(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas and Frank’s ongoing series on the movie Picnic. And we could do a whole documentary on the making of Picnic in Kansas, couldn’t we Frank? (Frank) Yes, we could. Newton, Kansas, kind of claims the movie more. They have Fox Theatre in downtown Newton and they do show the movie there. It used to be you could go to the website and you could click on the Fox Theatre and then it would show you actual scenes from the movie Picnic. It was actually filmed in like six different locations, but I thought it was fun to find a whole bunch of trivia about the filming of, in other words the behind the scenes. And of course, it starred William Holden and Kim Novak, actually it was one of her first starring roles. And Rosalind Russell of course who was a major Hollywood star at the time. (Deb) Sure. (Frank) The movie got six Academy Award nominations and won two of them. And so anyway it’s just kind of fun to look into some of the fun stuff that went on. Some of it wasn’t too fun because there were a lot of mosquitos and tornados and everything else. But I don’t want to steal anything away from the story. (Deb) You know, when we get through with your Picnic series, I’m gonna start a series on some of the premiers, like the movie Dodge City and I think Dark Command premiered in Lawrence, with John Wayne and all of them. So, we’re gonna do a lot more on movies that have been filmed and premiered in Kansas. (Frank) Well, there are a
lot of people that are from Kansas that were in television and vaudeville and movies and on Broadway. There are a wealth of people that we can talk about too. (Deb) Let’s see some more. (Frank) OK. I’m having fun talking about the movie Picnic which was filmed 60 years ago here in the state of Kansas and near my hometown of Newton, Kansas. Another piece of trivia out of there – filming began in Salina, May 16, 1955. Nighttime crowds watched along the Smokey Hill River near an old mill as William Holden whipped a borrowed Corvette, or not a Corvette, but a convertible, with Kim Novak in the passenger seat to a stop along the river. Director Logan, a perfectionist, filmed the scene over and over again and a number of spectators and small boys often got in the way of the filming. A production member was designated assistant in charge of chasing small boys out of camera range. Other scenes filmed were Holden being chased by police around the mill and between railroad box cars. Suddenly the loud speaker blared, There’s a small boy underneath the box car. Get him out of there! When the big Holden/Novak love scene was filmed most of the crowd had gone home. Those who stayed said it was a dilly of a romance. Filming wrapped up shortly after five in the morning. By week’s end filming had moved to Hutchinson. Just more fun things about the movie Picnic filmed here in the state of Kansas.