https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/collection/hero_image11-2016/352483.jpg

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

‘MIRANDAAAAAA!’

When asked to name five Australian films, from any time, many people include Picnic at Hanging Rock in their list. A key factor in its enduring appeal is its plot – the mysterious disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher is never solved.

A critical and popular success, it helped establish Peter Weir’s international reputation and Australia’s place in world cinema. We’re sharing rare videos, costumes, props, interviews, music, posters, photographs, scripts and production documents from our collection.

This collection complements our Picnic at Hanging Rock online exhibition.

Picnic at Hanging Rock outtakes - Mrs Appleyard at the Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1395795
Courtesy:
Martin Sharp
Year:
Year

Silent outtakes and unused material taken during the filming of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, directed by Peter Weir).

The clip includes scenes from the original ending showing Mrs Appleyard (Rachel Roberts), the principal of Appleyard College, climbing Hanging Rock, retracing the steps of the missing schoolgirls and encountering a vision of orphan Sara Waybourne (Margaret Nelson).

Excerpts are taken from reels of 35mm silent colour outtakes, trims of scenes and additional unused material acquired from Martin Sharp, who was credited on the film as 'Artistic Advisor to the Director’.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Silent outtakes from Picnic at Hanging Rock part 1
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1395795
Courtesy:
Martin Sharp
Year:
Year

Silent outtakes and unused material taken during the filming of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, directed by Peter Weir).

The clip includes: Miranda (Anne Lambert) collecting flowers on the morning of the picnic; a schoolgirl at the window in a shot inspired by photographer David Hamilton; two schoolgirls applying rose petals as lipstick before the picnic; a melancholy Rosamund (Ingrid Mason) playing the piano after the schoolgirls’ disappearance while Sara (Margaret Nelson) watches; and Sara seated in the college grounds.

Excerpts are taken from reels of 35mm silent colour outtakes, trims of scenes and additional unused material acquired from Martin Sharp, who was credited on the film as 'Artistic Advisor to the Director’.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Silent outtakes from Picnic At Hanging Rock part 2
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1395795
Courtesy:
Martin Sharp
Year:
Year

Silent outtakes and unused material taken during the filming of Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, directed by Peter Weir).

The clip includes: Miranda (Anne Lambert), Edith (Christine Schuler), Marion (Jane Vallis) and Irma (Karen Robson) pausing while exploring Hanging Rock; two takes of the four schoolgirls circling a boulder; Irma sitting in an alcove as the other girls pass by; and two takes of Michael (Dominic Guard) gazing at Appleyard College, watched by Albert (John Jarratt) and Colonel and Mrs Fitzhubert (Peter Collingwood and Olga Dickie).

Excerpts are taken from reels of 35mm silent colour outtakes, trims of scenes and additional unused material acquired from Martin Sharp, who was credited on the film as 'Artistic Advisor to the Director’.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - long trailer
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
18571
Year:
Year

The original 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' trailer which screened ahead of the film’s Australian cinema release in August 1975. It features narration by Sydney radio presenter John Laws.

On Valentine's Day 1900 a party of schoolgirls went on a picnic to Hanging Rock. Some were never to return... 

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

360 viewer
Miranda picnic dress - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
446165
Year:
Year

Anne Louise Lambert, who played Miranda in Picnic at Hanging Rock, provided the NFSA with the following notes on her costume: 'The daisy pattern in the lace trim of the dress was Miranda’s favourite flower. The butterfly-buckle was selected because like her, their lives are beautiful and brief.’

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

360 viewer
Mademoiselle picnic dress - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
481112
Year:
Year

Helen Morse’s Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers, the French and Dancing mistress at Appleyard College, is a model of grace and elegance. She wears a high-throated Edwardian gown of cream silk, with a modest train. The bodice is decorated with a confection of lace, and the dress is perfectly matched at the picnic with parasol, straw boater and shoes.

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic at Hanging Rock. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Helen Morse was nominated for Best Actress at the 1976 AFI Awards for her leading roles in Picnic at Hanging Rock and also Caddie, and won the award for the latter role. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

360 viewer
Sara's pinafore - costume
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
446180
Year:
Year

There is no pretty summer dress for orphan Sara, played by Margaret Nelson, who is forbidden from attending the picnic in Picnic at Hanging Rock

Sara’s costumes are plain and her hairstyles severe. The starched pinafore covers a practical school uniform skirt and blouse. The ensemble conveys no sense of the wearer’s body shape and is without personal touches or decoration.

