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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 & 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:

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

Holden predated the "Manscaping" fad by at least 60 years: He famously shaved his chest for "Picnic." (Two years later, he shaved again for "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Several years earlier, however, in "Sunset Blvd.," he showed off a torso with a full mane of hair.) See more »

Goofs

Millie's hair is wet and braided after swimming, but later in the same scene her hair is dry and braided. See more »

Quotes

Hal Carter: What's the use, Baby? I'm a bum. She saw through me like an x-ray machine. There's no place in the world for a guy like me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #7.3 (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

Excellent Flawed Flick to Love.
17 August 2004 | by eddyskivaSee all my reviews

Very Good movie, despite the flaws. A must for anyone into American mid-century drama. Beautifully filmed and written. Some excellent performances. The Good: Rosalind Russell, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Susan Strasberg. The adequate: Kim Novak and Cliff Robertson. The not too great: William Holden. I'm not bothered by Novak's performance, she was often only as good as her director, and Joshua Logan was an entirely stagebound stylist. Holden on the other hand, is entirely miscast. Way too old for the character by at least 10 years. This is a meaty, sweaty, rebellious part suited to a young Paul Newman or James Dean, not a late '30's, already craggy faced William Holden (he was ideally suited for his Bridge on the River Kwai role). The reading of his lines is artificial and contrived, the pacing atrocious. It's really Logan's fault though. In every one of his films, characters, especially the supporting ones, end up performing like cartoon characters... (Betty Field in Bus Stop, Everyone in South Pacific and Fanny)... and in Picnic, Logan lets almost everyone go over the top with this kind of mannered, ill-paced stuff. However, I love this flick too... the story conquers the flaws, and it consistently pulls me in. Rosalind Russell (though she's allowed to go over the top too) and Arthur O'Connell have remarkable scenes together. Good Movie!


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