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Picnic At Hanging Rock - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray] [1975]

Peter Weir    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: 8.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Second Sight Films
  • DVD Release Date: 26 July 2010
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003M91TME
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,790 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Situated somewhere between supernatural horror and lush Victorian melodrama, director Peter Weir's lyrical, enigmatic masterpiece is an imaginative tease. The setting is a proper turn-of-the century Australian boarding school for girls, a suffocating institution built on strict moral codes, repressed sexuality, and a subtle but enforced class structure. As the film opens, girls draped in immaculate white dress prepare for a picnic at the nearby volcanic formation, Hanging Rock, and Weir hangs an air of dark foreboding over the proceeding. "You'll have to love someone else, because I won't be here very long," says one virginal girl, Miranda, to her friend. Her words are prophetic: during the picnic, Miranda, along with two other girls and an uptight schoolmistress, vanish into the rocks. While a search party repeatedly returns to the rock to look for either the girls or the reasons for their disappearance, Weir leaves the mystery unsolved. Like Antonioni's L'Avventura, the vanishing is open to numerous interpretations--both rational and illusory--but Weir drops enough allegorical clues that it feels like a parable. He transforms the landscape and weather into menacing and eerie images; outlines of faces can be seen in the rocks, while the oppressive heat beating down on the picnic doubles as an atmospheric metaphor for the girls' unbearable social and sexual confinement. These images and other plot twists toward the end hint that this mysterious vanishing, on some level, was actually a form of spiritual escape--the only out, other than death, from the film's bleak, tightly structured community. Regardless of how you see it, though, this hypnotic puzzle remains the highlight of the '70s Australian New Wave. --Dave McCoy

Product Description

United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Dolby Linear PCM ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Deleted Scenes, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, Remastered, Scene Access, Uncut, SYNOPSIS: Peter Weir's haunting and evocative mystery is set in the Australia of 1900, a mystical place where the British have attempted to impose their Christian culture with such tweedy refinements as a girls' boarding school. After gauzily-photographed, nicely underplayed scenes of the girls' budding sexuality being restrained in Victorian corsets, the uptight headmistress (Rachel Roberts) takes them on a Valentine's Day picnic into the countryside, and several of the girls, led by the lovely Miranda (Anne Lambert) decide to explore a nearby volcanic rock formation. It's a desolate, primitive, vaguely menacing place, where one can almost feel the presence of ancient pagan spirits. Something -- and there is an unspoken but palpable emphasis on the inherent carnality of the place -- draws four of the girls to explore the rock. Three never return. No one ever finds out why. The repercussions for the school are tragic, and of course Roberts reacts with near-crazed anger, but what really happened? Weir gives enough clues to suggest any number of explanations, both physical and supernatural. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) (Blu-Ray)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dream Within A Dream Film For Movie Buffs 28 Oct 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Originally released in 1975, this classic film has finally been restored as a Directors Cut. This 3 Disc set is an absolute delight for movie buffs everywhere.

Both versions are available on this set, the original version can be found on Disc 2. It is the slightly longer of the two versions, looks as though it was shot in soft focus which may enhance the haunting qualities of the film, is shown as a cropped 1:66 image; and has a Dolby Digital 2 Channel soundtrack.

On Disc 1 is the Directors Cut, 8 minutes shorter, with a much sharper print; shown in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen and has a 5:1 or a 2:0 Audio soundtrack depending on which sound system the viewer is using.

On Disc 3 is a movie buff's dream of a treasure chest of extras. These extras(there are eight extras altogether which will keep fans and movie buffs busy for hours) are worth the price of this box set alone, for they are extremely revealing with loads of information about "The Making Of". . . . interviews with some of the cast, the director Peter Weir and the producer, and as an extra bonus, interviews with the beautiful Anne-Louise Lambert who portrays Miranda, one of the girls who goes missing. Indeed, it is her face which adorns the box set and I can say in all honesty, that Peter Weir's decision to give her the part of Miranda when it was originally set for another actress, was a master stroke.

The music score which enhances the mystical atmosphere of the film is provided by composer Bruce Smeaton, and the Flute De Pan played by Gheorghe Zamfir. This is one of the most haunting movie scores ever created.

