Picnic at Hanging Rock (film)

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Picnic at Hanging Rock is a 1975 Australian mystery drama film involves the disappearance of several schoolgirls and their teacher during a picnic at Hanging Rock, Victoria, on Valentine's Day in 1900, and the subsequent effect on the local community.

Directed by Peter Weir. Produced by Hal and Jim McElroy. Screenplay by Cliff Green. Based on Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay.
On St. Valentine's Day in 1900 a party of schoolgirls set out to picnic at Hanging Rock. ...Some were never to return.  (taglines)

Mrs. Appleyard

  • She hadn't been molested? [Dr. McKenzie: No, no, nothing like that. I have examined her and it's quite intact.]
  • [to Miss Lumley] This tragedy is little more than a week old and already three, three mark you, sets of parents have written advising me that their daughters will not be here next term. Now the newspapers have something further to sensationalise about. Newspapers all over the world have headlined our morbid affair Miss Lumley. I mean, you realise that I suppose.

Mademoiselle de Poitiers

  • Au revoir mes enfants. Au revoir. Au revoir.
  • [to Irma] I thought you had gone for ever.
  • [to Mrs. Appleyard] Madam, something terrible has happened.

Miss McCraw

  • The mountain comes to Muhammad, and Hanging Rock comes to Mr. Hussey.
  • It stopped at twelve. It never stopped before. Must be something magnetic.
  • This we do for pleasure, so that we may shortly be at the mercy of venomous snakes and poisonous ants. How foolish can human creatures be.
  • Only a million years ago. Quite a recent eruption really. The rocks all round - Mount Macedon itself - must be all of 350 million years old. Siliceous lava, forced up from deep down below. Soda trachytes extruded in a highly viscous state, building the steep sided mamelons we see in Hanging Rock. And quite young geologically speaking. Barely a million years.

Sara Waybourne

  • Miranda knows lots of things other people don't know. Secrets. She knew she wouldn't come back.
  • [to Minnie] She was afraid I'd run away, so she shaved my head. I bit her arm - it bled. So she painted my head with gentian violet.

Irma Leopold

  • Waiting a million years, just for us.
  • I remember - nothing! Nothing! I remember nothing!
  • Sara reminds me of a little deer Papa brought home once. I looked after it, but it died. Mama always said it was doomed.

Edith Horton

  • Miranda. Miranda. Miranda, don't go up there! Come back!
  • Except for those people down there, we might be the only living creatures in the whole world.
  • Blanche says Sara writes poetry- in the dunny! She found one there on the floor, all about Miranda.
  • Why can't we just sit on this log, and look at the ugly old rock from here? It's nasty here. I never thought it would be so nasty, or I wouldn't have come!

Miranda St. Clare

  • [first lines] What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream.
  • Everything begins and ends at the exactly right time and place.
  • Look! Not down at the ground, Edith. Way up there in the sky.
  • You must learn to love someone else, apart from me, Sara. I won't be here much longer.


  • Mr. Whitehead: There's some questions got answers and some haven't.
  • Mrs. Fitzhubert: Don't go too far... and be careful! There could be snakes.
  • Michael Fitzhubert: [repeated line] I think I'll just... eh... stretch my legs a bit.
  • Miss Lumley: I believe Mrs. Appleyard's decided you're not to go to the picnic, Sara. That makes two of us.
  • Albert Crundall: The old man hired me to look after the horses. I'm buggered if I'm gonna be likin' a bloody garden party.
  • Marion: A surprising number of human beings are without purpose, though it is probable that they are performing some function unknown to themselves.


Mrs. Appleyard: Good morning, girls.
Girls: Good morning, Mrs. Appleyard.
Mrs. Appleyard: Well young ladies, we are indeed fortunate in the weather for our picnic to Hanging Rock. I have instructed Mademoiselle that the day is likely to be warm, you may remove your gloves once the drag has passed through Wood End. We will partake a luncheon at the picnic grounds near the rock. Once again let me remind you the rock itself is extremely dangerous, you are therefore forbidden of any tomboy foolishness in the matter of exploration, even on the lowest slopes. I also wish to remind you, the vicinity is reknowned for its venomous snakes and poisonous ants of various species. It is, however, a geological marvel.

