IMDb > Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Picnic at Hanging Rock
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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Picnic at Hanging Rock -- A story about the disappearance of several Appleyard College students, and a teacher, from Hanging Rock.

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   20,187 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Joan Lindsay (novel)
Cliff Green (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Picnic at Hanging Rock on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 February 1979 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Australia's First International Hit! [Video Australia] See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(141 articles)
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 (From Indiewire. 16 April 2014, 8:46 AM, PDT)

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 (From IF.com.au. 10 April 2014, 2:58 PM, PDT)

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 (From Den of Geek. 1 April 2014, 11:04 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A beautifully enchanting and haunting film See more (190 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray ... Miss McCraw
Helen Morse ... Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child ... Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ... Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)

Jacki Weaver ... Minnie
Frank Gunnell ... Mr. Whitehead
Anne-Louise Lambert ... Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
Karen Robson ... Irma
Jane Vallis ... Marion
Christine Schuler ... Edith
Margaret Nelson ... Sara
Ingrid Mason ... Rosamund

Jenny Lovell ... Blanche
Janet Murray ... Juliana
Vivienne Graves ... Pupil
Angela Bencini ... Pupil
Melinda Cardwell ... Pupil
Annabel Powrie ... Pupil
Amanda White ... Pupil
Lindy O'Connell ... Pupil
Verity Smith ... Pupil
Deborah Mullins ... Pupil
Sue Jamieson ... Pupil
Bernadette Bencini ... Pupil
Barbara Lloyd ... Pupil
Wyn Roberts ... Sgt. Bumpher
Kay Taylor ... Mrs. Bumpher
Garry McDonald ... Const. Jones
Martin Vaughan ... Ben Hussey
John Fegan ... Doc. McKenzie (as Jack Fegan)
Peter Collingwood ... Col. Fitzhubert
Olga Dickie ... Mrs. Fitzhubert

Dominic Guard ... Michael Fitzhubert

John Jarratt ... Albert Crundall (as John Jarrett)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Faith Kleinig ... Cook (uncredited)
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Directed by
Peter Weir 
 
Writing credits
Joan Lindsay (novel)

Cliff Green (screenplay)

Produced by
A. John Graves .... executive producer: South Australian Film Corporation (as John Graves)
Patricia Lovell .... executive producer
Hal McElroy .... producer
Jim McElroy .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Russell Boyd (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Max Lemon 
 
Art Direction by
David Copping 
 
Costume Design by
Judith Dorsman  (as Judy Dorsman)
 
Makeup Department
Elizabeth Mitchie .... makeup artist
José Luis Pérez .... makeup supervisor (as Jose Perez)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kim Dalton .... second assistant director
Mark Egerton .... first assistant director
Ian Jamieson .... third assistant director
 
Art Department
Neil Angwin .... assistant to art department
Mont Fieguth .... property master (as Monte Fieguth)
Mont Fieguth .... stand-by property (as Monte Fieguth)
Bill Howe .... construction manager
Martin Sharp .... artistic advisor to director
Graham 'Grace' Walker .... property buyer (as Graham Walker)
Graham 'Grace' Walker .... set dresser (as Graham Walker)
Christopher Webster .... assistant to art director
 
Sound Department
Sherry Bell .... assistant dubbing editor
Greg Bell .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
Don Connolly .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Joe Spinelli .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
David Kynoch .... still photographer
Geoffrey Simpson .... electrician
Tony Tegg .... gaffer
Trevor Toune .... best boy
Geordie Dryden .... key grip (uncredited)
David Foreman .... clapper loader (uncredited)
David Sanderson .... photographer: nature (uncredited)
John Seale .... camera operator (uncredited)
Phil Warner .... assistant grip (uncredited)
David Williamson .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mandy Smith .... wardrobe assistant
Wendy Stites .... associate costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Cardin .... negative matcher
Andre Fleuren .... assistant film editor
Dee McClelland .... colorist: digitally restored version
 
Music Department
Bruce Smeaton .... composer: additional original music
Gheorghe Zamfir .... musician: pan flute
 
Other crew
Gilda Baracchi .... continuity
Tom Downer .... wrangler
Steve Knapman .... production assistant
Joan McIntosh .... accountant
Pom Oliver .... production secretary
Gordon Rayner .... assistant wrangler
Phil Smythe .... accountant: SAFC
Sidney L. Stebel .... script consultant (as Sidney Stebel)
Jill Wishart .... production secretary: SAFC
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
115 min | Australia:107 min (1998 director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Despite taking place in the state of Victoria, most of the film was actually shot in South Australia.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Peter Weir Industry Seminar 1989 (1989) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Doina: Sus Pe Culmea DealuluiSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the Director's Cut and the Theatrical Version?
What possibly did actually happened to the missing girls?
Is this a true story?
See more »
40 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
A beautifully enchanting and haunting film, 7 September 2001
Author: Filmtribute from United Kingdom

