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Picnic [DVD] [1955]

33 customer reviews

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6IIYY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,132 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

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).

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 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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26 of 29 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'.
A MUST SEE!!!!
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3 of 3 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Street on 24 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD
I saw it on first release - I remember most of my friends were willing to concede a great deal to Kim Novak, and everybody enjoyed Rosalind Russell's unashamedly over-the-top performance. One or two admired the atmosphere of the Kansas small town, the music, and the final helicopter shots of the Holden's freight train heading for the next town. At the time I thought we were supposed to read a sort of qualified optimism into them about a new chapter in Holden's American dream. Not too sure now. But from what I can gather about the original stage production (whether or not it was an "American Classic" I'm not qualified to say) a good many of the criticisms don't stand up to analysis. Logan, who directed both the play and the film, seems to have turned down none other than Paul Newman for the stage role of Hal (Holden's in the film) on the grounds he didn't have the weight of a football star, and preferred Ralph Meeker, only a year or two younger than Holden - though it has to be admitted Newman did eventually take over the stage role. Holden was 37, and his character really gains a little from that - the pressure on Madge is to conform to the expectations of Betty Field, who wants her to be accepted by the age-dominated small town society, to whose norms even the astonishing Rosalind Russell will eventually conform - but not before she has flung herself at Holden. Holden's age points one way, but his arrival on a freight train as a hobo is a stereotypical challenge,made even more uncomfortable exactly by the discord of his apparent lifestyle. This guy is a loser. But there's still life in him. Logan telegraphs that with the casting -perhaps he was simply playing safe. Holden doesn't let him down, though.Read more ›
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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 still gives a good performance as do the rest of the cast. Rosalind Russell, never one to give an understated performance, is still very effective as are the older members of the cast. Very much worth the visit.
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