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Picnic [DVD] [1955]

Price: £3.32 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Picnic [DVD] [1955] + Love is a Many-Splendored Thing [DVD] [1955] + From Here To Eternity [DVD] [2002]
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Product details

  • Actors: William Holden, Rosalind Russell, Kim Novak, Betty Field, Cliff Robertson
  • Directors: Joshua Logan
  • Producers: Fred Kohlmar
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 19 Jun 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IIYY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,508 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

It's Labor Day weekend, and fresh off a freight train is Hal Carter (William Holden), a happy-go-lucky drifter who's looking for a brand new start in life. A robust, handsome show-off, Hal has come to Kansas to seek gainful employment in his old fraternity brother Alan's family granary. But despite his high hopes and expectations, Hal's ambitious plans soon go away when his sexual magnetism attracts every woman in town, including 19-year-old Madge Owens (Kim Novak) -- the alluring young beauty queen who also happens to be Alan's girlfriend. Also starring Rosalind Russell, Arthur O'Connell, Susan Strasberg, Nick Adams and Cliff Robertson, Picnic was nominated for six 1955 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Joshua Logan), Best Supporting Actor (O'Connell), Best Music, Best Color Art Direction and Best Editing. "A down-to-earth, throbbing drama of average, small-town Americans" (Boxoffice), Picnic is an "excellent film. ***-1/2" (Leonard Maltin).


William Holden is the hunky drifter who rides the rails into a small Midwest town with dreams of landing a "respectable" job with his rich college buddy (Cliff Robertson). Kim Novak is the small-town beauty queen engaged to Robertson who falls for the cocky dreamer, as do repressed schoolmarm spinster Rosalind Russell and Novak's tomboyish kid sister Susan Strasberg. Their unleashed passions reach a crescendo at the Labor Day picnic. Joshua Logan directed William Inge's play on Broadway and carried it to Hollywood, earning Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director in his screen-directing debut. Holden is years too old for the role but oozes sex appeal and makes a swoony stud when he takes his shirt off (or when, better yet, it's ripped from his back by a boozing Russell), and Novak is a lovely lost girl yearning for something she can't quite grasp. Arthur O'Connell earned an Oscar nomination as Russell's tippling boyfriend. The film was a huge popular and critical hit, but Logan's stiff and strident direction hasn't dated well. He makes his points in big capital letters--subtlety was never his strong point--and loses the natural beauty of the Kansas locations when he takes the climactic picnic scenes into an obviously artificial soundstage. Picnic remains a loved American classic, largely for Holden's tough-guy vulnerability and James Wong Howe's brilliant widescreen color photography. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By DoDo Fan on 25 Feb 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 1955 movie was seminal in its impact on all that was to follow in
the cinema. A virile drifter arrives in a small mid-west town on Labour
Day, stirring up sexual repression as he makes his brawn, handsomeness and virility known.
Although modest by todays standards, this film contained high-end sexual innuendo - just about permissible in the mid fifties, and the evocative music of the soundtrack possesses the same impact as the 'Bolero' music of '10' . The dance scene (You'll know it when you come to it!), is sheer poetry in motion. If ever there was a vertical wish for a horizontal outcome between the two dancers, this was it! The DVD is worth the price for this moment alone! It was quite a ground breaking film at the time.
A young Holden (although a bit too old for the role) earned his fee, did a good job and was at the top of his well oiled form . Novak perfectly co-starred.
The movie set new directions for Hollywood and well earned its academy award and academy nominations.
Its a pleasure to now find a region 2 DVD available.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jan 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Before the Labor Day a hansome stranger swings into a small town of Kansas...and he awakes passions that nobody could imagine that were there.
William Holden plays Hal Carter, an irresponsible guy,who falls for the girl of his best friend, Kim Novak as Madge Owens. Unwillingly he also awakes passions not only to her, but also to her little sister, and to a school teacher at her 40's played excellent by Rosalind Russell.
The love scene between Holden and Novak are sensational, and the dance sequence is one of poetry.
This film is based on the classic play of William Inge and is wonderfully directed by the theatre director Joshua Logan. Although sometimes you may find William Holden a little older than he should have been for this particular part, he is excellent portrait of the main character is one of the best that has ever been performed, and can easily be considered as classic, like his performance in movies like 'Sunset Boulevard', 'Born Yesterday', 'Sabrina' and 'Love is a many splendored thing'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Swales on 13 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here we have an ‘Inner Realism’ film that focuses on ‘the observer within’ and explains that WE are our own OBSERVERS – but we do not know how to OBSERVE because we are so addicted to the external now-world that we haven’t mastered the SKILL of observation – and all the brain does is function out of RESPONSE instead of out of RATIONALITY and REASON.

‘Inner Realism’ has been used as a sub-text in opera and ballet for CENTURIES to make strong points and deliver lessons in life through emotional turmoil. The hit shows ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ (both coming up to their thirtieth year in the West End) use the potency of ‘Inner Realism’ - and the emotional ‘roller-coaster’ ride the spectator is taken upon probably explains why these shows are so compulsive and have run for so long.

Chaplin was the very first to use the CINEMATIC medium to explore and exploit the ‘Inner Realism’ idea and you can experience this in ‘The Kid’; ‘City Lights’, and the timeless classic ‘Limelight’ - a style of film making far removed from Chaplin’s ‘The Circus’, ‘Gold Rush’, and the time-honoured satirical classics ‘Modern times’ and ‘The Great Dictator’.

ASIDE: ‘Theme from Limelight’ is one of Chaplin’s best loved musical scores and it sits alongside ‘Smile’ from ‘Modern Times’ – sung by thousands and revered by millions.

For me, this fabulous classic film – a film EVERYONE should own - filled with humour and pathos in equal measure - is a very good example of how bravery and strength of character sprinkled with determination and fortitude, against a backdrop of blinkered, small-minded intolerant, prejudiced people with hidden agendas, eventually wins the day.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By david on 6 Dec 2012
Format: VHS Tape
Picnic reminds me of how decent america used too be,and those characters we once knew in life,its a wonderfully written screenplay performed by the best in the bussiness of film,there is only a handfull of films with such a top notch cast,the dialogue is orginal for the time and timeless in its orginality some people do not like this film because it reminds them of what they missed in life!one of the greatest photographed films,and one of the greatest films ever made.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr O on 16 Oct 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Picnic still has a lot of charm and great performances even though it is a bit dated. Things have changed considerably since 1955, especially the changes brought about by the sexual revolution in the 60's and 70's. That aside, you can almost feel the heat of the labour day weekend not to mention the heat generated by the leads. And there is that very famous scene where William Holden and Kim Novak dance by the river. The music really enhances this scene as it is haunting and very sensual. Yes, William Holden may have been a bit too old to pull this one off convincingly but he sill gives a good performance as do the rest of the cast. Rosalind Russell, never one to give a unstated performance, is still very effective as are the older members of the cast. Very much worth the visit.
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