Judith Dorsman was the chief costume designer for Picnic. She was only 26 years old at the time the film was released and collaborated with Wendy Stiles (director Peter Weir’s wife, working under her maiden name) with assistance from Mandy Smith. 

Click 'View More' below to see a 360-degree view of the costume.

Notes by Jenny Gall and Stephen Groenewegen

Bill Collins: Australia in Cannes, 1976
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
356684
Courtesy:
Seven Network
Year:
Year

In this clip, film critic and presenter Bill Collins reports from the 1976 Cannes Film Festival for a Channel 7 TV special called Australia in Cannes.

On the beach, Bill discovers director Peter Weir playing his part in a memorable stunt to promote Picnic at Hanging Rock. Jack Thompson is there, along with a picnic party of young women in white dresses.

The clip also includes director Fred Schepisi and cast members Nick Tate and Arthur Dignam talking about The Devil’s Playground.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Prop of Picnic at Hanging Rock 'Missing' poster on noticeboard
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/07/16/missing_W.jpg
'Missing' poster on noticeboard - Prop
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
481095

Prop 'Missing' poster on noticeboard. NFSA title: 481095

Helen Morse discusses filming Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1037733
Year:
Year

Actor Helen Morse interviewed by Margaret Leask in 2015.

John Jarratt discusses working with Peter Weir
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1159260
Year:
Year

Actor John Jarratt interviewed by Alec Morgan in 2013

Michael (Dominic Guard) looks at Appleyard College from a distance
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/michael_faces_college.jpg
Michael looks at the College - deleted scene
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407672
Year:
Year

Michael (Dominic Guard) is drawn to Appleyard College because of its association with Miranda.

French promotional poster for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' school group
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/481090_0002.jpg
French promotional poster
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
481090
Year:
Year

French one-sheet poster.

Picnic at Hanging Rock: Two rescues
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
3
Year:
Year

On St Valentine’s Day 1900, three schoolgirls from an exclusive English-style boarding school go missing, along with a teacher, at Hanging Rock, in central Victoria.

In this clip, Michael Fitzhubert (Dominic Guard) has spent the night on Hanging Rock, looking for clues. When his servant Albert (John Jarratt) finds him the next day, he is exhausted and unable to speak. As he’s stretchered off the mountain, he hands Albert a tiny piece of a girl’s dress. Albert returns to the spot and finds missing schoolgirl Irma (Karen Robson).

Picnic at Hanging Rock Polish film poster showing drawing of girl's face with eyes closed
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/07/06/698070_700X970.jpg
Picnic at Hanging Rock Polish poster
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
698070
Year:
Year

The poster for the Polish release of Picnic at Hanging Rock has an ethereal quality that foreshadows the events of the film.

Printed card announcing that shooting of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' has commenced
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/shooting-has-commenced.jpg
'Shooting has commenced'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
348804
Year:
Year

Printed card announcing that shooting of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' has commenced.

The four schoolgirls walk in a circle around a rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/cover_image_girls_circle_rock.jpg
Four girls circle rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408814
Year:
Year

The girls encircle the rock. L-R: Irma Leopold (Karen Robson), Marion Quade (Jane Vallis), Miranda (Anne Lambert) and Edith Horton (Christine Schuler).

Sketch of boathouse
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/boathouse-sketch.jpg
Boathouse sketch
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
540752
Year:
Year

Architectural sketch for Lake View boathouse and garden party marquee.

Picnic at Hanging Rock Q&A with Anne Louise Lambert (Miranda)
Japanese promotional poster for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/1012673.jpg
Japanese one-sheet poster
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1012673
Year:
Year

Japanese one-sheet poster.

Poster for German re-release of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' in 1990
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/re-sized_german_poster.jpg
German poster
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1098674
Year:
Year

One-sheet poster for German re-release, 1990.

Helen Morse talks about how artist Martin Sharp influenced the film
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1037733
Year:
Year

Actor Helen Morse interviewed by Margaret Leask in 2015

Cover of publicity kit for Cannes Film Festival 1976 Miranda (Anne Louise Lambert)
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/publicity-kit-cover-page-cannes.jpg
Publicity cover Cannes
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
540826
Year:
Year

Publicity kit, Cannes Film Festival 1976. 

Miranda looking through a magnifying glass under an umbrella with other students around at the picnic
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/sc.27_a27.jpg
Miranda under parasol at the picnic
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Miranda (Anne Lambert, centre, with magnifying glass) and other students at the picnic.

