starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland
screenplay by Anthony Shaffer
directed by Robin Hardy
by Walter Chaw Early in The Wicker Man, poor Sergeant Howie of the West Highland Police shows the picture of a missing lass to a gaggle of locals on remote Summerisle Island. As he turns away, having received no information of value, the camera crops his head off. Later, during a pagan May Day festival, Sergeant Howie nearly gets his head cut off again, this time by six swords forming an interlaced sun symbol. The loss of the head represents castration (Sergeant Howie is shown to be impotent from the start), one of literally dozens of symbols both overt and subtle employed in this unique and brilliant genre film.