Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  2 February 1979 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 23,975 users  
Reviews: 196 user | 128 critic

During a rural picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.5/10 X  

In this action comedy, Jack Goldwater, an IRS agent on loan to the Federal Air Marshal Service, is relieved of field duty after insulting a powerful U.S. Senator, and finds himself exiled ... See full summary »

Director: J. Neil Schulman
Stars: Nichelle Nichols, Ethan Keogh, Susan Smythe
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A prank goes too far for the popular students at Hamilton High as they begin to pay for their actions 10 years later at their high school reunion.

Director: Steve Goltz
Stars: Kaleb Shorey, Marla Van Lanen, Johnathon Krautkramer
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Young filmmaker decides to make a movie of his life.

Director: Jim McBride
Stars: L.M. Kit Carson, Eileen Dietz, Louise Levine
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young man in Romania goes to shocking extremes to convince Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway to play in his film.

Director: Adrian Tofei
Stars: Adrian Tofei, Sonia Teodoriu, Florentina Hariton
Action | Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A group of Finnish and British people get stuck at a cabin when they are attacked by a creature that is a half human, half rabbit.

Director: Joonas Makkonen
Stars: Hiski Hämäläinen, Enni Ojutkangas, Veera W. Vilo
Documentary | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

For the third time, HBO cameras go inside Trenton State Maximum Security Prison--and inside the mind of one of the most prolific killers in U.S. history--in this gripping documentary. Mafia... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Ginsberg
Stars: Park Dietz, Richard Kuklinski
Peeping Tom (1960)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror.

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer
Secvente (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Alexandru Tatos
Stars: Geo Barton, Ion Vâlcu, Emilia Dobrin
Empire (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A single shot of the Empire State Building from early evening until nearly 3 am the next day.

Director: Andy Warhol
Stars: Jonas Mekas
Codine (1963)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ex-convict struggles to survive by brute force alone in a turn-of-the-century slum in Braila. Codine (Alexandre Virgil Platon) is the thug who served 10 years for murdering a friend. He ... See full summary »

Director: Henri Colpi
Stars: Alexandru Virgil Platon, Razvan Petrescu, Françoise Brion
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After another cardiac arrest, Armand knows he doesn't have long to live. But after more than 70 years in the same house, he doesn't want to die anywhere else. His wife, Rose, has secretly ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Pierre Lefebvre
Stars: Marthe Nadeau, J. Léo Gagnon, Marcel Sabourin
Trotta (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Stars: András Bálint, Rosemarie Fendel, Doris Kunstmann


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray ...
Miss McCraw
Helen Morse ...
Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child ...
Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ...
Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)
Frank Gunnell ...
Mr. Whitehead
Anne-Louise Lambert ...
Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
Karen Robson ...
Jane Vallis ...
Christine Schuler ...
Margaret Nelson ...
Ingrid Mason ...
Janet Murray ...


Three students and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. Widely (and incorrectly) regarded as being based on a true story, the movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rock | student | school | girl | teacher | See All (271) »


Australia's First International Hit! [Video Australia] See more »


Drama | Mystery


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El enigma en las Rocas Colgantes  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


AUD 440,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,492 (USA) (26 June 1998)


$84,744 (USA) (3 July 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1998 director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite many reports to the contrary, this movie is not necessarily based on a true story. It is in fact based on a novel of the same name, written by Joan Lindsay. Lady Lindsay never confirmed or denied that her story was based on or inspired by true events. See more »


Modern foundation garments are seen quite clearly through the girls white shirts in many places when the camera trails behind them as the move about the rock. See more »


[first lines]
Miranda: What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
See more »


String Quartet in No 1 in D Major, 2nd Movement
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

great film
11 October 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a masterpiece of psychological fiction in which we see an awful thing happen from a great distance and are only given enough clues to guess at what happened to the missing girls. Excellent cinematography and a musical score perfectly chosen both of which become Weir trademarks first appear in this film. They are clearly missing in the Cars that Ate Paris his first full length film. Though many people have offered suggestions both realistic and absurd as to what happened to the ladies, everything but Dingo attacks have been suggested, we are kept in the dark on purpose. The novel that the film was based on suggested, almost as an afterthought, that the story might be true. This claim was as much a fiction as the rest of the novel.

The site, Hanging Rock, is identified with a mythic highway man and all the things we observe happening have elements of the supernatural. The people as in many Weir films communicate the most critical ideas with out talking. A significant plot development in this film, we hear thoughts..see people moving on ward as if drawn towards their doom, but Weir never bothers us with needless Dialog..how much weaker would the plot be if we heard Miranda calling to her companions "follow me, we must reach the top." It is also critical to the developing sense of spirituality and intuitive communication we see in Gallipoli and Witness.

Finally, if we knew what happened to the girls, any speculation about the fate of those at the school would be moot. The mystery explains the accusations by the girls, parents and staff and the eventual downfall of most who worked there.

Those who do not like the film fail to see it as an Aussie Gothic film as innovative in its day as Wuthering Heights was in its.

52 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Mrs. Appleyard jctennant55-892-30458
Why Irma doesn't remember what happened? FOXCLOSE-2
This really angers people who don't get it, doesn't it? butaneggbert
How do some consider this a horror movie??? Fellini_Fiend87
Other eerie, haunting, patient, atmospheric films like this one? StrawDogBreeder
Could 'The Secret of Hanging Rock' Be Filmed? Should it be? ConDeuce
Discuss Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: