7.6/10
26,605
202 user 138 critic

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

During a rural summer 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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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
...
Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child ...
Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ...
Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)
...
Minnie
Frank Gunnell ...
Mr. Whitehead
...
Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
...
Irma
...
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 (272) »

Taglines:

On St. Valentine's Day in 1900 a party of schoolgirls set out to picnic at Hanging Rock. ...Some were never to return. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real-life mimicked art when filming the scene at the creek, as Christine Schuler lost her footing on the stones and fell into the creek, hitting her head. See more »

Goofs

Although accurately following the book (and a good indication that this is indeed a fictional story), to make the days & dates actually match up you need to either move to 1903 or 1874, as those are the closest years that had Feb 14 on a Saturday (and March 27 on a Friday) 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 Chase Australia: Episode #2.97 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No 5 in E Flat Major (Emperor Concerto), 2nd Movement
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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.


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