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Peyton Place (1957)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 3 March 1958 (Sweden)
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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)
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every Hunger...Every Emotion...Every Shame...Every Fear! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | 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

The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Rossi introduces Miss Thornton at the senior prom, the audience is heard applauding a moment before they are actually seen applauding. See more »

Quotes

Michael Rossi: I kissed you. You kissed me. That's affection, not carnality. That's affection, not lust. You ought to know the difference.
See more »

Alternate Versions

(Spoiler) Originally premiered at 162 minutes. Cut by 5 minutes, shortly after premiere, reputedly in the scene involving the murder of Arthur Kennedy's character. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Serenade in Blue
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as dance music at Allison's birthday party
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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