|Picnic (Widescreen) [VHS]
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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
- A Great Story that mirrors the human condition
I first saw Picnic in the mid seventies as a young teen. I was a little young to understand the romantic entanglements at that age but I've watched this movie repeatedly through the years and the characters have become more three dimensional, their motivations more clear with each watching.
I think most everyone can find a piece of themselves in Hal (the drifter who boasts to conceal his shyness and feelings of worthlessness), Millie (the brainy younger sister of Madge who feels overshadowed by her beautiful sister), Mrs. Potts (who no doubt wished for romance and family as a young woman but found herself tied to an invalid mother), Miss Sydney (the old maid school teacher whose clock is ticking and who is growing more desparately lonely with each new school year). Even Madge's mother, who finds herself a bit flattered on her first introduction to Hal, is somewhat sympathetic. She, herself, fell for a charasmatic charmer, only to be left behind by his drinking and womanizing. She's allowed herself to harden through the years, seeing young Mr. Benson and his wealth as a way out for her daughter, Madge. I admit, I've seen this movie so many times, I mouth the dialogue along with the characters. When Madge's mother is consoling her, explaining her protectiveness towards Millie, I fairly scream, "Don't you see...I'm trying to make up for all those golden years you had that she didn't." So...spread out a blanket, gather up the tissues and prepare for a sweet and bittersweet summer Picnic....more info
- Widescreen version is on flip side...
A previous reviewer was disappointed with the pan and scan version of this disc. The widescreen version is on the flip side, though! Aside from that, the picture quality is less than ideal, but better than many I've seen from the period. Some scenes really look great, and outnumber the truly problematic ones--notably when Madge and Hal are down by the river after the picnic and an apparent bad dupe is cut in for a while. The music sound quality is pretty good with nice stereo separation.
Picnic is one of a handful of movies that I return to time and again. It does have its faults-- some of the dramatics among Madge, Flo and Millie seem pretty creaky today-- but the movie does an incredible job of creating just the right atmosphere.
Novak and Holden manage to create great chemistry despite there being little rapport between them while filming (as discussed in a biography of Holden, "Golden Boy.") Holden always brings a gold touch to any movie. The characters seem to really live in that world. I wouldn't want to live in that small town depicted onscreen, but wish I could visit whenever I want....more info
Brought back many pleasant memories to my wife and I from our high school days. This has always been a favorite movie of ours....more info
- "I'm so tired of being told I'm pretty"
William Inge's evocative portrait of small-town life, PICNIC, features the blazing star combo of Kim Novak and William Holden.
When handsome drifter Hal Carter (William Holden) decides to drop in and visit old college buddy Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson) in his small Kansas town, he ends up turning the head of Alan's girlfriend Madge (Kim Novak) and disrupting the peaceful lives of her extended family. The action comes to a climax at the Labour Day picnic, where Madge is to be crowned. As Madge comes to grips with her uncontrollable attraction to Hal; spinsterish schoolmarm Rosemary (Rosalind Russell) conspires to get her long-standing beau Howard (Arthur O'Connell) down the aisle via the shortest possible means.
Kim Novak is brilliant as Madge, the young woman torn between the man who can offer financial security, and the penniless drifter who excites her like no-one she's ever met before; Novak plays the conflict of emotions very well. In 1955, William Holden was a little too seasoned to play the muscly stud, but offers a fine performance as Hal. Susan Strasberg, as little sister Millie, provides lots of depth with a role that's written as a caricature (the brainy younger sibling marching around in glasses and bluejeans, reading "dirty books"), yet Strasberg plays the role believably. Rosalind Russell shines in the role of schoolmarm Rosemary, desperate to marry and leave her rented room (though her performance is quite hammy and broad in some of the scenes). Betty Field and Verna Felton also provide solid work, albeit in thankless supporting roles.
Although the CinemaScope visuals take some of the impact away from the claustrophobic view of small-town life that's being depicted in the story, the wide ratio displays Kim Novak to her utmost advantage (not to mention William Holden, who sheds his shirt in several scenes). George Duning supplies the evocative incidental and jazz score, which features "Moonglow" in the Labour Day dance segment.
In the tradition of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly Last Summer", PICNIC is a searing romantic drama you're sure to fall in love with. The DVD includes bonus poster gallery and animated photo montage. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc)....more info
- Widescreen now available
Both Borders and Barnes and Noble now carry a widescreen version of Picnic:
Widescreen on one side, fullscreen on the other. It says "Columbia Classics" across the top of the package.
