The Wicker Man

  • 15
  • Robin Hardy (1973)
  • UK
  • 84 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Playing on our fears of "the other", director Robin Hardy's psychosexual horror, first released in 1973, has now attained classic status. Brilliantly scripted by Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth) and impressively staged on location, the film stars Edward Woodward as the devoutly Christian policeman, Sergeant Howie, who travels to a remote Hebridean island to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. As his efforts are hampered by the islanders' wall of silence, Howie's prudish disapproval of these neo-pagan worshippers turns to outrage - not least when he is "tempted" by the pub landlord's free-spirited daughter (Britt Ekland) and given an audience with the mysterious Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The Wicker Man does have some stilted moments, but it still manages to pack a bizarre, disturbing punch. The shorter running time of this original theatrical version does impact on the narrative depth of the story. The 2002 director's cut (available on DVD) is much closer to Hardy's vision.

Plot Summary

Classic horror starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee. When a policeman receives an anonymous letter suggesting that a girl has mysteriously disappeared from a small island community, he sets out to investigate. On his arrival, the villagers deny any knowledge of the girl, and he soon discovers that life on the island is not all that it seems.

Cast and crew


Sergeant Neil Howie
Edward Woodward
Lord Summerisle
Christopher Lee
Miss Rose
Diane Cilento
Willow MacGregor
Britt Ekland
Librarian / Clerk
Ingrid Pitt
Alder MacGregor
Lindsay Kemp
Harbour master
Russell Waters
Old gardener / Gravedigger
Aubrey Morris
May Morrison
Irene Sunters
Walter Carr
Roy Boyd


Robin Hardy

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Studio Canal
May be edited for language, violence and nudity.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate 15