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Picnic (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 16 February 1956 (USA)
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Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.

Director:

Joshua Logan

Writers:

Daniel Taradash (screenplay), William Inge (play)
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
William Holden ... Hal Carter
Kim Novak ... Madge Owens
Betty Field ... Flo Owens
Susan Strasberg ... Millie Owens
Cliff Robertson ... Alan Benson
Arthur O'Connell ... Howard Bevans
Verna Felton ... Helen Potts
Reta Shaw ... Irma Kronkite
Nick Adams ... Bomber
Raymond Bailey ... Mr. Benson
Elizabeth Wilson ... Christine Schoenwalder (as Elizabeth W. Wilson)
Rosalind Russell ... Miss Rosemary Sydney
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Storyline

The morning of a small town Labor Day picnic, a drifter (Hal Carter) blows into town to visit an old fraternity buddy (Alan Benson) who also happens to be the son of the richest man in town. Hal is an egocentric braggart - all potential and no accomplishment. He meets up with Madge Owens, the town beauty queen and girlfriend of Alan Benson. Written by Erik L. Ellis <ele@eece.unm.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Electrically attracted to each other...Overwhelmingly engulfed by it...Guiltily in love! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Picknick See more »

Filming Locations:

Halstead, Kansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden was so nervous about having to dance in the Moonglow scene that Joshua Logan took him to Kansas roadhouses to practice his dance steps, along with choreographer Miriam Nelson. When the scene came to be shot, Holden, an alcoholic, was drunk to calm his nerves. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the film when Hal hops a freight train to Tulsa, he jumps onto a boxcar that has its door shut. He climbs the ladder and stands on top to wave to Madge. In this long shot the boxcar door is now open. See more »

Quotes

Flo Owens: If she loses her chance when she's young, she might as well throw all her prettiness away.
Madge Owens: I'm only 19.
Flo Owens: And next summer you'll be 20, and then 21, and then 40.
Madge Owens: You don't have to be morbid.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Better Days Ahead (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Gloaming
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Meta Orred
Music by Annie Fortescue Harrison
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Small Town America According To William Inge
11 November 2007 | by janiceferreroSee all my reviews

There is so much to enjoy in this American melodrama with a deliciously miscast William Holden and a gelid, beautiful Kim Novak that the film can be seen again and again without being disturbed by the 40 year old Holden playing the drop out stallion trying to make amends with his past forging a sort of future for himself, at least that's what I think he wants and I'm sticking with that notion. Holden plays the loser with his shiny boots and smallish brain and that's what reminds us this is just a romantic drama thought by William Inge with a patina of reality and that's all that is real, the patina. I didn't care that emotionally couldn't play because emotionally worked for me thanks to the sexual power of the miscast star. William Holden is a sort of God who awakes the (seemingly) heavily sedated Novak into a towering passion. I would have too. The supporting cast is sensational. Rosalind Russell is a jarring masterpiece of an over the top clichè. The old maid, school teacher with a taste for alcohol and an understandable terror of her own future, overtaking her at an incredible speed. Susan Strasberg, in the part created by Kim Stanley on the Broadway stage is delightful but made me wonder what Kim Stanley may have done with that part. Betty Field is the one character that expresses the most saying the least. She, as per usual, is outstanding. All in all, a film/play that shouldn't be dismissed.


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