I wish Amazon would carry this version, as I don't want to open a new account at one of those other places just for one item....more info
- A Trip Back To Small Town America In The 50's
Having seen Picnic on television years ago and then having it disappear not to be shown again I wanted to find a copy of it. I was happy to see that it had been reissued! Even though the film is not in widescreen format(a big disappointment)it is a trip through some very simple and nostalgic times. Loaded with wonderful character acters and soon to be big stars it almost makes you want to relive the 50's. I could relate to many of the characters as being people that I had grown up around. Verna Felton was wonderful, but then so was William Holden and Rosalind Russell. If you want to escape from our complicated world and have a few hours of nostalgia I highly recommend Picnic....more info
A pungent slice of Americana with a bleak, desperate undercurrent. Though Holden is slightly old for the role, he still turns in a credible performance. Kim Novak in her debut role is all budding sexuality disguised as wholesome innocence. Supporting players are varied and uniformly fine, including Robertson, Rosalind Russell, Arthur O'Connell and Susan Strasberg (Lee's daughter). The terrific score by George Duning only adds to the mood of repression and wistfulness....more info
- "Picnic" is a Classic!
It's difficult to believe that "Picnic" was shot 50 years ago!
Excellent look at small town festival time, rich guy , pretty girl from other side of tracks , ex- college jock passing through town , desperate
to marry aging beauty , all wrapped up with the great theme song joining "Picnic " & " Moonglow". The scene with Kim Novak ,the pretty girl , swaying down a ramp, clapping her hands to the music , then
touching hands and slow dancing with William Holden is one most viewers
who are young at heart will cherish ! ...more info
- Erotic without the Sleeze
The dance scene played to moonglow must be the ultimate depiction of sexual attraction between a man and woman Hollywood every did.
The depiction of small town America in summer is priceless.
A classic in many ways......enjoy it....more info
- Moonglow moments
You know it's good:
1. It's the look on William Holden's face when he first catches a glimpse of Kim Novak coming down the stairs in that pink dress. ("Madge is the pretty one"--she sure is)
2. It's the way she shimmies up to him. Revealing her intentions, she never loses eye contact or says a word.
3. It's the moment he takes her into his arms to dance close--he gives a little sigh of pleasure.
4. It's the look on his face when he's dancing--that criptic smile of pleasure and sensuality--all the while knowing that she's totally off limits.
and of course the song itself. This scene in itself makes the movie and with DVD you can play it over and over and over... Not many dance scenes have stood the test of time. I loved it. What can I say--I'm a chick....more info
- Holden Sparks, Novak Smolders, Kansas Burns
In a decade of conformity and great prosperity William Inge and Tennessee Williams tackled subjects ahead of their time. Of course they in some cases had to veil the subject matter but that lead to some wonderful revelations in writing and reading between the lines. In this DVD from Colombia of Inge's Pulitzer Prize winning `Picnic' we have one of the best films of this genre of sexual repression, animal heat, and desperation in small town America.
Most reviewers of this film might begin with the leads but I must start of with the wonderful Verna Felton as Helen Potts the sweet old lady who is caretaker of her aged mother and lives next door to the Owens family. This gifted and now forgotten character actress sets the tone of the picture as she welcomes drifter Hal Carter (William Holden) into her house. At the end of the film she glows in tender counterpoint to the dramatic ending. She is the only person who understands Hal, even more than Madge (Kim Novak). Her speech about having a man in the house is pure joy to watch. It is a small but important performance that frames the entire story with warmth and understanding.
Betty Field turns in a sterling performance as Flo Owens, Mother of Madge and Millie. She is disapproving of Millie's rebellious teen and smothering of her Kansas hothouse rose Madge. A single Mom trying in desperation to keep Madge from making the same mistakes she did. She becomes so wrapped up in Madge's potential for marriage to the richest boy in town she completely ignores the budding greatness that is bursting to get out in her real treasure. Millie.
Susan Strasberg creates in her Millie a sweet comic oddball. She is the youngest daughter who awkwardly moves through the landscape nearly un-noticed, reading the scandalous "Ballad of the Sad Caf¨¦" being the only one who is different and can't hide it. Her yearning to get out of the smallness of small town life is colored with the skill of a young actress with greatness her.
Rosalind Russell nearly steals the show as the fourth woman in the Owens household boarder, Rosemary, a frantic, hopeless and clutching spinster. In the capable hands of Miss Russell we have a real powerhouse of a performance. She imbues Rosemary with all the uptight disapproval of a woman who knows that her time has past and there are very few options left. She is electric in her need for love. Every nuance of her emotions is sublime in her presentation. Just watch her hands alone.
