Joan Lindsay wrote the Novel "Picnic at Hanging Rock" in only two Weeks.

Tony Ingram, a fourteen-year-old filmmaker first got permission from Joan Lindsay to adapt her book to film as 'The Day of Saint Valentine'. Ingram had filmed only ten minutes of footage before the film rights were optioned to 'Peter Weir', and Ingram's production was permanently shelved. The filmed footage is included on some DVD releases of Weir's film.

The first lines of the film's source 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' (1967) novel by Joan Lindsay, in a foreword, read: "Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction, my readers must decide for themselves. As the fateful picnic took place in the year nineteen hundred, and all the characters who appear in this book are long since dead, it hardly seems important."

This motion picture was made and first released about eight years after its source novel of the same name written by Joan Lindsay had been first published in 1967.

The Appleyard College (Martindale Hall) is approximately 9 hours away from the Hanging Rock,

Twelve of the schoolgirls were played by South Australians. Director Peter Weir wanted girls who were less influenced by the modern world to play the turn-of-the-century schoolgirls, and he found most of them from the more provincial Australian state of South Australia.

Filming began with Ingrid Mason as Miranda, but Peter Weir decided she wasn't working out, and replaced her with Anne Lambert. Mason stuck around to play one of the other girls, Rosamund (the one who who barges in on Miranda and Sara to tell them about the Valentine that Miss McCraw got).

The role of Mrs. Appleyard was originally taken by Vivien Merchant. While traveling to Australia, Merchant became ill in Hong Kong, and Rachel Roberts took over the role at a few days notice.

The opening lines spoken by Miranda, "What we see and what we seem are but a dream, a dream within a dream" are a paraphrase of lines from the poem A Dream within a Dream, by Edgar Allan Poe.

Russell Boyd reportedly enhanced the film's diffuse and ethereal look with the simple technique of placing a piece of bridal veil over the camera lens.

While filming on location at Hanging Rock, actress Anne-Louise Lambert (Miranda) had a most surreal encounter. During a break from shooting Lambert went for a walk through the woods. She turned to see Joan Lindsay, author of the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, stumbling toward her. Lambert said Lindsay then embraced her with strong, joyful emotion and called her Miranda. It was a powerful moment for both of them.

The complete text of the poster visible before the church service reads: "MISSING PRESUMED DEAD - Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these three persons last seen at Hanging Rock near Mount Macedon in the state of Victoria on Saturday 14th of February 1900 should communicate such information to an officer of the Victorian Constable.

Although the film doesn't show how Sara dies, still there are indications in the film that Mrs. Appleyard may have murdered Sara in a sudden state of madness. During the last conversation between Mrs. Appleyard and Sara, Mrs. Appleyard appeared depressed. She also lies to Mademoiselle de Poitiers that Sara's guardian Mr. Cosgrove took Sara away with him and she also lies that she helped Sara put a few things she especially wanted into her little covered basket. Mrs. Appleyard tells Mademoiselle de Poitiers that she won't be coming into luncheon and they shouldn't lay places for her and Sara for the luncheon. Immediately after the conversation with Mademoiselle de Poitiers, Mrs. Appleyard becomes nervous. When Whitehead confronts her about Sara's death, she is calm in full mourning dress with her possessions packed. It must be noted that Sara was also living with the hope that she might see her brother Bertie someday in the future which is revealed through her line - "Bertie. Bertie!.Jesus, where are you?" Albert tells Michael about how his sister Sara came to see him in his dream calling him Bertie and how she came a long way to see him. Unlike the film, the novel clearly shows that Sara committed suicide since she left a suicide letter.

The voices of some of the school girls were later dubbed by professional voice actors. The voice actors are not credited. Christine Schuler, who played Edith, had her entire voice dubbed over by actress Barbara Llewellyn. “I actually post synced the entire performance of Christine Schuler, the girl playing Edith, including the famous scream. Peter Weir was in the booth with me during the entire process of post synchronisation and I remember he was very happy after I did the scream only about six or eight times. Every word or sound that comes out of the onscreen Edith’s mouth is my voice,” Barbara Llewellyn sayd. “I was also the voice of the girl reciting the poem "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day", as well as doing numerous other one-liners in background noise.” Barbara was a close friend of Anne Lambert (Miranda)

Screenwriter David Williamson was originally chosen to adapt the film, but was unavailable and recommended TV writer Cliff Green.

Patricia Lovell sayd that Peter Weir originally wanted to do the Shooting on the Blue Mountains in Sydney, but then they saw later the Hanging Rock and were immediately impressed by the Rock.

Strange things did happend around the Hanging Rock during filming. Equipment has disappeared and watches have suddenly stopped. The cast and crew try to film a Scene on the top of the Rock and a massive storm with lightning and thunder came and made a turn around the Rock. They Crew stood in the middle on the Rock and could see it raining down, but not were they was. It was really freaky.

Executive producer Patricia Lovell admits to being genuinely afraid of Hanging Rock. In an interview she explained that she has only gone back to Hanging Rock once since the shooting. It was ten years later in 1985 and Lovell said she got so frightened at the location she left almost immediately. She refuses to go back to this day.

'The Secret of Hanging Rock', which was a cut final chapter from the film's source novel by Joan Lindsay, was published post-humously in 1987 as an individual work without the original novel with it. The work also included various discussion points, critical commentaries, academic analysis, and interpretative theories of the 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' (1967) novel and mystery, hence making the work not just the size of chapter from a novel. The length of the excised chapter, which was removed at the suggestion of Lindsay's publisher, is twelve pages.

The book 'The Murders at Hanging Rock', was published in 1980, about five years after the film had premiered, with it suggesting a number various solutions, interpretations, and resolutions to the mystery.

What happened to the missing girls and their teacher is explained by the original book's final chapter, which was withheld from publication for 20 years.

There are several times during the story in which clocks and watches stop for no apparent reason; author Joan Lindsay was well known amongst her friends for having the peculiar quality of (unintentionally) stopping watches and clocks in her vicinity, a phenomenon that occurred -and was recorded- many times during her life.

The Movie ends with a Slow Motion Scene of the Picnic before the girls dissapeared. Es erinnerte Peter Weir an das "Wenn man doch nur zurückgehen könnte kurz bevor etwas passiert ist "

if only go back to a moment before something happend und das verhindern könnte.

"Picnic at Hanging Rock" Site. Created by Sandra Gambino. 2005 - 2019
All the pictures on this site are copyright by respective production Studio and/or Distributor.