Pat Lovell discusses how Picnic at Hanging Rock got made
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
274622
Year:
Year

Producer Pat Lovell interviewed by Martha Ansara in 1993

Production photo of the picnic scene at the rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/sc.20_a20.jpg
Picnic scene
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
792495
Year:
Year

A production photograph of the picnic scene.

Polish film poster for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' showing a drawing of Miranda's face
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/10-2016/polish_picnic2.jpg
Polish quad poster for Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1012713
Year:
Year

Polish quad poster for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' (1975).

1974 telegram with Harold Pinter’s reaction to the script
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/telegram_348804_003_01.jpg
Telegram
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
348804
Year:
Year

1974 telegram with Harold Pinter’s reaction to the script.

Australian poster for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/348989-resized.jpg
Australian poster
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
434781
Year:
Year

Australian one-sheet poster.

Appleyard College's senior girls: Irma Leopold (Karen Robson), Miranda (Anne Lambert) and Marion Quade (Jane Vallis)
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/sc.16_a16.jpg
Appleyard College's senior girls at the picnic
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Appleyard College's senior girls: Irma Leopold (Karen Robson, left), Miranda (Anne Lambert, lying in foreground) and Marion Quade (Jane Vallis). 

Composer Bruce Smeaton on Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
420411
Year:
Year

Composer Bruce Smeaton talks candidly about his musical contribution to Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975).

At the time of this interview with Peter Beilby and Ivan Hutchinson in 1974–75, Smeaton was in the process of composing what would become the 'Ascent Music' in the film.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Director of Photography Russell Boyd discusses Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
227563
Year:
Year

Director of Photography Russell Boyd interviewed by Martha Ansara in 1978

Picnic at Hanging Rock: Ascent Music played by Roger Woodward
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
291506
Year:
Year

This version of the 'Ascent Music’ was recorded by Roger Woodward in 1996 and originally composed by Bruce Smeaton for Picnic at Hanging Rock.

The contours of the ascending melodic minor motif (embellished by arpeggiated figures) is mirrored through each successive harmony, providing the music with direction and unity.

According to Smeaton, the music was composed to help bridge the gap between the film’s use of the Romanian panpipes and its European classical music – such as Bach and Mozart.

The ascending music also correlates with the film’s imagery and themes – namely, the girls' ascension of the rock, some of them never to return.

Mrs Appleyard (Rachel Roberts) looks at the rock from a distance
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/appleyard_final_seq_rock_crop.jpg
Mrs Appleyard looks at the rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408772
Year:
Year

Mrs Appleyard (Rachel Roberts) arrives at Hanging Rock in the film's original ending.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Press release announcing production of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/press-release-page-1.jpg
Press release page 1
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
348804
Year:
Year

BEF (Film Distributors) press release dated 13 January 1975 announcing imminent production of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', p 1. 

Australian lobby card showing Dianne de Poitiers (Helen Morse) and Irma (Karen Robson) at the picnic
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/429258.jpg
Australian lobby card 1
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
429258
Year:
Year

Australian lobby card showing Dianne de Poitiers (played by Helen Morse, left) and Irma (Karen Robson) at the picnic.

Miranda (Anne Lambert) unconscious on the rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/sc.25_a25.jpg
Miranda unconscious
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Miranda (Anne Lambert) unconscious at Hanging Rock.

Australian lobby card showing Mrs Appleyard (played by Rachel Roberts, left) and Sara (Margaret Nelson) in the schoolroom
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/360433.jpg
Australian lobby card 2
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
360433
Year:
Year

Australian lobby card showing Mrs Appleyard (played by Rachel Roberts, left) and Sara (Margaret Nelson) in the schoolroom.

Australian lobby card showing Albert Crundall (John Jarratt) and Michael Fitzhubert (Dominic Guard)
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/355495.jpg
Australian lobby card 3
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
355495
Year:
Year

Australian lobby card showing Albert Crundall (John Jarratt, left) and Michael Fitzhubert (Dominic Guard).

Script page showing the original ending for 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/script-ending723600_page-14.jpg
Final script page with original ending
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
723600
Year:
Year

Script changes: the original ending with Mrs Appleyard at Hanging Rock.

Mlle Dianne de Poitiers (Helen Morse) and Sara (Margaret Nelson)
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/351682.jpg
Mademoiselle and Sara
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
351682
Year:
Year

Production shot of Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers (played by Helen Morse, left) and Sara Waybourne (Margaret Nelson).

Picnic at Hanging Rock screenwriter Cliff Green - oral history
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
721342
Year:
Year

Screenwriter Cliff Green interviewed by Ina Bertrand in 2007

Miranda (Anne Lambert) looks up at Hanging Rock while shading her eyes from the sun
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/sc.09_a9.jpg
Anne Louise Lambert in Picnic at Hanging Rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Miranda (Anne Lambert) looks up at Hanging Rock.

