92 minutes long

Version summary

Music in this version

Locations in this version

Podcast with the woman who found the print in the Harvard Library. (Diabolique)


Thoughts on seeing the Final Cut

I have finally seen the Final Cut. As usual, I have taken extensive notes and compared it to other versions. Here are my notes. Take with a large grain of salt.

Nice opening graphic. in the Moviedrome showing, it swoops in. On the BluRay it zooms in straight. Both have the wind sfx.

Bad edit to church scene

The music plays a little faster on the BluRay…

Can see Mary really flirting w/ Howie, moreso than the lousy VHS and other versions.

No 2nd cutaway to chancel showing Howie from behind.

Then the plane taking off and credits… No other mainland scenes. Sigh.

Fewer shots of the plane taking off.

Shot from the ground of plane flying over house shows red seeds/fruit hanging from tree in the lower right hand corner.

Always loved the fact that the two girls seen opening the window on the right, after the man rides the horse in that long panning shot, are wearing the same orange and purple tops that we see them wear when Howie is inspecting house, on May Day. Don’t they change their clothes?

It has the unseen dialogue as Howie passes the pic around…

Can see someone bicycling towards Howie as he walks by the quay.

The shot of the sweet shop window shows the items within in much more detail. The frogs on either side of the large baby cake in the middle are noticeably green. The pink elephants are clearly elephants. Most of the rest are much more clearly seen.

Inside, I can read the comics titles on the rack: Little Star, Jack and Jill and The WIll’s Woodbines cigarettes poster to Howie’s right at the door (

The display inside is so much clearer too. Can figure out more of what’s there. The Rowntree’s rack is laden with chocolate hares of different styles. Chamber’s pencils, Campbell’s soup cans behind the counter. 

Can see the postcards on the rack to the right as Howie and May talk. Nothing too pagan looking, they look run-of-the-mill tourist postcards.

Will try to read the price chart behind Howie… Cones, wafers…

(Taking with Myrtle) See the continuity error here: In the first shot, the door to the sweet shop is open. In the next, when she goes to answer the bell that signals a customer, the door is closed and she opens it.

Myrtle does a fine job reciting her lines…

We see the back of a male customer’s head as May comes in.

You can clearly see the faces of the men who exit the pub as Howie enters in at night.

Can see a wart on WIllow’s chest…

 The recorder player, sitting behind Lennox, is not playing as “The parts of every man do stand up at attention”, yet we hear it.

We miss a verse and the corresponding shots of The Landlord’s Daughter. (No McGreggor playing the bottles with his spoons.)

Can better see the schoolmaster who leads the Maypole song and someone in a white shirt who puts a cigarette into his mouth as he guides the schoolmaster as he spins. I’ve always wanted to see more of that dance. The schoolmaster is holding both arms straight up with palms together as he spins. Would love to know what they choreographer was thinking. Was it based on a real dance?

(Note the short gtr music while the picture is passed around…)

i haven’t checked but I think the clock on the top mantle is stopped. Will it ever show a time contradictory to the action in the film?

Can see the harvest photos much more clearly. Can read the “A. K? H? Lennox Photographer” seal more clearly.

Can see the dust showing where the most recent harvest festival photo used to be.

No additional shots of the blank wall and McGreggor looking at it.

Howie is eating a pork chop… (or a lamb chop, a chop of some sort.)

Has the “On an island famous for it’s fruits and vegetables?” line as we look at Willow.

OK, it seems to be only a couple necking as Howie exits the Green Man. I wasn’t sure if there was a threesome going on there. You can see two couples and two shadows being symmetrical so I doubt there is a third, or more there.

Orgy scene is clearer. Still has a dark part at the end. 

Watering graves after Howie looks over wall. See someone, the gravekeeper?, enter at the last moment with his lantern but it cuts as soon as we see him. 

That’s a large fish in a 3-d frame above the door. Is that Gary Carpenter in the yellow shirt to the right of the man hoisted up on Oak’s shoulders? No, it’s a clarinet player seen in the Gently Johnny singing shot.

