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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow film fans meet The Wicker Man director

FILM fans got the chance to meet the director of a classic movie at a special screening in Barrow.

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PRE-VIEW: Mr Hardy in the cinema room at Cooke’s, before the special showing of The Wicker Man

Robin Hardy, the man behind 1973 cult chiller The Wicker Man, was the guest of honour at Cooke’s Cinema on Thursday night, in Cooke’s Studios on Abbey Road.

Mr Hardy, 83, journeyed from London at the invitation of seasonal programme director, Matt Palmer.

He told the Evening Mail: “I am always prepared to come and introduce The Wicker Man. I’m very impressed with this cinema.”

The film tells the tale of a strait-laced police sergeant investigating the disappearance of a young girl on the Scottish island of Summerisle – only to fall foul of a pagan cult.

Mr Hardy shared his thoughts on what made the film a success: “There are a number of things. To me it is very timeless. There are no particularly time sensitive things like the cars. Some people say that the clothes are quite 70s but I think they just come across as regular country people.’’

One of the film’s undoubted strengths is the performance of Edward Woodward, playing Sergeant Neil Howie, and Christopher Lee, as cult leader Lord Summerisle.

Mr Hardy said: “I already knew Edward was a superlative actor from a role in the series Callan, where he played an anti-establishment character.”

Christopher Lee, star of Lord of the Rings, famously described Lord Summerisle as his ‘finest role’, to Mr Hardy’s pleasure .

Audience member David Kendall, from Roose, said: “This is one of my favourites, the ending is absolutely brilliant.”

Mr Kendall’s partner, Anne Kane, said: “I never get tired of seeing this film, it’s so strange.”

Rosalind Mitchell, from Barrow Island, said: “I’ve seen The Wicker Man a couple of times and I think itdoes deserve to keep on being seen.’’

The film was re-made by Neil LaBute in 2006, starring Nicholas Cage, but was widely panned.

The second film of the Mr Hardy’s Wicker Man trilogy, The Wicker Tree, is out on DVD now.

Production is now underway on Wrath of the Gods, the trilogy’s final part.

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