Picnic 4

(Frank) Well, welcome back on Around Kansas. I’m Frank. And I think this is Deb. (Deb) You’re still wearing your picnic shirt I see. (Frank) Yea, still wearing the picnic shirt. (Deb) So, I guess we’re still talking about Picnic then aren’t we. (Frank) Yea, we’re about to wrap that up. But there’s so much stuff in that. I really had to pick some of the things that I thought were very interesting and very funny and I hope the viewers also agree with that. But there was another thing too. They shot a lot of stuff along the railroad yard because you know, his character jumps a train and gets out of town. That’s the way he got to town. And anyway, they were shooting a lot of that. Kids were playing in the train yard and they were always having to kind of get ’em out of there. And one of my stories talks about this big booming voice that came over speakers one time and said, Get ’em out of there. So anyway, we’ll see some more about the filming of the movie Picnic. And of course, that was written by William Inge. It was originally a stage play. And William Inge, of course, is from Kansas, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and playwright and I’m gonna be doing some stories on him too. Let’s take a look. (Frank) OK, more on the movie Picnic filmed 60 years ago here in the state of Kansas. Of course, written by William Inge, who won the Pulitzer Prize for writing this particular play. Of course, he had many other plays. But an interesting thing, William Inge was obliged to continually rewrite the ending of his original stage play for the movie, even while it was in rehearsals, with the director rejecting each ending as being more depressing than the last. Inge’s original idea was that Madge would stay in town, her shoulders slumped as she dragged herself to a dead end job at the dime store, taunted by local boys who knew she’d thrown away her reputation to a drifter, who was played by William Holden. The director insisted Madge had to chase after Howell and leave town, even though most of the audience would realize it would be a doomed affair. Alright, alright, Inge told ’em, but I want you to know I don’t approve. The director later wrote in his memoirs, It’s as though he killed his favorite child. And so it was. In 1955, 60 years during the filming of Picnic in the great state of Kansas.

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