Picnic (1956) Poster



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  • Picnic is based on a play by American playwright William Inge. The play was adapted for the screen by American screenwriter Daniel Taradash. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The story told in Picnic takes place in a small town in Kansas. To heighten that feeling of small-town Americana, the movie was actually shot in various small towns in central Kansas. For example, the train in the opening scene arrives in Salina, Kansas. Scenes at the Owens' and Potts' houses were shot in Nickerson, Kansas. The Bensons' mansion is also located in Salina and their grain elevators in Hutchinson, Kansas. The lake where Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson), Hal Carter (William Holden), Madge Owens (Kim Novak), and Madge's little sister Millie (Susan Strasberg) go swimming is in Sterling, Kansas. The Labor Day picnic scenes were shot at Riverside Park in Halstead, Kansas. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Millie was reading The Ballad of Sad Cafe, written by Carson McCullers and published in 1951. It's a real book. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Hal returns Alan's car, but Alan is so upset over Hal and Madge going home from the picnic together that he has telephoned the police and accused Hal of stealing his car. The police attempt to take Hal to jail for the night, but Hal will have nothing to do with being caged up and runs away. With nowhere to stay and the police after him, Hal goes to Howard Bevan (Arthur O'Connell)'s apartment and asks to spend the night there. While the two of them drink together and talk about their women problems, Madge cries herself to sleep. The next morning, Howard stops by the Owens' house to tell Rosemary (Rosalind Russell) that he wants to wait to get married, but she is so excited by his presence that, before Howard realizes it, he's on his way to the Ozarks. Before he leaves, Howard tells Madge that Hal is with him and that Hal refused to leave town until he could see her again. Hal and Madge meet outside a shed in the backyard, and Hal tries to convince Madge to come with him to Tulsa where he'll get a job and marry her, but Madge refuses. Hal hops a passing train, all the while shouting to Madge, "You love me!" Madge returns to her bedroom, where Millie tells her to follow Hal and do "something right for once." Although her mother (Betty Field) tries to stop her (Mom wants Madge to marry Alan), Madge packs her bags. With Mrs Potts (Verna Felton)'s blessing, Madge catches the bus to Tulsa. In the final scene, both the train and the bus are shown leaving town and heading for Tulsa. Edit (Coming Soon)


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