STUDIOCANAL LAUNCHES WORLDWIDE APPEAL TO RETRIEVE
ORIGINAL MISSING FILM MATERIALS FOR HORROR CLASSIC THE WICKER MAN:
40th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION TO RESURRECT AND
RESTORE FOR UK CINEMA AUDIENCES
LONDON, UK, 30th April 2013 - STUDIOCANAL, with the
endorsement of director Robin Hardy, today launched a world-wide public appeal
to locate original film materials relating to legendary horror classic THE
WICKER MAN, originally released in 1973, in celebration of the cult film's 40th
marks the 40th anniversary of the THE
WICKER MAN'S original release. In celebration of this and continuing its
project to conserve, restore and release for future generations the best of
Classic British cinema, STUDIOCANAL today announces its intention to release
the most complete version of the film possible. The now widely lauded film was
released with minimal promotion in 1973 as second feature of a double bill with
DON'T LOOK NOW. The version
exhibited to audiences was significantly shorter than director Robin Hardy's
original vision. In what has now become an apocryphal episode in British film
history, the negatives disappeared from storage at Shepperton Studios, were
then allegedly used as landfill in the construction of the nearby M4 motorway,
and are considered lost forever.
are now appealing worldwide to film collectors, historians, programmers and
all-round fans to support the campaign and come forward with any information
relating to the potential whereabouts of original materials.
Robin Hardy comments: "I never
thought that, after forty years, they would still be finding lost fragments of
my film! We thought all of THE WICKER MAN had gone up in flames, but
fragments keep turning up and the hunt goes on!"
General Manager UK Home Entertainment John Rodden adds: "The Wicker Man is
not only a great horror film, it is a true classic that grows in stature as the
years pass. We're now appealing
to the public to help us create the most definitive version possible. ''
special facebook page has been created to serve as a forum for the search to
continue. For further updates and to join the conversation with any news please
THE WICKER MAN: A SHORT
In 1973, Robin Hardy's debut film THE
WICKER MAN fell victim to a boardroom takeover at distribution company
British Lion, and had its release temporarily shelved. A finished version of
the film that director Hardy was happy with had been delivered with a running
time of 102 minutes.
When it did finally reach UK cinemas that year, with
little fanfare or promotion, and as part of a Double Bill with DON'T LOOK NOW, 15 minutes had been cut,
leaving the film's running time a trim 88 minutes.
Director Robin Hardy and the other filmmakers had not been involved and did not
approve of this new version.
few years later when Hardy tried to track down his original version, he was
told that all the negative trims from it that had been stored at Shepperton
Studios had been thrown away, and the only ''original negative''
was now the 88-minute version. He finally managed to ascertain that Cult US
Director Roger Corman still had a print of the full-length version, and this
was used for the US theatrical release. Corman's print has been missing since the 1980's and only poor quality 1''
video material is known to exist of this version.