7.2/10
6,575
115 user 43 critic

Picnic (1955)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 16 February 1956 (USA)
Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
Reviews
Popularity
1,447 ( 7,206)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A widowed doctor of both Chinese and European descent falls in love with a married American correspondent in Hong Kong during China's Communist revolution.

Directors: Henry King, Otto Lang
Stars: William Holden, Jennifer Jones, Torin Thatcher
Comedy | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A suburban architect loves his wife but is bored with his marriage and with his work, so he takes up with the neglected, married beauty who lives down the street.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Kim Novak, Ernie Kovacs
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A medical student becomes obsessed with his faithless lover.

Directors: Ken Hughes, Henry Hathaway, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Kim Novak, Laurence Harvey, Robert Morley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A widowed businessman becomes obsessed with one of his employees, the divorcée Betty Preisser.

Director: Delbert Mann
Stars: Fredric March, Kim Novak, Glenda Farrell
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A director hires an alcoholic has-been and strikes up a stormy relationship with the actor's wife, who he believes is the cause of all the man's problems.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Judy Holliday, William Holden, Broderick Crawford
Pal Joey (1957)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl ("She used to be 'Vera...with the Vanishing Veils'") and now ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Joanne Woodward, James Olson, Kate Harrington
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When the head of a large manufacturing firm dies suddenly from a stroke, his vice-presidents vie to see who will replace him.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, June Allyson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A struggling young actress with a six year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Christine Schoenwalder (as Elizabeth W. Wilson)
...
Edit

Storyline

The morning of a small town Labor Day picnic, a drifter (Hal Carter) blows into town to visit an old fraternity buddy (Alan Benson) who also happens to be the son of the richest man in town. Hal is an egocentric braggart - all potential and no accomplishment. He meets up with Madge Owens, the town beauty queen and girlfriend of Alan Benson. Written by Erik L. Ellis <ele@eece.unm.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unsurpassed! Unforgettable! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Picknick  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play "Picnic" takes place entirely on Mrs. Potts' and the Owens' front porches and front lawns. No action at the picnic or anywhere else is seen. See more »

Goofs

After the sunset scene, Madge and Hal are down by the river and there is direct sunlight sparkling on the water. See more »

Quotes

Madge Owens: Oh, Ma, what is it just to be pretty?
See more »

Connections

Version of Picnic (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Gloaming
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Meta Orred
Music by Annie Fortescue Harrison
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Poignant, bittersweet
14 April 1999 | by (East Coast, USA) – See all my reviews

I like the surface simplicity of this movie, beneath which lie important questions: Can we be free of our ancestors' demons? Can love between two emotionally crippled people be healthy?

Madge and Hal are -- probably tragically - made for each other. Each is a product of a broken home. Each wants to create a life worth living, despite family history, circumstances, and friends who expect little of them. My heart goes out to both of them. (The sad truth is that Madge's mother's warning will probably come true.)

I love the ambiguity of the movie's ending. I read that William Inge (or was it the screenwriter?) had originally had Madge return to her five and dime deadend job. I much prefer the ending that Mr. Logan chose.

Alcohol ought to be listed in the cast credits. It plays a big role at the picnic, and the effects of parental alcoholism pervade Hal's and Madge's lives.

Roz Russell the town schoolmarm and Howard the shopkeeper provide delightfully lighthearted counterpoints.

No car crashes, no karate. Just a simple story, simple setting, and timeless questions.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?