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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.

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

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Cast

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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:

Electrically attracted to each other...Overwhelmingly engulfed by it...Guiltily in love! 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

Filming began in Salina, Kansas, May 16, 1955. Night-time crowds watched along the Smoky Hill River near an old mill dam as William Holden whipped a "borrowed" convertible with Kim Novak in the passenger seat to a stop along the river. Joshua Logan, a perfectionist, filmed the scene over and over. A number of spectatoring small boys often got in the way of the filming. A production member was designated assistant-in-charge-of-chasing-small-boys-out-of-camera-range. Other scenes filmed were Holden being chased by police around the mill and between railroad box cars. Suddenly, the loud-speaker blared: "There's a small boy underneath the box car! Get him out of there!" When the big Holden/Novak love scene was filmed, most of the crowd had gone home. "Those who stayed said it was a dilly of a romance." Filming wrapped shortly after five in the morning. By week's end, filming moved to Hutchinson. See more »

Goofs

When drying off after swimming, a bad edit cut makes Hal's position lose continuity. See more »

Quotes

Howard Bevans: [to Rosemary] If a woman's going to ask me to marry her, the least she could do is say "Please."
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Soundtracks

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

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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.


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