefs, their "religion" which centers on procreation as the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to composer Gary Carpenter, Lorraine Peters, who was the rear body-double for Britt Ekland during her nude dance scene, was also the naked woman weeping on the grave, and credited as such. Peters was having her period on that day and because of the camera angle, she couldn't wear a tampon so she was dripping blood on the grass. He said "Consequently, and despite the best efforts of the crew to swab up after each take, DNA evidence probably survives at the location to this day!" See more »

Goofs

When Lord Summerisle shows Howie the photographs, a close-up shows him starting to pick one up. It then cuts to a longer shot and Summerisle's hands are on his hips. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

A 95 min version also exists that has the events in chronological order (unlike the 87 min version) but omits all footage prior to Sgt. Howie's arrival on Summerisle. See more »


Soundtracks

Chop Chop
(uncredited)
Written by Paul Giovanni
Performed by chorus
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User Reviews

 
A quite unique Pagan-mystery-horror-thriller
31 December 2004 | by james-macleod-1See all my reviews

A quite unique and very creative mystery horror.

Superb acting from Edward Woodward as the prim Seargant Howie, and Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle. Fascinating from start to finish and a real twister of a plot that keeps you hooked right until the final twenty minutes, what appears at first sight to be an innocent search for a missing girl turns into a fascinating exploration of pagan rituals on a remote and sex obsessed Scottish island.

One of the best elements of the film is the classic early 70's folk soundtrack which gives indication of how the era in which this was filmed influenced the subject matter.

Definitely not a 'horror' in the true sense of the word, but more mysterious and chilling than any gore-fest. A quality piece of cinema!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wicker Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$810,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,493, 29 September 2013

Gross USA:

$60,891

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,201
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (final cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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