Miss Rose of Summerisle


[NOTE: This post was originally published on my version of this blog at the now-defunct Open Salon, on October 8th, 2011, one day after Diane Cilento’s passing. I’m including the original comments to my blog post, because why not?]

Let’s kick off the weekend with a short tribute to the late Diane Cilento, who passed away yesterday at the age of 78.  The beautiful Ms. Cilento was both a Tony (Tiger at the Gates) and an Oscar (Tom Jones) nominee, and was also known for being Sean Connery’s ex-wife.  Sadly, to this last point, there are uncomfortable accounts of his abominably abusive behavior towards her.

Fans of horror and cult cinema best remember her, though, as Miss Rose in one of my favorite movies of all time, The Wicker Man.
(Please do not bring the name of Nicolas Cage up.  He is not invited to this party, there was NO Wicker Man remake).
Unfortunately, I’m having a tough time embedding clips related to The Wicker Man.  But I urge you to click through this link where you can see Ms. Cilento as Miss Rose singing along with Hammer Films titan Christopher Lee in his role as pagan community leader Lord Summerisle.
Please also click here to see another amusing clip from The Wicker Man.  I’d love to see the moral panic from Michele Bachmann and other Dominionist wing nut politicians in response to Miss Rose’s brand of sex education!
Incidentally, if my memory doesn’t fail me, there are accounts in documentaries and DVD commentaries by Wicker Man costar Ingrid Pitt about how lovely and gracious Diane was to everyone, especially the local extras appearing in the film.

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Absolutely – THERE WAS NO WICKER MAN REMAKE and we will not utter the name Nicholas Cage.

OCTOBER 08, 2011 02:36 AM

Did not know this was the one and only. At the risk of bringing down the wrath of Myriad upon my head – what’s wrong with the Nicolas Cage non-remake? I’ve almost rented it several times but something always stops me. Maybe it’s Myriad’s vibe!

Margaret Feike
OCTOBER 08, 2011 03:41 AM

Nicolas Cage and Kevin Costner should do a remake of Showgirls or The Postman!! Teehee!!


(Nicolas Cage is one of those actors, he is either really really good, or really really bad, and sometimes, if you take enough LSD, he’s BEYOND AWESOME!! :D)

OCTOBER 08, 2011 07:40 AM

Thanks all for posting, and Myriad and Tinkertink, being the type of cinema fan that I am, I can actually appreciate a magnificently awful Nicolas Cage film.

Now Margaret, to your question – woooosh, where do I begin? Let’s talk about what 1973’s Wicker Man is. It’s a bizarre, original, surreal and amazing story of a tiny clash between Christianity and paganism (made up out of whole cloth out of bits and pieces and stereotypes of old lore). It’s the story of an ancient fertility drama played out to devastating circumstances. It’s horror, it’s a musical, it’s unintentionally humorous – there really is very little like this film out there.

Cut now to the…ughhh… remake. Bleh. Bah. They make this story into a contrived gender war, draining what originally was a story about sexuality and fertility of ANY sex whatsoever, offering nothing by way of suspense or colorful occultism or…anything whatsoever. Add to that a laughable climax that you can enjoy for sheer ridiculousness….but bleh. Just urgh, I’m not one to steer anyone away from an awful movie. Awful movies are an art form. But not this one. Please see the original, I beg of you!

OCTOBER 08, 2011 07:47 PM

As you and I have previously established, we both rate “The Wicker Man” as among our favourite films. I haven’t been on the computer much these last few days but did hear the sad news of Ms. Cilento’s passing over the weekend. I actually never knew that she was once married to Sean Connery OR to Wicker Man playwright Anthony Shaffer.

Thanks for this tribute to a great actress and movie.

Who is N*******s C**e?

OCTOBER 11, 2011 11:42 PM

VA – shhhh! It’s like Voldermort…..and thanks for the note. I was also surprised to find out she married Anthony Shaffer, though I did know about Sean Connery..

OCTOBER 12, 2011 02:48 AM

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