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The Wicker Man (1973)

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1:30 | Trailer
A puritan 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 pagan rites that take place there.

Director:

Robin Hardy

Writer:

Anthony Shaffer (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,926 ( 176)
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:

An island lost to unspeakable terrors of PAGAN RITUALS! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In september 2019, Channel Four (UK) ran the "Final Cut", in a restored version. Or to be more accurate, the restored scans of the negatives of the surviving version, that StudioCanal, the successor company to EMI-British Lion, were able to scan and which were previously re-assembled with the surviving copies of the other elements. This results in 3 unavoidable levels of picture quality, especially with certain sequences reinstated. The opening titles are mostly the lowest quality, before switching to mid and the higher quality for the bulk of the movie. Presumably, the mid and lower quality "placeholders" will be replaced if the original negs, or a higher quality scan, are ever found. See more »

Goofs

The calendar in the Photographer's shows May Day to be a Tuesday, therefore Sergeant Howie flew out on Sunday. Not only is this notably unlikely for a routine police investigation in the generally religious Scottish Highlands, The Director's Cut shows Howie receiving the letter on the same day. There were no Sunday postal deliveries at the time. 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

Originally released at 87 minutes. Later a complete director's cut was discovered and re-released: this verson is 102 minutes long and features new footage showing Sergeant Howie as a preacher, some erotic scenes and Lord Summerisle reading a poem. See more »

Connections

Featured in Worshipping 'The Wicker Man' (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Chop Chop
(uncredited)
Written by Paul Giovanni
Performed by chorus
See more »

User Reviews

The most original and haunting British horror movie EVER. Fascinating, chilling, and utterly unique.
17 August 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I've been fascinated by 'The Wicker Man' ever since I first saw it on TV in the late 1970s. I was very young then and probably didn't completely understand it, but I knew immediately that it was a very special movie, unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Twenty five years, and literally thousands of movies later, I think even more highly of it, especially now that I'm able to see the cut available on the 30th Anniversary DVD, which is over fifteen minutes longer than the version I already own on video. And, yes, 'The Wicker Man' is still unlike any other movie I've ever seen. I think this is mainly down to the brilliant script by Anthony Shaffer, who also wrote 'Sleuth' and Hitchcock's 'Frenzy'. There hasn't been anything made remotely like it since. I think it's the greatest British horror movie ever made, but the description "horror" only gives you half the story. It's also a thriller, a mystery, a Christian morality tale, and in a weird way, a musical. Christopher Lee regards it as the best movie he's ever been involved with, and describes it as one of the three or four greatest movies ever made in Britain, and I agree with him. Lee is very good in the movie as the enigmatic Lord Summerisle, but Edward Woodward is the real star. Woodward is best know for his TV work, as either 'Callan' or 'The Equalizer', depending what generation you're from, but he's superb as the deeply religious Sgt. Howie. Apparently Peter Cushing was initially suggested for the role, as was Michael York, but I really can't imagine either of then being half as good as Woodward is. The supporting cast are all superb - Diane Cilento as the school teacher, famous mime Lindsay Kemp as the publican, and especially Britt Ekland as the publican's daughter Willow. Ekland's seduction dance scene is the second most famous scene in the movie. She claims her speaking voice was dubbed throughout , director Robin Hardy disputes this, though her singing voice certainly was, and she used a (ahem) butt double. I also get a kick out of Aubrey Morris' graveyard scene. Morris is a great Brit character actor and was also in 'A Clockwork Orange', Hammer's 'Blood From The Mummy's Tomb' and sci fi trash classic 'Lifeforce'. Another Hammer alumni Ingrid Pitt ('The Vampire Lovers', 'Countess Dracula', etc.) is also in the cast as a librarian, but sadly in underused. Still, I'm glad she was involved. Inexplicably some people seem to hate this movie. I can't for the life of me understand why. It's utterly brilliant, utterly unique, and I never tire of watching it. If you've never seen it before I envy you! It's a cliche, but believe me, you have never seen anything like it before!


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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
See full technical specs »

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