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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.

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(screenplay), (play)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Betty Field ...
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Nick Adams ...
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Christine Schoenwalder (as Elizabeth W. Wilson)
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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:

From the moment he hit town she knew it was just a matter of time. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Picknick  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1957 a marketing investigator, James Vicary, announced that for six weeks he had included subliminal messages in showings of this movie. The messages supposedly said: "Eat popcorn, drink Coca-Cola." According to Vicary, the sales of this products increased from 18% to 57%. Even though his experiment led him to fame, Vicary never gave details of how he came to his conclusions, and admitted in a later interview that everything was just a marketing trick. See more »

Goofs

When Kim Novak is in the swan boat she says "Hi" to William Holden but her lips do not move. See more »

Quotes

Millie Owens: When I graduate from college I'm going to New York, and write novels that'll shock people right out of their senses. I'm never gonna fall in love. Not me! I'm not gonna live in some jerkwater town and marry some ornery guy and raise some grimy kids. But just because I'm a dope doesn't mean you have to be.
Madge Owens: Millie.
Millie Owens: Go with him, Madge.
Madge Owens: Millie?
Millie Owens: For once in your life, do something right.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Visions of Light (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonglow
(uncredited)
Written by Will Hudson, Edgar De Lange, and Irving Mills
Instrumental, danced by Kim Novak and William Holden
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent Flawed Flick to Love.
17 August 2004 | by (Las Vegas) – See all my reviews

Very Good movie, despite the flaws. A must for anyone into American mid-century drama. Beautifully filmed and written. Some excellent performances. The Good: Rosalind Russell, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Susan Strasberg. The adequate: Kim Novak and Cliff Robertson. The not too great: William Holden. I'm not bothered by Novak's performance, she was often only as good as her director, and Joshua Logan was an entirely stagebound stylist. Holden on the other hand, is entirely miscast. Way too old for the character by at least 10 years. This is a meaty, sweaty, rebellious part suited to a young Paul Newman or James Dean, not a late '30's, already craggy faced William Holden (he was ideally suited for his Bridge on the River Kwai role). The reading of his lines is artificial and contrived, the pacing atrocious. It's really Logan's fault though. In every one of his films, characters, especially the supporting ones, end up performing like cartoon characters... (Betty Field in Bus Stop, Everyone in South Pacific and Fanny)... and in Picnic, Logan lets almost everyone go over the top with this kind of mannered, ill-paced stuff. However, I love this flick too... the story conquers the flaws, and it consistently pulls me in. Rosalind Russell (though she's allowed to go over the top too) and Arthur O'Connell have remarkable scenes together. Good Movie!


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