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Picnic (1955)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  16 February 1956 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,601 users  
Reviews: 110 user | 41 critic

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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Title: Picnic (1955)

Picnic (1955) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 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

Plot Keywords:

drifter | picnic | labor day | love | kansas | See more »

Taglines:

A never-to-be forgotten picture - from the Pulitzer Prize winning story by William Inge! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden didn't want to do the dance sequence with Kim Novak, fearing it would make him look foolish. He told co-star Cliff Robertson, "I just don't know how to dance." Hoping to persuade the studio to cut the dance scene, Holden insisted on being paid an $8,000 "stuntman premium." To his surprise, the studio paid up and Holden was forced to do the dance scene, although he was allowed to do it under the influence of alcohol. In that scene, he is actually intoxicated, and it still remains one of only four movies that he ever danced in (the others being Sabrina (1954), Dear Ruth (1947) and Sunset Blvd. (1950)), and one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Holden's hairstyle changes during the pondside confession scene with Novak. See more »

Quotes

Flo Owens: If she loses her chance when she's young, she might as well throw all her prettiness away.
Madge Owens: I'm only 19.
Flo Owens: And next summer you'll be 20, and then 21, and then 40.
Madge Owens: You don't have to be morbid.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ain't She Sweet?
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
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.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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