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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)
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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 ... 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:

It's too hot to stay home. 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

The house where Rosalind Russell lived with Kim Novak's family was located in Nickerson, Kansas, and was actually across the street from Reno Community High, where Russell's character taught school. Location shooting wrapped in nearby Sterling, Kansas, where the lake and bathhouse scenes were filmed. The movie's Labour Day festivities called for Sterling Lake to be filled with rowboats, which were in short supply since boating wasn't normally allowed. To make up the shortage, anyone who supplied a rowboat stood a good chance of being a movie extra. Sterling was also where William Holden hopped the Missouri Pacific freight train that was then tracked by cinematographer Haskell Wexler in a memorable closing aerial shot. See more »

Goofs

Millie is reading Carson McCullers' "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," a very thick book she carries around during the early scenes of the movie. In reality, that literary work is a very slim novella that is considerably less than 100 pages long See more »

Quotes

Rosemary Sidney: [Giddily to her schoolteacher friends just prior to eloping] So long, girls! You know what you can tell the principal for me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Randolph Churchill & Kim Novak (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Moonglow and Rosalind Russell
4 February 2005 | by don_aguSee all my reviews

William Inge had his finger on the pulse of small town America. He wasn't checking the heartbeats of its inhabitants but his own. I've just said that as if I knew all about it and I don't, but I sense it. I mean, "Splendor In The Grass", "The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs", "Come Back Little Sheeba" That's all the evidence we need to know that he was a male writer with a woman's heart. "Picnic" epitomises that theory. Director Joshua Logan and writer Daniel Taradash trusted Inge's world without questioning it. Everything flows with the irrational sanity of a woman's heart. William Holden was a bit too old for the part but who cares! He is William Holden, capable to provoke passions of Mediterranean intensity at any age. He seems a bit self conscious at times and that helps the character's foibles no end. Kim Novak is breathtaking. Susan Strasberg milks her tomboy with a longing for all its worth. Betty Field, Daisy Buchanan in the original "Great Gatsby", gives a masterful performance without uttering a word that may reveal what she's actually feeling, until the end of course. That scene in which she tries to stop her daughter from going away, is as much Field's as it is Inge's. Rosalind Russell didn't get the Oscar for her superb, time bomb disguised in a school teacher's dress, performance. Her craving for sex and romance and sex and marriage and sex is as bold as anything she had ever done and Rosalind Russell new how to be bold from "His Girl Friday" to "Auntie Mame". The Moonglow sequence has become a classic moment in pictures. Deservedly so. I would suggest, if you haven't done it yet, take a trip through William Inge's territory. Familiar faces, familiar landscapes, familiar feelings, all completely new.


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