The man who guided the schoolmaster is still smoking as Howie bursts in…

Hear a short snippet of pub singing I never heard before while we see that exterior shot of the Green Man - “? all night long” sung by several men.

I’ve always thought the girl/woman in the green dress who is to the left of Giovanni, was pretty. We see a good shot of her earlier.

Alas, I can’t read the diary as we see Howie as LS calls Willow.

Audio is out of sync as Willow says “Surely you mean to Aphrodite?” with Howie looking on.

Gently Johnny has two harmonica players playing. We don’t hear any…

Still can’t tell what is really going on in that tarot card painting on the ceiling (or the poster to the left of Giovanni). Woman? riding a horse, carrying a flag. What is the stringing thing beneath that? Streamers from the flag? It is still very washed out. (Might be able to get a better screencap…)

Also curious what the poster is in the room with the singers and there’s another red, Soviet-style poster seen in the room Ash goes into before that that I’m tempted to find out about…

We see the tarot painting better moments later. I’d say those are streamers. The riders face is clear and realistic but I still can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman.

Cut to Maypole, two shots!, then Willow outside washing the table. Several shots of the Maypole getting it’s wreath are missing…

Is that a fence behind Howie as he watches the May Pole song? Two silver horizontal lines. Barbed wire?

(During Maypole) Is that a tv antenna between the clarinet player (Gary Carpenter?) and the schoolmaster? A tall silver thing with three points. A telephone pole?

Love the children banging out the copulatory rhythm with smiles on their faces…

Howie’s “badge number” or at least epaulette # is 457.

Pictures on the wall to the left of the door are of trees and the patterns their limbs make, probably for ID-ing them.

The schoolroom has stairs on the left, which apparently the boys use to get to their classroom. We can’t tell at this point if the schoolhouse really has a second floor from any exterior shots. Does it in reality? Looks like it may have an attic.

Lol, map over the front door… Aegaean sea again? Really can’t tell.

One girl, as Howie starts to hand out the pic, is shaking her head back and forth. I wonder why? A nervous tick?

Love the vacuous expression on the blond girl on the right as Howie calls them liars.

Some sort of flying creature (bug - May fly?) flies inbetween Miss Rose and Howie just before “those rotting bodies…” Never noticed THAT before! I now see it in the Extended Cut.

We don’t see the silver thing (tv antenna) as we see Howie shake his head and turn towards the graveyard.

Howie’s walk to the graveyard is cut short… It cuts to inside faster than other vers…

Can read the gravestones very well!

The Beech Buchannon gravestone is straight when we see Howie walk up to it, crooked when we see the c/u. Artistic license or continuity problem?

Wow, color change right after that!

See Barbara Rafferty’s exposed breast much more clearly in this version…

Color changes during grave keepers c/u and lessor so, after. Might be a conversion problem - but isn’t bad at all.

See the breath as grave keeper says the first “minister?” First time I’ve seen that knowing how cold it was…

We see a c/u of Rowan’s natal string as gravekeeper says “minister” the second time. In other ver, we see Howie looking down to the ground and hear the gravekeeper mowing.

Frog gets put in a container which is on top of a Bloxworth Spiral bound book, for water color, made by Daler Board Co., Co Wareham, Dorest. (

(No Dr Ewan scene.)

I recognize that PR pic of LS on the wall of the Registrar’s office. (It’s one CanalPlus is offering.)

Not sure who the painting is of, an ancestor one would think. (In reality, who is it?)

Map on the wall behind Howie is of? Looks like Scotland… NW especially.

Ingrid bangs on the table a can of “Silver (something)” peaches. Does this brand ring a bell with anyone in Scotland? Dark blue label with gold peach.

Wow, the chemist’s shop is very clear… Lots of info I can now read. I still can’t figure out what that thing is (hanging?) in the upper right hand corner as Howie leaves the shop.

We see the schoolhouse has perhaps an upper story but no windows in the front. On the side? Seems like an attic. I doubt the boys are taught up there.

David Hemming’s phallic topiary and garden is clearer.

