Picnic (1955)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

USA, 1955.  .  Screenplay by , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , Charles Nelson.  Academy Awards 1955.  Golden Globe Awards 1955.

The sexual subtext of this adaptation of William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play has tamed considerably over the years, but an enjoyable, character-driven drama still remains. William Holden plays an ex-convict who seeks out an old friend (Cliff Robertson), now a rich factory owner, in order to ask for his help in getting him back on his feet. He arrives on the very eve of the company’s annual Labour Day picnic, giving him plenty of opportunity to meet the locals of the tiny town. His attempts at trying to fit in and start a normal life are mucked up when he meets Robertson’s beautiful fiancee () and catches the eye of the aging spinster schoolteacher (Rosalind Russell). Beautifully photographed, brilliantly acted, this is one of Joshua Logan’s better Cinemascope extravaganzas.

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