Floating above all of this is Madge Owens, the kind of girl who is too pretty to be real. The kind of girl who in a small town like this is not understood to have any real feelings or thoughts other than those that revolve around being beautiful and empty. Enter Kim Novak, who is just such a girl. Who could ever expect such a beauty to be anything more than just pretty? But Miss Novak, a vastly underrated actress in her day paints a knowing and glowing portrait of Madge. Her explosion of sexual heat upon meeting Hal for the first time is internal and barely perceptible until she looks at him from behind the safety of the screen door the end of their first scene. That screen door is a firewall protecting her from the flames. She fights in the early part of the film to keep her sexual desire for Hal in check. That night she loses her fight at the picnic and we watch as she opens to reveal a woman of feelings and dreams so much deeper than the prettiness of her eyes or the luminosity of her skin. This is one of Kim Novak's early great roles and one she fills out with lush and deep emotion.
The lives of all of these women of Nickerson Kansas are changed one Labor Day when Hal comes steaming into town. William Holden gives a raw and wounded portrayal to Hal, a man at the edge of his youth and on the verge of becoming a lost man. He lives as he always has, on the fading glow of his golden boy charm and his muscular magnetism. Holden was 35 when he made Picnic, a real golden boy at the edge of his youth. He was perfect for the part. Some reviewers say he was too old to play Hal, but I disagree. Without being thirty-five in real life as well as in the story Rosemary's "Crummy Apollo" speech would not be so effective or devastating. Hal is a man who never bothered to grow up, a man who never let anyone get too close for fear they might see through is bravado and discover his fears of feeling something, anything before it's too late.
Holden also brings a sexual heat to the film that is eons beyond the time it was filmed. He is presented almost like a slab of meat. He struts around in a pre-Stonewall dream of sexy hotness. Not only the girls in town notice him but a few boys too. (There are several layers to Nick Adams paperboy if one bothers to look.) When finally Holden sparks with Novak they blow the lid off of the uptight code bound studio-strangled world of Hollywood in the Fifties.
The film is photographed magnificently in lush color and cinemascope by famed cinematographer James Wong Howe. The famous score by George Durning is classic not only for the famous reworking of the old standard "Moonglow" but for his virtuosity in dramatic power. This is a giant of a score from the silver age of film music. The direction by Josh Logan is perfect in every way and stands among the best of his work....more info
- Steamy Pulitzer Prize Play comes to WideScreen DVD !!
Columbia Pictures brings William Inges steamy romantic 1955 Pulitzer Prize Winning Play to the big screen starring Academy Award Winner William Holden and Kim Novak.
This Cinemascope Technicolor classic love triangle is intense and the on screen chemistry between Holden & Novak seems genuine.
This DVD provides us with a Standard (4:3 tv) Format Side A and an Anamorphic WideScreen (automatically adjusts to your tv size including 16:9 HDTV) on Side B.
Summary: An ALL-STAR cast; William Holden, Kim Novak, Cliff Robertson, Susan Strasburg (very young & from the play), & Rosalind Russell brings this steamy September "PICNIC" to life.
(also a very young Nick Adams makes an appearance). A drifter (Holden) arrives by freight train in a small Kansas town seeking his wealthy college buddy (Robertson). Holdens rugged good looks & mannerisms drives all the towns women wild. He even steals his buddys girl (Novak) the newly elected PICNIC carnival queen. In a very short time he brings out all those hidden romantic fantasies & is driven out of town. Not before he captures the heart of Novak. This is a very classic 1950's Hollywood romance story. The song "Theme from PICNIC" is also a classic tune. Stronge performances by Holden, Novak, Russell (spinster school teacher) & Strasburg (Novaks young sister).
Special Features include: Photo Montage (outstanding 6 minute black/white slide show montage with background music), Vintage Advertising, Talent Files & Trailers.
This is a fine film the cast is outstanding. Enjoy....more info
I ordered this film on DVD last week, and was very excited that I had finally purchased it on DVD. Sat down to watch it, and was horrified that it was butchered (i.e. the full screen, pan-and-scan thing). I went online today to see if I had accidentally chosen the wrong format, and found to my shock that this version is the only one out there.
