Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)



Critic Consensus: Visually mesmerizing, Picnic at Hanging Rock is moody, unsettling, and enigmatic -- a masterpiece of Australian cinema and a major early triumph for director Peter Weir.

Picnic at Hanging Rock Photos

Movie Info

Peter Weir's breakthrough Australian drama about three girls and a teacher who disappear during a school outing.

Watch it now


Rachel Roberts
as Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray
as Miss Greta McGraw
Helen Morse
as Diane de Poitiers
Kirsty Child
as Dora Lumley
Dominic Guard
as Michael Fitzhubert
Christine Schuler
as Edith Horton
Dafydd Wyn Roberts
as Sgt. Bumpher
Frank Gunnell
as Edward Whitehead
Margaret Nelson
as Sara Wayboume
Ingrid Mason
as Rosamund
Kay Taylor
as Mrs. Bumpher
Garry McDonald
as Constable Jones
Martin Vaughan
as Ben Hussey
Peter Collingwood
as Colonel Fitzhubert
Olga Dickie
as Mrs. Fitzhubert
John Jarratt
as Albert Crundall
View All

News & Interviews for Picnic at Hanging Rock

Critic Reviews for Picnic at Hanging Rock

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (11)

[Picnic at Hanging Rock's] use of music is especially effective.

January 7, 2021 | Full Review…

Picnic At Hanging Rock is determined to keep its secrets to itself. Yet it's as beguiling as films come.

June 23, 2014 | Rating: 5/5

Spottily effective.

August 30, 2010 | Full Review…

By turns fascinating and mysterious.

August 30, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

This horrific tale is told with marvelous shadowy indirection and delicate lyricism.

August 30, 2010 | Full Review…

Visually it probably is one of the most beautiful pix ever seen, with Aussie flora and fauna and wonderful blue skies.

July 6, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Picnic at Hanging Rock

The unexplained 1900 Valentine's Day disappearance of four schoolgirls and a teacher affects the residents and neighbors of an all-girl college in Australia. This gauzy meditation on sexual repression and loss can have a hypnotic effect on those susceptible to its mysterious moods, while others find it an inconclusive bore. Both sides have an argument, but in general the good here outweighs the bland.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


02/11/2012 (DVD)

EightThirty .
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer


Miranda: Everything begins and ends at the exact right time and place.  "A recollection of evil." Picnic at Hanging Rock is like nothing you would expect. It has a horror film plot, but it never turns into a horror film. It's haunting, sure, but never terrifying, and I am perfectly fine with that. What the movie is, is a brilliantly subtle piece of filmmaking. The atmosphere during the Hanging Rock scenes is amazing and the cinematography throughout the whole movie is perfect. The movie turns into a realistic missing persons story. Shit happens in this world that will never be explained. This story is told with that belief. Stuff happens, and we will never know the outcome. People are abducted and killed daily and some of them we will never find and we will never completely know the truth about what happened to them. Was it a human being? Was it something otherworldly? Who's to say? That's what this movie is all about. A group of students at a girls college in 1900 Australia go for a picnic at Hanging Rock. Four students go away from the group and start exploring the rock formations. Even as we watch them, we have no real idea what is going on, as they disappear behind a rock never to be seen again. One student doesn't follow them and makes it back fine. A teacher goes looking for the missing students and is also never seen again. From there, search parties are put out and the girls wonder what happened to their classmates. But you get the sense that everyone knows it is a lost cause. There's a lot to love if you can stand the extremely slow and eventless pacing of the film. I could to a certain extent, but I found myself, at times, getting very far away from the movie. I couldn't concentrate on the film the whole time, but I could always come back and get right back into the film. With more viewings I think I would like it a lot more.  This movie kind of reminds me of an event prior to The Blair Witch Project. It's the unexplained that leads people to always want answers, but they never will be able to get them and if they try, they too will become part of the mystery. From everything you hear about this movie, it is weird that once you finally watch it, it is nothing like what you expected. Still, it is as haunting a movie as you could ever wish to see, without ever actually being scared.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Picnic at Hanging Rock Quotes

News & Features