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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1,412 ( 712)
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:

The 20th Century never touched Summerisle, where pagan fertility rites-and blood sacrifice-live on! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music for this movie was recorded before filming took place. See more »

Goofs

During the scene in which the boys are dancing and singing round the Maypole,none of the children's lips are moving although we hear singing on the soundtrack. 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

The later video release featured another recovered pre-title scene of Howie in the police station, which was not seen in the Director's Cut theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Seriously Funny: An Argument for Comedy (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunset
(uncredited)
Performed by Magnet
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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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