Wicker Man... Theatrical vs Extended?

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Damage, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. Damage

    Damage Mirror Mirror

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    Take off to the Great White North, eh?
    I searched throughout out the reviews and forums here and couldn't find a discussion on the two versions of The Wicker Man.

    If I settle for the theatrical cut, how much will I be missing? From the reviews I've gathered off the Net, the consensus seems to be the theatrical cut is more than sufficient and the preferred version to view, that the extra scenes spliced into the extended cut are very rough looking and only really of interest for hard-core fans of this film for their historical significance.

    Now, I've never seen this film but I've become a big fan of 70s British horror and Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt, so this should be right up my alley. The wooden box will run me an extra 17 bucks or so, so I want to make sure that it'll be worth my while.
     
  2. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    You don´t need to buy the wooden box, you can purchase the two versions separately for a slightier cheaper price.

    Now, IMHO, the extended version is a must-see.
     
  3. Damage

    Damage Mirror Mirror

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    As far as I know, only the single theatrical version disc and the wooden box package are available in Region 1 and unfortunately I don't have a region-free player.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I much prefer the theatrical cut, but I just loved that wooden box and had to buy it.

    The reason I prefer the theatrical, is that it's much more mysterious than the extended. The one advantage of the extended cut is that it opens with Sgt. Howie singing the same song that
    he's singing as he's being sacrificed
    . But he gets the letter which sends him to Summerisle, and it's already a bit weird. I like the theatrical cut, because it seems pretty straightforward when he arrives at the island, but things slowly get stranger and stranger. In the extended cut, you already know something is seriously off-kilter about Summerisle before he even arrives.
     
  5. Katatonia

    Katatonia Hellbound Heart

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    The Wicker Man is hands down one of my favorite British movies. I enjoy both the theatrical cut and the extended cut for different reasons. I agree mostly with what Paff already said and won't repeat what he has already said.

    The wooden box is a longtime welcome addition to my DVD collection, and well worth the extra price over the single DVD edition.
     
  6. x666x

    x666x Well-Known Member

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    A great film. I only checked out the theatrical version so far. This thread reminded me that I still have yet to aquire the wooden box. So guess what I just bought off Ebay?
     
  7. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    No worries. Just give Anchor Bay some more time and they´ll make a "Stickman Edition".
     
  8. Morg

    Morg Guest

    I own the wooden box and have yet to view the extended edition. Next time I watch it, I'll check out that version. It's a very different type of movie. It's been described as a horror/cult, whodunit, musical amongst other things and that's a pretty good description of it. I don't think this movie is for everyone. I was going to suggest that people check out one of the directors --Robin Hardy's -- other movies called "Thirst" until I realized that they are two different people. The guy who directed Thirst is Rod Hardy. Close but no cigar. Hell with it, I'm still gonna recommend it. If you like 70's horror check out a little aussie film called Thirst directed by a guy who has a similar name of the guy who directed The Wicker Man. Although I like Wicker Man, Thirst is far better, IMO.
     
  9. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    Thirst is the one about modern day vampires? I have it on VHS.
     
  10. I saw both versions theatrically way back when.
    "The Wicker Man" was re-edited by Roger Corman when he purchased the rights at some point in time. The camera negative was apparently
    cut. Technicolor dye transfer prints were made from the cut camera negative. Years later, the people involved with the restoration contacted Corman. He saved one uncut copy. They removed the missing scenes and duped them off in grainy Eastmancolor. The took
    surviving Technicolor prints and physically spliced in the missing scenes in grainy Eastmancolor which is why there's such a noticeable quality shift. If they could find the original scenes (prior to duping them), they could digitally restore them now if they wanted to spend the money.
    I haven't seen the restored version on video so they might have done this already.

    I prefer the cut version which plays better, has better continuity and does not have the distracting grainy footage spliced in.

    The movie is certainly a curio and worth a look but not a great picture.
    It's somewhat overated due to the coverage it received in Cinefantastique.
     
  11. Morg

    Morg Guest

    Yeah, pretty much. Not your typical vampire film. I found it compelling.
     
  12. Damage

    Damage Mirror Mirror

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    Take off to the Great White North, eh?
    Thanks for the info, everyone!
     
  13. horror addict

    horror addict Member

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    Www.allmovie.com lists a restored director's cut dvd of Wicker Man as having been released in September, did this not come out or something? :confused:
     
  14. JW77

    JW77 Support Halliburton

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    "Wicker Man" is one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Paff summed up the differences quite well.

    The extended cut has a few longer scenes, but the main difference is a different opening which you don't really need to see first, though it does solidify some character traits of Sgt. Howie early on and set up the mystery in a somewhat different way.

    Also, the extended cut is missing a short scene that's in the theatrical cut.

    As to which version to get... if you're a casual viewer I'd suggest just getting the single-disc, but if you love the movie you'll want the wooden box. As such, I'd recommend renting it first. If you love the movie, then you'll probably want the extended cut too.

    Also, go into this movie knowing as little as possible about it. Avoid reviews and summaries. First time out, it's best to just let everything unfold as it goes along.
     
  15. JW77

    JW77 Support Halliburton

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    No, it didn't. Anchor Bay had it on the schedule for a long time and then either pulled a few weeks prior to release, or never bothered releasing it in the first place. This wouldn't have been a third version of the movie, though. Just the same thing as the second disc of the LE... with the possible addition of a commentary track that was recorded after the initial AB release.
     
  16. horror addict

    horror addict Member

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    Would I be missing anything supplement wise by getting the 1 disc instead of the 2 disc wooden box, also is there a commentary?

    Edit: Also another dvd I've had trouble deciding which version I want is Manhunter, I certainly don't want the fullscreen, barebones peice of shit MGM recently released, so which one of the three AB versions is the best?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2004
  17. Alexander

    Alexander Guest

    Weird... this very site, Horrordvds.com, had a nice review of The Wicker Man, with all the info you needed. I can´t find it. Where did it went?

    About WM, well, the extented version IS an extra by itself.

    About Manhunter, the best version is the 2-disc set, with the featurettes, but the Divimax edition spots a better image quality.
     
  18. Damage

    Damage Mirror Mirror

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    That's what I thought too. Oh well. Thanks again for everyone's input.
     
  19. kyouki

    kyouki Guest

    For some reason a ton of reviews don't show up through the normal reviews link. I found this link that lists every review... there are quite a few that don't show up normally, including the Wicker Man

    The link:

    http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/all.shtml
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2004
  20. fattyjoe37

    fattyjoe37 Well-Known Member

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    I just saw the extended version for the first time and I have to say that I liked the theatrical version more. There's more of a mystery in the theatrical version as the strange events unfold and Christopher Lee has a much better introduction.
     

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