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 (screen play by), William Inge (based upon play "Picnic" by)
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 12 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 ... Rosemary, the School Teacher
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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:

It's too hot to stay home. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden had to shave his chest for this role, so that he appeared much younger than his true 37 years. Cliff Robertson, although not as hirsute as Holden, also got buffed for one reason or another. See more »

Goofs

This is not really a goof. At the time of the film (1955) in the fictitious town of Salinson (a mix of the city names of Salina and Hutchinson, both filming locales), both the Salina Journal and the Hutchinson News were afternoon papers, producing a first edition shortly after noon and a home delivery edition after 3 pm. The Salina Journal did not become a morning paper until the 1970s (I was a Journal staffer 1969-1995). 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.
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Soundtracks

It's a Blue World
(uncredited)
Written by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest
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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Picnic 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

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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