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Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

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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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Popularity
2,117 ( 775)

Memorable Reboots and Remakes

Get ready for "Picnic at Hanging Rock" starring Natalie Dormer with a look back at some classic movies and TV shows that have been rebooted and remade over the years.

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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
... Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)
... Minnie
Frank Gunnell ... Mr. Whitehead
... Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
... Irma
... Marion
... Edith
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 (276) »

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:

Picnic at Hanging Rock  »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 440,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,492, 28 June 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$232,201

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,953,633
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1998 director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In casting the pupils of Appleyard College, director Peter Weir ended up searching for unknown girls from outside the cities, looking for the right "innocent faces" to fit the film. However, that meant that apart from Anne-Louise Lambert, none of the other girls had any acting experience, and their amateur performances meant Weir had to cut out much of the dialog. See more »

Goofs

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.
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Connections

References L'Avventura (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Eerie, beautiful "romance porn".
6 February 2000 | by 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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