Peter Weir

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath put director Peter Weir on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema. Based on an acclaimed 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock is set at the turn of the twentieth century and concerns a small group of students from an all- female college who vanish, along with a chaperone, while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing. Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day.

Film Info

  • Peter Weir
  • Australia
  • 1975
  • 107 minutes
  • 1.78:1
  • English
  • Spine #29

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • Remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised by director Peter Weir, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Extended interview with Weir
  • New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy, and cast members
  • New introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
  • A Recollection . . . Hanging Rock 1900 (1975), an on-set documentary hosted by Lovell and featuring interviews with Weir, actor Rachel Roberts, and source novel author Joan Lindsay
  • Homesdale (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Megan Abbott and an excerpt from film scholar Marek Haltof’s 1996 book Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide (dual-format only); a new paperback edition of Lindsay’s novel, previously out of print in the U.S. (dual-format only)

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

DIRECTOR-APPROVED EDITION:

  • Remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised by director Peter Weir, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Extended interview with Weir
  • New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy, and cast members
  • New introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
  • A Recollection . . . Hanging Rock 1900 (1975), an on-set documentary hosted by Lovell and featuring interviews with Weir, actor Rachel Roberts, and source novel author Joan Lindsay
  • Homesdale (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Megan Abbott and an excerpt from film scholar Marek Haltof’s 1996 book Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide (dual-format only); a new paperback edition of Lindsay’s novel, previously out of print in the U.S. (dual-format only)

New cover by Eric Skillman

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Cast
Rachel Roberts
Mrs. Appleyard
Vivean Gray
Miss McCraw
Helen Morse
Mlle. de Poitiers
Kirsty Child
Miss Lumley
Anthony Llewellyn-Jones
Tom
Jacki Weaver
Minnie
Frank Gunnell
Mr. Whitehead
Anne Lambert
Miranda
Karen Robson
Irma
Jane Vallis
Marion
Christine Schuler
Edith
Margaret Nelson
Sara
Ingrid Mason
Rosamund
Jenny Lovell
Blanche
Janet Murray
Juliana
Wyn Roberts
Sergeant Bumpher
Kay Taylor
Mrs. Bumpher
Garry McDonald
Constable Jones
Martin Vaughan
Ben Hussey
Jack Fegan
Dr. McKenzie
Peter Collingwood
Colonel Fitzhubert
Olga Dickie
Mrs. Fitzhubert
Dominic Guard
Michael Fitzhubert
John Jarrett
Albert Crundall
Credits
Director
Peter Weir
Produced by
Hal McElroy
Produced by
Jim McElroy
Executive producer
Patricia Lovell
Executive producer for the South Australian Film Corporation
John Graves
Screenplay
Cliff Green
From the novel by
Joan Lindsay
Director of photography
Russell Boyd
Art director
David Copping
Artistic adviser to the director
Martin Sharp
Editor
Max Lemon
Flûte de Pan played by
Gheorghe Zamfir
Additional original music composed by
Bruce Smeaton

From The Current

Adventures in Moviegoing with Megan Abbott
Adventures in Moviegoing with Megan Abbott

Award-winning crime novelist Megan Abbott discusses her formative experiences as a film lover in the latest episode of our Channel-exclusive series Adventures in Moviegoing.

Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Mar 1, 2018
Julia Cafritz’s Top 10

At the beginning of Julia Cafritz’s senior year of high school, she saw Peter Weir’s The Last Wave and decided to drop out of high school, skip college, move to Australia, marry Mr. Weir and devote her life to filmmaking. Her parents said no. Two


Mar 31, 2016
Meg Baird’s Top 10

Meg Baird is a founding member of the experimental folk collective Espers (Drag City). Her latest solo record, Don't Weigh Down the Light, is currently available through Drag City.


Mar 18, 2016
Peter Weir on Picnic at Hanging Rock
Peter Weir on Picnic at Hanging Rock

The mysteries of Picnic at Hanging Rock live on, even for the director himself. In this excerpt from a 2003 interview on our new special edition of the film, Peter Weir reminisces about how the project first came to him and reveals that Picnic noveli…


Jun 23, 2014
Picnic at Hanging Rock: What We See and What We Seem
Picnic at Hanging Rock: What We See and What We Seem

Peter Weir’s sun-dappled, sexually charged nightmare about a disappearance in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australia still unnerves due to its radical lack of resolution.

By Megan Abbott

On Film / Essays — Jun 20, 2014
Lena Dunham’s Top 10

“This list is so hard to make,” writes Lena Dunham, writer and director of the film Tiny Furniture and writer and creator of the HBO series Girls.


Jun 25, 2013
Frederick Elmes’s Top 10

In compiling his top ten, Elmes, who shot The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil, chose those films, he says, “that influenced me most.”


Jul 7, 2010
Dennis Lehane’s Top 10

Dennis Lehane is best known for his novel Mystic River, made into the acclaimed film by Clint Eastwood. When we discovered his love for Criterion, we asked him to write for us, and he did, contributing a terrific essay to our rerelease of The Wages o


Nov 21, 2008
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Picnic at Hanging Rock

Horror need not always be a long-fanged gentleman in evening clothes or a dismembered corpse or a doctor who keeps a brain in his gold fish bowl. It may be a warm sunny day, the innocence of girlhood and hints of unexplored sexuality that combine to …

By Vincent Canby

On Film / Essays — Oct 20, 1998