Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is a good cop and a good man. True, he might be a little bit intolerant of things that conflict with his Christian beliefs, but in 1973 Scotland that's hardly considered a flaw. So when Howie gets a letter from a secluded island village saying that a young girl has gone missing, he soon makes his way there to investigate. Once there, everyone claims she never existed, and he's watched by strange eyes wherever he goes. When he realizes that the people of Summerisle practice an ancient pagan religion, he suspects that the girl is a sacrifice to those gods. However, even when Howie thinks he's getting to the bottom of things, he never really has a clue. The girl is perfectly safe—she was merely bait to lure him there. Sergeant Howie is the intended sacrifice, and every moment since he received the letter has been planned out by Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) to manipulate him into position to be burned inside a giant wicker effigy. He thought he was smarter than the pagans, but he was their puppet all along. And that's what he's left thinking about as he burns to death while they sing. There have been attempts to remake The Wicker Man, but nothing compares to the paranoia of Robin Hardy's original film.