saving The Wicker Man

saving The Wicker Man

a few months ago, i posted about the re-release of Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man that played in limited run at theaters in several major US cities. the version that was shown during the Fall of 2013 was actually a 35-mm print that was believed to be destroyed, but was discovered at the Harvard Film Archive by staff member Liz Coffey. in a Diabolique Magazine podcast interview from January 2014, Ms. Coffey recaps how she salvaged the so-called long lost print (slightly longer than the version most audiences are used to seeing, which was reduced to 88 minutes so it could fit on double feature bills during its initial release in the 1970’s), the damaging effects of vinegar syndrome on film, and how libraries can better maintain their movie collections and ensure that, in the case of private collections, that they remain searchable only to authorized users (in Harvard’s case, this would apply to students and faculty members). it’s a good thing Ms. Coffey came across this print during the weeding process, otherwise the public would have never known it existed!



if Edward Woodward were alive today (he passed away in 2009), i’d like to think he’d be pleased to know how much impact this film had in the entertainment industry and that archivists are doing everything they can to ensure its continued enjoyment for years to come.


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