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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:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Joan Lindsay (novel), Cliff Green (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,373 ( 997)

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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:
Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray Vivean Gray ... Miss McCraw
Helen Morse ... Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child Kirsty Child ... Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ... Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)
Jacki Weaver ... Minnie
Frank Gunnell Frank Gunnell ... Mr. Whitehead
Anne-Louise Lambert ... Miranda (as Anne Lambert)
Karen Robson ... Irma
Jane Vallis ... Marion
Christine Schuler ... Edith
Margaret Nelson Margaret Nelson ... Sara
Ingrid Mason Ingrid Mason ... Rosamund
Jenny Lovell ... Blanche
Janet Murray 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. The movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them. Even though both the movie and the book it was based on claim to be inspired by real events, the story is completely fictional. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A recollection of evil See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

2 February 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Picnic at Hanging Rock See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1998 director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Ingram, a fourteen-year-old filmmaker first got permission from Joan Lindsay to adapt her book to film as 'The Day of Saint Valentine'. Ingram had filmed only ten minutes of footage before the film rights were optioned to 'Peter Weir', and Ingram's production was permanently shelved. The filmed footage is included on some DVD releases of Weir's film. See more »

Goofs

Modern foundation garments are seen quite clearly through the girls white shirts in many places when the camera trails behind them as the move about the rock. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Miranda: What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut released in 1998 (available on Criterion DVD) is seven minutes shorter than the original version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Peter Weir Industry Seminar 1989 (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

String Quartet in No 1 in D Major, 2nd Movement
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
This picnic tastes great but is unfulfilling.
26 July 2001 | by tommythekSee all my reviews

Confession: I don't know WHAT I think of this movie! Not only that, I had to go to IMDb's user comments to find a person or persons to TELL ME what I think of this movie. None did. I read all 45 of the user comments (reviews) and I STILL don't know what I think of this movie. That's how enigmatic this movie is. To me, anyway.

I did learn one thing, however, from reading these 45 preceding user reviews. A very great many of these user-reviewers are some of the keenest and most astute moviegoers whom I've ever encountered. They know things about this movie and have picked up things from it which are completely over my non-perceptive head.

Example: One user-reviewer, an English gentleman, I believe, obviously did his doctoral thesis on this movie. He knows things about it that even Peter Weir (the director) doesn't know. A number of others did their masters on it. Many of the latter refer to Miranda (Anne-Louise Lambert), one of the girls who disappeared, in terms of her being a sort of virginal Botticelli-like angel. While I do agree that Miranda is a most ethereal character, whenever she would appear in a scene, "Botticelli" was not the first word to jump into my mind. But that's just me.

Much is made by many of these perceptive and sharp user-reviewers of the girls' awakening feelings of sexuality and of the phallic symbolism of Hanging Rock to the girl climbers. Oh. I was just wondering: Where'd the girls go? What happened to them?

One of the many puzzling aspects to the story of this movie, one on which no one seems to agree, is.....is it true? At first I thought it was. Then I thought it wasn't. Now, I have no idea! And the user-reviewers are of no help on this, politely at odds amongst themselves on the story's veracity. I'd like to believe that the movie and novel which preceded it are based on a true incident. No, not because I would wish anything bad to have happened to these adventurous, yet innocent, young girls some 101 years ago. I wish it were true only because it would be but one more "event" to add to the great mystery that we know as life. A mystery, a question, to which no one has the answer.

Listen to me! I sound like I know what I'm talking about. Which I don't! Especially about this movie. In the final analysis, this movie left me generally unfulfilled. There is much in it that is worthy of praise, first and foremost the moviemaking skills of Peter Weir. But when credits rolled, something was missing. I felt as if I'd just eaten a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, having enjoyed every single bite, then, upon arising from the table, felt my stomach completely empty. A feeling stranger than strange.

Anyone viewing this film for the first time must be prepared for a movie in which all the various and loose plot ends do NOT get all tied up by the film's denouement. If one is so prepared, one may come away from it more fulfilled than was I. "Tastes great," unfortunately, was as far as I could get with it.

One sad note: At the movie's conclusion, Mrs. Appleyard (Rachel Roberts) arrived at a fate not much unlike one arrived at by Ms. Roberts herself just five short years after the movie's release. Just as art often imitates life, so, too, in this case, did life imitate art.


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