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Picnic (1955) [Blu-ray]


Price: $49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Picnic (1955) [Blu-ray] + Bell, Book and Candle [Blu-ray] + Pal Joey (1957) [Blu-ray]
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Editorial Reviews

Director Joshua Logan�s superb adaptation of William Inge�s Pulitzer Prize-winning play focuses on a golden-boy-turned-drifter (William Holden) whose unexpected arrival in a small Kansas town ignites explosive passions in a discontented beauty queen (Kim Novak) a waspish schoolteacher (Rosalind Russell) an insecure bookworm (Susan Strasberg) and an ambitious mother (Betty Field). Featuring stunning �Scope cinematography by James Wong Howe and George Duning�s memorable romantic score (available on this release as an isolated

Product Details

  • Actors: Cliff Robertson, Rosalind Russell, Kim Novak, Susan Strasberg, William Holden
  • Directors: Joshua Logan
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Twilight Time
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (275 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006YW6KX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,575 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Smith VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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88 of 92 people found the following review helpful By DSR on January 8, 2007
Format: DVD
I've waited for years to get this wonderful classic on DVD and was so disappointed to discover it's only available in a full-screen format. For those who don't know the difference, this classic was originally filmed in a widescreen format, so to make it fit the traditional square television, they had to crop out a lot of the picture. What's more, this "restored" version contains no documentaries--only trailers and cast lists. I e-mailed Sony about a possible widescreen release and was told there are no plans for another release at this time. What a shame! The film was released on VHS in a widescreen format and deserved to be handled with the same respect in the DVD release. If you want to get the full impact of the theatrical release, don't buy this chopped-up version. Save your money and watch the VHS or widescreen airings on Turner Classic Movies. Eventually someone will do right by this film and release a better DVD.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By R. Scharba on June 26, 2000
Format: DVD
I've seen "Picnic" more times that I could count, most recently on the excellent DVD edition. It was released in 1955 and powerfully evokes old-fashioned small town America, but the essence of it transcends time and place. The dilemmas and stages of life portrayed can only be fully appreciated by someone who's gone through some of them. It was always one of my mother's favorite movies, but you need to grow up to a certain extent before fully appreciating it. It's one of those films that gets better with repeated viewings, and changes even as you yourself change.
A scene that immediately comes to mind is one where Rosalind Russell, as a desperately lonely middle-aged woman living in denial, is unblinkingly staring at a blazing red sunset with her gentleman friend, Howard. In a tight, intense tone of voice she suggests that the day doesn't want to end, that it's going to "put up a big scrap, try to set the world on fire," to keep the night from creeping in. Yow! Besides being an example of great acting, it's a scene that just can't be fully appreciated until you've reached a certain age, seen some time slip by, and pondered mortality. Russell makes the most of it, and it always brings a lump to my throat. Howard, in his clueless way, agrees that "a sunset is a beautiful thing, all right." I suspect that people who watch this film, shrug, and say "so what? Kim Novak is fat and dull, and Holden is too old" are a lot like the character Howard, which may be to their advantage after all.
Regarding Kim Novak, I could certainly picture a more nuanced performance in that role, but she is better than OK, and not fat by 1950's standards! As for William Holden being too old to play Hal, I can forgive much for the sake of charisma like his.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Gary L. Perl on March 15, 2010
Format: DVD
Picnic, based on a play by William Inge, directed by Joshus Logan, Starring William Holden, Kim Novak, Cliff Robertson, Susan Strassberg among ohters offers blistering adult drama and great music score by George Duning. WARNING TO ANYONE BUYING THIS DISC: According to Amazon, this disc is incorrectly formatted at a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The movie was shot in the very wide anomorphic CinemaScope process at 2.35:1. If you buy this disc,you are losing about 45% of ther original image. If you like to view your movies as close to the original format as possible, DO NOT BUY THIS DISC!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andre Dursin on May 14, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Gorgeously shot in Cinemascope by the great James Wong Howe, "Picnic" is a blast of entertainment that could only have been made during Hollywood's Golden Age: a tale of a one-time college man who was a hit on the gridiron but who has since hit the skids. Seeking a fresh start, Hal Carter (William Holden) heads to rural Kansas - the very heart of the "heartland" - in order to track down a fellow alumnus and friend (Cliff Robertson). In the process, he walks into a precarious group of women living in this modest yet enticing "all-American" town, including a single mother (Betty Field) raising two daughters - the beautiful yet supposedly dumb beauty queen Madge (Kim Novak) and her bookwormish younger sister Millie (Susan Strasberg). Also living in their home is aggressive schoolteacher Rosemary (Rosalind Russell), bordering on the spinster-ish but still courted by the beaten-down Howard (Arthur O'Connell). Hal's arrival causes a number of different reactions from the ladies, who view the handsome yet troubled young man from decidedly contrasting viewpoints.

Joshua Logan directed this Columbia production, an adaptation of William Inge's Pulitzer-winning play scripted by Daniel Taradash for the screen. Some of the stage conventions remain in the film version of "Picnic," but Logan - who also helmed the Broadway play - vividly opens up the material for glorious Cinemascope, with a good portion of the film having been shot on location, adding to the film's atmosphere.
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