The Wicker Man (1973)

“You’ll simply never understand the true nature of sacrifice.” While investigating the disappearance of a child, a conservative and devoutly religious Scottish policeman “Sgt. Neil Howie” (Edward “The Equalizer” Woodward) stumbles upon a society of modern pagans on the island of “Summerisle” off the coast of Scotland. Much to Sgt. Howie’s chagrin, none of the locals will admit that the young girl, “Rowan Morrison,” ever existed (he had received an anonymous letter about her disappearance). He is also shocked by the rampant pagan activity on the island. Christopher Lee turns in an outstanding performance as the mysterious “Lord Summerisle.” Directed by Robin Hardy and scripted by Anthony Shaffer, The Wicker Man features offbeat characters, a very eclectic soundtrack and a nice supporting cast that includes Britt Ekland as “Willow,” Diane Cilento as “Miss Rose” and Ingrid Pitt as “Librarian” – as well as a truly horrific ending! The film was loosely based on David Pinner’s 1967 novel Ritual. Avoid the dismal, pointless 2006 remake that stars Nicolas Cage. In a 2005 interview with Total Film, Lee remarked, “I’m still asked a great deal about The Wicker Man because it’s become one of the great cult movies of all time. That’s the story of my career really, making cult movies. And I’ve always said it’s the best film I’ve ever made …

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