Director: Robin Hardy

The 50th anniversary 4K restoration of Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER MAN, starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, and Britt Ekland.

After receiving an anonymous letter about a missing 12-year-old girl, devout Christian and dedicated cop Neil Howie (Woodward) travels by seaplane to a remote Scottish island to investigate. But the islanders welcome neither his badge nor religious devotion, for laird of the isle Lord Summerisle (Lee) and his devoted followers worship only the pagan gods of old — and those gods demand a sacrifice. Howie fears for the missing girl’s life and follows every possible lead to find her — despite the islanders’ interfering machinations — before she becomes a human sacrificial lamb.

Starring Edward Woodward (Breaker Morant, TV’s The Equalizer), horror film legend Christopher Lee, stalwart Hammer vampiress Ingrid Pitt, and Swedish blonde bombshell/Bond Girl Britt Ekland (Man with the Golden Gun, After the Fox, Get Carter), THE WICKER MAN is regarded as a quintessential psychological thriller, with the search for its integral version one of cinema history’s great detective hunts.

Butchered by its doomed UK distributor to fit on double bills, with its original negative apparently lost, THE WICKER MAN has gathered a devoted fan base over the past five decades, with the complete version their Holy Grail. Some missing scenes were recovered from an obsolete one-inch broadcast tape, but over the years there were rumors of complete 35mm prints floating around.

In 2013, the search intensified when worldwide rights holder Studiocanal initiated a Facebook campaign to recover the missing 35mm material. This culminated in a 2K digital restoration for the most complete theatrical version, which director Hardy anointed as “the final cut.” And now, in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary, a new 4K restoration will screen across the U.S. and Canada, including here at the Somerville Theatre.