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Peyton Place 1957
Description: Grace Metalious' once-notorious bestseller Peyton Zone is given a lavish -- and necessarily toned-down -- movie treatment in this deluxe 20th Century-Fox production. Set during WWII, the movie concentrates on few denizens of the outwardly respectable Fresh England community of Peyton Place. Top-billed Lana Turner plays shopkeeper Constance McKenzie, who tries to create 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 support but be attracted to handsome fresh 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 man Norman Page (Russ Tamblyn).
Released: 03 Mar 1958 Director: Mark Robson Writers: John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Grace Metalious (from the novel by) Actors: Lana Turner, Lee Philips, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy Genres: Drama, Romance
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Peyton Place 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 another melodramas, "Peyton Place" is a beautifully filmed, effective movie that uncovers the hidden scandals of a quaint, Fresh 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 every 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 nice mother and community member, while rebuffing the advances of handsome school principal, Michael Rossi(Lee Philips). On the another 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 basic plots are few another tales revolving around sex, love and the war. No one is immune to the reveal of secrets, which have a domino result all across town."Peyton Place" shook the foundation of Hollywood's censorship board by exposing such taboo subject as sexual abuse and abortion, but not once does it come off as exploitative. On the contrary, the movie is firmly grounded in emotion and genuine feeling. And while the film straddles the line of nice taste, a plot involving the fight effort and its result on the young boys of Peyton Zone 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 soon in "Imitation of Life". And the incredibly good-looking Lee Philip is a excellent match the screen beauty. But it is really with the sensitive performances of Diane Varsi and Hope Lange that this movie gains its legs. And Lloyd Nolan cannot be overlooked as the town's warm-hearted doctor. "Peyton Place" should have been a heaving, overblown showcase, but instead made its method into becoming an necessary melodrama that has stood the use of time.


The ebook "Peyton Place" came out in the early 1950s. It blew off the lid of a tiny Fresh England city full of rape, murder, sex, abortion, infidelity, suicide etc etc. Even though the city (and residents) were fictitious, this ebook created an uproar. It was a large greatest seller but condemned as utter trash by all ebook critics and "moral" folks everywhere (of course they were purchasing the ebook themselves). Now, almost 50 years later, it's considered a nice literary novel and taught in colleges!Hollywood took the book, toned it down considerably, went all the method to Maine to movie it and basically gave it Grade A treatment. It has a nice cast, a stunning score by Franz Waxman, superb Fresh England photography and moves along at a quick clip. The once racy items is very tame by today's standards but it's type of amusing to watch--the dialogue stage between Diane Varsi and Russ Tamblyn (about sex) is giggle-inducing. An abortion is never named that--it's named "inducing a miscarriage". A rape becomes "forcing himself on her". Still, the main stories in the ebook come across...and it works very well. The cast really helps.Lana Turner is just nice as Constance MacKenzie--a girl with a deep secret. Lloyd Nolan is excellent as Doc Swain--he even gets the Fresh England accent down right! Arthur Kennedy is downright terrifying as Lucas Cross and Hope Lange is wonderful as his step-daughter. Everybody else (with one exception) is nice but the ones mentioned above were the best. The one debit is Diane Varsi--she's TERRIBLE as Alison MacKenzie. Unfortunately, she's the main character. Her face is everytime blank and her readings are in a monotone. Especially terrible are her narrations over the scenery. You see just jaw-droppingly pretty scenery---and her drab, toneless voice droning on. Still, everything else is so nice she's simple to overlook.OK--it's a soap opera but a VERY nice one. The 2 1/2+ hours just flew by. Highly recommended.


Peyton Zone is a nice and realistic observation of human behavior taken in the context of when and where it was written, no matter how shocking truth may appear. After years of medical practice, I have lived many experiences not unlike that of Dr. Swain in this novel/movie. I saw "Peyton Place" for the first time in my late forties as part of a CineClub presentation. I grew up naively in a tiny North East farm city in the late 50's. My grand uncle was our local Country Doctor. I was frightened if not scandalized by the large town lifestyle when I moved to the town to attend medical school. He assured me that "we" had the same "scandals" in our community, it was just "hidden or kept secret". In all honesty, I had already witnessed some of these problems as they shook my own family of origin. Later, I returned to practice in a rural town. As I got closer to the native citizens, I discovered many secrets, secrets not unlike some of the tragic happenings that took Peyton Zone by storm. As I grew older (and hopefully wiser), I realized that every city has their own "Peyton Place". It's all around us, it's is part of our human nature, part of it is in every one of us. Mrs. Metalious, the creator of this nice novel, paid the price of her own honesty with her life. This novel and the film that it is based on, have to be taken in the time context it was created. Unfortunately, many of these happenings are still taking zone around us today. I have witnessed them through my interaction with many patients and friends. Love, lust, passion, ambition, greed, envy... are all primary instincts that drive us through the meanders of life, some leading us to nice outcomes others to tragedy. I recently returned from our occupation in Iraq where I was severely injured in combat, ending my career as a physician. I saw the greatest and also the worst of what boy can do to mankind. I witnessed many problems that I saw in Peyton Place, only on a larger scale. Peyton Zone bears witness to a part of the globe we live in, it is in all of us. The happenings taking zone in her youth were the source of Grace Metalious' novel and shaped the course of her story. I highly suggest this movie, it is part of history, our American history, nice or bad. Finally, I greatly appreciate all the viewers that take time to share their opinion about films with the readers through IMDb's Comments Place. May God or your "Higher Power" bless you all, GLN.



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