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The Wicker Man - The Director's Cut (DVD) [1973]

Edward Woodward , Christopher Lee , Robin Hardy    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
Price: 19.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt
  • Directors: Robin Hardy
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner
  • DVD Release Date: 22 April 2002
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UL6G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,035 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

It must be stressed that, despite the fact that it was produced in 1973 and stars Christopher Lee, The Wicker Man is not a Hammer Horror film. There is no blood, very little gore and the titular Wicker Man is not a monster made out of sticks that runs around killing people by weaving them into raffia work. Edward Woodward plays Sergeant Howie, a virginal, Christian policeman sent from the Scottish mainland to investigate the disappearance of a young girl on the remote island of Summerisle.

The intelligent script by Anthony Schaffer, who also wrote the detective mystery Sleuth (a film with which The Wicker Man shares many traits), derives its horror from the increasing isolation, confusion and humiliation experienced by the naïve Howie as he encounters the island community's hostility and sexual pagan rituals, manifested most immediately in the enthusiastic advances of local landlord's daughter Willow (Britt Ekland). Howie's intriguing search, made all the more authentic by the film's atmospheric locations and folkish soundtrack, gradually takes us deeper and deeper into the bizarre pagan community living under the guidance of the charming Laird (Lee, minus fangs) as the film builds to a terrifying climax with a twist to rival that of The Sixth Sense or Fight Club. --Paul Philpott

On the DVD: The Wicker Man can finally be seen in its glorious entirety on DVD, thanks to the restoration of some 15 minutes of previously lost material. Since the original negative long ago disappeared (apparently dumped beneath the M3 motorway) the picture quality for the added scenes is dubious, but what's much more important is the regained richness in the depiction of Summerisle's society (including a wonderful deflowering ritual set to music) and the added depth to Howie's character. Almost redundantly this excellent two-disc package provides the butchered theatrical cut as well, which comes with a good new documentary explaining both the genesis of the film and its turbulent history. Christopher Lee and director Robin Hardy pop up in an archival interview from the 1970s and are also reunited with Edward Woodward in the brand-new and first-rate commentary track for the director's cut: Lee in particular remains passionate about the movie and still angry about its shabby treatment. Both versions of the film are widescreen 1.85:1; the theatrical cut is in remastered Dolby 5.1, but the director's cut remains in mono. --Mark Walker

Product Description

When a young girl mysteriously disappears, Police Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) travels to a remote island to investigate. But this pastoral community, led by the strange Lord Summerisle (a brilliant performance by the legendary Christopher Lee), is not what it seems as the devout Christian detective soon uncovers a secret society of wanton lust and pagan blasphemy. Can Howie now stop the cult's ultimate sacrifice before he himself comes face to face with the horror of The Wicker man?

DVD Special Features:
Disc One:
Original Theatrical Version of The Wicker Man (84 mins) with Dolby 5.1 soundtrack
"The Wicker Man Enigma" Documentary (35 mins)
Interview with Christopher Lee (25 mins)
Theatrical Trailer
TV Spot
Radio Spots (x3)
Talent Biographies
DVD-ROM downloadable pages from original theatrical press brochure
Disc Two
The Wicker Man - The Director's Cut (99 mins)
Feature length commentary with Christopher Lee, Edward Woodward, Director Robin Hardy and moderated by Mark Kermode (UK exclusive recorded December 2001)
Easter Egg--footage of commentary team meeting and preparing



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent package 7 Oct 2006
By pattic
Format:DVD
I won't bother reviewing the film itself, as I'm sure most of you reading this are already fans, so I'll just stick to describing this new 3-disc release.

As many of you probably know, the film was considered too long for a commercial release by the typically clueless studio execs of the time, and was summarily hacked-down by about 15 minutes. In a depressing turn of events, the original negative of the film was lost, leaving no high quality method of restoring the missing footage.

Luckily for us, they were able to clip the missing footage into the main print, via the only full, unedited version in existence...a print owned by Roger Corman, the American king of exploitation pictures no less!

The quality of the missing scenes is not nearly as good as the rest of the film, making a list of "restored scenes" entirely unnecessary (you'll be able to tell), but it's probably the best we will ever get.

The package contains both the edited and newly restored versions of the film. The edited theatrical version has a very good transfer and 5.1 dolby sound mix. The Director's cut is presented in the aforementioned spotty video and mono audio.

The excellent commentary from the previous U.K. version is also included here (even if Christopher Lee comes off a bit cranky), as well as the original 35 minute featurette "The Wicker Man Enigma".