Can see the pregnant women’s dark undergarments more clearly but not much more of the younger girls body suits/bodies.

I wonder what the Latin is above the gate to the castle.

In LS’s study, there are two color pictures on the left, below the tapestry. One looks like tomatoes, the other onions but i think they are supposed to be apples… An apple photo on the wall whose windows look out to the Fire Dance.

The Fire Dance as seen from the window is BRIGHTER in the non-BluRay vers! Not as sharp but brighter. Brighter greens and whites.

Nice look at the islander pics…

The exterior shot of the castle after LS mentions the gulf stream, has the blotch, not seen in the Theatrical version (or was it the VHS of the Extended?) And there’s a person wearing a pink top in the middle window on the right. Never seen him/her before. It looks like a still shot, no motion.

…”It became a very different matter” (as Howie and LS are in the garden in a long shot), we hear footsteps that took place INSIDE. Evidence that those lines were spoken in the greenhouse, not outside. The next footsteps we hear are on gravel…

Howie has eaten almost all of the apple. Even the core?

Howie starts speaking: “He brought you up to be a pagan” in the long shot with LS in front but we see his lips aren’t moving. The closeup that follows, I think is cut wrong…  hard to tell. I think they should have cut a little more out of his c/u, that too much of it is in there with him saying He brought….

No organ stops c/u… and a verse of the Tinker of Rye.

Can see apple pics on the wall as they sing Tinker of Rye.

Can now see that there is are images of hares running around the flagon Miss Rose is drinking from.

(Darkroom) Rubber spiggot extension in other vers is white, in Blu-Ray it is yellow. (Color correction)

Folder he opens to see pics in the darkroom says Omen Stones ("Coel Coet(?) - can't read the last letter)  from my old notes: The third is a blur but I can make out 5 words on one line and one on the line beneath it. The fourth says "The living and the dead (and then something I can't make out)" Can now read the signs on the 4th picture. The sign by the body above ground says Living Grave, the other Dead Grave (I think). (I have much more info on this elsewhere.)

As the camera zooms in you can see that Geraldine Cowper’s head is abit different quality (sharper) than the rest of the picture. Early Photoshop…

No additional shot of Howie developing and him saying to himself, “sacrifice” and more lines and shots. Instead, we cut to the calendar and hear LS’s line, “perhaps it would be just as well…

As we zoom into the calendar, I can read it better.

- Calendar description -

(A pic)



… of Aroochar ? around the waters of

On the right is Ben Lomand 3192

? ? in  Dunbartonshire.

“Scottish Field” in blue. (The magazine… I wrote to them to ask about getting a copy of the May, 1973 calendar. - Also see it in the bar when Howie comes back from searching the houses!)

Wow, we just cut from the darkroom to Willow calling to Howie in his room. Boo. Lots of shots and dialogue, “What if Rowan’s not dead” for example, is cut out.

The shot as he gets in bed looks like practically daylight! This scene is cut differently than a full version. Not sure where some of these shots came from…

What’s the green tape on the small drum we see a c/u of for? A way for the musicians to know which stuff is theirs and which stuff came from elsewhere as a prop?

Have a shot of him in bed, clutching himself on his stomach, in BluRay where it would be of his darkened room wall in other version.

God, I hate how they cut this up. (a gentle stroke like a feather then cut… losing a verse. More.) Reaction shot of Howie sitting up in bed… More…. Willow, the pic on the wall… shorter shot of Willow banging against the open window. We cut to Howie peeling away from the door sooner, losing the ‘maid milk a bull’ verse… and several more shots. Bad audio edit after that! 

Shot of Willow against the wall is brighter on extended vers… Missing a shot of Howie after wall slapping… and another one of Willow as she climaxes.

I never believed Howie was at the same door as Willow goes to. The are different colors…

See some nice shots of her/stripper stand-in’s bush… (from behind)

More bad cuts…

After dance we get Willow bringing him breakfast, ok.

Why do the birds stop singing in the middle of this scene?