The four schoolgirls look up while climbing the rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/95-5_crop.jpg
Girls look up at the rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408772
Year:
Year

L-R: Irma Leopold (Karen Robson), Miranda (Anne Lambert), Marion Quade (Jane Vallis) and Edith Horton (Christine Schuler) at Hanging Rock.

Mlle Dianne de Poitiers (Helen Morse) with parasol
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/73-4-2_crop.jpg
Mademoiselle (Helen Morse) with parasol
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408772
Year:
Year

Mlle Dianne de Poitiers (Helen Morse) with parasol.

Miranda (Anne Lambert) holding flowers next to a statue in the grounds of the College
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/11-2016/miranda_flowers_1a.jpg
Miranda collects flowers in a scene cut from the movie
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408772
Year:
Year

Miranda (Anne Lambert) collects flowers in the gardens of Appleyard College, on St Valentine's Day morning.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Architectural sketches for glasshouse set for the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/553237_0002.jpg
Glasshouse architectural sketch
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
553237
Year:
Year

Picnic at Hanging Rock architectural sketch for Appleyard College glasshouse, in which Sara's body is found.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Peter Weir directs night filming of a group of actors on the steps of Appleyard College in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/night_shoot.jpg
Night shoot
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407692
Year:
Year

Night shoot on the steps of Martindale Hall (location for Appleyard College).

Director Peter Weir stands to the right of the camera.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Production sketches for set dressing of the town of Woodend in Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/348804_02_08.jpg
Sketches for Woodend dressing
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
348804
Year:
Year

Prop sketches: 'Woodend' set dressing in Picnic at Hanging Rock.

A carriage full of schoolgirls drives through Woodend in a still from Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/woodend.jpg
Driving through Woodend
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407672
Year:
Year

The main street of Woodend, Victoria as recreated in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Mr Hussey drives the schoolgirls to Hanging Rock. 

The actual location is Albyn Terrace, Strathalbyn, South Australia.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Minnie the maid helps the French mistress search Miranda's room in a scene cut from Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/minnie_and_diane.jpg
Minnie and Dianne
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1407672
Year:
Year

Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers (Helen Morse) and Minnie (Jacki Weaver) investigate Sara's room after her sudden departure from the college.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Karen Robson as Irma meets John Jarratt as Albert in a still from the original release of Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/352054.jpg
Irma meets Albert
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
352054
Year:
Year

Irma (Karen Robson) meets her rescuer, Albert Crundall (John Jarratt), for the first time.

A scene from the original release of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', removed from the Director's Cut.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Michael takes Irma punting on a lake in a scene from the original release of Picnic at Hanging Rock
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/352998_lobby_card_detail.jpg
Michael and Irma on the lake - lobby card detail
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
352998
Year:
Year

Detail from Australian lobby card showing Irma (Karen Robson) and Michael Fitzhubert (Dominic Guard) in a punt.

This scene was removed by Peter Weir for the Director's Cut. 

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Sara in a white nightgown looks down from a crevice at Hanging Rock in a scene cut from Picnic at Hanging Rock.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/cs9_4.jpg
Sara haunts the rock
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1408912
Year:
Year

Sara (Margaret Nelson) haunts Mrs Appleyard at Hanging Rock.

Production call sheet for Day 10 of filming Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/348804_day_10.jpg
Production call sheet - Day 10
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
348804
Year:
Year

Production call sheet for Day 10 including Hanging Rock and unused police station scene.

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen

Seal-shaped 'Sammy' award for Best Feature Film won by Picnic at Hanging Rock in October 1976.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/02-2017/_dsc2597.jpg
Sammy Award for Best Picture, 1976
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1061218
Year:
Year

Seal-shaped 'Sammy' award for Best Feature Film won by 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' in October 1976. The awards were presented by TV Times magazine on the Seven television network for the Variety Club of Australia. The 'Sammy Awards’ were so named for the seal that adorned the top of the statuette given to winners. The inscription reads: 'Australian TV and Film Awards 1976 - Best Feature Film - Picnic at Hanging Rock - Presented by TV Times for the Variety Club of Australia'.

Picnic also won the 1976 Sammy awards for Film Actress (Helen Morse), Direction (Peter Weir) and Art Direction (David Copping), and was named runner-up in Best Actor (Dominic Guard) and Actress (Rachel Roberts).

Notes by Stephen Groenewegen