Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)

Spark’s Miss Jean Brodie sometimes took the girls into the Marcia Blaine school garden for a lesson. But it was a lesson and not a picnic. But Ronald Neame’s film picnic with Jean Brodie and her girls is his own invention. For the film, Neame and screenwriter...
Edna Ferber’s Giant (1952)

Edna Ferber’s Giant (1952)

Giant is Ferber’s novel about how a Virginia belle, Leslie Lynton, learns to be a Texan. Among her lessons is what to eat during a Texas-style picnic at her husband Reata, her husband Bick Jordan’s ranch. At first, Leslie realizes that what she is looking at is “no...
Monica Ali’s  Brick Lane (2007)

Monica Ali’s Brick Lane (2007)

Monica Ali’s family in Brick Lane is outwardly happy but inwardly troubled. After twenty years, Nazneen’s arranged marriage to Chanu Ahmed has gone wobbly. She’s never loved Chanu, but at the time of the picnic, she’s conflicted by guilt and lust-fueled by Karim, a...
John Banville’sThe Sea (2005)

John Banville’sThe Sea (2005)

Banville’s The Sea is about a man’s untrustworthy memories—less about his dying wife and more about his sexual awakening when he was about eleven years old. Looking back, Max Morden realizes that his observations of the Grace family’s beach picnics “changed his life...
Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music

Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music

  Neither Wolfgang Liebeneiner’s film Die Trapp-Familie (1956) nor Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway production of The Sound of Music (1959) has a picnic. But Robert Wise’s The Sound of Music (1965) glorifies a simple picnic on the Austrian Alps...
H.E. Bates’s A Month by the Lake

H.E. Bates’s A Month by the Lake

DRAFT For all that happens in H.E. Bates’ story and John Irvin’s film A Month by the Lake, Lake Como might as well be “Lake Coma.” Bates’ original story includes a lovely picnic in the summer of 1937 meant to enhance the slow-paced relationship of the middle-aged...
PeeWee Big Top

PeeWee Big Top

Big Top Pee-wee (1988) is a silly film about Pee-Wee Herman, a farmer in a small town in Kansas. See Picnicsonfilm.org for more discussion.