For many years, many people who saw the film believed it to be based on a true story.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Australia's finest on a great Blu-ray, at last! 15 Aug 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I've always loved this film, and even had it on video many years ago. I bought the 3 disc dvd set of this the other year and was delighted with what was a huge step up in terms of quality of course, plus it also had the director's cut and also a disc of fascinating extras. The packaging for that release was very good as well so I was perfectly happy with what I had, and was in no rush to get this new Blu-ray version, especially so soon. After all, some Blu-ray transfers offer no great improvement and leave people rightly disappointed and feeling ripped-off. But I took the plunge anyway, after reading some glowing reviews in the press.

So when it arrived my initial thoughts for this new release were those of disappointment - the packaging was as simple as a Blu-ray can be, it had no booklet and just the one disc, and not even a cellophane wrapper for the dvd case - and that's not a great start. The reason for the solitary disc is that the original-length version of the film, which runs about six or seven minutes longer, is not included here so that's why there's only one. Normally that would annoy me but in this case I don't mind at all because the newer director's version does work as a better film, I think. It flows more, and keeps the theme more at the front.

But above all that, this is a must-have Blu-ray because of the work that's been done on the print. This hi-def version holds colours and warmth which, when compared directly to last year's dvd (by playing them both at the same time) are just magnificent and make the dvd's imagery look so dull and plain! It's only now I realise how much a Blu-ray can improve on a dvd, especially a dvd which I felt looked superb and didn't need improving - but how wrong I was!
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Languid and Sensual Masterpiece - Restored!! 17 Jun 2008
I experienced a keen sense of anticipation when I first read that this edition was going to be released (if that doesn't sound too nerdy!). I was a young teen when I first saw this film when it debuted on British tv. Perhaps it was because I was at an impressionable age what with the constant images of (largely) beautiful young ladies dressed in white against the dramatic and foreboding backdrop of a strange and alien landscape. Certainly the film made an impression that has stayed with me since.

The plot as such is that on a school valentines day outing in the year 1900 to Hanging Rock (in Australia), three pupils and a teacher mysteriously disappear. Search parties are organised and one pupil is found though she has no memory of what happened. Meanwhile the school and authorities have to try and deal with both their own sense of loss and the unwelcome attention this tragedy brings especially as there are no answers as to what happened.

The story outline though does not serve justice to the brooding presence of Hanging Rock itself - a natural rock formation that is filmed in such a way as to be as important as any of the characters and dominates over the entire film as a mysterious and malevalent landscape. The musical use of panpipes heightens this moodpiece.

This new edition on dvd is particularly welcome as, when I bought my current version dvd a few years ago, I had a memory of a couple of scenes that now seemed to be missing. I still had a VHS recording off the tv of the film so scanned through it and I was right - Michael's growing friendship with Irma, the rescued girl, had all but disappeared and (spoiler alert!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Directors Cut (to bits).
I always loved the film Picnic at Hanging Rock, but Peter Weir seems to be spending time with George Lucas and changing and cutting his films, all this does is shorten it and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by hugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
It's a great film that leaves you wondering and vaguely haunted!

Definitely worth a watch [and probably a film you will return to].
Published 3 months ago by Archie Stanton
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot and amazing music let alone the story
I really adore this movie and watched both versions but neither are the same as the book, yet manages to be remarkable. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GRAY
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly rated
A very beautiful film with haunting music - a real classic from a few years ago. Highly recommended to future purchasers.
Published 8 months ago by dunkelds
5.0 out of 5 stars Original cinema at its best...
Some films just stand out from the crowd - this is one. In case you're wondering which others are worthy of such lofty praise I'm talking about those movies that only come along... Read more
Published 9 months ago by TJCooke
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Picnic at Hanging Rock is my favorite movie since I was a teen.
I am fascinated by the interplay between the images and the music. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Uwe Heiermann
5.0 out of 5 stars An Australian classic
I first saw this film in the cinema as a teenager and was spellbound. I love every minute of it.
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars picnic
for me this is the best picture i have ever seen and 3 discs to view it in all its dimensions. theproduct was in perfect condition.
Published 14 months ago by alan
4.0 out of 5 stars A very creepy, if truncated, dark fairy tale
Before Peter Weir became a well-known Hollywood director he started out with a series of short Australian movies and smaller feature films. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Inspector Gadget
5.0 out of 5 stars picnic at hanging rock delux edition
i watched hanging rock many years ago and it stuck in my mind as being one of the most haunting and visualy stunning movies i have ever seen,the story and the realness of it all... Read more
Published 16 months ago by keith rennoldson
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