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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   5,812 votes »
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Down 60% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Daniel Taradash (screenplay)
William Inge (play)
Contact:
View company contact information for Picnic on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 February 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Electrically attracted to each other...Overwhelmingly engulfed by it...Guiltily in love! See more »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Great Sense of Cinema See more (112 total) »

Cast

  (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:
Runtime:
115 min | USA:113 min (DVD version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
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:PG | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

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:
Continuity: Millie's hair is wet and braided after swimming, but later in the same scene her hair is dry and braided.See more »
Quotes:
Howard Bevans:You've got your troubles, and I've got mine.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Wonder Boys (2000)See more »
Soundtrack:
It's a Blue WorldSee more »

FAQ

Where is the story supposed to be set?
Is "Picnic" based on a book?
What book was Millie reading? Is it a real book?
See more »
36 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
A Great Sense of Cinema, 13 August 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Picnic was the second film that acclaimed stage director Joshua Logan did, adapting work that he had previously directed for Broadway. I absolutely marvel at Logan's sense of the cinema for someone who worked primarily in the theater. Had he concentrated on the screen instead, I'm sure Logan would have been as acclaimed as John Ford or Alfred Hitchcock or even Orson Welles.

William Inge's play Picnic is set in a small Kansas town where drifter William Holden comes to town to look up and old friend from college, Cliff Robertson. As it happens he arrives on Labor Day and the town is having their annual Labor Day picnic. In that 24 hours he changes the lives of all around him, mostly for the better. Especially the women folk.

Holden does a very good job in a role he was really miscast in. The part should have gone to Marlon Brando or James Dean or even Paul Newman. Newmwn was in the original Broadway cast, but in the Cliff Robertson part. The lead was done by Ralph Meeker.

The women of all ages go for Holden unbridled sexuality from Verna Felton, Betty Field, Rosalind Russell, Kim Novak, and Susan Strassberg in descending order of age. They all kind of like him, but Holden goes for Novak who's Robertson's girl. I think you can figure the rest of it out.

Arthur O'Connell as confirmed bachelor/boyfriend of Russell got an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Jack Lemmon in Mister Roberts which incidentally was directed by Joshua Logan on Broadway and uncredited for the screen when John Ford left the film. But the performance that was absolutely the best was that of Rosalind Russell as the schoolteacher who's approaching what would be called spinster hood and not liking it a bit. She's sending out a booty call to Holden that is unmistakable.

In her memoirs Russell said that when Logan asked her to take Eileen Heckart's part from Broadway, he didn't even get to finish the sentence when she agreed. Picnic was playing on Broadway the same time she was doing Wonderful Town and she admired the play by Inge and the work of Joshua Logan very much.

I like the individual performances in Picnic, but even more I like the way Logan used the whole town of Hutchinson, Kansas where the film was shot on location as a stage setting. One of the best transferals from stage to cinema ever and it sure helped to have someone at the helm who knew the property and knew how to accomplish his goal.

Picnic is a great view of America in the red states in the Eisenhower years and should not be missed.

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See more (112 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Picnic (1955)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Holden and Novak miscast jimprideaux2
Favorite scenes in 'Picnic'? thchicago
Bill Holden's (Hal's) boot fetish? albawhall
What book was Millie reading? kerprice
No Letterbox?! crankymisfit
So who, then? yabbadabbadu2
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