THE UNKINDEST CUTS

How the wicker man was slain

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Robin Hardy -

No­to­ri­ously, Hardy’s orig­i­nal cut of The

Wicker Man was dras­ti­cally short­ened by or­der of bri­tish lion’s in­com­ing man­age­ment – in or­der to un­der­mine pro­ducer Peter Snell, Hardy be­lieved. “they buried me as a di­rec­tor, be­cause they said my film was un­show­able. they said, ‘Who would want to see this pic­ture? It’s weird. What’s it about? We don’t un­der­stand what it’s about.’ and nor did they – they had no idea what it was about. they then thought, ‘Well, if we make it shorter, it must be bet­ter shorter than if it were its present length…’ the film lost its open­ing main­land scenes, plus es­sen­tial se­quences such as lord Sum­merisle’s in­tro­duc­tion, in which he sends a lo­cal boy to be sex­u­ally ini­ti­ated by britt ek­land’s Wil­low. For­tu­nately, the film is to­day avail­able to view in two other ver­sions – as a re­stored 99-minute Di­rec­tor’s Cut and lat­terly an in­ter­me­di­ary “Fi­nal Cut”.

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