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Peyton Place (1957)

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A peaceful New England town hides secrets and scandals.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Grace Metalious (from the novel by)
Reviews
Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lana Turner ... Constance MacKenzie
Lee Philips ... Michael Rossi
Lloyd Nolan ... Dr. Swain
Arthur Kennedy ... Lucas Cross
Russ Tamblyn ... Norman Page
Terry Moore ... Betty Anderson
Hope Lange ... Selena Cross
Diane Varsi ... Allison MacKenzie
David Nelson ... Ted Carter
Barry Coe ... Rodney Harrington
Betty Field ... Nellie Cross
Mildred Dunnock ... Miss Elsie Thornton
Leon Ames ... Mr. Harrington
Lorne Greene ... Prosecutor
Robert H. Harris ... Seth Bushwell
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Storyline

It's the pre-WWII era. Peyton Place is a small town in New England, whose leading adult citizens rule the town with their high moral standards, which they try to pass on to their offspring. The adults, especially those that wield power largely through their positions and/or through their wealth, will not tolerate anything they believe morally improper, even if there is a hint of impropriety without comprehensive evidence to back up the hints. As their offspring grow from teenagers to adults, the offspring learn that there is much hypocrisy by the adults lying underneath that façade of proper Christian morals. The offspring begin to rebel in different ways, which is brought to public scrutiny with the arrival into town of an "outsider", the new young high school principal Michael Rossi, and through a murder trial. Written by Huggo

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Taglines:

Now all of it is on the screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1958 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Jerry Wald's Production of Peyton Place See more »

Filming Locations:

Belfast, Maine, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$25,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Immediately after the graduation scene, there is a quick scene showing Allison MacKenzie (Diane Varsi) at a typewriter. She is in the exact same pose that showed author Grace Metalious on the back of the paperback. The detail is exact, right down to the position of her body and clothing. See more »

Goofs

At Selena's trial, the prosecutor recalls her to the stand. There are several errors in this. Under the Constitution a person cannot be compelled to testify against himself, so the prosecution could not force Selena, the defendant, to take the stand as a witness against herself; she could only take the stand if first called by her own side, the defense. This means that Selena could only have been "recalled" to the stand had the defense already called her. However, the order of trial is for the prosecution to present its case first, followed by the defense. Therefore, since Selena could not be called to the stand in the first place other than by the defense, and since the defense had not yet begun its case, it was not possible for the prosecutor to have "recalled" Selena. See more »

Quotes

Allison MacKenzie: Nelly.
Nellie Cross: Yeah?
Allison MacKenzie: You've been a daughter and a mother. Which one is worse?
Nellie Cross: Being a mother.
Allison MacKenzie: Why?
Nellie Cross: You find yourself doing the same things you hated your own mother and father doing.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Laserdisc version cuts out some dissolves between scenes, or replaces them with fades to black (in order to accomodate side breaks). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lou Grant: Exposé (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fidelis (O Come All Ye Faithful)
(1782) (uncredited)
Music by John Francis Wade
Played at Christmas time
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sentimentality Meets Sensationalism
4 August 2005 | by Michael27-1See all my reviews

Grace Metalious' explosive best-selling novel is given the Hollywood treatment in 1957's "Peyton Place". Devoid of so much of the nonsense that has been known to permeate other melodramas, "Peyton Place" is a beautifully filmed, effective film that uncovers the hidden scandals of a quaint, New England town. With fine acting, score and cinematography, this screen classic translates well from its literary heritage. And the film's unraveling of the town's secrets is handled well - building up like a ball of snow as each successive scandal is unearthed.

We meet the townspeople from the point-of-view of Allison Mackenzie(Diane Varsi), the sweet and sheltered daughter of Constance(Lana Turner). Constance struggles to be a good mother and community member, while rebuffing the advances of handsome school principal, Michael Rossi(Lee Philips). On the other side of the tracks live Constance's housekeeper whose daughter, Selena(Hope Lange), struggles as a victim of abuse by her own step-father. In the midst of these primary plots are several other tales revolving around sex, love and the war. No one is immune to the reveal of secrets, which have a domino effect all across town.

"Peyton Place" shook the foundation of Hollywood's censorship board by exposing such taboo topics as sexual abuse and abortion, but not once does it come off as exploitative. On the contrary, the film is firmly grounded in emotion and genuine feeling. And while the movie straddles the line of good taste, a plot involving the war effort and its effect on the young men of Peyton Place proves to be profound. Lana Turner does her job well as the repressed mother. In fact, heated passion can be sensed underneath her aloof, icy-cold exterior - a chill factor even more effective 2 years later in "Imitation of Life". And the incredibly good-looking Lee Philip is a perfect match the screen beauty. But it is really with the sensitive performances of Diane Varsi and Hope Lange that this film gains its legs. And Lloyd Nolan cannot be overlooked as the town's warm-hearted doctor. "Peyton Place" could have been a heaving, overblown showcase, but instead made its way into becoming an important melodrama that has stood the test of time.


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