Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Hardy, Robin (1929-)

Director, Writer

Main image of Hardy, Robin (1929-)

Robin Hardy was born on October 10, 1929 in London. He began his directorial career in Canada and the US, where he was mainly involved in making television drama for such companies as the Esso World Theatre. In the 1960s, he returned to London and became involved in making commercials and informational films for the company Hardy Shaffer Ferguson Avery, which Hardy formed with the writer Anthony Shaffer.

As a result of this partnership, the two men were involved in the creation and production of Hardy's feature debut, the pagan horror masterpiece The Wicker Man (1973). Although now generally accepted as a classic (even at the time, its star Christopher Lee regarded it as his finest work), the film suffered after its producers British Lion were taken over by corporate giant EMI, whose executives openly detested it, made extensive cuts and turned it into a supporting feature to Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now (1973). Thanks partly to the subsequent disappearance of the original negative, it took nearly thirty years for the full-length version to be released in Britain.

Hardy's next film, the serial killer drama The Fantasist, (Ireland, 1986), which he also wrote, was released to little critical or commercial interest. He also co-wrote and produced Forbidden Sun (d. Zelda Barron, 1989), which continued some of The Wicker Man's thematic preoccupations in that it dealt with repressive, secret cults. He has written several historical novels, and has been involved in the creation of historical theme parks in the US. His son Justin (b. 1964) is also a director; his debut film, the school story A Feast At Midnight (1994) turned the wheel full circle in that it cast Christopher Lee as the housemaster - though Hardy senior still plans to work with Lee on a sequel to The Wicker Man.

Alexander Larman

More information


From the BFI's filmographic database

Related media

Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Wicker Man, The (1973)Wicker Man, The (1973)

Cult favourite about the pagan inhabitants of a remote Scottish island.

Related collections

Related people and organisations

Thumbnail image of Shaffer, Anthony (1926-2001)Shaffer, Anthony (1926-2001)