What's new is the freshly produced 60 minute documentary hosted by Mark Kermode. It's a wonderful and informative documentary, that suprisingly covers mostly different ground than the "Wicker Man Enigma", paying more attention to the genesis of the project and it's filming, rather than the "unfortunate fate" of the film covered in "Enigma".
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burn Baby, Burn! 2 Aug 2002
Format:DVD
They marketed films differently in those days. Today The Wicker Man would be sold as “from the writer of Sleuth”, for Anthony Shaffer penned the original stage classic that became the remarkable Olivier/Caine two-hander. Then audiences would know what to expect: a battle of wits between two men of diametrically opposed beliefs (Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward doubling the Olivier/Caine sparring), drawn across a plotline so full red herrings that the writer would not reveal his hand until the very last shot. All very cerebral. Arty.
But no, the film starred Christopher Lee and featured scream queen du jour Ingrid Pitt, so naturally the distributors sold it as another cheesy Hammer/Amicus gorefest. Except it had no monsters, no gore, was shot on location in faux documentary style, and featured a virgin Catholic policeman in the lead – a character who by 1973 standards was as hip as a prosthetic pelvis. Of course, the beer and chips brigade voted it the thumbs down and not even a double bill with Nic Roeg’s latest effort, Don’t Look Now, could save its fortune.
To be fair, like Sleuth there is a play on genres here. The Wicker Man does start out with more than a whiff of the gothic. A child is reported missing; a policeman (Sgt. Howie – Woodward) heads off to a remote Scottish island, Summerisle, to investigate; the locals are secretive. There are hints of paganism. Well, not hints - and this is where The Wicker Man deviates from formula. The paganism on the island is pretty blatant, and presented not in a witches-and-covens way, but a wholly up to date, natural, eco-friendly, organic manner.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine classic of British cinema. 12 Aug 2006
Format:DVD
This is one of the best British films ever made - simply that! Considering its pretty low budget it is staggering how good this is. There is no other film that compares to this, it really belongs in a genre all of its own. Made in a time when horror films were completely formulaic (the same is still true I guess) this film really broke the mold. I must have seen this film 20 or 30 times over the years and I still love it.

Christopher Lee (Lord Summerisle) describes this as his greatest moment. Perhaps you think well so what, he didn't have that many, but here he is excellent. Edward Woodward also gives a tremendous performance as Sergeant Howie. The other main actors maybe aren't so good but what really makes this film is the contribution of the bit part actors and extras many of whom were local repertory players or just members of the public. They give the film a real authentic feel. The script and the storyline are truly excellent and the ending still shocks.

But the absolute best thing about this is the music. Composed by Paul Giovanni. This has to be some of the most fitting film score ever written. It just goes with the film so well. To be honest I pretty much hate "musicals" but in the case of the Wicker Man I don't feel worried that people start bursting into song - it just goes so well with the storyline and adds the quirky feel that makes this film a cult classic.

The good thing about this release on DVD is that it gives you a chance to compare the butchered cinema release version (which most people will have seen as this is the version generally shown on TV) to the extended directors cut version which is infinitely better. A few of the scenes on this version are a little dodgy in quality due to the difficulties restoring this film (see the book "Inside the Wicker Man" which is also excellent). However the presence of scenes such as "Gently Johnny" certainly add to the film.

A genuine classic of British cinema.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This has got to be the most intriguing film I ...
This has got to be the most intriguing film I have ever watched. It combines music and sexuality, with sinister undertones as the film successfully unsettles the viewer cranking up... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dr Melissa Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good
Published 15 days ago by mr.p.l.newing
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD arrived within timescales and was in good condition. I had watched...
DVD arrived within timescales and was in good condition. I had watched this film many years ago and had forgotten how creepy it is. Really enjoyed watching it again.
Published 24 days ago by sandysoo
4.0 out of 5 stars The Christian Policeman
Although Edward Woodward looks as though he's just walked off the set of his television series, 'Callan', he delivers a good performance in this film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Samuel Barber
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It's about time they cleaned up the footage - Yuk!
Published 1 month ago by Selina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by christine
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
My new favourite film - weird, fun, great music, you will not be disappointed. Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward put on their greatest performances.
Published 2 months ago by John
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your money!
Its just about the worst movie I have ever seen with the worst acting and stupid plot!! I would rather stick pins in my eyes than attempt to sit through it ever again!.
Published 2 months ago by Linney 30
3.0 out of 5 stars Washed out additional footage that could be better.
This rating is for the 3 disc BD package, the film itself is always an easy 5 stars!

This BluRay looks great for the most part but, the additional scenes, like the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by 52ofa1000
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie
Great acting- classic movie at a classic price- if you love old horror movies this is top of the tree- Fantastic- Ally
Published 3 months ago by alastair stewart
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