Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) tells the tale of Police Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) and his trip to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl. Howie, being a devout Christian, is appalled to find the locals practice a form of Celtic paganism. The film is well regarded by critics and audiences alike, and today still keeps an ardent cult audience even in the face of an infamously terrible remake from Neill Labute. When picked up for distribution, various agencies wanted to gut the film from its original 99-minute running time, stating they wanted more of an “upbeat” ending. Star Christopher Lee had been adamantly vocal about the changes hurting the film, though still urging people to see it.
Fans of the film now have a reason to rejoice; as of July 2013, Robin Hardy has reported that they have discovered a long lost copy of the original 102-minute version. In honor of it’s 40th Anniversary, New York based Production Company Rialto Pictures plans to distribute the film for a theatrical run in various cities starting September 27th. Along with the theatrical run, a Blu-ray release of The Wicker Man: The Final Cut is also being planned.
Stay tuned to Diaboliquemagazine.com for more on Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man and an impending Blu-ray release date!
– By Robert Vaughn
Robert Vaughn is a graduate of Montclair State University, NJ, with a B.F.A. in Filmmaking. Throughout his time in the program, he worked on various aspects of pre, pro and post-production. Writing has always been a favorite of his and he feels this “favoritism” shows in his work. Various professors, students, directors and actors have praised his writing ability. On top of writing for Diabolique, he has written for TV, written/co-written feature films for So Real? Entertainment and is currently working on a feature length dark comedy script of his own. Follow him on twitter: @rvaughn881