" PICNIC " (1955) ~ How we've changed!!!

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by WLL, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. WLL

    WLL Popery Of Mopery Thread Starter

    SPOILERS ~ I re-saw the 1955 film of the William Inge play " PICNIC " directed by Joshua Logan with William Holden and Kim Novak 'other, on KQED San Francisco's Saturday-nite " big movie " slot - They have now taken to showing it THREE times in the course of an evening, Million Dollar Movie-like of which I was fully present for two.
    I saw it theatrically in SF at the Castro Theatre a few years back. (This is about the movie, I suppose the plot of the play could differ slightly.)
    As far as modern-day attitudes go ~ Um, considering that there's probably, all told, more dads, and even grandads, of 18-or-so-year olds (Moms likewise) here than many even kind of near that actual age themselves it will perhaps interest you that:
    The film paints it as a salutary thing that a rather backward overaged 18 yr old (maybe she's 19) painfully respectable lower-middle class prom queen type with looks and not much else should run off with a considerably older, trainhopping , homeless, alcohol-quaffing, veteran with no conventional prospects or credentials and a juvie hall record and mucho family trauma based upon a day's acquaintance!
    The message, of course, is " FOLLOW YOUR HEART! ". This, however, certainly runs rather counter to the Oprah/Suze Ornman/" You go, girl! "...um, #MeToo?...conventional wisdom today, certainly among respectable, genteel, PBS viewer types! No?????
    Kim's character is finishing her first (Or 2nd?) post-HS gradding summer, and her mother takes in boarders to get by. Susan Strasberg is her more aspiring-artsy younger sister, more 'n'lectual than Sis (And would a modern-day version of Strasberg play her as a ~ Perhaps not yet self-aware? ~ " [Mod: derogatory sexual orientation term removed] "? Inge was gay, evidently.). Rosalind Russell is a boarder, a becoming-an-" old maid " teacher. Kim's Mom's house is right next to the high school. I was thinking that that seemed unlikely, more for dramatic purposes for the story's climax to happen against the background of returning students, but I don't know mid-20th Kansas small towns.
    To-day, our idea of an ideal climax would be that Bill and Kim would be SEPERATED, Bill packed off to an (initially) locked rehab program for booze/PTSD (Programs for which hardly existed in '55, but anyhow.). Kim told to practice her self-esteem and gluten-free cookery, to visit Bill on Memorial and Veterans' Day and off him a (carefully vetted) cupcake and say " Thank you for your service ". But NOTHING MORE. Where's your SELF-ESTEEM, girlfriend?:D!?
    Rosalind's character shows no pride in her profession, either, pushing her BF into matrimony and sticking her tonguegout at the HS as she rides away!!! There seem to be pop-/movie-star pics on the wall in Kim and Susan's shared room perhaps to underline " this is two teenage girls' room ". I thought, before, Elvis Presley and Paul Anka, but '55 seems early for that, 'specially for Paul ~ Whom, then?:eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2018
    rod likes this.
  2. Al Kuenster

    Al Kuenster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV - US
    A favorite film of mine from that era. Weather it is relevant for that time or not I always enjoy watching it, it's only a film sit back and enjoy!
     
  3. nopedals

    nopedals Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbia SC
    The Moonglow dance scene was very compelling, tying things up as the camera goes from character to character. Brings to mind the dance at the end of Renoir's Can Can.
     
  4. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    love this movie...own it on DVD. There is an import on BD as well...
     
  5. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    I have a US blu ray of this. Looks phenomenal on my OLED. Sexiest movie ever that lacks nudity.
     
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    when did the BD come out and is it still in print?
     
  7. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
  8. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
  9. Al Kuenster

    Al Kuenster Forum Resident

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV - US
    Twilight Time put a BR out but sadly it's out of print and pricey on ebay.
     
    Michael likes this.
  10. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    yes of course...disclaimer: buy me now or pay the price later...
     
  11. cathandler

    cathandler Forum Resident

    Location:
    maine
  12. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    I have always found this movie long and hard to enjoy, but that soundtrack, at least the following two songs, are top notch and they both still send a shiver up my spine, they are so damn great ...

     
    JohnO likes this.
  13. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
  14. Bob Casner

    Bob Casner New Member

    Location:
    Venice, California
    This was shown in the Los Angeles area a few weeks back on PBS station KCET's "Must See Movies" in the full 2.55:1 Cinemascope format and looked just amazing, nothwithstanding this station's not-quite-entirely-sharp signal. Excellent color cinematography by the late, great James Wong Howe. Rather than watch the whole thing, I ordered a blu-ray copy that says "region free" which I haven't yet got around to watching, so YES - it IS currently available. By the way, this TV station isn't consistent in the format they show. "Carousel" was presented in 2.55:1 Cinemascope, yet "West Side Story" was cropped down to "screen filling" 16:9, about 1.78:1 - I tuned OUT of that one!
     
  15. ShockControl

    ShockControl Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    George Duning's score for Picnic is gorgeous. He is nearly forgotten today. Some of his other memorable scores include Bell Book and Candle, Then Came Bronson, and a few Star Trek scores, including The Empath.
     
    quicksilverbudie likes this.
  16. mark renard

    mark renard Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Just watched this the other night. I recorded it off of TCM recently. Basically the film should be titled Picnic, Or A Story Of Falling In Love In One Day With A Younger, Beautiful Female Even Though You Have Barely Said Three Words To Each Other. :D
     
  17. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Four words might have killed the deal - in this type of transaction, the less said the better
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  18. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    I always had the hots for the little sister
     
  19. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Who can blame him?

     
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  20. mark renard

    mark renard Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    She was cute.
     
  21. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    That's a good angle for her. From the front her face is a little too square.
     
  22. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Location:
    Bayside, NY
    And this is bad why? Jeez, you would think she was a Steve Ditko character.
     
  23. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    TCM runs Picnic fairly often, last on Feb. 25. Next on Monday, April 30, 2018. They show it in the full 2.55:1 as far as I can tell. You can get an emailed reminder back from this page:
    Picnic (1955) - Overview - TCM.com
     

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