Grace Metalious' once-notorious bestseller Peyton Place is given a lavish -- and necessarily toned-down -- film treatment in this deluxe 20th Century-Fox production. Set during WWII, the film concentrates on several denizens of the outwardly respectable New England community of Peyton Place. Top-billed Lana Turner plays shopkeeper Constance McKenzie, who tries to make up for a past indiscretion -- which resulted in her illegitimate daughter Allison (Diane Varsi) -- by adopting a chaste, prudish attitude towards all things ...
Grace Metalious' once-notorious bestseller Peyton Place is given a lavish -- and necessarily toned-down -- film treatment in this deluxe 20th Century-Fox production. Set during WWII, the film concentrates on several denizens of the outwardly respectable New England community of Peyton Place. Top-billed Lana Turner plays shopkeeper Constance McKenzie, who tries to make up for a past indiscretion -- which resulted in her illegitimate daughter Allison (Diane Varsi) -- by adopting a chaste, prudish attitude towards all things sexual. In spite of herself, Constance can't help but be attracted to handsome new teacher Michael Rossi (Lee Philips). Meanwhile, the restless Allison, who'd like to be as footloose and fancy-free as the town's "fast girl" Betty Anderson (Terry Moore), falls sincerely in love with mixed-up mama's boy Norman Page (Russ Tamblyn). And while all this is going on, "white trash" Selena Cross (Hope Lange) is raped by her stepfather, drunken school caretaker Lucas Cross (Arthur Kennedy). Other characters essential to the action are wealthy Rodney Harrington (Barry Coe), who must pay the price for his dalliance with Betty Anderson; Nellie Cross (Betty Field), Selena's long-suffering mother; and the town's Voice of Reason, Dr. Swain (Lloyd Nolan). This 166-minute soap opera (whittled down to 157 minutes before release) culminates in a spectacular murder trial which lays bare the deep, dark secrets of Peyton Place. Filmed on location in Camden, Maine, Peyton Place was a huge moneymaker (even those who felt that the film was but a heavily laundered shadow of the Metalious original were pleased with the professionalism of it all); it not only spawned a 1961 theatrical sequel, but also a long-running prime time TV serial. Hal Erickson, Rovi
Lana Turner, Hope Lange, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy, Diane Varsi. Very good in very good packaging. 2 discs. Language: English. Run time: 157 mins. Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1. Originally released: 1957. CLEARANCE SALE DVD LOOKS & PLAYS FINE WE SHIP ALL BUSINESS DAYS 24 HR OR LESS RETURNS NO? ' S IN STOCK FREE TRACKING PROFESSIONAL PACKAGING
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TITLE: Peyton Place
GENRE: Dramatic Romance/Coming of Age
CAST: Lana Turner, Diane Varsi, Hope Lange, Lee Philips, Arthur Kennedy, Lloyd Nolan. Russ Tamblyn, Terry Moore, David Nelson, Lorne Greene and Barry Coe
PLOT: The lives and loves of several high school graduates are followed leading up to the start of WWII. One becomes a writer, one challenges the influence of his father's wealth, and one is torn by the origins of her family on the wrong side of the tracks.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 9 of 10;Though panned for not being as shocking as the novel it was based on, this production has all the usual Hollywood subplots. The dialoge develops the complicated characters. There are moral questions involved and the tale boldly addresses them. The costumes and sets are pivotal in placing us back in that pre-war America and everyone expected to end better than they began,
DVD BONUS: Overdubbed commentary by Moore and Tamblyn; some "back story" on the Grace Metalious novel and this film
ADDED NOTES: There were 9 Oscar nominations futilely recieved. Most of our Daytime soap operas seem to have their basic premise from this tale. A good contrast to see the changes in coming of age issues after fifty years is to watch "thirteen" by Catherine Hardwicke. You will see that the transition comes earlier now but the problems are largely the same.