Although the images have stayed with me since I first saw Picnic at Hanging Rock some 20 years ago, the power to instil a strange sense of loss remains. The revised director's version released in 1998 unusually cuts seven minutes from the original as, according to Pat Lovell (executive producer), Peter Weir wanted to remove any pretty romances and speed up the final act. The sound quality has been enhanced and the look improved through colour regrading, but sadly a couple of key scenes involving Irma (Karen Robson) have been omitted. We are told at the outset that some of those who start out for the St Valentine's Day picnic in 1900 are never to return, and, even though various clues are shared with us, no attempt is made to solve the puzzle. Miranda (Anne Louise Lambert), who provides a voice over, based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, sets the tone at the beginning with, `What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream', and the film goes on to concern itself with the aftermath of the disappearance and the impact on all involved with those missing. It explores an apparently idyllic way of life that is not what it first seems, how this false paradise is fragile and how it is shattered by the breakdown of established order. Tensions and hysteria all surface, exposing the suppressed passions that are the reality of life, as well as the claustrophobic atmosphere of the affluent Victorian European life style in an alien land. This theme is further expressed by the virginal white dresses worn for the picnic, which seem out of place in this environment and represent the stifling restrictions placed on the young women. The layers of dress and petticoats the girls have to wear, combined with the various shots into mirrors, as if into another dimension, also reflect the story's many strands.

Russell Boyd's award winning cinematography is stunning and actively encourages you to feel the summer heat. The beauty of the actresses and the sounds of the Australian bush, under the sinisterly foreboding gaze of the Rock, with its blatant phallic symbolism, seduce you so that you will more feel a sense of the horror, as Edith (Christine Schuler) does. The flashback at the end, poignantly coupled with the adagio from Beethoven's piano concerto No. 5 (Emperor), leaves you with a sense of loss of youth and virtue. Peter Weir subsequently recreated this impression in the final scene of his equally outstanding Australian feature `Gallipoli'. I am also reminded of the effect produced by Jane Campion (The Piano) in her early work `Two Friends', where the tale ends in the past when the friendship is at its closest, making the passing of innocence feel more painful with ageing and the passage of time.

Cliff Green's script is not only faithful to Joan Lindsay's narrative but also complements it exceedingly well, although dialogue is often replaced by visual impression and unnecessary details are excluded to maintain the sense of mystery the author intended. However, the novel's literary mistake regarding Felicia Hemanes' famous Victorian recital piece is repeated, which is actually `Casabianca' (about the Battle of the Nile) and not `The Wreck of the Hesperus' by Henry Longfellow. Discrimination is displayed by Mrs Appleyard (Rachel Robert's fantastically monstrous harridan) towards Sara (Margaret Nelson), a forlorn orphan in love with Miranda, who is kept back from the picnic for not learning the poem, whereas Irma's position as heiress obviously carries influence, as clearly on the Rock she can only quote the first line. Sara is shown pity by the housemaid, Minnie (Jacki Weaver), whose own sexuality is realised with the handyman, Tom (Tony Llewellyn-Jones), in stark contrast to the general ambience of repressed desire.

Miranda's sentiment that `Everything begins and ends at exactly the right time and place' is demonstrated by Joan Lindsay who based her fictional account on Hanging Rock, a sacred Aboriginal site, near Mount Macedon in Victoria. To provide added authenticity Peter Weir filmed at the Rock during the same six weeks of summer. Aborigines believe time is not linear and Lady Lindsay eschewed the notion of man-made time, hence the title of her autobiography `Time Without Clocks'. At Hanging Rock both the watches of Ben Hussey (Martin Vaughan) and Greta McCraw (Vivean Gray) stopped at twelve o'clock. Incidentally 14 February 1900 actually fell on a Wednesday, not a Saturday, unless the author used the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian, so that the eleven days were not lost?

The open-ended nature of the fable is deliberate to mirror life where we may learn or uncover some secrets but never understand the mystery. Plenty of extraneous facts and unexplained details are related, such as the absence of scratches to Irma's bare feet, yet identical injuries appear on her head and Michael's (Dominic Guard), her joint rescuer with Albert (John Jarrett), very redolent of the `X Files'.

The film is beautifully shot with haunting music, exceptionally well cast and acted, and tightly directed. The ever excellent Helen Morse is an inspired choice as Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, the French mistress and the girls' confidante, who describes Miranda as a Botticelli angel from the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, and Peter Weir specifically uses the image of the Birth of Venus. In fact Miranda, Irma and Marion (Jane Vallis), the three senior boarders who vanish, are evocative of the Three Graces, who dance in attendance to Venus, in Sandro Botticelli's Primavera. Anne Louise Lambert's portrayal of Miranda (an ironic reincarnation from her famed role in 1973 as the bed-hopping nymphomaniac in the Australian soap `Number 96') captures the vision perfectly with her ethereal loveliness and enigmatic smile, and is reminiscent of the knowing look on the death mask of the renowned `L'Inconnue de la Seine', who coincidentally died around 1900 in Paris.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is a masterpiece of its time, and still rates as one of my favourite films today.

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This really angers people who don't get it, doesn't it? butaneggbert
Other eerie, haunting, patient, atmospheric films like this one? StrawDogBreeder
Uncanny asktheages
There is no missing chapter that explains what happened but I will GoldEagle
Name 'coincidence'? (SPOILERS) yurrit-avonds
Interpretations lombano
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