I have to give it at least 3 stars, because the movie is so damned good. But this is a lousy transfer. I find it hard to believe that at this late date in the DVD game, a new, improved, widescreen, digitally enhanced version has not been made. How could such a classic film be ignored like this? I strongly urge the powers that be to do this classic film justice - with maybe a "making-of" special, while some of the folks involved in its production are still alive, to add insight.
Please, PLEASE come out with a better version, and soon!
- Beautiful film. Still, please read and/or watch the play,
~ Joshua Logan
If one has never read, seen, or been involved in producing William Inge's original stage script, PICNIC, as a film, is a lush, beautifully photographed, solidly acted and well scored motion picture.
However if one is familiar with the play, the film's free adaption does change much of the immediacy and intimacy of the story. And maybe not always necessarily for the better.
One of the central problems facing a producing team in bringing a stage play to life is deciding what to do about setting. Many plays occur in a single unit setting, thereby hemming the characters in a very confined space, thusly raising the emotional stakes. That limited setting and the related lush dialouge often translates rather flatly on film.
Joshua Logan and his production crew chose to open the play up and use some very picturesque settings and stagings. The picnic of the title, really a red herring in the play, takes center stage here in the film and becomes a wonderful Paganesque fertility rite (hear vividly captured in this well-struck DVD).
This choice does make for some beautiful sights and sounds, but rather dilutes the dramatic intensity that drives Inge's central narrative. Again, if one is not familiar with the play, this will not make any difference.
Much has been already written about William Holden being perhaps too old for the part of Hal-a supposed twenty-something drifter. His fine acting ability really makes it a moot point unless of course in the scenes where he is supposed to be dating the teenage Millie (Susan Strassberg)and then it really seems rather "icky".
It could of course all add up to justifying Hal's attraction to the fertility goddess that is Madge. Holden's boyish athleticism and boundless energy makes his Hal the perfect archetypal warrior.
Kim Novack was never better as the awakening Midwestern Venus, rising out of our collective unconsciousness, that is Madge Owens. Her beauty is earthy and classic. Visually, Logan has done wonders making Hal and Madge fated into connecting. They will be responsible for regenerating the country.
Of course the film is underwritten when compared to the play. Several post romantic scenes simply do not contain the emotional power and poignancy that they do on stage. Inge's play-about choices and consequences and the severity of those choices is rather lost in the translation to film. Lost too somewhat is the painfull longing and loneliness that permeates so much of Inge's finest work.
All in all, PICNIC is a fine film. Perhaps one of the finer products to come out of the mainstream Hollywood studios of the 1950's. My suggestion is watch and enjoy the movie and, when given the chance, go see the stage version. Inge's play is one of the finest ever written. It is an American classic
- A PICNIC IN THE COUNTRY
OK version of the William Inge Broadway play casts thirtysomething William Holden in the twentysomething role of Hal, a drifter who blows into a sleepy Kansas town on a Labor Day Holiday weekend. How does the movie shake up the sameness of the one set play? It goes on a picnic, literally showing what the play only eluded to, with an entire town celebrating an Americana holiday weekend, with much sly eavesdropping on the American conciousness. Picture Steven Spielberg's work with New England townies in "Jaws", and Director Joshua Logan accomplisshes much of the same with Mid-Westerners in a down home country state of being. I also liked the visual sky and corn stalks references of the farming industry governing, like a sleeping watchdog, over the rural community. The best thing about it though, and the best performance comes from the featured screen debut of Cliff Robertson who brings much spirit and sensitivity to the role of the lead character's best buddy....more info
Loved seeing Picnic again. We saw the movie on TCM and my husband wanted me to order it for future viewing....more info
- Not necessarily William Holden's best film, but worth watching once
Some people are saying that this is only released in Full Screen. I rented it and it certainly was in 2:35 Widescreen. I rented this because I wanted to see another early William Holden film, and I heard that this was a "classic". Plus I wanted to see some films that I actually know the main song more than just the film. The song "Moonglow" and the Theme from Picnic" was a classic favorite of mine in my many instrumental classics collections. It's funny how much of my favorite music was popular before I was even born.
Well anyway, I like William Holden's "The World of Suzie Wong" and "Love is a Many-Splendered Thing" better than this less-than-energetic "Smalltown Sunday at the Park" yawner. Kim Novak was gorgeous, of course, and it was great to see an early film of Cliff Robertson (better known to me as in "Falcon Crest", "Class", and also for promoting AT&T about 20 years back.
I wish William Holden didn't keep calling Kim Novak "baby" in the film. That's so lame, but I guess that was of its time. This movie was worth watching once, but it's certainly no keeper....more info
- Don't pass this one up!
