18 June 2024
The Wicker Man (1973)
88 min.
Directed by Robin Hardy.
With Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Diane Cilento, Lindsey Kemp, Russell Waters, Aubrey Morris, Irene Sunters, Walter Carr, Ian Campbell, Leslie Blackater, Roy Boyd, Peter Brewis.
The British cult classic based on the 1967 novel The Ritual written by David Pinner.

Scottish policeman Neil Howie (Woodward) visits Summerisle Island off the mainland to investigate the disappearance of a little girl named Rowen.

Soon, he begins to realize the island folk are within a religious world of their own creation, a landscape filled with pagan ceremonies, phallic worship and crop sacrifices.

Well, ok. But would they, could they, have dared to murder one of their own?

As confusion grows, Howie asks the magistrate of the island - a Lord Summerisle (Lee) - in hopes that he may shed some light on the mystery of what happened to Rowan.

But when Lord Summerisle proves uncooperative, Howie decides to infiltrate the community's annual May Day celebration.

But this outsider best be careful...he might not like what he finds...

Intelligent scripting from Anthony Shaffer, perfect performances from all (especially Howie and Lee, respectively), a creepy musical-like score by Paul Giovanni and a superb ending make this a classic on all fronts.

The sublime beauty of Wicker Man is its ability to create a world unto itself. Summerisle is a pastoral community which seems to have sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus, its characters delightfully original and bewitching.

A mesmerizing (and ultimately terrifying) out-of-your-way stop, this critically acclaimed little egg is always well worth breaking open.

A must see.

Remade in 2006. Which isn't a must see.

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