Mademoiselle: Ah! Now I know.
Miss McCraw: What do you know?
Mademoiselle: I know that Miranda is a Botticelli angel.

Ben: Well Ma'am, the strength of it is this. Three of your young ladies and uh - Miss McCraw are missing - on the rock.
Mrs. Appleyard: What happened?
Ben: Well now, Mrs. Appleyard, that's just the trouble. Nobody knows what happened.

Albert: I thought the little fat one was gonna take a bath. Some of them are real lookers! Have a look at the shape of the dark one with the curls. Built like an hourglass. And have a guard the last one, the blonde. Oh, she'd have a decent pair of legs- all the way up to her bum.
Michael: I'd rather you didn't say crude things like that, Albert.
Albert: I say the crude things; you just think them.

Albert: As far as I'm concerned, that's the stone end of it.
Michael: Well, that's not the end of it as far as I'm concerned. They may be out there - dying of thirst on - on that infernal rock and - you and I sitting here drinking cold and bloody beer!
Albert: That's were you and me's different. If you want my advice, the sooner you forget the whole thing, the better.
Michael: But I can't forget it! And I never will.

Albert: We'll have to be going soon. It'll be dark before we get back.
Michael: I'm staying here.
Albert: You're what?
Michael: I'm staying here.
Albert: Here? on the rock?
Michael: Yes.

Michael: Albert, I want to go back to the rock - and to look for them. Will you come with me?
Albert: Beautiful birds them swans. A week in the bush - they'd be dead by now.
Michael: Then, I'll go alone.

Ben: Ah, you wouldn't have the time, I suppose, Miss?
Mademoiselle: Ah, Miranda- your pretty little diamond watch?
Miranda: Don't wear it anymore. Can't stand the ticking above my heart.
Irma: If it were mine, I'd wear it always- even in the bath. Would you Mr. Hussey?

Edith: May I come, too, please?
Marion: So long as you don't complain.
Edith: I won't, I promise.
Miranda: And don't worry about us Mademoiselle. We shall only be gone a little while.

Minnie: I feel sorry for them kids.
Tom: The ones on the rock, you mean?
Minnie: Yeah, them too. I was thinking of them other poor little devils. Here at the college.
Tom: Damn! They're all right. Rolling in cash, most of them. Or at least their mothers and fathers are.
Minnie: Some of them are orphans, or wards, and you know.

Mrs. Fitzhubert's Maid: Well, ma'am, it's Miss Irma.
Mrs. Fitzhubert: Yes?
Mrs. Fitzhubert's Maid: Well, it's about her clothing.
Mrs. Fitzhubert: What is it, my dear?
Mrs. Fitzhubert's Maid: Well, I didn't know whether the Sergeant should be told. There's - there's no corset. Miss Irma's corset - it's missing!
Mrs. Fitzhubert: Well, you did right, my dear. It can't possibly be of any interest.

Seargent Bumpher: Why didn't you tell us you followed the four girls.
Michael: Because... I didn't exactly follow them. I just jumped across the creek and walked towards the rock a little way. I was curious. In England young ladies like that wouldn't be allowed to go walking in the forest. Not alone anyway. They were gone by the time I got out of the creek, so I turned back.

[last lines of the film]
Narrator: The body of Mrs. Arthur Appleyard, Principal of Appleyard College, was found at the base of Hanging Rock on Friday 27 March 1900. Although the exact circumstances of her death are not known, it is believed she fell while attempting to climb the rock. The search for the missing school girls and their governess continued spasmodically for the next few years without success. To this day their disappearance remains a mystery.


  • A recollection of evil.
  • We shall only be gone a little while...
  • Australia's First International Hit! [Video Australia]
  • On St. Valentine's Day in 1900 a party of schoolgirls set out to picnic at Hanging Rock. ...Some were never to return.