Crazy Knitter Reviews

The place where this crazy knitter reviews books, TV, movies and recipes

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Picnic (1955)

An intriguing story of lust in a small Kansas town. Hal Carter (William Holden) comes to town on a train on a hot Labor Day morning. He is hoping to find his old college friend Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson). Alan's father is a very wealthy man in the town and he is hoping that Alan will be able to get him a job. Along the way he comes across the house of Helen Potts (Verna Felton). He asks Helen if she has any odd jobs he can do for her and she agrees to help him out. Helen lives across a small field from Flo Owens (Betty Field), a single mother of two young girls. Flo lives in her small house with her daughters Madge (Kim Novak) and Millie (Susan Strasberg) and her boarder Rosemary (Rosalind Russell), an old maid schoolteacher. Madge is 19, beautiful and dating Alan. Flo is excited because she believes if Madge marries Alan she will not have to struggle like she did. However, Madge is intrigued by Hal and vice versa. Everything comes to a head at the annual picnic where Madge must decide if she is going to follow her head or her heart.

This was an excellent film. I had seen a high school production of this play but the movie version is better. Holden and Novak had amazing chemistry as the wanna be lovers. Russel was also terrific as the schoolteacher who is afraid her dreams will not come true. There were two made for TV movie version of this play also made. One in 1986 with Gregory Harrison as Hal and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Madge. The second was made in 2000 with Josh Brolin and Gretchen Mol as the star crossed lovers. However, the original is more than worth checking out.



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