Robin Hardy, the director of arguably one of the all-time great films, The Wicker Man has passed away aged 86.
Born Robin St. Clair Rimington Hardy in Surrey on October 2nd, 1929, it is the 1973 classic that Robin will be remembered for. The film blended olde folklore, paganism, horror, comedy, and songs in a glorious way and has become a recognised work of genius. Cult magazine Cinefantastique once called The Wicker Man ‘the Citizen Kane of horror films’ and it’s hard to argue with that. The story of the film’s struggle with the distributor British Lion is the stuff of legends itself, with rumours of cut sequences being used as landfill for the M1. Eventually, a longer cut of the film was found in America, and restored to create a ‘final cut’.
Actor Christopher Lee, who played the main antagonist Lord Summerisle, said in his autobiography that the role was the greatest part he ever played.
Robin wouldn’t direct another film until 1986’s The Fantasist, which was a critical and box office flop. In 2011, he returned to the mythology of his greatest achievement with The Wicker Tree, based upon his own novel Cowboys for Christ. Although not to everyone’s taste, the film did have its moments and would have been a much better film had the writer/director not been forced to include a sacrificial burning to further tie it to the 1973 film.
A lovely genial man, Mr Hardy will be greatly missed. STARBURST sends its sympathies and thoughts to his family and friends.
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