Director: Joshua Logan
Year Released: 1955
Rousing adaptation of the impressive William Inge play changes a little bit of the story - in this, the picnic actually takes place (on screen) - but retains the depth and character of the original stage version. Handsome degenerate Hal (William Holden) sneaks into town via train looking for a job with his old pal Alan (Cliff Robertson) but ends up romancing (and deflowering) town beauty queen Madge (Kim Novak). Holden was, indeed, too old to play the role and Kim Novak's 'performance' consists of posing (perfect for Hitchcock, not for here), but everyone else is magnificent, particularly Susan Strasberg as Millie, the "brainy" tomboy sister who smokes and hopes to write controversial fiction when she gets older. While the Madges get caught up with the wrong boys and run off foolishly into the night, it's the Millies that keep the world thinking. And the scorned Alans never do come back....