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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

PG  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  2 February 1979 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 23,362 users  
Reviews: 194 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.

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Title: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) on IMDb 7.6/10

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

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Cast

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)
...
Minnie
Frank Gunnell ...
Mr. Whitehead
Anne-Louise Lambert ...
Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
Karen Robson ...
Irma
Jane Vallis ...
Marion
Christine Schuler ...
Margaret Nelson ...
Sara
Ingrid Mason ...
Rosamund
...
Blanche
Janet Murray ...
Juliana
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

A recollection of evil See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El enigma en las Rocas Colgantes  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 440,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$84,744 (USA) (3 July 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1998 director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Ingram, a fourteen-year-old filmmaker first got permission from Joan Lindsay to adapt her book to film as 'The Day of Saint Valentine'. Ingram had filmed only ten minutes of footage before the film rights were optioned to 'Peter Weir', and Ingram's production was permanently shelved. The filmed footage is included on some DVD releases of Weir's film. See more »

Goofs

14 February 1900 was a Wednesday, not a Saturday. While this seems to be a factual error, it is one of the subtle hints that this is a fictional story. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Half Past Midnight (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Doina Lui Petru Unc
Written by Gheorghe Zamfir
Performed by Gheorghe Zamfir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Death and the Maidens
8 May 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Even though this has been described as a film about sexual repression (and Peter Weir may have thought he was making such a film), I don't think it is--rather, it is a celebration of the dreamy, self contained sexuality (or rather pre-sexuality) of young adolescent girls just before they seriously turn their attention to men. Sure, they may be living in a society straitjacketed by Victorian mores, but the girls really don't seem to be the unhappier for this, non withstanding the earthy maid's comments that she feels sorry for them. Miranda and her friends seem completely content and at ease in their languid, hothousey world of poetry, pink and white bedrooms, and mutual crushes (I was reminded of the similarly dreamy, self contained little universe of the sisters in "The Virgin Suicides--another film that is supposedly about repression). During the noon day nap at Hanging Rock, the girls, heads resting in one another's laps, are in a state very much resembling post coital bliss--far from seeming repressed, they are among the most content women I've ever seen on screen. It is quite arguable that Victorian morality had something to do with their sexuality turning inward like this, but all this does is lend credence to the truism that repression intensifies sexuality--which may explain the lingering fascination the Victorian era has for the modern age, and why one of its most striking symbols of its oppressiveness--the corset--is also very erotically charged. The girls' disappearance into the eerie black land form (that seems to have faces at times, bringing to mind fairy tales about trolls who steal golden haired children) suggests that at in their present state they are so contented that anything else life might hold for them could only be a letdown, that only whatever dark force (death? nothingness?) is haunting Hanging Rock could possibly be a worthy enough lover for these girls who are already so supremely self fulfilled.

There are, unfortunately, aspects of this film that don't work, or rather jar with the elements discussed above, the most prominent of these being the Dickensian subplot of the persecuted orphaned pupil Sarah. The actress herself is affecting in her part and her boyish beauty contrasts well with Miranda's ethereal femininity (she looks like a young Renaissance prince at times), but her story really belongs in another movie because at heart "Picnic at Hanging Rock" is more Gothic than socially conscious.

Maybe Weir really was aiming to make a movie about the evils of sexual repression, class inequality or even colonization, but such possible themes are blown away by the languid, ethereal images of the young adolescent girls at the beginning of the film, floating contentedly through their hours like clusters of Monet lilies.


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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
Could 'The Secret of Hanging Rock' Be Filmed? Should it be? ConDeuce
Other eerie, haunting, patient, atmospheric films like this one? StrawDogBreeder
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