Picnic at Hanging
Rock is an iconic movie for the Australian film industry yet, not
only is the film based on a mystery, there are several mysterious
circumstances surrounding the movie itself.
One major mystery is who were the three characters/actors whose voices
were completely dubbed in the movie? Each dubbed part is really two
actresses in one – one being the onscreen version and the other being
the vocal performance.
I can solve part of that particular mystery because I,
Barbara Llewellyn, was the actress
hired to completely dub the voice of the character, Edith,
including her famous scream. But who were the other two onscreen
characters who were completely revoiced, and who were the off-screen
actresses who revoiced them? John Godl’s article
Picnic at Hanging
Rock – the Unseen Voices delves more into this fascinating conundrum
and is well worth a read. But there is also another mystery connected
directly to the days of filming that I can reveal to you.
Miranda told me
At the time of the Picnic at Hanging
Rock’s release, the world buzzed with stories of
unusual occurrences during the actual filming of the movie on that
sacred and majestic rock. The tales of stopped watches on set and a
feeling of an unknown presence surveying everything that occurred were
commonplace, but the story I like best is the one Anne Lambert (who
portrayed Miranda) told to me personally. As far as I am aware, only a
small select group of people have ever heard of this tale … until now.
Annie said that the crew, herself and her fellow actresses, who were
about to film the segment where the girls disappear at the top of the
rock, were all very concerned on this particular day by the dark and
dangerous clouds looming around them – everyone felt sure Mother Nature
was about to give them a thorough soaking.
Then the weirdest of weird things happened – it started to rain. No,
you’re quite right, there’s nothing weird about the fact that it started
raining, even if that rain is particularly heavy and harsh. What
is weird is where it didn't rain.
The skies unleashed a torrent upon the rocks while the entire cast and
crew huddled into a little circle, desperately trying to protect their
expensive filming equipment ... but they need not have worried for they
were completely protected by some unseen power.
Not a drop landed on the vulnerable humans and their precious equipment,
even though a torrent poured literally all around them. The unknown
force made a circle around the shocked cast and crew, ensuring not a
single drop landing on a single person. It kept each and everyone of
them completely safe and dry. The rain moved on but the circle of calm
dryness stayed static, until all danger disappeared.
Imagine how weird is must have felt looking up to see blue skies
directly above you while all around that tiny spot of blue and dry
safety are dark, tumultuous clouds, dropping their contents most
profoundly upon the earth, drenching everything except the people
obviously respected and protected by the magic of the rock.
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