Terrible performances. Painful across-the-board, the only possible redemption being, what are actors supposed to do when their characters are not people but devices?
It's been a long time since I gave a 1 rating but I'm having a hard time coming up with a reason for anything else. I don't award points for unintentional comedy.
Sexism towards women and men; the pretension of the proper, well-off white characters; all the romance tropes in the book; and just being boring, unfunny, and outdated are present throughout this meager narrative. The end isn't completely bad.
Why is Strasberg rolling her eyes? Was she watching her performance?
So much awkwardness. Always the worst of humanity. The one thing, I think, everyone can agree on is that the mother is horrible. The actress did a great job playing her. There's a nihilism about it that reminded me of Grand Hotel, with the oppressive swelter of The Long, Hot Summer. I'm not sure there's a likable character in the entire film.
The mother's performance is best. romance is not very believable, but the sort of chase at the end makes for the most interesting part of the movie. Gorgeous cinematography. I wish the story matched it.
A drama of manners, Picnic is A Place in the Sun without the themes of violence or religion. The plot proceeds exactly as you might expect it would. The handsome, anti-intellectual drifter entertains the intellectual sister while pining for her beautiful, anti-intellectual sister. The whole thing resolves as you might expect it would, so there is no real surprise or genre-bending twist. Whatever charm the film holds is in the performances by its stars, and William Holden, showing off his muscled physique, does admirably much with little, and the same can be said of Kim Novak.
Overall, this film is a cliche done well.
This film has the reputation of such sexual tension for the 50's but it wasn't that tense at all since William Holden & Novak just didn't have the chemistry.
This film had a lot of potential, I think with a different director & James Dean in lead (who I believe was considered for the role) you may have had a better film.
This has interesting elements & has a few choice scenes but overall it just doesn't work & have naturalism & authenticity it's a little pretentious.