The Wicker Man, by Robin Hardy
Oddities Cycle – Sala Gòtica
With only three films throughout his whole life, Robin Hardy (1929-2016) was not a very prolific writer or director. His first film was this The Wicker Man which, with the help of time as well as other reasons, has become a cult film. With the support of a script by Anthony Shaffer (Frenzy, Sleuth, Murder on the Orient Express, etc.) inspired in David Pinner’s novel, Ritual, Hardy builds up a creepy, dark and sickly plot where paganism — incarnated in magnificent Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle –, and christianism — with excellent Edward Woodward as beatific Sargent Howie.
It is also important to emphasize the work of Ingrid Pitt, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland and Lindsay Kemp who would become David Bowie’s aesthetic and theatrical mentor. Christopher Lee accepted a role which was initially intended for John Hurt, and lowered his wages in order to take part in the film. He always claimed that this was his favourite performance.
Just one more thing, please, forget the dreadful remake committed by Neil LaBute in 2006.
Original title: The Wicker Man
Running time: 85 min.
Country: United Kingdom
Director: Robin Hardy
Screenwriter: Anthony Shaffer
Music: Paul Giovanni
Cinematography: Harry Waxman
Cast: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, Lesley Mackie, Walter Carr, Lindsay Kemp, Aubrey Morris
Producer: British Lion Film Corporation
Synopsis: Scotland Yard Sargent Howie (Woodward) arrives in Summerisle island to investigate on a girl’s disappearance into thin air. Once there, he meets Lord Summerisle (Lee), the religious guru of the island where inhabitants celebrate ancient pagan rites.