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The Wicker Man (1973)

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A Police Sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl who the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

Director:

Robin Hardy

Writer:

Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
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812 ( 411)
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:

Flesh to touch...Flesh to burn! Don't keep the Wicker Man waiting! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El culto siniestro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,493, 29 September 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$60,891, 10 January 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended) | (final cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Robin Hardy explained the meaning of the scene with the woman in the graveyard nursing a baby while sitting on a grave with an egg in her hand to Alan Cumming in Scotland on Screen (2009). According to Hardy, it's a fertility ritual and she was hoping for another baby. See more »

Goofs

There is a cut when Rowan Morrison's coffin is exhumed, during which Sgt. Howie moves visibly closer to the gravedigger and the ropes around the coffin disappear. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The 1978 Magnum Entertainment VHS version released in the USA is uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Plot Twists in Horror Movies (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Maypole Song
(uncredited)
Written by Paul Giovanni
Performed by Walter Carr and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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