IMDb > Picnic (1955)
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Picnic (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Picnic -- Set in a sleepy Kansas town one warm Labor Day weekend, PICNIC focuses on the impact made by a muscle flexing vagrant (William Holden) whose presence causes emotional havoc among the local women, including town beauty (Kim Novak) who must decide whether or not to run away with her handsome new beau.
Picnic -- Trailer for Picnic


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7.2/10   6,072 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Daniel Taradash (screenplay)
William Inge (play)
View company contact information for Picnic on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 February 1956 (USA) See more »
Electrically attracted to each other...Overwhelmingly engulfed by it...Guiltily in love! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Moonglow and Rosalind Russell See more (113 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

William Holden ... Hal Carter

Kim Novak ... Madge Owens
Betty Field ... Flo Owens

Susan Strasberg ... Millie Owens

Cliff Robertson ... Alan Benson

Arthur O'Connell ... Howard Bevans

Verna Felton ... Helen Potts

Reta Shaw ... Irma Kronkite
Nick Adams ... Bomber

Raymond Bailey ... Mr. Benson

Elizabeth Wilson ... Christine Schoenwalder (as Elizabeth W. Wilson)

Rosalind Russell ... Miss Rosemary Sydney
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Warren Frederick Adams ... Stranger (uncredited)
Carle E. Baker ... Grain Elevator Worker (uncredited)
George E. Bemis ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Steve Benton ... Policeman (uncredited)
Harold A. Beyer ... Chamber of Commerce Member (uncredited)
Paul R. Cochran ... Chamber of Commerce Member (uncredited)
Adlai Zeph Fisher ... Chamber of Commerce Member (uncredited)
Don C. Harvey ... Policeman (uncredited)
Flomanita Jackson ... Committeewoman (uncredited)

Shirley Knight ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Phyllis Newman ... Juanita Badger - Cool Girl (uncredited)
Henry Pagueo ... Mayor (uncredited)
Harry Sherman Schall ... Chamber of Commerce Member (uncredited)
Floyd Steinbeck ... Chamber of Commerce Member (uncredited)
Wayne R. Sullivan ... Foreman (uncredited)
Henry P. Watson ... Chamber of Commerce President (uncredited)
Abraham Weinlood ... Trainman - Before Opening Credits (uncredited)

Directed by
Joshua Logan 
Writing credits
Daniel Taradash (screenplay)

William Inge (play "Picnic")

Produced by
Fred Kohlmar .... producer
Original Music by
George Duning 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (director of photography)
Film Editing by
William A. Lyon 
Charles Nelson 
Production Design by
Jo Mielziner 
Art Direction by
William Flannery 
Set Decoration by
Robert Priestley 
Costume Design by
Jean Louis (gowns)
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair styles
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carter De Haven Jr. .... assistant director (as Carter DeHaven Jr.)
Sound Department
George Cooper .... sound
John P. Livadary .... recording supervisor (as John Livadary)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ray Cory .... second unit photography
Val O'Malley .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Ralph James Hall .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Fred Karger .... music advisor
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator
Morris Stoloff .... conductor
Bob Thompson .... music arranger (uncredited)
Johnny Williams .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Other crew
Henri Jaffa .... Technicolor color consultant
Joshua Logan .... produced on the stage by
Miriam Nelson .... choreographer (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
115 min | USA:113 min (DVD version)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | France:U | Netherlands:AL (original rating) (1956) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1990) (2006) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #17630) (original rating) | USA:PG (re-rating) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Having directed William Inge's play two years previously on Broadway, Joshua Logan brought some radical cast changes to the production. Only Arthur O'Connell, Reta Shaw, and Elizabeth Wilson recreated their characterizations. Holden was cast as Hal Carter over Ralph Meeker who had played him onstage. His room-mate on Broadway had been played by Paul Newman; Cliff Robertson got the film part. Kim Stanley lost the part of Millie Owens to the much younger Susan Strasberg and Janice Rule lost out on the part of Madge to young contract player Kim Novak. Rosalind Russell actively campaigned for the role of Rosemary Sydney, the role Eileen Heckart had played onstage.See more »
Continuity: When Neewollah Queen Madge goes to return the royal robe, she's still wearing the sash as she stands on the footbridge and watches Hal and Millie dancing. When she joins the group seconds later, in that famous clapping scene, the sash is gone.See more »
Madge Owens:Mom, you don't love someone because he's perfect.See more »
Movie Connections:
Theme from PicnicSee more »


What book was Millie reading? Is it a real book?
How does the movie end?
Where is the story supposed to be set?
See more »
83 out of 106 people found the following review useful.
Moonglow and Rosalind Russell, 4 February 2005
Author: Donald Agustamarian from London, England

William Inge had his finger on the pulse of small town America. He wasn't checking the heartbeats of its inhabitants but his own. I've just said that as if I knew all about it and I don't, but I sense it. I mean, "Splendor In The Grass", "The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs", "Come Back Little Sheeba" That's all the evidence we need to know that he was a male writer with a woman's heart. "Picnic" epitomises that theory. Director Joshua Logan and writer Daniel Taradash trusted Inge's world without questioning it. Everything flows with the irrational sanity of a woman's heart. William Holden was a bit too old for the part but who cares! He is William Holden, capable to provoke passions of Mediterranean intensity at any age. He seems a bit self conscious at times and that helps the character's foibles no end. Kim Novak is breathtaking. Susan Strasberg milks her tomboy with a longing for all its worth. Betty Field, Daisy Buchanan in the original "Great Gatsby", gives a masterful performance without uttering a word that may reveal what she's actually feeling, until the end of course. That scene in which she tries to stop her daughter from going away, is as much Field's as it is Inge's. Rosalind Russell didn't get the Oscar for her superb, time bomb disguised in a school teacher's dress, performance. Her craving for sex and romance and sex and marriage and sex is as bold as anything she had ever done and Rosalind Russell new how to be bold from "His Girl Friday" to "Auntie Mame". The Moonglow sequence has become a classic moment in pictures. Deservedly so. I would suggest, if you haven't done it yet, take a trip through William Inge's territory. Familiar faces, familiar landscapes, familiar feelings, all completely new.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Picnic (1955)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
1950s variations on Male-Female relationships just prior to & leading to Bob Pr.
'Picnic' filming locations wrunge7-1
Holden and Novak miscast jimprideaux2
Check out the 1986 Version of the Play! (Plus, Crazy Credits) Schmoozette
What book was Millie reading? kerprice
Paul Newman PinkIcicle
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