are very romantic
dancing to "Moonglow"
For starters, its probably the most overtly sexual movie the Academy had acknowledge up until this time. It's the earliest movie in which I've ever heard the word "slut". Also, great scene where mom basically tells daughter, "You're young and pretty, but that won't last. So you'd better put out tonight for this rich boy so that you can live a comfortable life." And then, of course, there's the sensual jazz dance on the dock where everything that could be said with clothes on was communicated.
The story is- the drifter comes into the small Kansas town to look for a job with an old college buddy whose daddy is loaded. College boy is dating a girl, the aforementioned pretty one. She's frustrated because she's "only pretty" and doesn't feel comfortable in the rich-guys scene. She has a mother, bitter in her own husband's abandonment. She has a little sister, not pretty, but very smart and ambition beyond her years. They also live with a school teacher. A very interesting character who has been strong, single and independent her whole life; but is now turning older and insecure about being alone.
Meanwhile the drifter is alright, a braggadocio- but simple-minded doofus beefcake. A big flaw here was hiring William Holden, who at 37, was 10+ years too old to play this post-college nomad. Sure, Holden is built. And with his shirt off, he fit the teen romance poster image. But his face shows too much maturity for a character so naive and lost.
Acting was kinda clunky all around, save the teacher and her boyfriend. Direction was very non-Hollywood; almost independent, but in a good way. The script probably includes too many '50s colloquialisms that sound ridiculous now. But on the whole, you'll find that each character has something to be learned from. A that's certainly worth it.
A well made, but dated adaption of the stage play. It isn't a bad movie, but is far from a gret one. Nice performances from everyone, but something is missing.
William Holden plays a drifter who lands himself in a small midwestern twon in hops of getting a job with an old friend. He falls for the friends beauty queen girlfriend (Kim Novak).
There's a nice feel to the film, but its syrupy production hurts it.
Rosalind Russell, who was primarily a Broadway actor, was outstanding in this movie, especially in the second half. If you watch her and Arthur Kennedy's scenes against Holden and Novak's scenes the difference in talent is striking and should have been embarrassing to Holden and Novak.
One of Kim Novak's lines in the movie is: "I just get so tired of being told I'm pretty." Well, girlie that's the only thing you had going for you in this movie and your career.
"Picnic" was not a good movie. It did pick up in the second half, but very few movie productions based on plays are successful. A movie production requires different skill sets for the director and the cast.
Casting is where I had the biggest problem with "Picnic:" Holden is too old; Russell too glamorous; neither Novak or Field are good actors. Holden and Russell have some good moments, but I didn't for a second believe any of their work. Novak's vapidness might have worked only if I'd believed that she truly wished to be anything but just pretty. Arthur O'Connell is charming and even as Howard, and there's nothing like seeing Verna Felton, the voice of so many animated characters of my youth (and before), in the flesh.
But keep Inge on stage, please.