Picnic (film)

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German title picnic
Original title Picnic
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1955
length 115 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Joshua Logan
script Daniel Taradash
production Fred Kohlmar
music George Duning
camera James Wong Howe
cut William A. Lyon ,
Charles Nelson

Picnic (Original title: Picnic ) is an American melodrama with William Holden and Kim Novak from 1955. The literary model was the play of the same name by William Inge , which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 .


Dodger and former football star Hal Carter is looking for work in a small town in Kansas . He is hoping for the support of his old friend Alan Benson. When Hal arrives in the same place on Labor Day , the residents are busy preparing for their annual picnic. With his honest manner and masculine appearance, Hal is quick to stir women's minds. Even the old maid teacher Rosemary is immediately taken with the rough Hal. At a picnic together, Hal meets Alan's fiancé, the local beauty Madge. Both are immediately drawn to each other, much to the displeasure of jealous Alan and Madge's worried mother, Flo. When the situation comes to a head and Alan calls Hal a no-nonsense, Hal leaves the picnic. Madge runs after him and tries to persuade him to stay. In doing so, they come closer.

After a violent argument with Alan and the local police, Hal decides to take a train out of town for Tulsa . He asks Madge to come with him. But she is not sure whether to take this step. It is only when her younger sister Millie encourages her to take the risk that Madge packs her bags to start a life together with Hal.


The premiere of William Inge's play Picnic took place on February 19, 1953 at the Music Box Theater on New York's Broadway , where the drama was performed a total of 477 times. Director Joshua Logan , who was also responsible for the theater production, changed a large part of the cast for his film version. Only Arthur O'Connell , Reta Shaw and Elizabeth Wilson kept their roles. Paul Newman , who had played a supporting role on the stage, was replaced by Cliff Robertson .

The shooting took place from May to July 1955 on location in Kansas , including in the cities of Halstead , Hutchinson , Nickerson , Salina and Sterling .

Picnic premiered in the United States in November 1955 and hit US theaters on February 16, 1956. The film developed into one of the most successful productions of the year. The film was first released in Germany on March 16, 1956.


The lexicon of international films called Picnick “an intelligent study of the American way of life and bourgeois lifestyles which, with its accurate and drastic irony, gave the Hollywood melodrama new impulses”. The evangelical film observer attested the melodrama "[e] in psychologically extremely finely nuanced play between complex-laden people in the waves of a folk festival". Because of the “clean and accurate depiction of sublime erotic tension and its cinematic conciseness”, it is “recommended to adults”. Cinema simply described the film as "small town melodrama with great feelings".

According to Variety , leading actor William Holden was "sometimes rough as a drifter, sometimes sympathetic and dazzling", but he consistently delivered "a haunting performance". Kim Novak is also doing her job “well”. Within the cast, however, Rosalind Russell is "outstanding" in the role of "the old maid and teacher who lives with Novak's family".

In the book that was published by the Deutsche Kinemathek Foundation in 1997 in homage to Kim Novak together with the Berlin International Film Festival , the film critic Annette Kilzer wrote that Picnick tells of what is desired and what is desired, of those who know a goal in life and of those who would be chosen as a target by others: “Kim Novak and William Holden embody those who are greeted with longing. But while Novak's charisma is evident in her lethargic, self-lost movements, Holden's sex appeal has to be carefully staged. [...] Above all, he is the object of desire in this film. "


At the Oscar ceremony in 1956 was a picnic in the categories of Best Art Direction (William Flannery, Jo Mielziner, Robert Priestley) and Best Editing (Charles Nelson, William A. Lyon) with the Oscar awarded. The melodrama was also nominated in the categories of best film , best director (Joshua Logan), best supporting actor (Arthur O'Connell) and best film music (George Duning). Joshua Logan received the Golden Globe for Best Director in 1956 and was also nominated for the Directors Guild of America Award . Screenwriter Daniel Taradash was again nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award .

At the British Academy Film Awards in 1957, Picnic was nominated for Best Picture , Best Foreign Actor (William Holden), Best Foreign Actress (Kim Novak), and Best Young Talent (Susan Strasberg) for the BAFTA, but it ended blank.

German version

The German dubbed version was created in 1956 by Ultra Film Synchron GmbH Berlin under the dubbing direction and based on the dialogue book by Alfred Vohrer .

role actor Voice actor
Hal Carter William Holden Paul Klinger
Marjorie "Madge" Owens Kim Novak Margot Leonard
Flo Owens Betty Field Tilly Lauenstein
Millie Owens Susan Strasberg Marianne Prenzel
Alan Benson Cliff Robertson Gert Günther Hoffmann
Howard Bevans Arthur O'Connell Hans Nielsen
Helen Potts Verna Felton Agnes Windeck
Irma Kronkite Reta Shaw Erna Haffner
bomber Nick Adams Wolfgang Gruner
Mr. Benson Raymond Bailey Siegfried Schürenberg
Christine Schoenwalder Elizabeth Wilson Friedel Schuster
Rosemary Sidney Rosalind Russell Edith Schneider

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. omovie.com
  2. picnic. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed June 8, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. Protestant film observer . Evangelical Press Association Munich, Critique No. 214/1956.
  4. cf. cinema.de ( Memento from September 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ "William Holden is the drifter, sometimes ribald, partly sympathetic and colorful and giving a forceful interpretation all the way. […] Novak does right well. [...] Rosalind Russell, the spinster school teacher boarding with Novak's family, is standout. " See Picnic . In: Variety , 1955.
  6. Annette Kilzer: Picnic . In: Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin International Film Festival, editor Rolf Aurich (Ed.): Kim Novak - Hommage . Jovis, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-931321-53-3 , p. 40 f.
  7. cf. synchrondatenbank.de