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In Picnic was that Martin Milner of "Adam 12" driving the police car?


I still have the original Picnic Theme music on cassette. It is called "Moonglow" and is the Morris Stoloff version.


When William Holden was catching the train at the end of the movie, I noticed the old blue Alco F3 Locomotive, this was the first generation of trains to replace the steam locomotives during the 1950's. The F3 is a classic to model train collectors.


The photography in Picnic is great, like the sharp clear outdoor shots and is in widescreen. This movie is one of William Holden and Kim Novacks best.

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Don't see Martin Milner's name in the credits. He would have been 19 in 1950.


I also have the the Moonglow theme which I listen to frequently but it's not the original version. Thanks for the info.


The F3 epitomizes the late 40s/early 50s. Very sexy. Not like the bland box engines today.


I would say that it is one of Novak's and Holden's best performances although I read an account of the making of this film that indicated that Kim Novak was isolated from other cast members. I don't think they got along very well including Holden.

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UGH! I fell asleep in the last few minutes, right after Roz's charactor was rushing through the house saying she was getting married. I don't know how anything resolved! Thank goodness TCM will show it again. (same thing happened first time I saw Suddenly Last Summer) ACK!


Although I lurve Bill Holden, I agree, he seemed just a bit too mature for the part. Trying to seem like a freewheelin' young guy came off as forced, but he did his best. And I hated Kim's hair, it looked like a burnt mullet. Was it supposed to? Like *here's a girl who bleaches her own hair*, no money for a salon?


I liked the film a lot, I just wish it had been a little more subtle. "All people ever talk about is how pretty I am"....we got that by scene 3, you don't have to state it!

The Eastman House in Rochester is screening it next month. Maybe I'll make the 2 hour drive. Seeing Bill Holden 20 ft tall would almost be worth the $50 in gasoline.

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<< a girl who bleaches her own hair no money for a salon >>


TikiSoo, you must be very very young. Picnic was made in 1955 and in those days people didn't have the "buying power" we have today. In those days the first supermarkets were opening, NO fast food, no malls, the very beginning of shopping centers, theatres RULED.


If you wanted dinner, you had to cook everything from scratch and if you wanted a ready made meal then you had to go to a diner and wait approx an hour before you meal was brought to you because the chef had to cook it from scratch. Would you beleive it took most of the day to make a loaf of bread because of the time consuming effort to knead and let it rise from the yeast! For the people who were in the upper middle class, they could afford salons.


About doing your own hair, there is an old expression "I just wash my hair and I can't do a thing with it"


We today have it so lucky.

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I would like to say something about the supporting cast. I think Arthur O'Connell and

Susan Strasberg are excellent. I felt A.O'Connell's anxiety & embarrassment and

S. Strasberg's "teenage angst". Also, R.Russell made me squirm and I think that

is how we were supposed to feel.


Didn't Ralph Meeker play the William Holden part on the stage. In the vernacular of

my generation, Mr. Meeker was no "Spring Chicken" either. :)

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If Ralph Meeker did it on stage, it was several years earlier and Mr.Meeker wasn't on a wide screen in everyone's face...the difference between stage and film.

Picnic was always one of my favorites ,and with the exception of Roz Russell's overwrought performance, I liked everyone else.

However, last night, I found myself embarassed by it. Holden was way too old to play the part and it showed in every scene. Strasburg was still perfecting her Dad's acting techniques, Betty Field was wasted as the Mother.

Surviving were, Kim Novak using her ethereal, other-worldness to her advantage, Arthur O'Connell

turning in the most authentic performance, and Verna Felton a close second in authenticity.

Rosalind Russell's performance was painful to watch. So unnecessarily over the top, it seemed that she wanted to singlehandedly steal the picture from everyone else...ruining the continuity whenever she was on the screen.

I guess the only real winner of this filmed play was the music, which lived on for some time as a pop hit.


My take: James Dean, had he lived would have been a very likely choice for the Holden role.

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*in those days people didn't have the "buying power" we have today. In those days the first supermarkets were opening, NO fast food, no malls, the very beginning of shopping centers, theatres RULED.*


ah, the good old days! lol :D

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I couldn't wait to see Picnic....I was even contemplating buying the DVD when I saw TCM was playing the movie last night....so I taped it. Luckily, I can tape over it - one of the worst films I ever saw. I am a big Holden fan - and he looked great in the film - but way too old for the part and basically, the entire movie didn't keep my interest and was like chalk on a blackboard listening to the 2 sisters arguing about everything - so juevenile......so I wound up watching the All-Star game instead.

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I beg to disagree, but Iiked Rosiland Russell`s performance in "Picnic".She ran the gamut of emotions, and I thought that she did a fine job. My favorite scene is when she shows her vulnerability and begs Howard to marry her. William Holden owed a last film on his contract to Columbia. He did not want to do the film, but even though he looked too old for the part, I have no complaints about his acting.

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I watched 'Picnic' and loved the cast'

Kim Novak looking very young with long chestnut hair -

before she changed it to short, silver blonde, and quite

good in the part of Madge...

Roz Russell's over-the-top performance as Rosemary

(you gotta marry me, Howard) this part was played

brilliantly by Eileen Heckert on the stage...

William Holden perfect for the part of the drifter, who

can't find his place in society..

Susan Strasberg little girl lost who grows up at the end

Betty Field, trying to guide her daughter to a loveless

marriage..and finally

Verna Felton .. the elderly lady who truly loved Hal

and gleefuly declares There Was A Man In The House...

good direction by Logan...

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Verna surley did play the maid on I Love Lucy

she also played in two other episodes

she was the lady who Lucy threw the dirt on

her rug to sell her a vacuum cleaner and she

was the voice of the lady when Lucy was trying

to listen to Ricky through the furnace pipe

who screamed "Elmer come and eat your lunch"

she was also the voice of the fairy godmother in WD's Cinderella...

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I love the movie "Picnic", but as for Roz Russell's performance, I think that she is acting for the stage rather than the screen.??Like most play-to-movie adaptations, there is an element of "staginess" to "Picnic".




As for Holden's age, I used to think that he *was* too old for the part, but now, thinking of the many men who went to college on the GI Bill, Holden *could* have been 5 to 10 years older than Cliff Robertson, also, his advancing age brings a sense of desperation to the character that James Dean couldn't match,??Dean would have played it, totally differently, like a "bad boy" on the run Check out when Roz yells at Holden that "he's not as young as he thinks he is" or something like that.


I, of course, love the dance scene in "Picnic". Holden cant dance a lick, they fool you with camera angles. Now Kim Novak, on the other hand, she knows how to move!


Message was edited by: johnpressman

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Felton was and is very funny as Mrs. Porter, the maid who bosses Lucy around in that classic episode. Felton was also one of the voices of a mother elephant who made fun of DUMBO in that Disney classic.

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Good points about Holden's age and comparing how James Dean would have played the part.


I understand that they had to construct a special moving platform for Holden because of his dancing problems and they had to let him drink to get him through this scene.

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visiualf....R. Meeker DID play the part on the stage at the age of 33yrs. W. Holden was

37yrs. old in the movie. I understand your point about stage vs.film. In my opinion both

actors were too old. I also did not like Kim Novak in her part either. As far a "ethereal",

I thought she was just plain dull. I am not a James Dean fan, but I also don't have

other actors/actresses in mind for these parts. Paul Newman(30yrs at the time) &

Joanne Woodward understuded R.Meeker & Janice Rule during the stage play.

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