Picnic (1955)Closed Captioning
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Feeling the urge to settle down, drifter Hal Carter (William Holden) heads for a small Kansas town hoping to land a job with the help of his wealthy college roommate, Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson). At the town's Labor Day picnic, Hal seduces the local beauty queen and Alan's girlfriend, Madge Owens (Kim Novak), while ignoring his own "date," Madge's younger sister Millie (Susan Strasberg). Taken to task by a frustrated schoolteacher (Rosalind Russell), Hal disappears into the night followed by Madge. And when he asks Madge to join him in Tulsa where he thinks he can find work, filled with her own memories of the picnic, she ignores her mother's wishes and follows her heart.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 7
- Fresh: 4
- Rotten: 3
- Average Rating: 6.7/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Clunky and awkward, with inane dialogue, it's a movie to show how attitudes have changed.
Proof that Ebert Has Lost It, as if I Needed Any
Picnic is one of the great uniquely American movies. Hal Carter (William Holden) is a thirtysomething drifter who hops a freight to a small Kansas town, where he hopres to get work from a wealthy friend from his college days. Though he has never achieved anything since the days of his college football career, he is full of bluster that barely disquises the desperation within. There he meets Madge (Kim Novak), the most beautiful girl in town, who is, unfortunately, only appreciated for being beautiful. Somehow these two lonely people find something special within each other when Hal is invited to accompany Madge's family to the town's annual Labor Day Picnic. We can feel their attraction in what is probably the sexiest dance sequence in filmdom. Unfortunately, Madge is being courted by Hal's old college friend, whom Madege's mother , left by her own husband,wants her to marry while she is still young and beautiful.
Rosalind Russell has a wonderful supporting role as a no-longer-young schoolteacher who is facing the possibility of being alone for the rest of her life.
This film is wonderful. Forget Ebert.
The original Jerry Maguire..."You complete me"... only set in Hollywoods' black and white' days...This was taboo stuff then . If I remember, Peyton Place came after this one... But of course it's tame (Ta.maTOe) now compared to some of the real "exposures " out there .
I'm 29 and this movie is our family's labor day tradition since it was on the silver screen! every year after our own picnic we watch picnic!
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 1956
- © 1955, renewed 1983 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.