The book Howie reads in the library: Chapter titled Britain, Land of Legends. (From my old notes): 

The first sentence reads: "Britain, the isle of the Blest, of the early chroniclers..."

The second paragraph starts: "Dragons feature in legends from all parts of the world and..."

The third paragraph starts: "On the banks of the River Wear in Durham..."

The picture of the betty, hobby, fool and sword-lock face this page.

I’m not finding any of this on Google…

Library scene is cut differently. We get Howie saying “Rowan’s not dead”, while in other vers, have c/u of Harvest photo as Howie reads more. Then get Harvest photo and him reading.

The cows have disappeared when we see the Harbor Master turn back. (In all versions…)

I always wondered why Mrs Morrison cut the baby cake in the crotch.

Chocolate hare propped up to the right for this scene. It wasn’t propped up in previous scenes. (Artistic license)

Girls in the window are l-r, purple top then orange. Earlier, they are in reverse order. I’m guessing both shots were done on the same day.

The name above the door for the first house he inspects (#38) is Sannachan. I used to think this was some sort of Celtic word but now I am guessing it is just the last name of the people who live there. Would that be right?

I always wondered why the Punch and Judy dolls on the bed were vibrating a little. From Howie walking across the room?

He goes in a house that is along a village street. He comes out of a castle…

While rifling through someone’s personal possessions on their bureau top, the girl falls out of the closet. What’s he doing looking at (fondling) the antler trophy? (A poorly set-up shot.)

We see the bear on the door as he goes in to one house. He then sees the falling girl and goes to another house, yet we see that door close at one point after all this.

No hairdressers shop with the women in masks. No climbing up the outside steps and falling down the inside stairs, surprising the women who are ironing. 

He gets off the ship and we see him go into what I think are the same houses he looked at before. This one is called Harbor Cottage. We saw that same set of buildings from a slightly different angle earlier.

The bear on the door has some red in it I haven’t seen before. Can see it in much better detail now. I used to think it was just black and white.

While Howie is opening coffins, we can read the name on one, McCleary. (Can see that in other vers too.)

The sprig LS is holding aloft as they process has some white berries. I have no idea what kind of plant it might be.

The sword dancers wouldn’t be clashing their swords together like that while processing. That shot has them standing still even though the procession is moving…

No third shot of McGreggor struggling and the crewman stepping in….

God, what awful fashions of the 70s they wear.

What’s LS yelling as the women go after him with the tongs?

Can see Oak is wearing brown pants under the hobby horse skirt. I still don’t know what that wooden thing is that we do see.

Sword dancers do a toe tap with each step when they get to the Stonehenge. Never noticed that before. A nice touch.

Why do we have another photographer taking the pics as the Chop Chop happens? Who is this guy?

Are those shots of the crowd moving through the palm trees what’s left of the narrows in the Shaffer script?

I have to laugh as the guy asks, “What’s the matter, Mr McGreggor?”, and then gets punched in the face. Have seen it too many times.

At least one of the cave shots is much brighter than previously seen. More too.

Their appearance out of the hole is slightly different in the extended and theatrical versions. This one lasts slightly longer than those. It seems they used both but blended them in.

I remember some talk here (or another FB group) about a few things the villagers are carrying. Will have to go back and find that.

Lennox is carrying the ointments… a pot and a basket with stuff.

I can see better what animals are where on the Wicker Man: possibly a chicken above a duck on the arm, pigs above the goat above where Howie goes in. Goose in the center (pig to the right). …

The ground is green in my other versions, brown in the BluRay. (Lots of hay strewn about.)

Oak locks a metal lock and throws away the key as he locks Howie in.

Sun is brighter in other versions.

Howie’s soliloquy is shorter (lose some dialogue and a crowd shot)! We lose after LS says “Reverence the sacrifice” and pick up with “Because the truth is withered away…”

I don’t know why they need ropes and pulleys for the ladder. Why not just lean it up and leave it there? We see them lower the ladder after LS orders the sacrifice reverenced. Maybe it’s just for aesthetic appeal, not to have the ladder there while it burns.

End credit has zoom out. No swoop.