- 1 hr 55 min
Picnic is a classic film from 1955 directed by Joshua Logan. The movie is based on a play by William Inge and stars William Holden, Kim Novak, and Betty Field. The story is set in a small town in Kansas during a Labor Day weekend. Holden plays Hal Carter, a drifter who comes to town looking for work. He is welcomed by his college friend Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson), but does not fare so well with Alan's girlfriend Madge Owens (Novak), the town beauty who is courted by many men, including the wealthy and successful Alan.
Hal is a charming and charismatic character, but he is also a bit rough around the edges. He is an outsider who contrasts with the conservative values that the town represents. His arrival disrupts the status quo and changes everyone's lives. He charms most of the women in the town, including Madge's mother Flo Owens (Field), who is a lonely woman and is entranced by Hal's masculine energy. She sees in him the excitement she has missed since her husband died.
The movie depicts one day in the life of these characters, as they prepare for the annual Labor Day picnic. The preparations for the picnic provide a backdrop for the main characters to come to terms with their own desires and the consequences of their actions. The movie captures the dreams, frustrations, and fears of these characters and their struggle for social conformity.
William Holden's performance as Hal is outstanding, and he brings a fierce energy to the character. He is a man who is physically imposing and charismatic, and Holden captures that energy with ease. Kim Novak, in her breakout role as Madge, is breathtakingly beautiful and enigmatic. She brings a quiet intensity to the character, and her chemistry with Holden is electrifying.
Betty Field, as Flo, delivers a poignant and moving performance. She struggles with her own loneliness and yearning for attention, and her scenes with Hal are some of the most affecting in the film. The supporting cast is also exceptional, particularly Rosalind Russell as a spinster schoolteacher who has her own secret desires, and Susan Strasberg as Madge's younger sister, who is on the brink of adolescence and has her own romantic aspirations.
The movie is beautifully shot, with stunning cinematography that captures the idyllic setting of the town. The lush landscapes and vibrant colors create a vivid and immersive world. The music, composed by George Duning, is also exceptional and adds to the atmospheric quality of the film.
Picnic is a movie that deals with universal themes, such as desire, conformity, and the search for fulfillment. It captures the essence of small town life in mid-century America, and the tension between tradition and change. The movie is a meditation on the human condition, and the desire for connection and meaning.
In conclusion, Picnic is a timeless classic that showcases exceptional performances, stunning visuals, and an emotional resonance that transcends time. It is a movie that deserves to be watched and appreciated for its beauty and its insight into the human experience.
Picnic is a 1956 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.