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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

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



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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)
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 (267) »


A recollection of evil 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  »

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?


Anne-Louise Lambert was originally passed over the role of Miranda in favor of another actress. But a week later, a call from director Peter Weir said that "the other girl was too big" and the part was given to Lambert. See more »


The movie takes place in February 1900, 11 months before the Australian colonies federated and 11 years before the creation of the Australian Capital Territory within New South Wales. When Mrs Appleyard addresses the gathered pupils to communicate the merciful deliverance of their classmate Irma, the NSW map behind nearby Miss Lumley clearly shows the existence of the ACT (defined in red). See more »


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


Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #1.68 (2015) See more »


Prelude No 1 in C Major
from The Well-Tempered Clavier
by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a detective story
2 June 2004 | by (Mazury Lakes, Poland) – See all my reviews

I have experienced it several times that people tend to expect "Picnic at Hanging Rock" to unfold like a detective story, while it is not one, in any respect. This movie belongs to another type, to the mystery genre, and possibly stands as the finest example of a film of this kind. The main purpose of such films is to contemplate The Unknown and Peter Weir copes with that excellently. What counts most here is the atmosphere, and the focus is more on hidden emotions than on the pacing (some say that the problem with "Picnic" is that it's boring - i don't think so but I guess it depends much on your sensitivity and approach). Most fascinating thing here is possibly the way the Rock is depicted - it appears as self-conscious entity, alive in a sense which is beyond Western logic. This, I think, is the key aspect of the story, because what it really is about is the conflict between the Culture and the Nature. And don't let this put you off as 'too philosophical'. Picnic at Hanging Rock, while not being a crime story, can be involving as one

  • if you help this to happen, of course. If you do, you might have a

lot to think about when the credits start to roll. It can happen, though, that you will be dying to see them roll - there are no movies that appeal to all of us. Then, at least, you could enjoy the set design, photography and ancient beauty of wild Australia.

Give it a try. It's worth it. 8/10

62 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Mrs. Appleyard jctennant55-892-30458
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Clear metaphor of discovering male/female sexuality Clayman82
Homoeroticism liamstepho
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