This wonderful movie satisfies on many levels. It calls us back to a simpler time in our minds. It is Americana. It actually is a very strong love story, almost steamy at times (at least for it's day) - believable yet still cinematic. It is an excellent character study. It is funny, and it is sad. It is a movie THE WHOLE family can watch and enjoy, which these days is saying a lot. Although it is easy to see that "Picnic" was derived from a play, this point does not detract - in fact it enhances the film.
The casting is excellent. Rosalind Russell as the spinstery school teacher is flawless, and her hen-pecked boyfriend (Arthur O'Connell) is great too. As another reviewer noted, Verna Felton, who plays "Mrs. Potts", allows us to put everything into a peaceful perspective......even the "chaos" that ultimately ensues is a normal part of life, as her stable persona continually demonstrates. Cliff Robertson is fine as Alan Benson - he does not allow his role to overtake that of Holden and Novak....a lesser-known actor may have worked better for his role.
Holden (and I must admit to being a huge William Holden fan) is superb. Just enough cockiness and false-bravado contrasting with a genuine naivet¨¦ of the real world around him (he's "experienced" with football and women, inexperienced with just about everything else). So many of his scenes are gems - his first confrontation with "Bomber", his "women" stories to Alan, and my personal favorite, the scene where he and Millie (his "unofficial date" for the picnic) are driving to the fairgrounds. After singing a rendition of "Old McDonald" together, Holden turns to Millie and says "Hey kid, here's one my old man taught me". Then, after a pause (and realizing he is with a 15 year old girl), Holden shakes his head and instead starts up another verse of "Old McDonald". Priceless!!
If the movie has any "problems" at all, they are minor. Susan Strasberg ("Millie"), who is supposedly Kim Novak's bookwormy, unattractive sister, is anything but unattractive. It will take more than a pair of pointy horn-rimmed glasses to put her out of Madge's league! And there is something a little "stand-offish" about Novak's performance at times, although I have never been quite able to identify what it is.
But this movie is 5 stars all the way. Sit back and enjoy a movie for the ages, when actors could still act and a great and enjoyable story was still told. If you need violence or vivid sexual imagery to hold your attention, don't bother. Otherwise, you may love this film!...more info
- A Classic
Picnic is one of the best films to come out of mid '50's Hollywood. Taken from William Inge's play, it is unique in that the entire film takes place in exactly 24 hours. Yet, by the end, you KNOW each and every character. William Holden heads a stellar cast. Excellent summer viewing....more info
- Too Stagey
Picnic is the story of a drifter (William Holden), an ex-football hero who has never had trouble with women. He feels doomed to repeat his father's life, a life of alcoholism and jail. When he stumbles upon an old college friend, things seem to be looking up, that is until he meets his friend's girlfriend (Kim Novak). The sexual tension is outrageous between them and they don't do a good job at covering it up. Naturally, this spells problems for the drifter and the girl who desires to be something more than just a pretty face.
Unfortunately, this movie just doesn't hit the spot. The acting is melodramatic across the board, a fault of the director, I suspect. The women suddenly throw themselves onto beds for a good long cry or they exaggeratedly turn away from the men they love. It is all too hokey and unrealistic to do the film any justice. Fortunately, the personalities of the actors make this movie worth seeing anyway. Aside from Holden and Novak, Susan Strasberg and Rosalind Russell make memorable appearances in supporting roles. Strasberg is youthful and charming and Russell is overbearing and desperate (appropriately to the character). ...more info
- William Holden & Kim Novak are OUTSTANDING in Picnic
I saw PICNIC during its release in 1956 in India when I was in
school. I was crazy about English films and never missed a good
film.one of my class mates saw the film before me and remarked
about the energetic dancing of Holden as spellbinding.I was not
that keen in the beginning to see the film due to its title which meant lightweight and fun. But when I saw the film the experience was tremendous, I had just seen a masterpiece. William Holden and Kim Novak were just outstanding. Holden
brought a breath of fresh air as soon as he appeared, and Kim
Novak was not just a small town beauty queen, she oozed raw sex
and hidden desires exposed to the full by carefree but passionate William Holden. Although, without doubt the highlight of the film was the picnic and the dancing where all the principal players of the film are envolved emotionally and the finale to the story builds up, there other memorable scenes notably the swing scene where Holden gets hold of the swing where Novak is sitting, he begins playing with it unintentionally and realises for the first time that he has fallen for the fiancee of his best friend. Then there is that passionate scene beside the waterfall where both Holden and Novak admit their love for each other and kiss intensly, Holden with torn shirt. After this Holden runs and catches the running train and finally Novak follows him, her true love in the Greyhound. The execution of all these scenes and the whole story is nothing less than perfect. James Wong Hoe's technicolor photography is outstanding. Needless to say I have seen this film many times since and found it always charming....more info
- Much better than Far From Heaven or Mona Lisa Smile
Excellent 1955 classic starring William Holden and Kim Novak that accurately portrays the way things were in America circa 1955. The Technicolor cinematography is absolutely splendid, even more than Far From Heaven's (there is TOO MUCH color, a problem that didn't plague Technicolor movies). And that's not the only thing that makes this movie better: it shows how things REALLY were in the 1950s because it was MADE in the 1950s. There is no liberal vendetta or pro-homosexual propaganda. And that Moonglow dance...AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!...more info
- Not Widescreen!
