Director Robin Hardy has endorsed a worldwide appeal launched by StudioCanal to locate original film materials relating to cult horror classic THE WICKER MAN, the 1973 tale about a policeman (Edward Woodward) sent to a remote island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. The film also starred Christopher Lee. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the films release and StudioCanal intends to mark the occasion by releasing the “most complete version of the film possible”.
The Wicker Man was originally released with minimal promotion as the second feature in a double bill with DON'T LOOK NOW, and the version that was exhibited to audiences was significantly shorter (at 88mins) than Hardy’s original vision (which topped out around 102mins). The negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios and were allegedly used as landfill in the construction of the nearby M4 motorway.
Legendary cult director Roger Corman was reported to have had a print of the full-length version that was used for the US theatrical release, but it has been missing since the 1980's and only poor quality 1” video material is known to exist of this version. StudioCanal are now appealing to film collectors, historian, programmers and fans to come forward with any information relating to the potential whereabouts of original materials. A special Facebook page has been created to serve as a forum for the search and can be viewed HERE.
Here's hoping that someone, somewhere and somehow still has the materials that Hardy and StudioCanal need so that fans of THE WICKER MAN can one day see and own the directors original vision. Maybe if we all agree to burn every existing copy of the Nicolas Cage-starring 2006 remake the movie gods will smile on us...