7.5/10
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230 user 167 critic

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Trailer
4:49 | Trailer
During a rural summer picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Joan Lindsay (novel), Cliff Green (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,507 ( 445)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel Roberts ... Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray Vivean Gray ... Miss Greta McCraw
Helen Morse ... Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child Kirsty Child ... Miss Lumley
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ... Tom (as Anthony Llewellyn-Jones)
Jacki Weaver ... Minnie
Frank Gunnell Frank Gunnell ... Mr. Whitehead
Anne-Louise Lambert ... Miranda St Clare (as Anne Lambert)
Karen Robson ... Irma
Jane Vallis ... Marion Quade
Christine Schuler ... Edith
Margaret Nelson Margaret Nelson ... Sara Waybourne
Ingrid Mason Ingrid Mason ... Rosamund
Jenny Lovell ... Blanche
Janet Murray Janet Murray ... Juliana

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Storyline

Three students and a school teacher disappear on an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. The movie follows those that disappeared, and those that stayed behind, but it delights in the asking of questions, not the answering of them. Even though both the movie and the book it was based on claim to be inspired by real events, the story is completely fictional. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Australia's First International Hit! [Video Australia] See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter David Williamson was originally chosen to adapt the film, but was unavailable and recommended TV writer Cliff Green. See more »

Goofs

14 February 1900 was a Wednesday, not a Saturday. While this seems to be a factual error, it could be a subtle hints that this is a fictional story. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Miranda: What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut deletes several scenes from the original release version:
  • Irma thanking Albert for finding her and Michael's growing relationship with Irma, climaxing in his demanding to know what happened at the Rock.
  • a brief sequence inside the church during the memorial service of the girls crying.
  • Mrs Appleyard removing some of Sarah's belongings at night after her disappearance. There are two very minor additions:
  • A brief sequence of a photographer getting a picture of the school before being shooed off.
  • A smoother introduction to the scene where Albert tells Michael of his dream of Sarah, beginning with Michael telling him how he often dreams of the Rock.
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Soundtracks

Doina Lui Petru Unc
Written by Gheorghe Zamfir
Performed by Gheorghe Zamfir
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User Reviews

 
Picnic....
30 April 2004 | by timhughes2000See all my reviews

This film is magnificent! From the storyline, the settings, the atmosphere, the cinematography, the Victorian repression, the music throughout, the sense of the ordinary, the epic and the bizarre all clashing together to make something altogether superb from such disparate parts.

Whether it is supernatural, otherworldly, plain disappearances, a murder scene, or who-knows, no one ever really finds out. And what might seem important, might not be, and what might seem trivial might not be either! It is the imagination made reality on film, and the most dreamy and atmospheric film I have seen.

The fact that it is in Australia as well, at the turn of the century counts for a lot. The story in the movie could be read in countless ways; as symbolic of the horrors and hypocrisy of Victorian society; as a criticism of European ideals imposed on an alien landscape; as the end of one society, that of Victorian, to the beginnings of the modern world we all now live in. It is this that is the crux for me; the appearance of something new from something so old; the old landscape, the passing values of Victorian society, the passing values of class deference in English-speaking societies, and obviously Australia.

There is another thing that gets me about this movie; the down to earthness of Australians up against the bizarre and epic nature of an ancient landscape that refuses to be tamed.

There is for me a sadness in this film, and repression of every kind, but, somewhere, in tiny glints throughout the movie, the future is glimpsed when ordinary people can be free of such repression, and somewhere the story of Oz itself is in this movie. I don't know how or why, but it is! I think! Whatever, I love this movie and can't get it out of my head.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

2 February 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Picnic at Hanging Rock See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD440,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,492, 28 June 1998

Gross USA:

$49,582

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$82,361
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1998 director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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