Picnic is a fabulous movie, but do not buy this DVD version as it is in standard screen format - not the original widescreen (like the VHS tape version). The standard screen does not do justice to this movie at all. I don't understand why the VHS (which I have) is widescreen and the much newer DVD (which I bought from Amazon) is standard screen. I should have read the description more carefully. ...more info
- sexy and sweet
In Kim Novak's first major film, the viewer is treated to a beautiful ingenue--completely sweet and innocent. William Holden is the perfect drifter--mysterious and incredibly sexy. When they meet, the chemistry is immistakable and nothing can stop them from consummating their attraction. This film was very progressive for the time it was made, but is quite tame by today's standards. The dance scene is unforgettable, and the supporting actors are memorable.
The best part of this film is the ending, because even then you are not certain what will become of these two people and their future. I especially enjoy films that linger with you after viewing them, and this is one that does. If you are at all a romantic, this is a great film for you.
- must be 2 versions...mine is FULL SCREEN ONLY GARBAGE....
some folks report having a double sided version of this with full screen pan and scan (cinematography abortion) on one and the full gorgeous cinemascope version on the other....well the version I just received is FULL SCREEN only...and one sided...
of course its insult to injury that the program starts 2:35 widescreen while they run the credits (don't want to cut those folks names off) but as soon as the directors name runs..BAM..full screen ...and its horrible...grainy garbage.
James Wong Howe...the adored cinematographer who filmed this obviousl composed for the full wide screen as the pan and scan is worse than normal with way too much information missing.
honestly...when will the studios learn? I guess they figure only elderly ladies like my mother ..who still have a burning hotteee for William Holden will want this and they are tired of explaining the BLACK BARS to them? for the rest of us...ARGGGGGGHHHH...more info
- One of the best films of 1955!!!
Wonderful. Not because of the fun it was watching it. Or the romance on screen. But because of it's supporting of the fabulous 50's era. Classic movie making at its best!...more info
- A Dated Classic
I watched Picnic for the first time in decades this morning on TCM and was sad to see just how much this once favorite has dated.
On the plus side, you've got a gorgeous, sexy and still charismatic William Holden at his peak, as the gorgeous, sexy and still charismatic loser who falls in love with Kim Novak.
Novak is another reason why this movie was so popular back then in the mid-50s. And that slow dance they do--it's still dynamite.
Yet, the script and the direction don't hold up. In the big confrontation scene between Rossalind Russell and Holden, you cringe as she runs her big mouth and spits out everything venemous she can think of. And what does her long-suffering husband, and Holden and Novak do?
Nothing. They just stand there as she shrieks and vomits up all this horrific bile about the character played by Holden. He weeps and squirms and doesn't move and Novak just adopts a pained look on her pretty face and acts like a kid in school, whose teacher is shrieking to everyone what a rotten man she's in love with.
No one tells this virago to shut up. Her husband doesn't try to drag her away. When they're alone together, she asks meekly: "What made me go off like that, Herb?" And darn, if her long-suffering husband doesn't just smile, hugs her and tells her beautiful she is and what pretty legs she has. Most husbands would have slapped her around a few times or throttled her--at least. The victim of her abuse would have screamed a few words of abuse at her. Yet, none of this happens. Everyone acts as if this is something that you expect in the world of Picnic.
It's scenes like this one that makes the viewing of Picnic purely--for me--a visual enjoyment. We're able to catch Holden and Novak at the peak of their physical beauty. As far as believing anything in the script, it's a waste....more info