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Customer Review

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, an absolute must!!, January 22, 2002
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This review is from: The Wicker Man (Limited Edition) (DVD)
This is a POWERHOUSE of a movie that will blow your mind!!!
It is listed as a horror film, when actually it is SO MUCH MORE. If one classify the genre, I would say Mystery.
It begins with an anonymous letter to the Scottish Constable ( Edward Woodward of Equilizer fame) telling of Summer Isle. A local girl is missing and none of the villagers seems to show any interest. Flying to the small Isle, Woodward arrives just before Beltane, the pagan May Day Festivals and the find the Island completely immersed in the Pagan ways of Auld. Head of the Isle is Lord Summerisle (British horror legend Christopher Lee - Dracula for Hammer Films - in his favourite performance), the leader of his pagan island, and it is clear he not only is aware of the villagers beliefs, he encourages them!
Slowly, Woodward comes to believe the girl is being held for Sacrifice on May Day as he races to save her.
Brilliant performance from Britt Eckland (former Mrs. Peter Sellers and one of the great beauties of her time - * though most of the nude shots are not her since she was pregnant at the time) Hammer horror actress Ingrid Pitt and Diane Cilento (the first Mrs. Sean Connery, mother of Jason) contribute to the eerie feel.
The movie portrays pagan beliefs in an unHollywood style, that goes for substance and facts, rather than sensationalism. The scenery is beautiful and the music written for the film is haunting.
The film faced many production problems, to being passed through several production companies, a lot of lost footage from the film editor - a devoutly religious man who thought is sinful to be filming this and was systematically destroying as much as he could, and indifferent reediting by Roger Corman, and then nearly dying in bad handly in the theatres. Was not seen for nearly two decades, and the version in existence was Corman's poorly edited one, missing over 20 minutes of the 101 minute original verson.
I spent years and year trying to track down a copy, and finally for a short time news was good. The director found that he had an original copy still in his position. This was released the VHS - first time the 101 version had been seen in nearly two decades!! Shortly after, it was pulled from the shelves. Corman's version ( a nice companion piece so it was made of a lot of out takes) came out for a spell.
So I am delighted to see this one on DVD and protected for all time.
Warning: some flashes of Eckland and her stand-in nude, and people of a very religious nature will not like the content. Otherwise, this is one fabulous knock out of a film.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 26, 2009 7:39:18 AM PST
J. Ircink says:
i just saw this movie on cable for the first time and the scene where Lee presents Willow with a young man for his sexual initiation PRIOR to Willow trying to seduce Howie was not in the movie - but it's listed in the plot summary. Apparantly it's in the director's cut - is there such a thing and is THIS item the director't cut? Please inform ASAP - I want to purchase.

jeff ircink

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 11:42:22 AM PDT
F Farkas says:
Check the run time, listed above, or the previous reviews, which indicate that is not the director's preferred edit.

Posted on May 2, 2013 2:14:42 PM PDT
Shopper82 says:
I don't know if I'll make any sense to other religious minded people, but I found the movie to be a kind of truth telling experience that Hollywood will never make. The pagan past is either sanitized or (in a horror movie way) sensationalize. The pagan past was full of human and animal sacrifice and had temple whores and the like. The movie, to me, expresses the nightmarish reality of paganism.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2013 10:41:28 AM PST
Li says:
What an ignorant comment, "shopper". You obviously know absolutely nothing about Paganism, are incredibly bigoted, and shouldn't write about things you have no experience of. Also keep in mind, this was a movie, and Hollywood or not, it was not a scholarly endeavor and was meant to entertain and make money. That said, there was a lot of really beautiful Pagan imagery and symbolism, music and meaning in it. I don't care for the ending because I don't care for causing harm to anything unless it is in self-defense or to eat/survive, and I don't like seeing, or hearing, anyone/anything suffer. But so many meanings there, so much fodder for discussion and thought, I've taught an entire class on it. A GREAT film, even if it is not what was originally intended. Someone involved knew a lot about Paganism, the horrible ending aside. Beautiful.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2013 7:24:13 PM PST
Bravo, Li. you saved me the time of replying to someones world views do not extend beyond the concrete bunker of the walls of a church. people believe what hollywood tells them to believe. its now just part of living in america, i guess., werewolves and zombies, there's a REAL cause for concern...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2014 4:19:12 PM PDT
"people believe what hollywood tells them to believe"

That is hardly the case in America, Oliver. More like people tend to believe religious charlatans and corrupt politicians. There's not enough critical thinking and common sense.
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