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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 22,329 users  
Reviews: 193 user | 121 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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(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

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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
Edit

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

According to the park ranger of Hanging Rock over the years since the films making nearly all of the cast have returned to visit The Rock at one point or another. See more »

Goofs

As the drag pulls out of Woodend, power poles are seen to the left of the screen, also, a television antenna is also seen on the roof of a house in the same scene. 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 The Virgin Suicides (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Eerie, beautiful "romance porn".
6 February 2000 | by (New Yawk City) – See all my reviews

I first saw PAHR while in high school, and it was the beginning of a long and drawn-out love affair with the film. The look, feel and sound of it drew me in at once, and the open-endedness of it appealed to my romantic teenage notions, striking me as being terribly, terribly profound. I searched out the book, and the sequel (both out of print in the US) and had a good long obsession over the film.

Years later, I still appreciate it deeply, but I realize now that if I were to see it for the first time today, I might not be quite so entranced. Yes, it is moody and beautiful, full of deliciously gossamar images, beautiful actresses, a haunting soundtrack, and a hypnotically slow and deliberate pace... but I can now see that it is a very youthful effort on Wier's part. It is decidedly a young director's film, firmly mired in the style of its era (the 70s). The heavy-handedness of the direction is evident in many ways, mostly in the repeated metaphors of Miranda as a swan, an angel, etc.... It has anachronistic costumes, makeup and hair, although the sets design is attractive and accurate enough.

However, let it be noted that the film is far more about symbolism and atmosphere than anything else, and on that front, it succeeds admirably. Among the highlights:

The repressed Victorian schoolgirls, whose burgeoning sexual longings are channeled into torrid, purple verse and close romantic friendships

The famous corset-lacing scenelet

The implied relationship between Mrs. Appleyard and the "masculine" Miss McCraw

The disappearance of only the "pure": Miranda (love), Marion (science), Miss McCraw (math), and the rock's rejecting Edith (gluttony), Irma (worldliness), and all men.

One might go on about the sexual imagery of the rock itself, with its monoliths and chasms, but I will refrain. Because after you've seen the movie, you realize how many times these things have been hammered into your head.

I still love this film dearly, despite the obviousness of it all. I wish that a soundtrack were available, as the original music is lovely. If you know a teenager, or are one, this is the movie for you. May your love affair with it go on as long as mine.


78 of 99 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
There is no missing chapter that explains what happened but I will GoldEagle
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
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