Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle in The WIcker Man

The Wicker Man

Robin Hardy | UK | 1973

(The Final Cut 2013)

Director: Robin Hardy
Producer: Peter Snell
Screenplay: Anthony Shaffer,
  from the novel by David Pinner
Cinematography: Harry Waxman
Editor: Eric Boyd-Perkins
Music: Paul Giovanni
Edward Woodward (Sergeant Howie)
Christopher Lee (Lord Summerisle)
Diane Cilento (Miss Rose)
Britt Ekland (Willow)
Ingrid Pitt (Librarian)
Lindsay Kemp (Alder MacGreagor)
Russell Waters (Harbour Master)

Rating: R16 violence, sex scenes & nudity Runtime: 94 minutes

Thank you to Unity Books for their sponsorship of this screening.

Wellington Film Society has a real treat for our Halloween screening: Robin Hardy’s 1973 folk horror The Wicker Man!

The screening of The Wicker Man will be introduced by the Adelaide-based artist, Julia Robinson, whose work, alongside Don Driver’s, is the focus of the show Eerie Pageantry, opening at City Gallery Te Whare Toi on 28 October.

One of the most influential British films of all time, The Wicker Man is set on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides, where policeman Neil Howie (Edward Woodward) is sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young girl. He finds an isolated community led by the enigmatic Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee), who follow the pagan traditions of their Celtic ancestors.

While the community’s obfustication of Howie’s investigation creates frustration, it is the bizarre rituals and unsettling, creepy atmosphere that soon consumes Howie’s time on the island. The maypole, harvest ceremonies, and folk healing practices (sore throat? Here, try this toad!) further show the community’s rejection of christianity and modernity, and descent into something… darker.

Described by film magazine Cinefantastique as “the Citizen Kane of horror films”, The Wicker Man has been linked to the popularisation of the wicker man phenomena since the film’s release in the 1970s. The film was even referenced in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, directed by celebrated British filmmaker Danny Boyle (Trainspotting).

Don your yellow skivvy and dig out your flower crown, and we’ll see you at the movies on the spookiest night of the year!


Oct 30 2023


6:15 pm - 7:50 pm